Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought

Problems of the Economic Development in M.Tugan-Baranovsky’s scientific heritage

Lopukh Kseniia, Kyiv National Economic University

Tugan-Baranovsky emphasized the advantages of capitalism analyzing its development in the Russian Empire and in Ukraine. He believed that capitalism was a basis of economic development in the Russian Empire. It was a capitalist country like all other states of the late XIX century. In his report to the Imperial Free Economic Society, “Statistical Summary of the Industrial Development of Russia” (1898), Tugan-Baranovsky protected the capitalist system and its positive effects on the economic development of the Russian Empire. We can say that already at this time, despite the periodic crises, rising unemployment, and poverty he did not see an alternative to capitalism. However, these economic problems created by capitalism gave impetus to the further development of Tugan-Baranovsky’s scientific ideas. Tugan-Baranovsky saw the weaknesses of capitalism and believed that they were the result of its development. In 1899, in his report to the Imperial Free Economic Society “Some features of the latest evolution of capitalism” he highlighted periodic crises, commodity fetishism, unemployment resulting from the replacement of workers by machines, and the rise of poverty characterizing capitalism. According to Marx, the capitalist system, due to internal contradictions and economic necessity, must be transformed into another system opposite to capitalism. Tugan-Baranovsky considered Marx’ idea as the central idea of his doctrine. Social transformations have to happen because of the inability of capitalism to reach the highest technically possible level of development of productive forces. Is capitalism inherently contradictory or not? His idea to solve the problems of capitalist development and society gradually led him to study cooperation. He viewed it as a prototype of a future society that combines capitalism and socialism.


Keywords: Evolution of capitalism, cooperation, unemployment, poverty, future society, Ukraine

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