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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 21, No. 2. March 27, 1958


Political Economy may be called Russia's Secret Weapon, said Mr Rosenberg, because it is so little known in Western countries. It is either ignored or belittled. Yet the amazing success of the Russian economic system which was recently epitomised by the Sputnik shows that it is in her economic system that Russia's strength lies.

The reason for our ignoring Russian economic theories lay in the fact that to understand Soviet economic theory it was necessary also to revise some basic value-notions which we all hold very dear. For, Mr. Rosenberg claimed, it is impossible to reconcile a number of the concepts of Western democracy with the political set-up which is the necessary outcome of the scientific organisation of economics in the Soviet Union. Mr. Rosenberg compared the unwillingness to understand the thoroughly rational system of economics established in the Soviet Union with the resistance to the Copernican world system which made the sun the centre of the universe and thus also destroyed a number of deeply cherished values. Yet, in order to achieve scientific progress, some values had to be adjusted to the new facts of life.

Continuing to develop the background to his talk Mr. Rosenberg then pointed out that the success of the Russian economic system, based on their economic theory, was of immense importance in the present struggle for the loyalty of the "uncommitted nations." These nations which represented the poorest part of the world needed economic improvement urgently and they represent over 1,000 million people.