The Unification of Germany by L. Goldstein
By the end of the 1950s the scientific-technological revolution offered new possibilities for the improvement of the Soviet economy, but for various reasons this potential was not taken up. The main reason was that the shock of the German fascist attack was such as to cause the Soviets to plan and to build new defense that would preclude another such attack. This meant that while the scientific-technological revolution was realized in the defense industry, these advances were completely isolated from normal industry for fear that the enemy would learn military secrets. The Soviet achievements in space technology and armaments indicated that the Soviet Union had the potential to compete successfully with capitalism. But this was wasted by not applying the scientific-technological advances to normal industry and by sticking to the extensive method of economic development which ignored innovation and cost-effective accounting in civil industry. In this way, the Soviet economy was no match for the economic was which the imperialist states had already mounted. On the other hand, the imperialist states could use the scientific-technological revolution for armaments, research, and investment as well as for social welfare policies, which were able to stabilize the system, quite apart from the billions coming in from imperialist investment in the so-called Third World. The superiority of the imperialist powers became particularly oppressive through sudden and manipulated high prices of raw materials (oil); the manipulated increase in interest rates on loans, the considerable rise in the standard of living in the West coupled with a long period of prosperity after 1983. Coupled with these objective developments was the inability of the Soviet economists to understand the dynamics of the scientific-technological revolution as it affected the imperialist economies, and a failure to see how categories like commodity, price, value, profit, still affected the Soviet economy and were not merely obsolete bourgeois categories.