About the Limited Functionality of Cash and the Specifics of Goods Turnover in the USSR

Pleschenko V.I.


This article describes the features of retail turnover in the USSR and the specifics of the circulation of currency in the national economy. As is well known, due to the discrepancy between the growing incomes of the Soviet population and the manufacturing of consumer goods and services there arose a considerable catch-up demand, contributing to the proliferation of informal networks and increased turnover on the black market. Distribution of various goods in the USSR was largely defined by the hierarchical position and status of applicants. But to buy the goods people had to stand in queue. Demand in the economy had become deferred, giving rise to the society of everlasting expectations in the country. In such circumstances, the Soviet ruble partly lost its features of cash. This was particularly true in relation to its function as measure of value and means of circulation. Under such circumstances, the classic commodity-money relations were replaced with kind of «barter» exchange. There appeared various kinds of cash surrogates as means of payment. Also, there sprang informal network institutions (communities) that facilitated the trade between people. These phenomenon have greatly contributed to the decline of confidence in currency, led to the desacralization of Communist ideology, stratification and the degradation of the Soviet society.


deficit; delayed demand; retail; cronyism; black market; planned economy; distribution; trade turnover; cash money; cash equivalents; functions of money.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2020.02.13

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