International Socialist Division of Labor

International Socialist Division of Labor

 

a new type of division of labor among the states that appeared with the emergence and development of the world socialist economic system. The capitalist international division of labor, which took shape spontaneously during a competitive struggle, resulted in sharp disparities in the levels of economic development of different countries and in the exploitation of the economically under-developed countries by the advanced capitalist states. By contrast, the international socialist division of labor is under-taken consciously, through planning. It promotes the vital interests of all the socialist countries, and it contributes to the equalization of their levels of economic development. It is built on the principles of full equality, mutual respect, independence and sovereignty, socialist internationalism, and fraternal mutual assistance. The international socialist division of labor raises the economic efficiency of social production and, consequently, helps accelerate the rate of economic growth and promotes the well-being of the working people of all the socialist countries.

The international socialist division of labor applies primarily to material production. The socialist countries take part in a division of labor among different branches of industry and within particular branches, developing the appropriate specialization in products, parts, units, and production technology. The international socialist division of labor is growing rapidly in scientific and technological work and in nonproduction areas.

The basic principles of the international socialist division of labor were developed by the Fifteenth Session of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) and were approved by the conference of representatives of the Communist and workers’ parties of the COMECON countries in June 1962. As formulated by the COMECON session, these principles include a proper regard for maintaining the objectively necessary proportions in the economic development of each country and of the world socialist system as a whole. This promotes a balanced economy in each country. Another basic goal is a high degree of economic efficiency in the international socialist division of labor, as manifested in rapid rates of growth in production and greater satisfaction of the needs of the population in each country with the least possible expenditure of social labor. It is important that international specialization of production be combined with the comprehensive, multifaceted development of the economy of each socialist country, so that the natural and economic prerequisites for production, including labor resources, may be used more fully and more expediently. The international socialist division of labor aims at gradually overcoming the historically determined differences in the levels of economic development of various countries, chiefly through the industrialization of the less developed countries and through the maximum utilization of the internal resources of each country as well as of the advantages of the world socialist system. Because the obligations to develop the output of particular products, in order to supply them to fraternal countries, are undertaken voluntarily and are mutually beneficial, the international socialist division of labor does not infringe on the sovereignty of any participating country.

The international socialist division of labor is most highly developed among the COMECON countries. In 1971 the commodity circulation among them exceeded 36 billion rubles, and the commodity circulation between them and all other socialist countries totaled 40 billion rubles. Reciprocal sales of commodities predominate in the foreign trade turnover of the COME-CON countries. In 1971 reciprocal sales accounted for 75.1 percent of Bulgaria’s foreign trade, 64.2 percent of Czechoslovakia’s, 67.4 percent of the foreign trade of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), 63.9 percent of Hungary’s foreign trade, 95.4 percent of Mongolia’s, 61.9 percent of Poland’s, 47.2 percent of Rumania’s, and 56.2 percent of the USSR’s. Foreign trade with other socialist countries in 1971 accounted for 78.5 percent of Bulgaria’s trade turnover, 69.8 percent of Czechoslovakia’s, 71.7 percent of the GDR’s, 67.5 percent of Hungary’s, 98.9 per cent of Mongolia’s, 65.3 percent of Poland’s, 55.3 percent of Rumania’s, and 65.4 percent of the USSR’s.

The USSR is prominent in the international socialist division of labor. Approximately two-thirds of its foreign trade is with the socialist countries. The Soviet Union plays a major role in economic ties involving fuel and raw materials. Thus, in 1972 it exported to other socialist countries more than 60 million tons of petroleum and petroleum products, 3.4 billion cu m of natural gas, 16 million tons of hard coal, more than 34 million tons of iron ore, more than 79,000 tons of zinc, 84,000 tons of lead, more than 358,000 tons of aluminum, approximately 7 million compact cu m of logs and sawed timber, more than 415,000 tons of cotton fiber, and approximately 6.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electric power. Poland and Czechoslovakia export coal to other socialist countries, Rumania exports petroleum products, Hungary exports bauxite, alumina, and aluminum, and the GDR supplies other socialist countries with potash. As a result of the growth of industry and the rising level of technology in the socialist countries, the international socialist division of labor in machine building and metalworking expands every year. The international socialist division of labor also includes light industry, especially the footwear, textile, furniture, knitgoods, and garment industries.

The division of labor in agriculture and the food-processing industry makes it possible to supply each socialist country with the foods and agricultural materials that cannot be produced or are produced in insufficient quantities owing to adverse climatic or other conditions. Among the most important of these products are grain, which the USSR exports to the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Cuba; cotton and linen, which the USSR exports to a number of socialist countries; and fresh and canned fruits and vegetables, which are exported from Bulgaria, Rumania, and Hungary to the USSR, the GDR, Czechoslovakia, and other socialist countries. Sugar is exported from Cuba to a number of socialist countries; livestock products, from Mongolia to other socialist countries; and eggs, poultry, and ham, from Poland and other socialist countries.

Division of labor and cooperation in scientific and engineering research are becoming more and more important. From 1966 to 1970 the COMECON countries pooled their efforts on approximately 200 scientific projects.

The international socialist division of labor, which is regulated according to a plan by the Communist and workers’ parties and governments of the socialist countries, lies at the heart of the development of socialist economic integration. The Comprehensive Program for the Further Extension and Promotion of Cooperation and Development of Socialist Economic Integration, which was adopted by the Twenty-fifth Session of COMECON in July 1971, provides for the further strengthening of the international socialist division of labor and for the planned expansion of international specialization and cooperation in production, science, and technology.

The international socialist division of labor does not exclude the socialist countries from participation in the international division of labor. Rather, it is designed to allow for participation in the international division of labor. By developing economic ties with all countries, the socialist countries strengthen the material basis for peaceful coexistence between the two world socioeconomic systems.

REFERENCES

Osnovnye printsipy mezhdunarodnogo sotsialisticheskogo razdeleniia truda. Moscow, 1964.
Kompleksnaia programma dal’neishego uglubleniia i sovershenstvovaniia sotrudnichestva i razvitiia sotsialisticheskoi ekonomicheskoi integratsii stran-chlenov SEV. Moscow, 1971.
Materialy XXIVs”ezda KPSS. Moscow, 1971.
Ekonomicheskaia effektivnost’ mezhdunarodnogo sotsialisticheskogo razdeleniia truda. Moscow, 1965.
Bogomolov, O. T. Teoriia i metodologiia mezhdunarodnogo sotsialisticheskogo razdeleniia truda. Moscow, 1967.
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Kiss, T. Problemy sotsialisticheskoi integratsii stran SEV. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from Hungarian.)

P. M. ALAMPIEV

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