Joseph Stalin

Economic Problems of the USSR

10. Ways of Improving the Draft Textbook on Political Economy

During the discussion some comrades "ran down" the draft textbook much too assiduously, berated its authors for errors and oversights, and claimed that the draft was a failure. That is unfair. Of course, there are errors and oversights in the textbook — they are to be found in practically every big undertaking. Be that as it may, the overwhelming majority of the participants in the discussion were nevertheless of the opinion that the draft might serve as a basis for the future textbook and only needed certain corrections and additions. Indeed, one has only to compare the draft with the textbooks on political economy already in circulation to see that the draft stands head and shoulders above them. For that the authors of the draft deserve great credit.

I think that in order to improve the draft textbook, it would be well to appoint a small committee which would include not only the authors of the textbook, and not only supporters, but also opponents of the majority of the participants in the discussion, out-and-out critics of the draft textbook.

It would also be well to include in the committee a competent statistician to verify the figures and to supply additional statistical material for the draft, as well as a competent jurist to verify the accuracy of the formulations.

The members of the committee should be temporarily relieved of all other work and should be well provided for, so that they might devote themselves entirely to the textbook.

Furthermore, it would be well to appoint an editorial committee, of say three persons, to take care of the final editing of the textbook. This is necessary also in order to achieve unity of style, which, unfortunately, the draft text-book lacks.

Time limit for presentation of the finished textbook to the Central Committee — one year.

J. Stalin February 1, 1952

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