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The Social Stakes of the Great Capitalist Transformation in the East 1

  • Samary, Catherine
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    The “great capitalist transformation” in the East was characterized by general forced “privatisations” in a very opaque and unprecedented context. It had to radically transform the role of money and markets in the whole economy to permit capital accumulation while getting rid of the existing forms of social protection and income within the big factories—the core of the bureaucratic system of production and distribution. This whole process could not find a revolutionary support among the masses (in the sense of an explicit mobilisation in support of privatisations and suppression of social protection)—in spite of the popular rejection of the single party system and its dictatorship. But it had to face two major issues in the first phase of the systemic transformation: to give some legitimacy to the suppression of a very impure form of social ownership and, as a dominant feature, to introduce the new kind of property without capital input in the form of money. “Mass privatisation” (juridical change without capital input while the state became a “real owner”) has been the dominant and opaque “innovation” through which broad parts of the former bureaucrats could transform their privileges of management into privileges of property, increasing ideological confusion. The integration of Eastern Germany into a real existing capitalist system—one of the most productive and rich—has been a very different scenario. 1Translated by Miriam Bishop.

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    Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/4779.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2009
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    Publication status: Published in Debatte, 2009, Vol. 17, no. 1. pp. 5-39.Length: 34 pages
    Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/4779
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