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Ernest Mandel, a heterodox Marxist economist, shows here how a political economist can analyse systems such as the Soviet Union. He describes the organization and technical details of the planification system and its failures and shows how this is linked with the bureaucratic political system of the USSR. The problem of economic calculation in a socialist economy, very discussed by Austrian economists, is also one of the key features of the failure of the economic system after the 1950s. His vision is also dynamic: he shows to what extent reforms are impossible as they can disturb the political order.