The 27th congress of the Soviet Communist Party today approved a series of sweeping documents intended to guide Soviet domestic and foreign policy until the year 2000.
In resolutions released tonight, the 5,000 delegates to the congress approved a revised party program and economic guidelines that apparently have undergone little change since they were presented in draft form last November.
The full texts were not available tonight, but the language of the congress resolutions closely echoed a political report made by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the opening of the congress last week.
The congress, preparing for adjournment Thursday, also went into closed session to elect a new Central Committee, a group of about 300 members who constitute the Soviet Union's ruling elite.
The composition of the new committee will not be announced until Thursday when it meets in a plenary session to nominate members of the Politburo, a group now numbering 11 at the pinnacle of the Soviet power structure.
Major changes are expected on the Central Committee, since many of its old members, drawn from regional power bases around the country, have already been eased out of their posts as Gorbachev, 55, put members of his own generation in power.
According to some western analysts, almost 50 percent of the old Central Committee members, elected in 1981, are due to be replaced.
In foreign policy, the resolutions approved by the congress tonight endorse Gorbachev's Jan. 15 arms control initiative, which was termed "epoch-making for its dimensions and significance."
The resolutions warned against a continuation of the arms race, saying "its continuation on Earth, let alone its spread to outer space, will accelerate the already critically high rate of stockpiling and perfecting nuclear and other types of armaments, with the result that even parity will cease to be a factor of military-political deterrence."
In sections dealing with the party organization, the resolutions called for continued self-criticism at all levels. "Where criticism and self-criticism die down, there party work is deformed and a situation of complacency and impunity arises that leads to stagnation in work and to the degeneration of functionaries."
The documents advocated toughening criteria for party membership to keep out those "who join it out of careerist considerations, counting on getting some advantages in life and allowances before the law." The reference to special consideration for party members before the law is a rare admission that justice is not always blind in the Soviet Union.
On domestic affairs, the resolutions urged the country and the party on to new economic development, with emphasis placed on reaching new levels of technological proficiency, better quality work and greater personal responsibility.
The "negative processes" of the 1970s and early '80s -- years of the late Leonid Brezhnev's tenure -- were criticized and "truly revolutionary changes" were urged to "impart a high degree of dynamism to the economy."
These themes have been pushed by Gorbachev. In his report last week, he also called for "a radical reform" in the country's economic management.
In an interview with journalists today, leading Soviet economist Abel Aganbegyan said that major changes in Soviet agriculture would be announced soon, allowing farm managers to sell as they wish goods left after targeted amounts have been sold to the state.
Aganbegyan noted that the main direction of the current economic program was a shift in investment policy, principally toward machine building and the retooling of existing factories.
The economist, said to be a principal adviser of Gorbachev, also noted that the elimination of 20 million jobs in manual labor by 2000 -- a number targeted by Premier Nikolai Ryzhkov during the congress -- would mostly involve older people. Aganbegyan estimated that about 5 million workers would have to be retrained.
Aganbegyan said he personally would favor radical reforms in the pricing system and a liberalization of private economic activity, particularly in the service sphere.
He also cautioned that experiments in factory self-financing -- allowing factory directors to invest and spend profits above fixed plans -- will become more difficult to manage as they become more widely implemented.
"Experiments are in a privileged position," he said. "Now we need not only to widen their scope, we must make them more profound. We need more radical measures."
The self-financing plans, which further 1983 economic experiments by strengthening authority at the factory level, were endorsed by Gorbachev and Ryzhkov.