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Main page / "Knowledge. Understanding. Skill" Journal / Contents / 2014 / No. 1

Loginov A. A. The Nature of the Soviet Ruble from the Perspective of the Austrian School of Economics

(King Juan Carlos University, Spain)

Abstract ♦ The paper considers the questions of the monetary nature of the Soviet ruble as well as the occurrence of a voluntary interpersonal indirect exchange in the USSR as the key factor of money functioning. The most elaborated theory of money and capital was proposed by the Austrian School of Economics (Karl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard et al.). That is the reason why the analysis of the Soviet monetary system, and namely of the nature of the Soviet ruble, is based on the achievements of this school of thought.

The article analyzes the definition and functions of money. It is asserted that money is a medium of exchange. The problem of exchange typology is deeply studied from the economic point of view. Different types of exchange are analyzed in order to identify the opportunities for the use of money as a medium of exchange. The author argues that money can exist only under conditions of a voluntary indirect exchange.

The Soviet economy is analyzed in the light of different types of property and possibility for the voluntary indirect exchange. In spite of the predominant socialist type of economy, which presupposes a total nationalization of production means, the author affirms that there was a field of economic interaction with a voluntary exchange in the Soviet Union. This field was limited, but the sheer fact of its occurrence made the existence of money as a medium of exchange possible. The voluntary indirect exchange was primarily limited by the consumer sector. The article also gives some evidence of the elements of entrepreneurship in the Soviet socialist economy. For instance, there were quasi-legal production factories and individual labor activity, which was even officially allowed by the law.

The author comes to a conclusion that despite of the nationalization of all capital goods in the Soviet economy and the predominance of the administrative method of the national economy management, money did exist in the Soviet economy and it functioned as a commonly used medium of exchange. The Soviet rubles were such a medium of exchange.

Keywords: indirect exchange, money, Soviet ruble, socialism, Austrian School of Economics.

Loginov Artem Aleksandrovich, Candidate of Science (economics), Ph.D. candidate of the Law and Social Sciences Faculty, King Juan Carlos University. Postal address: Camino del Molino, s/n, 28943 Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain. Tel.: +34 (914) 88-72-62. E-mail:


Citation: Loginov, A. A. (2014) Priroda sovetskogo rublia v svete idei avstriiskoi ekonomicheskoi shkoly [The Nature of the Soviet Ruble from the Perspective of the Austrian School of Economics]. Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie, no. 1, pp. 134–141. (In Russ.).

Submission date: 15.12.2013.



Mises, L. (2000) Chelovecheskaia deiatel'nost': Traktat po ekonomicheskoi teorii [Human Action: A Treatise on Economics]. Moscow, Economika Publ. 878 p. (In Russ.).

O chastnoy sobstvennosti v SSSR [On Private Property in the USSR] (2009) 12 July. [online] Available at: [archived in WebCite] (accessed 1.11.2013). (In Russ.).

Mises, L. (2012) Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth. Auburn, AL, Ludwig von Mises Institute. xviii, 69 p.

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