Comparing USSR economic growth

Thanks to Paul Hampton for the figures below.

Two other comparisons.

In 1913 Italy was 72% ahead of what would become the USSR in GDP per capita (Italy’s big industry was not more developed, nor its agriculture, but it was more urbanised and had more small industry), and Japan’s was 7% behind.

In 1950 Italy was 24% ahead, and Japan was 32% behind. Japan had grown slowly up to 1929, but between 1930 and 1939 its GDP per head rose 52%, or 4.8% per year. The USSR’s, from the graph below, rose about 61%, or 5.4% per year.

By 1973 Italy was 73% ahead, and Japan was 88% ahead.

(All figures from Maddison, The World Economy)

As early as 1942, Raya Dunayevskaya pointed out that if USSR heavy industry had indeed increased by 1937 to 238% of the 1932 figure, in Japan it had increased by 1940 to 254% of the 1932-3 figure (despite Japan being much poorer in raw materials than Russia) – https://www.marxists.org/archive/dunayevskaya/works/1942/russian-economy/ch01.htm

In Rosa Luxemburg’s Introduction to Political Economy, before World War 1, she already saw Russian capitalist development as unstoppably dynamic.

“Russia, as soon as it casts off the fetters of an obsolete form of state [i.e. Tsarism]… will… appear… alongside Germany, England, and the United States as a powerful industrial country, if it does not indeed overshadow them”.

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