Soviet Union Inching Down the Capitalist Road

A May Day measure legalizes some private enterprise businesses

Roll over, Karl Marx. Wake up, Friedrich Engels. Nearly 150 years after The Communist Manifesto and 70 years after the Russian Revolution, free enterprise is coming back to the Soviet Union. Businesses ranging from mom-and-pop shoe repair to interior decoration are being legalized under a new "individual labor" law that takes effect this Friday -- which happens, ironically, to be the international socialist holiday May Day. The measure makes it possible for the first time since Lenin's New Economic Policy (NEP) of the 1920s for individuals to make money legally according to a decidedly un-Marxist principle: from each according to his...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!