The documentary recounts the history of the first World War and gives a biography of Lenin. The concept of imperialism is briefly explored and it is concluded that by the end of world war one the old certainties and old ruling alliances between aristocracy and traditional capitalists were broken up.
Ernest Mandel, a heterodox Marxist economist, shows here how a political economist can analyse systems such as the Soviet Union.
Economic theory must distinguish between publicly owned and privately owned property if it is to account for the effect of institutions on the behavior of individuals. Careful study of the theories of Marxists and the real-world experience in the Soviet economy offer important lessons and insight for economic modeling and the ongoing development of theory. In this course, Marxist/Leninist theory and Soviet reality will be studied with an open mind, and with the goal of taking lessons from the case study. To what extent was the Soviet economy an accurate expression of Marxist theory? If Marxism were tried somewhere else would the results be the same?
In this lecture, Sanjay Reddy reviews the work of János Kornai, especially his critique of the socialist system, which is rooted in his understanding of the eminently political character of socialism.