MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE |  V. I. Lenin


V. I. Lenin

THE ECONOMIC CONTENT
OF NARODISM AND THE CRITICISM
OF IT IN MR. STRUVE'S BOOK

(THE REFLECTION OF MARXISM IN BOURGEOIS LITERATURE)
P. Struve.
Critical Remarks on the Subject
of Russia's Economic Development.

St. Petersburg, 1894

Written: end of 1894 -
beginning of 1895
First published over the signature
of K. Tulin in the miscellany entitled
Material for a Characterisation
of Our Economic Development.

St. Petersburg, 1895

Published according to
Material for a Characterisation
of Our Economic Development

 
 
 
 

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972

First printing 1960
Second printing 1963
Third printing 1972

Vol. 1, pp. 333-507.


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo,
djr@marx2mao.org
 (May 1997)
(Corrected and Updated September 2001)

THE ECONOMIC CONTENT OF NARODISM AND THE CRITICISM
OF IT IN MR. STRUVE'S BOOK.
(THE REFLECTION OF MARXISM
IN BOURGEOIS LITERATURE.) P. Struve. Critical Remarks on
the Subject of Russia's Economic Development.
St. Peters-
burg, 1894 .  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


 
 
 
333

  Chapter   I 
 

A Line-by-Line Commentary on a Narodnik
Profession de foi  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


340

Chapter  II 

A Criticism of Narodnik Sociology .   .   .   .

395

Chapter III 
 

The Presentation of Economic Problems by
the Narodniks and by Mr. Struve .   .   .   .   .


424

Chapter IV 
 

How Mr. Struve Explains Some Features of
Russia's Post-Reform Economy .   .   .   .   .


451

I
II
III
IV
V
VI

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NOTES






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    page 531


    NOTES

      [105] The essay, The Economic Content of Narodism and the Criticism of It in Mr. Struve's Book (The Reflection of Marxism in Bourgeois Literature ). P. Struve: Critical Remarks on the Subject of Russia's Economic Development, St. Petersburg, 1894, was written by V. I. Lenin in St. Petersburg at the end of 1894 and the beginning of 1895. It was the first of Lenin's works to be printed legally. In this essay Lenin continued the criticism of Narodnik views that he had begun in his previous writings, and gave a comprehensive criticism of the mistaken views of the legal Marxists. Lenin was the first to recognise the liberal-bourgeois nature of legal Marxism. As early as 1893, in his work On the So-Called Market Question Lenin not only exposed the views of the liberal Narodniks, but also criticised the legal Marxist outlook that was then emerging.
        In the autumn of 1894 Lenin read a paper in the St. Petersburg Marxists' circle directed against Struve and other legal Marxists. This paper served as the basis for the essay The Economic Content of Narodism and the Criticism of It in Mr. Struve's Book. Lenin wrote the following in 1907 about his reading of the paper in the St. Petersburg Marxists' circle: "In this circle I read a paper entitled The Reflection of Marxism in Bourgeois Literature." As the heading shows, the controversy with Struve was here far sharper and more definite (as to Social-Democratic conclusions) than in the article printed in the spring of 1895. It was toned down partly because of censorship considerations and partly due to the "alliance" with legal Marxism for joint struggle against Narodism. That the "push to the left" then given to Mr. Struve by the St. Petersburg Social-Democrats was not entirely without result is clearly shown by Mr. Struve's article in the Miscellany which was burned (1895), and some of his articles in Novoye Slovo (New Word ) (1897). Preface to the Miscellany "Twelve Years." (See present edition, Vol. 13.)
        The Economic Content of Narodism and the Criticism of It in Mr. Struve's Book was printed (under the pen-name of R. Tulin) in the Miscellany entitled Material for a Characterisation of Our Economic Development. An edition of 2,000 copies of the Miscellany was printed in April 1895, but its circulation was banned by the tsarist government, which, after retaining the ban for a full year confiscated the edition and had it burned. It only proved possible to save about 100 copies, which were secretly circulated among Social-Democrats in St. Petersburg and other cities.
        Lenin's article was the most militant and politically acute in the Miscellany. The censor, in his report on Material for a Characterisation of Our Economic Development, dwells in particular detail on

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    Lenin's work. Pointing out that the contributors to the Miscellany put forward Marx's theory about the inexorable advance of the capitalist process, the censor stated that K. Tulin's article contained the most outspoken and complete programme of the Marxists.
        At the end of 1907, Lenin included The Economic Content of Narodism and the Criticism of It in Mr. Struve's Book in Volume One of the Miscellany Twelve Years, and gave it the sub-heading "The Reflection of Marxism in Bourgeois Literature." The first volume of this Miscellany was published by the Zerno Book Publishers in the middle of November 1907 (the title-page is dated 1908). Of the three volumes intended for publication, the publishers succeeded in issuing only Volume One, and part one of Volume Two. Apart from the paper mentioned, Volume One contained the following works by Lenin: The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democrats, The Persecutors of the Zemstvo and the Hannibals of Liberalism, What Is To Be Done?One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, The Zemstvo Campaign and "Iskra's" Plan, and Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution. Volume One was confiscated soon after its appearance, but a considerable part of the edition was salvaged, and the book continued to circulate illegally.    [p. 333]

      [106] The truck-system -- the system of paying the workers wages in the shape of goods and foodstuffs from the employer's shop. This system was an additional means of exploiting the workers, and was particularly widespread in Russia, in the areas where there was handicraft industry.    [p. 346]

      [107] Moskovskiye Vedomosti (Moscow Recorder ) -- a Russian newspaper of long standing, first issued in 1756 as a small sheet by Moscow University. From the 1860s it pursued a monarchist-nationalist line, its views being those of the most reactionary landlords and clergy. From 1905 onwards it was one of the principal organs of the Black Hundreds. Continued publication until the October Revolution of 1917.
        Vest (News ) -- a reactionary feudalist newspaper that appeared in Russia in the 1860s and 1870s.    [p. 348]

      [108] Lenin quotes from I. A. Krylov's fable "The Wolf and the Shepherds."    [p. 349]

      [109] Skimmers -- ironical expression repeatedly used by. M. Y. Saltykov-Shchedrin in his works to describe the bourgeois liberal press and its representatives. In Chapter V of The Diary of a Provincial in St. Petersburg, Saltykov-Shchedrin bitterly derides the liberals, and writes: "For want of real work to do, and by way of an innocent pastime they have established a learned literary society, "The Free League of Skimmers." Saltykov-Shchedrin describes the "duties" of this "League" as follows: "Not to miss a single contemporary problem, but to discuss everything in such a manner as to ensure that no result shall ever be achieved."    [p. 352]

      [110] Dictatorship of the heart -- ironical term used to indicate the short-lived policy of flirting with the liberals pursued by the tsarist official Loris-Melikov. In 1880 he was first appointed chief of the Supreme Control Commission for combating "sedition," and then

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    Minister of Home Affairs. Loris-Melikov tried to base his policy on promises of "concessions" to the liberals and on ruthless persecution of revolutionaries. The revolutionary situation of 1879-80 gave rise to this balancing policy, the purpose of which was to weaken the revolutionary movement and to win over to tsarism the oppositional liberal bourgeoisie. After suppressing the revolutionary wave of 1879-1880, the tsar's government abandoned the policy of the "dictatorship of the heart" and hastened to issue a manifesto on the "inviolability" of the autocracy. In April 1881, Loris-Melikov had to resign.    [p. 352]

      [111] Chinsh peasants -- those entitled to the hereditary possession of the land in perpetuity, and who had to pay a quitrent that rarely changed, known as chinsh. In tsarist Russia, the chinsh system operated mainly in Poland, Lithuania, Byelorussia, and the Black Sea littoral of the Ukraine.    [p. 370]

      [112] See, for example, Gleb Uspensky's stories and essays "From a Village Diary," "Cheque-Book," "Mid-Journey Letters," "Unbroken Ties," "Living Figures."    [p. 378]

      [113] Mr. Coupon -- a term adopted in the literature of the 1880s and 1890s to indicate capital and capitalists. The expression "Mr. Coupon" was put in circulation by the writer Gleb Uspensky in his essays "Grave Sins."    [p. 383]

      [114] "Beast of burden " -- the downtrodden poor peasant, exhausted by excessive toil, typified by M. Y. Saltykov-Shchedrin in his satirical tale Konyaga (literally -- overworked nag). In this tale the author speaks allegorically of the "unmoving enormity of the fields" which shall keep man in bondage until he releases the "magic force" from captivity. At the same time Saltykov-Shchedrin derides the Narodniks' vulgar arguments that the "real labour" which the "konyaga" found for himself is the guarantee of the peasant's invulnerability, spiritual equilibrium, clarity and integrity.    [p. 387]

      [115] The Prussian Regierungsrat (State Counsellor ) -- refers to the German economist, Baron A. Haxthausen, who visited Russia in the 1840s. In his book Studies of Internal Relations in Popular Life and Particularly of Rural Institutions of Russia, Haxthausen gave a detailed description of the Russian village community, in which he saw a means of consolidating feudalism. He sang the praises of Russia under Tsar Nicholas I, considering it to be superior to Western Europe in that it did not suffer from the "ulcer of proletarianism." Marx and Engels showed the reactionary character of Haxthausen's conclusions, and his views were also severely criticised by A. I. Herzen and N. G. Chernyshevsky.    [p. 391]

      [116] Owing to the censorship, Lenin could make no direct reference to the Marxist works published by the Emancipation of Labour group. He refers the reader to V.V. 's (Vorontsov's) work Essays on Theoretical Economics (St. Petersburg, 1895), which, on pages 251-58, contains a lengthy extract from Plekhanov's article "Domestic Review," that appeared in the Sotsial-Demokrat (Social-Democrat ), Book Two, August 1890.    [p. 394]

    page 534

      [117] Mirtov -- pseudonym of P. L. Lavrov (1820-1900); a Narodnik ideologist in the 1870s. Was a member of the Narodnik secret society Zemlya i Volya (Land and Liberty), and then of the Narodnaya Volya (People s Will) party. In the 1870s be advocated the need to "go among the people." Was the founder of the idealist subjective school in sociology.    [p. 397]

      [118] See K. Marx and F. Engels, "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte," Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, p. 334.    [p. 414]

      [119] See F. Engels, Anti-Dühring, Moscow, 1959, p. 133.    [p. 416]

      [120] See K Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1959, pp. 84-85, Footnote 2.    [p. 417]

      [121] See K. Marx and F. Engels, "Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State," Selected Works, Vol. II, Moscow, 1958, p. 272.    [p. 419]

      [122] Naucrary -- small territorial districts in the ancient Athenian Republic. Naucraries were united in phyles. The collegium of naucrars (naucrary chiefs) conducted the finances of the Athenian State. It was the duty of each naucrary to build, equip, and man a warship and to provide two horsemen to meet the military needs of the state.    [p. 419]

      [123] See K. Marx and F. Engels, op. cit., in Selected Works, Vol. II, Moscow, 1958, p. 269.    [p. 419]

      [124] See K. Marx and F. Engels, "Civil War in France" and "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte," Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow. 1958, pp. 284, 516-17.    [p. 420]

      [125] See F. Engels, Anti-Dühring, Moscow, 1959, p. 157.    [p. 420]

      [126] See K. Marx and F. Engels, "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte," Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, p. 244.
        The book by Proudhon mentioned in the text is called The Social Revolution Demonstrated by the Coup d'État.    [p. 425]

      [127] Leibkampantsi, from Leibkompanie (personal bodyguard), the title of honour bestowed on the Grenadier Company of the Preobrazhensky Regiment in 1741 by Tsarina Yelizaveta Petrovna for having placed her on the Russian throne. They were given estates and all sorts of special privileges, while those of them who were not of noble origin were made hereditary nobles. The nickname Leibkampantsi was put in circulation by M. Y. Saltykov-Shchedrin in his Poshekhon Tales.    [p. 426]

      [128] See K. Marx, Capital, Vol. II , Moscow, 1957, pp. 116-17.    [p. 437]

      [129] See K. Marx and F. Engels, "Manifesto of the Communist Party, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, pp. 53-54.    [p. 439]

      [130] Gotha Programme -- the programme of the German Social-Democratic Party adopted in 1875 at the Gotha congress, where unity was established between the two German socialist parties that had previously existed separately; they were the Eisenachers (who were led by Bebel and Liebknecht, and were under the ideological influence of Marx and Engels), and the Lassalleans. The programme suffered from eclecticism, and was opportunist, since the Eisenachers made

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    concessions to the Lassalleans and accepted their formulations on vitally important points. Marx and Engels subjected the Gotha draft programme to withering criticism, for they regarded it as a considerable step backwards even as compared with the Eisenach programme of 1869. (See K. Marx and F. Engels, Critique of the Gotha Programme," Selected Works, Vol. II, Moscow, 1958. pp. 13-48.)    [p. 442]

      [131] See K. Marx and F. Engels, "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte", Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, pp. 278-79.    [p. 448]

      [132] See K. Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1959, p. 632.    [p. 453]

      [133] Lenin refers to Chapter XXX, Vol I, Capital (Reaction of the Agricultural Revolution on Industry. Creation of the Home Market for Industrial Capital). (See K. Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1959, p. 745.)    [p. 463]

      [134] K. Marx, Capital, Vol: I, Moscow, 1959, p. 642.    [p. 464]

      [135] Skopshchina -- the name given in the southern parts of Russia to a type of rent in kind, on terms of bondage, the tenant paying the landowner s kopny (from the corn-shock) a portion of the harvest (a half, and sometimes more), and usually fulfilling miscellaneous labour services in addition.    [p. 465]

      [136] See K. Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1959, p. 749, Footnote 2.    [p. 471]

      [137] See K. Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1959, pp. 742-44.    [p. 472]

      [138] See K. Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 604.    [p. 488]

      [139] Gift-landers or gift-land peasants, peasants who were formerly landlords' serfs and who, at the time of the Reform of 1861, by "agreement with their landlords received allotments gratis (without having to pay redemption money for them). The gift-lander received a miserable strip amounting in all to a quarter of the so-called "top" or "statutory" allotment established by law for the given locality. All the rest of the lands that had constituted the peasants' allotments before the Reform were seized by the landlord, who held his "gift-landers," forcibly dispossessed of their land, in a state of economic bondage even after serfdom was abolished. The "gift-land" allotment came to be known among the people as a "quarter," "orphan's," "cat's," or "gagarin" allotment (the last epithet being derived from the name of the initiator of the law on "gift-land" allotments, Prince P. P. Gagarin).    [p. 491]

      [140] Lenin deals with this problem in detail in his book The Development of Capitalism in Russia (1899). See present edition, Vol. 3.    [p. 499]



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