Discipline, State

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Discipline, State


in the USSR, the strict observance by all organizations and citizens of the procedures established by the Soviet state for all state agencies, enterprises, and institutions in carrying out the state duties with which they are charged.

In a socialist society, state discipline rests on the high consciousness of broad masses of the toiling people and on the objective expression of the interests of the absolute majority of the toiling people in the demands and orders of state agencies. State discipline demands the strict observance of legality, of assignments under plans, and of contract obligations. It is incompatible with a narrowly departmental or local approach to problems of importance to the entire state and with setting personal interests against those of the state. State discipline relies on the democratic principle of state administration and is intimately connected with the strengthening of social and labor discipline and with the principles of communist ethics and morality. Among the sub-divisions of state discipline are plan, finance, contract, technological, and office discipline.

In economic activity, contract discipline is the chief element of state discipline. Contract discipline is a statutory undertaking of socialist organizations to ensure strict and timely performance of contractual obligations and timely contracting following a specific plan issue binding on both contracting parties. In the USSR the Basic Principles of Civil Legislation of 1961 contain a number of provisions designed to ensure timely contracting and guarantee proper contractual discipline. Special emphasis is placed on contractual discipline regarding those contracts based on plan assignments binding on both contracting parties. The law has established that disagreements arising between state, cooperative (except kolkhozes), and other public organizations in concluding a contract based on a plan assignment should be settled by arbitration (an arbitration tribunal) unless the law provides for another procedure. The same organizations may have recourse to arbitration if disagreements arise in concluding a contract not based on a plan assignment binding on both parties, provided that the contemplated supply involves goods that are not distributed under a plan and that the two parties have agreed on the subject and timetable of the deliveries. Precontractual recourse to arbitration is also possible when parties to a contract maintain long-established economic links. Contract discipline is promoted by provisions of civil legislation or of the contract itself that relate to compensation of damages by sanctions for nonperformance or improper performance of the contract, as well as by sanctions imposed by the Gos-bank (State Bank of the USSR) against enterprises and organizations that violate their contractual obligations. There are also civil law provisions for secured transactions. Deliberate violation of contract discipline in cases provided for by the law may entail criminal proceedings.

Finance discipline is an important element of state discipline. Its requirements are determined by the specific nature of the finance activity of the Soviet state, which strives for stable, sound state finances. This is possible only through precise and comprehensive regulation of financial relationships and their detailed control and orderly management. These requirements apply not only to the state budget but to all links of the Soviet financial system: the financial operations of socialist enterprises, state insurance, and state and banking credit.

Finance discipline includes budget and credit discipline. Budget discipline demands that all state agencies, enterprises, institutions, organizations, and citizens make payments into the budget in amounts and on schedules established by the law. Budgetary funds must be spent strictly according to their original purpose, within the limits of officially confirmed appropriations, and proportionately to the actual fulfillment of production and finance plans. Credit discipline demands the strict observance of rules for using credit and the prompt payment of long- and short-term loans from banking institutions and of the interest rates on them.

An important demand of finance discipline is that all enterprises, institutions, and organizations keep their funds in appropriate banking institutions or savings banks and that, as a rule, they settle their accounts with other parties to the contract by the clearing system.

Legislation provides for a system of norms to regulate the planning and expenditure of money, such as the size of the staff and salary rate. State discipline is directed at ensuring the precise operation of the machinery of state. It demands from every employee a profound understanding of his official functions, responsibility for his job, initiative, and efficiency.

The CPSU attaches special importance to the observance of state discipline. The 1961 Program of the CPSU and resolutions of congresses and plenums of the Central Committee of the CPSU emphasize that state discipline is one of the most important conditions for successfully building a communist society, and therefore a vigorous struggle is needed against any manifestations of laxity that may lead to violations of state discipline. The Rules of the CPSU demand that all party members strictly observe party and state discipline.

The organizational and educational work of party and state agencies and public organizations ensures the observance of state discipline. Directors of state agencies, public organizations, institutions, and enterprises have a special responsibility for the observance of state discipline.

Soviet legislation provides for material and, in some cases, even criminal responsibility for violation of state discipline. It pays special attention to control and supervision over the precise observance of state discipline and to the participation of public organizations and the public in this control. The people’s control agencies have the important task of ensuring state discipline in the operation of the machinery of state.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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