By their profession I am very far from politics and economics and is a purely techie. Over 50 years I have been creating a fundamentally new computer equipment or, as they say, the development of computer technology. Recently I was asked to write an article about the history and development of the areas of computer technology, I've been doing all my life. In the course of writing this article, systematizing their memories and studied a number of historical materials, I unexpectedly found that in Soviet history, there is a period of phenomenal development of science, technology and the economy as a whole.
If the atomic bomb appeared in the USSR in 1949, 4 years after the United States, the world's first hydrogen bomb RDS-6 was already Soviet. The world's first nuclear power plant was commissioned in the Soviet Union in the summer of 1954, one year earlier than in England, and two years earlier than in the U.S.. Only in the USSR were established nuclear icebreakers ("Lenin" — 1959). The world's only nuclear-powered aircraft M-50A, took to the skies in 1960, was created in the USSR in the bureau VM Myasishcheva. Only nuclear submarines appeared in the U.S. in 1955, 3 years earlier than in the USSR.
Achievements of the USSR in rocketry and astronautics from the first satellite launched in October 1957, are widely known.
Already in 1948, when the U.S. and Britain only scattered groups engaged in the development of individual samples and computers in the world was not yet any existing product, at the initiative of the Soviet Union Stalin had created the Institute of Precision Mechanics and Computer Technology (ITM and VT) and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR Special Design Bureau of N245 («SKB-245"), as was written in the decree of the Government: "… for the development and introduction of computer hardware systems for the management of defense facilities." In 1951 he created the first Soviet digital computer SECM — just as an industrial design. It should be noted that the first commercial computers USA (UNIVAC 1) and England (Ferranti Mark 1) also appeared in the same 1951. In 1953 he started serial production of BESM, "Arrow" and M-2 (for military applications) that were on par with the best of American computers of that time and were significantly superior to computers in other countries.
It should be noted that in the 50's and the Soviet electronics were at a high level. Industrial production of semiconductor transistors in the United States began in March 1958 by Fairchild Corp. at a price of $ 150 apiece. And the information about the characteristics of domestic "crystalline transistors" was placed in the sixth issue of the popular magazine "Radio" for 1955, and in 1956, two years earlier than in the United States, has begun commercial production. In autumn 1957, I, as a third-year student LETI, worked at the Department of automation and remote control of practical development of digital devices with transistors P-16. By this time, the transistors in the Soviet Union were not only readily available, but cheap (in terms of U.S. money less than a dollar apiece).
Even more striking success of the economy as a whole despite the complete absence of external loans and minimum amounts of oil money (gas money was not there.) Already in 1947, the industrial potential of the Soviet Union has been fully restored, and in 1950 it grew by more than a factor of 2 with respect to the pre-war 1940. None of the countries affected by war, by this time did not come out even in the pre-war level in spite of the massive financial infusions from the U.S.. For example, Japan has reached the pre-war level in 1955, though, with the exception of nuclear bombings, severe damage was not there. The limited distribution of the products on the cards were canceled in the USSR in 1947, and in England, despite the assistance of the United States, only in 1954. In the September issue of "Neyshnl business» ("National Business") of 1953, in an article by Herbert Harris' Russian overtake us, "noted that the Soviet Union in terms of economic power ahead of any country, and that the current growth rate in the USSR in 2 -3 times higher than in the U.S.. A year earlier, U.S. presidential candidate Stevenson assessed the situation in such a way that if the rate of growth of production in Stalinist Russia continue, by 1970 the volume of Russian production is 3-4 times higher than the U.S.. Note that the rate of growth of the Soviet economy in the postwar period were much higher than before the war.
But since the mid-50s, the situation changes dramatically. Reduced growth rates, and in some areas there are real failures. Here's how to say this in 1991, the Japanese billionaire Heros Teravama, referring to the Soviet economists: "You do not talk about mainly about your primary role in the world. In 1939, you're Russian, were smart, and we Japanese fools. In 1949, you became more intelligent, and while we were fools. And in 1955 we have become smarter, and you become a five-year olds. Our entire economic system is almost completely copied from yours, the only difference is that we have capitalism, private producers, and we are more than 15% growth never reached, and when you do public ownership of the means of production reached 30% or more. In all of our businesses are hanging your slogans Stalinist era. " From the statements of a number of conclusions. In 1939, the Soviet Union developed a new method for increasing the efficiency of the economy (MBE). MBE was used in most sectors of the economy. MBE was effective for both the socialist and the capitalist system for the economy, but for the socialist system efficiency MBE was higher by more than a factor of 2. In 1955, Japan borrowed the MBE, which ensured its rapid economic growth due, above all, innovative technologies ("Japanese miracle"), and the Soviet Union in the same year refused MBE, resulting in subsequent degradation of the economy. So, in the Soviet Union from 1939 to 1955 used a magic method, providing an unprecedented rise of the economy. About this method is currently not known absolutely nothing, although in those days it was used in the Soviet Union over the place.
My working career began in 1958 when the MBE has been eliminated, but I well remember the stories of colleagues who worked in those days, when acted MBE. MBE was a well-designed set of material and moral incentives to enhance the creative activity of the masses, aimed at reducing costs and improving quality (performance improvement) already developed or manufactured products. The system of incentives varied depending on the industry and type of business. However, in any version of these incentives were not extended to the heads of any rank. Perhaps for executives had a separate system of incentives, but I do not know about it.
Incentive bodies developing new techniques, were to collective and individual premiums paid immediately after the acceptance of products developed by the state commission (literally, on the same day), if in the act of commission noted improvement in product performance in relation to the technical specifications. For each feature, including product development time and cost of development, there was a definite bonus scale, known to developers before the start of the design. For example, for every kilogram of weight saved articles at OKB-590, where I worked, paid 500 rubles (half the monthly salary of an engineer). This award received all the team members involved in the project, in the same size regardless of position. There were also individual awards, a necessary condition
for the payment of which was the presence of rationalization proposals or applications for invention, thanks to which it became possible to improve product performance. For each novation authors were paid an additional amount that is a multiple of the consideration received by each member of the team that did not cancel and ordinary remuneration for economic benefit derived from the application of the invention or technological innovation. The project manager, as a rule, do not take up an administrative position, also received an additional premium. Moral stimuli consisted in the fact that the person that provided the staff of the receipt of such awards, rapidly promoted and mostly from among the appointed project managers. At the same time used and the usual quarterly and annual bonuses. It should be noted and a good moral climate in scientific and technical teams. Persons who are capable of creative work, colleagues treated carefully, trying to free them from routine work without any indication of the authorities, as the success of a spread at all. In other words, the man was a friend to man. Here, the developers of the method took into account the sad experience of the Stakhanovite movement, when the success of a painful hit the pocket and status of others and in a team started disorder.
At relatively little cost effectiveness MBE was exceptionally high in all sectors of the economy. Even in the army during the war, there was a rigid scale of cash benefits and rewards for private vehicles or destruction of the enemy, as well as causing other damage (eg, capture enemy officers who have important information.) In the defense industry during the war, along with intense industrial activity was carried out continuous work to improve manufacturing processes. So, for four years of war production cost of most types of weapons (aircraft, tanks, etc.) was reduced by 2-3 times. Even the Mosin rifle, developed in the XIX century, fell by 1.6 times. MBE allows maximum use of ordinary creativity of artists and identify the brightest talent. MBE was used in agriculture at the level of state farms and MTS (machine and tractor stations). This is evidenced by the known fact that MS Gorbachev received the award at the age of seventeen for harvesting.
The main feature of MBE was the fact that when it is used not only increased the creative activity of a large number of people and talents are identified, but also changes the psychology of all members of the team, as well as relationships in a team. Any member of the team was aware of its importance to the overall process and willing to do any of the work, even if the work is not consistent with its status. Mutual goodwill, the desire to help each other were quite typical features. In fact, each member of the collective thought of ourselves as individuals, and not a cog in a complex mechanism. Changed and relationships superiors to subordinates. Instead, orders and instructions of the chief sought to clarify each subordinate role in a common effort plays that work which he was assigned. As the formation of collectives and the formation of a new psychology of incentives themselves on the back burner and is not the main driving force. I believe that the developers MBE calculated precisely this effect.
All of the above I do not know the stories of eyewitnesses, and on personal experiences. Although I came to the OKB-590 in 1958, 3 years after the abolition of MBE, but psychology — something inert, and it remained for a long time, even in the absence of external stimuli. The first three years I worked in the laboratory of digital systems, where he began his work with the bottom rung — the tuner units onboard digital computer. This was considered a specialty of working, and tuners (two people) worked on a piecework payment, receiving significantly more engineers, while I was working on a fixed salary appliances. My appearance will inevitably lead to financial losses for the other two tuners, as the number of nodes was limited to prototypes, after which manufacturing wizards doing repairs only at a much lower payment. Nevertheless, I was very warm and within a month acquainted with the intricacies of the configuration process. Attitude towards me has not changed in a couple of months when I was set up several times more nodes than my colleagues, and later, when over mass customization sites. That is, for ordinary working men the common cause of the laboratory (prototyping digital computer) was more important than their personal financial interests.
Working as a piano tuner did not last long. After a few months I started to attract engineering work, not only as an assistant. A characteristic feature of the laboratory was the complete absence of subordination. All together accessed by name, including the Chief of the laboratory. It was promoted and a small difference in the age of the Laboratory, the oldest of whom was less than 35 years. Head of the laboratory or team leader is not just betrayed job, and sought to bring to every member of the team goal of this task and its role in solving the general problem. The working day lasted from 9 am to 10.11 pm, and on a purely voluntary basis and without any additional charge. But no one controlled the arrival and departure of employees, businesses that regime was quite unusual.
In May 1961, I was transferred to the laboratory analog and put in charge of the most important for the organization (and the country) of the project. This laboratory functioned since its inception in 1945. Therefore, the staff here were older in age. But the atmosphere was the same. Only to the head of the laboratory all accessed by name and patronymic, but not because of his position, but because of his age and experience. He spent the entire war on the front, and the right of his army seconded to the newly formed bureau. From the whole team only I knew how and what to do, because it was the only expert in the field of digital technology. And senior engineers with 10-15-years experience, without any internal resistance acted as laborers because they understand that this is necessary for the case. Again, I remind you that at this time no incentives were gone. The third division of our design department, with whom I had to work closely together to work in the same style.
Another detail. For all the time in the OKB-590 (in January 1963 it was liquidated and all the staff together with the subject transferred to OKB-680, later NGO "Electroautomatika"), I had never heard the word "party". The room was a local committee and the party was not. Only in 1963, the new organization, I learned that the lab had quite a few members of the party, and I immediately tried to persuade to join, but I declined. Otherwise, I would have failed in 1964 to leave the organization. By the way, the chief of OKB-590, VI Lanerdin was non-partisan. They said that the post of chief of bureau Lanerdina appointed Stalin personally, and before that during the war he worked in the U.S., responsible for the delivery of aircraft in the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease. By the time of his appointment was not more than 35 years.
Older people remember the movie M. Romm "9 days a year," which was well shown in the creative atmosphere of nuclear physicists. I can definitely say that we have in the OKB-590 was the same atmosphere. However, in a new organization that atmosphere instantly disappeared, although the people have remained the same. Was immediately put hard mode. During the five-minute delay deprived of awards, and to absent himself during the day, you had to get permission deputy chief of the regime. In the end, after 6 pm no one in the organization remained. Moreover, it was forbidden to be run at the end of the working day. However, most of the time in 1963-1964, and I spent most of the team on missions, first in Moscow at the pilot plant (where I had seen from afar Sergei Khrushchev), and then in Smolensk at the production plant.
On the economic impact
of the creative atmosphere suggests the following. My first project of the computing device to control rocket launchers for missile defense system A-35 was completed in 2 years, counting from the receipt of the complete specification to prototype testing in real conditions. A similar project on the complexity of the EU-2704 supercomputer with twice as large in size and the same team leader carried out for 6 years (1982-1988). And one more example. When creating the Soviet strategic bomber Tu-4 as a sample was taken American B-29 bomber. Work on the study delivered to Moscow B-29 began in July 1945. Less than a year later, in March 1946, the technical documentation has been delivered at the production plant. In May 1947, the first flight. Since the beginning of 1949 bomber was adopted. In the post-Stalin period from the beginning of the development of the aircraft to its normal production took place 8-12 years. And now even more.
Why MBE was used effectively in the USSR and Japan, and no one else did not adopt it? As noted earlier, the main factor was the MBE participation in the common cause, good for the country and society as a whole. When private property is not a factor, because the main use is the host. Japan is a very specific country. Until the end of the twentieth century for many Japanese firm was identified with the family and good for the company because the same thing for the family. With the spread of Western values in Japan, this mentality began to lose, and the effectiveness of MBE began to fall. And now for the Japanese economy stagnant, though hardly anyone canceled MBE. For the same reasons MBE impossible to revive in modern Russia, where state-owned enterprises operating in the private host (in this case, a pack of bureaucrats).
In the mid 50's MBE was quietly canceled. Award at the completion of the projects are preserved and even increased, but lost all catalytic role. Now the premium dependent on salary and on the subjective views of management and are not dependent on the quality of the product and its economic parameters. From the technical requirements of the job disappeared production costs and development costs. Premium amount was fixed at 2% of the cost of development. As a result, it is beneficial not to reduce, but, on the contrary, increase the cost of development and the projected cost of the product. In the factories of the targets disappeared before the mandatory requirement to reduce production costs, which immediately resulted in the cessation of all work on the improvement of technological processes. At the same time setting upper limits on the value of piece rates, the size of the rewards for innovations and inventions. Changed and morale. Now the salary is uniquely determined by salary and did not depend on the quality of both collective and individual. The role of subjective factors in job promotions, which led to jealousy and bickering. In other words, the man is become a stranger, and sometimes the enemy.
Cancel MBE hardest hit by the teachers of technical colleges. Salary teacher consisted of two parts — the salary of the teacher and the payment of scientific work. Teaching institution paid out of its budget, and payment of scientific activity was due to contractual research. Teachers' salaries have remained unchanged from before the war until 1991 (with ten times the denomination of money in 1961). For the paper after the abolition of MBE teachers get half the rate of junior or senior researcher, less than half of the basic salary. During the same operation MBE scientific component of the salary could at times exceed the basic salary subject to the effective implementation of research. It is known that the salaries of some professors reached 20,000 rubles at a basic salary of 4000. No wonder popular rumor professors relegated to the richest people in the Soviet Union. But the lecturers were slightly poorer, because the scientific component of salary is not dependent on the basic salary. Although liberal arts colleges, most of all, teachers are only the basic salary.
So easy imperceptible exposure led to stopping the main engine of the Soviet economy. For a while, the movement continued by inertia, then the degradation, and at the end of the 80s the economy collapsed completely. Given the global nature of MBE, it could only cancel the leader of the USSR, which in 1953 was NS Khrushchev. At present time, we know that all of the actions of Khrushchev in the economy have had an extremely negative impact. However, it is assumed that Khrushchev acted out of good intentions ("like the best, but it turned out as always"), but failed due to poor education and impulsive character. But the elimination of MBE was carried out very accurately, correctly and, most importantly, unnoticed by others, including, most likely, the rest of the country's leaders. Here the good intentions can not be seen even with a microscope. There is reason to believe that Khrushchev and other actions have been as deeply thought out and had a common goal, including the famous report of the Twentieth Party Congress. It is appropriate to quote the words of Khrushchev, Molotov, which he made in the 80s, "Khrushchev, who is also a shoemaker in matters of theory, he is the enemy of Marxism-Leninism, it's the enemy of the communist revolution, the hidden and cunning, very veiled."
Author VA Torgashev