The problem of pricing in a Socialist economy is of a different order of magnitude from that under capitalism. It is certainly more complex and controversial. Pricing is not merely a question of economics, but also of ideology and politics. Being a value category, price cannot be disassociated from labour, ideologically the only source of value. And yet if pricing is to achieve social objectives, prices must deviate from the amount of labour embodied in particular goods and services. Pricing is also the most important nerve centre on social grounds. In fact, at one stage in the ussr economists were forbidden to discuss the principles of price formation because, as Molotov warned in 1938, ‘prices concerned politics not economics’. 1