Intensification of Production

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Intensification of Production


a process in the development of social production, based on the increasingly full and rational use of technical, material, and labor resources on the basis of scientific and technological progress. Intensive development differs from extensive, which refers to increasing production capacities on the existing technical base while increasing the material resources and number of workers used. In characterizing the development of production, Marx wrote in Das Kapital that “reproduction takes place in larger or smaller periods of time, that is, from the standpoint of society, reproduction on an enlarged scale—extensive if the field of production is extended; intensive if the means of production is made more effective” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 24, p. 193).

The intensive development of production under capitalism is directed toward increasing the profits of capitalists at the same time that the intensity of labor increases. Intensification of production is an important factor in the competitive struggle of capitalists and entrepreneurs. The social consequences of capitalist intensification of production are increases in exploitation of the working masses, occupational disease and work injuries, and unemployment.

Socialist intensification of production is directed toward a comprehensive increase in the effectiveness of social production and at the same time toward an improvement in the welfare and cultural level of the working masses, elimination of arduous manual labor, and gradual eradication of the distinctions between mental and physical labor. The main sources of socialist intensification of production are scientific and technological progress, refinement of the organization of production and labor, and improvement in the system and methods of administration and planning. Socialist intensification of production envisages normal intensity of labor, based on the scientific organization of labor and a creative attitude toward it and on a high degree of conscious discipline of all personnel.

The specific forms of intensification of production under socialism depend on the features of each sector of the national economy. Intensification of production in industry is the general introduction on the basis of economic soundness of modern equipment; of new types of supplies, raw materials, and fuel; and of highly efficient comprehensively mechanized and automated technological processes. It also includes improvements in the quality of production, refinements in the organization of production on the basis of its further specialization and integration, acceleration of production processes, and improved use of equipment, space, raw materials, supplies, fuel, and energy. Intensification of production in construction means a rise in the level of industrialization, the conversion of construction into a comprehensively mechanized process of assembling buildings and structures out of standardized elements manufactured by industry, the supply of highly productive equipment to construction work, and a reduction in construction time and an improvement in quality. In agriculture the intensification of production means improved farming standards based on further electrification, use of chemicals, comprehensive mechanization, land improvement, and the introduction into production of the latest achievements of agronomy and biology, progressive technology, and the organization of production. The effectiveness of intensification of production lies in increasing product output and the national income at the same time that labor productivity and the incremental output/capital ratio are increased and the material needed for product output is reduced.

The degree of intensification of production in USSR industry is characterized by the following data: labor productivity was 5.2 times higher in 1971 than in 1940, the value of industrial-production fixed capital stock in machine building and metalworking in 1970 was 178 percent above the 1960 level, and the total output of production in this branch was 213 percent higher. At general-use electric power plants the unit expenditure of ideal fuel per kilowatt-hour of electric power released was reduced from 645 grams in 1940 to 360 grams in 1971. The efficiency coefficient of blast-furnace capacity increased from 1.19 cu m per ton of steel in 1940 to 0.592 in 1971, and the average 24-hour output of steel per cu m of open-hearth furnace increased during this time from 4.24 tons to 9.16 tons.

The socialist economy is being developed both intensively and extensively. As socialist production is improved, the relationship between extensive and intensive factors is changing in favor of the latter. At the present stage of communist construction, intensification of production has become a basic source of developing and improving the effectiveness of production. It is furthered by the current scientific and technological revolution and embraces all sectors of the national economy.

In its resolutions the Communist Party constantly emphasizes that “refinement of the system and methods of administration and planning should be directed first of all at ensuring an all-around intensification and greater efficiency of social production; this is the main line of economic development of the country both in the near future and in long-range terms and a major condition for creating the material and technical basis of communism” (Materialy XXIV s“ezda KPSS, 1971, p. 296).


Materialy XXIV s”ezda KPSS. Moscow, 1971.
Kheinman, S. A. Problemy inlensifikatsii promyshlennogo proizvodstva. Moscow, 1968.
Afanas’ev, V. G. Ob inlensifikatsii razvitiia sotsialisticheskogo ob-shchestva. Moscow, 1969.
Faktory ekonomicheskogo razvitiia SSSR. Edited by A. I. Notkin. Moscow, 1970.
Intensifikatsiia i rezervy ekonomiki. Moscow, 1970.


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