MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE |  V. I. Lenin

V. I. Lenin

THE AGRARIAN QUESTION
AND THE
"CRITICS OF MARX"

Written  in  June-September 1901
Chapters I to IV were first published
in Zarya, No. 2-3,  December 1901,
signed  N. Lenin;  Chapters  V to IX
were published in Obrazovaniye,[57]
No. 2,   February   1906,   signed
N. Lenin

  Published according to the  Zarya
  and  Obrazovaniye texts, checked
  with the text of the collection The
  Agrarian Question
, by Vl. Ilyin,
  1908

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1961

Vol. 5, pp. 103-222.

Translated by Joe Fineberg and by George Hanna
Edited by Victor Jerome


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@cruzio.com (May 1997)



From Marx
to Mao

Lenin
Collection

Reading
Guide

Notes on
the Text
Below



    page 545


    NOTES

      [56] "The Agrarian Question and the 'Critics of Marx'" was written between June and September 1901. The first four chapters were published in the journal Zarya, Nos. 2-3, in December 1901, under the title "the 'Critics' on the Agrarian Question. First Essay"; the contribution bore the signature of N. Lenin. The chapters were later published legally in Odessa (with the inscription "Permitted by the Censor". Odessa July 23, 1905) by the Burevestnik Publishers as a separate pamphlet The Agrarian Question and the "Critics of Marx", by N. Lenin. The title was retained by the author for further publications of the essay in whole or in part.
        Chapter V-IX were first published in the legal magazine Obrazovaniye (Education), No. 2, February 1906. They had subtitles; chapters I-IV, published in Zarya and in the 1905 pamphlet, had none.
        The nine chapters with two additional ones (X and XI) were first published together in 1908 in St. Petershurg in The Agrarian Question, Part I, by V. I. Ilyin (V. I. Lenin), chapters I-IV had subtitles; some editorial changes were made in the text and some notes added.
        Chapter XII (the last) was, first printed in the collection Current Life in 1908.
        The first nine chapters are included in the present volume; chapters X, XI, and XII, written in 1907, will appear in Volume 13 of the present edition of the Collected Works of V. I. Lenin.

      [57] Obrazovaniye (Education) -- a literary, popular-scientific, social and political monthly published in St. Petersburg from 1892 to 1909. There were Marxists among its contributors from 1902 to 1908.

      [58] Russkoye Bogatstvo (Russian Wealth) -- a monthly magazine published in St. Petersburg from 1876 to the middle of 1918. In the early 1890s it became an organ of the liberal Narodniks and was edited by S. N Krivenko and N. K. Mikhailovsky. It preached conciliation with the tsarist government and abandonment of all revolutionary struggle against it. The magazine was bitterly hostile to Marxism and the Russian Marxists.

      [59] Nachalo (The Beginning ) -- a literary, scientific, and political monthly published by the "legal Marxists"; it appeared in St. Petersburg in the first half of 1899, with P. B. Struve and M. I. Tugan-Baranovsky among its editors. Besides the "legal Marxists", the contributors included G. V. Plekhanov and V. I. Zasulich. The tsarist government suppressed the journal in June 1899.
        Lenin published in Nachalo several reviews (see present edition Vol. 4, pp. 65-73 and pp. 94-103) and part of the third chapter of his Development of Capitalism in Russia, entitled "The Land-

    page 546

    owners' Transition from Corvée to Capitalist Economy" (see present edition, Vol. 3, pp. 191-219).
        Lenin refers to Bulgakov's article "A Contribution to the Question of the Capitalist Evolution of Agriculture" published in Nos 1-2 and 3 of the journal for January-February and March 1899 p. 107

      [60] Zhizn (Life) -- a monthly magazine published in St. Petersburg from 1897 to 1901; in 1902 it was published abroad. Beginning with 1899 the magazine was an organ of the "legal Marxists".
        In the December 1899 issue (No. 12) Lenin published "Reply to Mr. P. Nezhdanov" and in the issues of January and February 1900 (Nos. 1 and 2), two articles under the heading "Capitalism in Agriculture (Kautsky's Book and Mr. Bulgakov's Article)" (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 160-65 and pp. 105-59).

      [61] See Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 644.

      [62] See Karl Marx, Capital , Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 728.

      [63] See Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, pp. 724-27.

      [64] See Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, pp. 727-28.

      [65] Clan property -- the land owned by the clan.

      [66] See Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, pp. 635-36.

      [67] See Karl Marx, Theorien über den Mehrwert, II, S. 80-81, Berlin, 1923.

      [68] Sozialistische Monatshefte (Socialist Monthly) -- the principal organ of the opportunists in German Social-Democracy and one of the organs of international opportunism. During the imperialist world war (1914-18) the magazine adopted a social-chauvinist position. It was published in Berlin from 1897 to 1933.

      [69] Die Neue Zeit (New Times) -- a German Social-Democratic magazine published in Stuttgart from 1883 to 1923. Between 1885 and 1895 the magazine published some of Engels' articles. Engels often gave pointers to the editors of Die Neue Zeit and sharply criticised their deviations from Marxism. Beginning with the middle nineties, after Engels' death, the magazine propagated Karl Kautsky's views and regularly published articles by revisionists. During the imperialist world war (1914-18) the magazine occupied a Centrist position and in actuality supported the social-chauvinists.

      [70] The Exceptional Law Against the Socialists was promulgated in Germany in 1878. Under this law all organisations of the Social-

    page 547

    Democratic Party, all workers' mass organisations, and the working-class press were prohibited, socialist literature was confiscated, and the banishment of Social-Democrats was begun. The law was annulled in 1890 under pressure of the mass working class movement.

      [71] Vorwärts (Forward ) -- the central organ of German Social-Democracy. It began publication in 1876, with Wilhelm Liebknecht as one of its editors. Frederick Engels conducted a struggle against all manifestations of opportunism in its columns. In the late nineties, after Engels' death, Vorwärts regularly published articles by the opportunists who dominated German Social-Democracy and the Second International.

      [72] See Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, "The Manifesto of the Communist Party", Moscow, 1958, p. 38.

      [73] See Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, p. 627.

      [74] See Frederick Engels, Anti-Duhring, Moscow, 1959, pp. 394-411.

      [75] N.-on, Nikolat-on -- pseudonyms of N. F. Danielson, one of the ideologists of the liberal Narodniks in the eighties and nineties of the last century.

      [76] Proudhonism -- an unscientific trend in petty-bourgeois socialism, hostile to Marxism, so called after its ideologist, the French anarchist Pierre Joseph Proudhon. Proudhon criticised big capitalist property from the petty-bourgeois position and dreamed of perpetuating petty property ownership; he proposed the foundation of "people s" and "exchange" banks, with the aid of which the workers would be able to acquire the means of production, become handicraftsmen, and ensure the "just" marketing of their wares. Proudhon did not understand the role and significance of the proletariat and displayed a negative attitude towards the class struggle, the proletarian revolution, and the dictatorship of the proletariat as an anarchist he denied the necessity for the state.Marx and Engels struggled persistently against Proudhon's efforts to impose his views on the First International. Proudhonism was subjected to a ruthless criticism in Marx's Poverty of Philosophy. The determined struggle waged by Marx, Engels, and their supporters ended in the complele victory of Marxism over Proudhonism in the First International.
        Lenin called Proudhonism the "dull thinking of a petty-bourgeois and a philistine" incapable of comprehendillg the viewpoint of the working class. The ideas of Proudhonism are widely utilised by hourgeois "theoreticians" in their class-collaboration propaganda.

      [77] Der Volksstaat (The People's State) -- the central newspaper of the German Social-Democratic (Eisenacher) Party; published in

    page 548

    Leipzig from 1869 to 1876 under the editorship of Wilhelm Liebknecht. Marx and Engels contributed to the paper.

      [78] See Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, p. 613

      [79] Lenin quotes here Frederick Engels' Preface to the second edition of his The Housing Question (see Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, p. 548).

      [80] Ruth -- in the biblical legend Ruth gleaned ears of corn in an alien field. The expression "Ruth's gleaning" is here used in the sense of easy, carefree labour.

      [81] The younger brother, i .e., the people -- a patronising expression used in liberal literature in tsarist times.

      [82] In this Suzdal fashion -- in a primitive superficial fashion. The expression originates from the fact that before the Revolution, cruded gaudily painted, and cheap icons were made in Suzdal Uyezd.

      [83] The League for Social and Political Questions (Verein für Sozialpolitik ) -- an association of German bourgeois economists, founded in 1872. The purpose of the association was to counteract the influence of Social-Democracy among the working class and to subordinate the working-class movement to the interests of the bourgeoisie.

      [84] Erhebungen über die Lage der Landwirtschaft in Grossherzogthum Baden, 1883. Veranstaltet durch das grossherzogliche Ministerium des Innern. Bd. IV. (An Inquiry into the State of Agriculture in the Grand Duchy of Baden, 1883. Undertaken by the Ministry of the Interior of the Grand Duchy. Vol. IV.).

      [85] See Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 787.

      [86] From M. Y. Saltykov-Shchedrin's Modern Idyll.

      [87] It may be seen from the text of Chapters VII and IX, first published in the magazine Obrazovaniye, that Lenin intended to examine French agricultural statistics in this essay and to analyse the "critical" views of the French economist Maurice. This plan was not put into effect, and in the 1908 edition Lenin changed the passages showing his original design. Thus he omitted two words "and French" from the sentence: "The proletarisation of the peasantry continues, as we shall prove below by the mass of German and French statistics. . . ." In the phrase: "The rapid growth of the towns causes a steady increase in the number of such 'dairy farmers', and, of course, there will always be the Hechts, Davids, Hertzes, and Chernovs (and, not to offend France, the Maurices as well, whom we'll mention later) . . . ", the words in parenthesis were omitted.

    The end of the sentence, "For this reason, to confound the two processes, or to ignore either of them, may easily lead to the crudest blunders, an example of which we shall see later, when studying Bulgakov's analysis of the French data", was changed to: "numerous examples of which are scattered through Bulgakov's book".