This important essay dates from the end of the fifties. At that time, the rapid rate of Soviet industrialization had directed the attention of economists to problems of economic growth of former colonial areas which had won political independence. As Dobb points out, economists were chiefly concerned with the problems of growth under conditions of private ownership of capital and where investment is primarily under the control of private individuals or firms. The theories of economic growth in vogue at the time derived largely from the well-known growth conditions set forth by Roy F. Harrod and Evsey D. Domar.
I should like to begin by saying something about the intellectual climate in which Marx’s thought was reared; since a doctrine generally appears more clearly delineated when it is contrasted with other contemporary doctrines or with ideas in critique of which the doctrine was born