Written in February and the first half of March 1902, the article, "The Agrarian Programme of Russian Social-Democracy," which V. I. Lenin called a commentary to the agrarian section of the R.S.D.L.P.'s draft programme, was published in
Zarya, No. 4, in August 1902. When the article was discussed by the Iskra Editorial Board, serious differences of opinion arose: G. V. Plekhanov, P. B. Axelrod and other members of the board opposed certain of its most important propositions (e.g., on land nationalisation, etc.). A number of passages, including those dealing with land nationalisation, were omitted when this article was published in
The article in the present edition of V. I. Lenin's Collected Works is published according to the original manuscript.
The postscript is not contained in the manuscript; it is given here from the text of the article in
 The reference is to Karl Kautsky's book,
Die Agrarfrage. Eine Übersicht über die Tendensen der modernen Landwirtschaft und die Agrarpolitik der Sozialdemokratie. (The Agrarian Question.
A Review of the Tendencies of Modern Agriculture and the Agrarian Policy of Social-Democracy
), published in Stuttgart in 1899. [Transcriber's Note: For a very brief overview of Kauksky's text see Lenin's "review", and for an extended discussion of the text in the face of criticism from Bulgakov, see Lenin's
Capitalism in Agriculture. -- DJR]
 Narodnaya Volya (The People's Will
) -- a secret political organisation of Narodnik terrorists, which arose in August 1879, following a split in the secret society Zemlya i Volya (Land and Liberty). The Narodnaya Volya was headed by an Executive Committee which included A. I. Zhelyabov, A. D. Mikhailov, M. F. Frolenko, N. A. Morozov, V. N. Figner, S. L. Perovskaya, A. A. Kvyatkovsky. While continuing to uphold Utopian Narodnik socialism, the members of the Narodnaya Volya (Narodovoltsi) at the same time put forward the task of achieving political liberty. Their programme envisaged the organisation of "permanent popular representation" created on the basis of universal suffrage, the proclamation of democratic liberties, the transfer of the land to the people, and the working out of measures for handing over the factories to the workers. The overthrow of the tsarist autocracy was the immediate aim of the Narodnaya Volya, but, since it had no links with the masses, the Narodovoltsi took the path of political plots and individual terrorism.
After March 1, 1881 (the assassination of Alexander II), the government smashed the Narodnaya Volya organisation by savage persecution, executions, and provocation. Repeated attempts to revive the Narodnaya Volya during the eighties proved fruitless. In 1886, for instance, a group was formed under the leadership of A. I. Ulyanov (the brother of V. I. Lenin) and P. Y. Shevyrev, which adopted the traditions of the Narodnaya Volya. After an unsuccessful attempt on the life of Alexander III in 1887, the group was uncovered and its active members executed.
While criticising the erroneous Utopian programme of the Narodovoltsi, V. I. Lenin at the same time held in high regard the self-sacrificing struggle against tsarism waged by the members of the Narodnaya Volya organisation. In 1899 he pointed out in "A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats" that "the members of the old Narodnaya Volya managed to play an enormous role in the history of Russia, despite the fact that only narrow social strata supported the few heroes, and despite the fact that it was by no means a revolutionary theory which served as the banner of the movement" (see present edition, Vol. 4, p. 181).
 Lenin has in mind the gubernia committees set up in 1857-58 in all the gubernias of European Russia (with the exception of Archangel Gubernia) to draw up drafts for the emancipation of the peasants from serfdom. The committees consisted of persons elected from among the nobility (hence the name "committees of nobles") and, in the main, they were engaged in seeking ways and means of carrying out the "Peasant Reform" in a way to give the nobility the greatest benefit from it.
 The Valuyeu Commission -- the "Commission to Investigate the Condition of Russian Agriculture," which functioned under the chairmanship of the tsar's minister P. A. Valuyev. In the years 1872-73 the commission collected a large amount of material dealing with the condition of agriculture in post-Reform Russia: governors' reports, statements and depositions of landlords, Marshals of the Nobility, Zemstvo administrations, volost boards grain merchants, village priests, kulaks, statistical and agricultural societies and other bodies connected with agriculture. This material was published in
Papers of the Commission of Inquiry into the Condition of Russian Agriculture, St. Petersburg, 1873.
 Oblomov -- a landowner, the chief character in a novel of the same name by the Russian writer I. A. Goncharov. Oblomov was the personification of routine, stagnation, and incapacity for action. The name is used here in a generic sense to signify the Russian landowner.
 "General Redistribution
" -- a slogan popular among the peasants of tsarist Russia and expressing their desire for a general redistribution of the land.
 The criticism of Nadezhdin's opportunist views given on pages 140-41 of this volume (beginning with the words: "It is interesting to note that, in his desire to reach just such a maximum as nationalisation of the land, Nadezhdin has gone astray . . . " and ending with the words: "The desire to be 'understood by the muzhik' at all costs has driven Nadezhdin into the jungle of a reactionary petty-bourgeois Utopia") was omitted by the Editorial Board when the article was first published in
Zarya, No 4. Nor did Zarya print the footnote which Lenin wrote to replace the omitted text.
In the present edition the text and footnote are given according to Lenin's manuscript.
 Rural superintendent (Zemsky Nachalnik
) -- an administrative post instituted by the tsarist government in 1889 to strengthen the authority of the landlords over the peasants. The rural superintendents were appointed from among the local landed nobility and were granted extensive powers, not merely administrative but also judicial.
 Moskovskiye Vedomosti (Moscow Recorder
) -- one of the oldest Russian newspapers, published by Moscow University from 1756 (originally as a one-sheet paper). During 1863-87 it was published and edited by M. N. Katkov, an extreme reactionary and chauvinist, who was bitterly opposed to the least signs of progressive social thought and transtormed the newspaper into a monarchist nationalist organ voicing the views of the most reactionary sections of the landlords and clergy. From 1905
Moskovskiye Vedomosti was one of the chief organs of the Black Hundreds. It was closed down at the end of 1917.
 Oblomovka -- the name of a village belonging to the landlord Oblomov. (See Note
51.) Here the word "Oblomovka" is used to denote a Russian village in the days of tsarism.
 The reference is to the peasant movement in the Poltava and Kharkov gubernias at the end of March and beginning of April 1902 -- the first large-scale revolutionary action of Russian peasants at the beginning of the twentieth century. It was sparked by the desperate condition of the peasants in these gubernias, which became still worse in the spring of 1902 owing to the crop failure of 1901 and the resulting famine. The peasants demanded a redistribution of the land, but in the 1902 movement they limited themselves in the main to seizing stocks of food and fodder on the landlords' estates. In all, 56 estates in Poltava Gubernia and 24 in Kharkov Gubernia were attacked. Troops were dispatched to crush the peasants. These reprisals by the tsarist government resulted in many peasants being killed, all the inhabitants of certain villages flogged, and hundreds of peasants condemned to varying terms of imprisonment. The peasants were forced to pay an indemnity of 800,000 rubles for "losses" caused to the landlords by the peasant disorders. In his pamphlet,
To the Rural Poor (see pp. 424-30 of this volume), V. I. Lenin gave an analysis of the aims and character and causes of the defeat of the peasant movement in the Kharkov and Poltava gubernias, and the causes of its defeat.