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You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution Center for German and European Studies, University of California, Berkeley Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Center for German and European Studies, University of California, Berkeley Political Geography Eastern Europe Remove constraint Political Geography: Eastern Europe Topic Communism Remove constraint Topic: Communism
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  • Author: Jonathan R. Zatlin
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for German and European Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • Abstract: This paper locates the collapse of East German communism in Marxist- Leninist monetary theory. By exploring the economic and cultural functions of money in East Germany, it argues that the communist party failed to reconcile its ideological aspirations - a society free of the social alienation represented by money and merchandise - with the practical exigencies of governing an industrial society by force. Using representative examples of market failure in production and consumption, the paper shows how the party's deep-seated hostility to money led to economic inefficiency and waste. Under Honecker, the party sought to improve living standards by trading political liberalization for West German money. Over time, however, this policy devalued the meaning of socialism by undermining the actual currency, facilitating the communist collapse and overdetermining the pace and mode of German unification.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Germany, West Germany