Among the socialist countries, different forms of economic cooperation and mutual assistance have developed and are being improved, including the coordination of national economic plans, specialization and cooperation in production, international socialist trade, the granting of loans, technological aid and scientific-technological cooperation, collaborative efforts in constructing economic objects*, the tapping of natural resources, and other initiatives. The organizational foundations for economic cooperation are also being constantly improved: The collective organ for the organization of this cooperation – the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance [COMECON] – has been firmly established. [ . . . ]
In contrast to the international capitalist division of labor, which is an expression of the exploitation of the weak by the strong, which forms spontaneously in the course of harsh competitive struggle and the expansion of capitalist monopolies, which deepens the inequality in levels of economic development, and which leads to the emergence of a crippled, one-sided economic structure in weakly developed countries, the international socialist division of labor is being implemented, consciously and according to plan, in agreement with the vital interests and tasks relating to the harmonious** and comprehensive development of all socialist countries, and it serves to reinforce their unity. [ . . . ]
The communist and workers’ parties of the socialist countries emerge as initiators and organizers of the international socialist division of labor. The development and improvement of the international socialist division of labor is one component of the scientifically-founded economic policies of the communist and workers’ parties of the socialist countries. [ . . . ]
2. Coordination of National Economic Plans – the Main Means for the Successful Development and Intensification of the International Socialist Division of Labor
Experiences in developing the socialist world economic system show that the coordination of national economic plans is the main means for the planned intensification of the international socialist division of labor and the ever-tightening union of the production efforts of the socialist countries at the present stage.
Coordinating the plans involves the voluntary, joint, planned activity of the socialist states; this is aimed at the maximum utilization of the political and economic benefits of the socialist world system in the interest of securing the fastest possible victory for socialism and communism. It facilitates the implementation of the policies of the communist and workers’ parties; these are built upon the scientific principles of Marxism-Leninism, upon the foundation of an in-depth analysis of the options and needs of economic development.
* i.e., public or military facilities and buildings – eds.
** In this case, “harmonious” essentially means non-antagonistic – eds.