gymnasia, are projected for Russia) is provided with land and means of production (it is intended to issue 4 1/2 per cent government-guaranteed Zemstvo bonds with 1/2 per cent redemption per annum) -- then we shall understand how truly "enormous" the "plan" is. Production is socialised for a total of half the population. At one blow, then, a different path is chosen for the fatherland! And that is achieved "without any expenditure (sic!) on the part of the government, Zemstvo, or people." It "may seem a utopia only at first sight," but actually it is "far more feasible than nation-wide elementary education." Mr. Yuzhakov testifies that the financial operation required for this "is no chimera or utopia," and is achieved not only, as we have seen, without expenditure, without any expenditure, but even without any change in the "established educational plans"!! Mr. Yuzhakov quite justly remarks that "all this is of no little importance when one wishes not to confine oneself to an experiment, but to achieve really nation-wide education." He says, it is true, that "I have not set myself the aim of drawing up a working plan," but he does give us the proposed number of male and female pupils per gymnasium, an estimate of the
manpower required to maintain the entire population of the gymnasia and enumerations of the pedagogical and administrative staffs, and indicates both the rations in kind for gymnasia members and the salaries in cash for tutors, doctors, technicians and craftsmen. The author makes a detailed calculation of the number of working days required for agricultural pursuits, the amount of land needed for each gymnasium, and the financial resources needed to get them installed. He provides, on the one hand, for members of national minorities and sects who cannot enjoy the blessings of nation-wide secondary education, and, on the other hand, for persons excluded from the gymnasia because of bad conduct. The author's calculations are not confined to one typical gymnasium. Not at all. He raises the issue of establishing all the 20,000 dual gymnasia and indicates how to get the land required for this and how to secure a "satisfactory contingent of tutors, administrators and managers."
One can understand the enthralling interest of such a plan, an interest that is not only theoretical (evidently, the plan for communalising production drawn up so concretely is intended to finally convince all sceptics and to demolish all who deny the feasibility of such plans), but also genuinely practical. It would be strange if the supreme government paid no attention to the project for organising nation-wide compulsory secondary education, particularly when the author of the proposal definitely asserts that the thing can be done "without any expenditure" and "will meet with obstacles not so much from the financial and economic circumstances of the task, as from the cultural circumstances," which, however, are "not insuperable." Such a project directly concerns not only the Ministry of Public Education, but equally the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Agriculture, and even, as we shall see below, the War Ministry. The projected "corrective gymnasia" will, most likely, have to go to the Ministry of Justice. There can be no doubt that the rest of the ministries will also be interested in the project, which, in Mr. Yuzhakov's words, "will answer all the above-enumerated requirements (i.e., of education and maintenance) and, very likely, many others too."
We are therefore certain that the reader will not complain if we set about a detailed examination of this very striking project.
Mr. Yuzhakov's chief thought is the following: no studies whatever take place in the summer time, which is devoted to agricultural work. Further, pupils, on graduating the gymnasium, are left to work there for some time; they do winter work and are used for industrial jobs that supplement agricultural work and enable each gymnasium by its own labours to maintain all the pupils and workers, the entire teaching and administrative staff and to cover expenditure on education. Such gymnasia, Mr. Yuzhakov justly remarks, would be large agricultural artels. This last expression does not, by the way, leave the slightest doubt about our being right in regarding Mr. Yuzhakov's plan as the first steps in the Narodnik "communalisation" of production, as part of the new path that Russia is to choose so as to avoid the vicissitudes of capitalism.
"At the present time," argues Mr. Yuzhakov, "the pupils are graduated from the gymnasium at the age of 18 to 20, and occasionally there is a delay of one or two years. Under compulsory education . . . the delay will become still more widespread. People will be graduated later, while the three senior classes will be made up of the 16- to 25-year age groups, if 25 years becomes the age limit, after reaching which they must leave without finishing the course. Thus, if we bear in mind the additional contingent of adult fifth class pupils one may boldly consider about one-third of the pupils in the gymnasium to be . . . of working age." Even if the proportion is reduced to one quarter, the author calculates further, by adding to the eight gymnasium classes the two classes for preparatory elementary school (illiterate eight-year old children would be admitted), we would still get a very large number of workers who, assisted by semi-workers, could cope with the summer work. But the "ten-class gymnasium farm," Mr. Yuzhakov remarks justly, "necessarily requires a certain contingent of winter workers." Where are they to be got? The author proposes two solutions: 1) the hire of workers ("some of the more deserving of whom might be given a share in the proceeds"). The gymnasium farm should be a profitable undertaking and be able to pay for such
hire. But the author "considers another solution of greater importance": 2) those who have finished the gymnasium course will be obliged to work to cover the expenditure on their tuition and their keep while in the junior classes. That is their "direct duty," adds Mr. Yuzhakov -- a duty, of course, only for those who cannot pay the cost of tuition. It is they who will constitute the necessary contingent of winter workers and the supplementary contingent of summer workers.
Such is the first feature of the projected organisation that is to "communalise" one-fifth of the population into agricultural artels. It already enables us to see what sort of different path for the fatherland will be chosen. Wage-labour, which at the present time serves as the only source of livelihood for people who "cannot pay the cost of tuition" and living, is replaced by compulsory unpaid labour. But we must not be disturbed by that: it should not be forgotten that in return the population will enjoy the blessings of universal secondary education.
To proceed. The author projects separate male and female gymnasia, intending to adopt the prejudice prevalent on the European continent against co-education, which actually would be more rational. "Fifty pupils per class or 500 for all the ten classes, or 1,000 per gymnasium farm (500 boys and 500 girls) will be quite a normal composition" for an average gymnasium. It will have 125 "pairs of workers" and a corresponding number of semi-workers. "If I mention," says Yuzhakov, "that this number of workers is capable of cultivating the 2,500 dessiatines of land under cultivation in Malorossiya* for example, everybody will understand what a tremendous force is provided by the labour of the gymnasium"! . . .
But in addition to these workers there will be "regular workers," who "work off" their education and keep. How many of them will there be? The number graduated annually will be 45 pupils, male and female. A third of the pupils will undergo military service for a period of three years (now a quarter do so. The author raises this number to one-third by cutting down the length of service to three years). "It will only be fair to place the remaining two-thirds in
* The Ukraine. --Ed.
similar conditions, i.e., in keeping them at the gymnasium to work off the cost of their education, and of the education of their comrades who have been called to the colours. All the girls may also be retained for the same purpose."
The pattern of the new system, arranged for the fatherland that has chosen a different path, is assuming increasingly clear outlines. Now all Russian citizens are obliged to undergo military service and, since the number of persons of military age is larger than the number of soldiers required, the latter are chosen by lot. In communalised production the recruits will also be selected by lot, but as for the rest, it is proposed "to place them in the same conditions," i.e., to make it obligatory for them to spend three years in service, not military, it is true, but doing work in the gymnasium. They have to work off the cost of keeping their comrades who have been called to the colours. Have all to do so? No. Only those who cannot pay the cost of the tuition. The author has already advanced this proviso above, and below we shall see that for people who are able to pay for tuition, he plans separate gymnasia altogether, of the old type. Why, the question arises, does the keep of comrades called to the colours have to be worked off by those who cannot pay the cost of tuition? and not by those who can? The reason is very understandable. If the gymnasium pupils are divided into paying and non-paying, it is evident that the contemporary structure of society will not be affected by the Reform; that is quite well understood by Mr. Yuzhakov himself. In that case, it is understandable that the state's general expenditure (on the soldiers) will be borne by those who are without the means of livelihood,* just as they bear it now in the shape, for example, of indirect taxes, etc. In what way is the new system different? In the fact that nowadays those who have no resources can sell their labour-power, while under the new system they will be obliged to work gratis (i.e., for their keep alone). There cannot be the slightest doubt that Russia will thus avoid all the vicissitudes of the capitalist system. Hired labour, which contains the threat of the "ulcer of the
* Otherwise the domination of the former over the latter would not be maintained.
proletariat" is driven out and makes way for . . . unpaid compulsory labour. And there is nothing surprising in the fact that people placed in relationships in which labour is compulsory and unpaid should find themselves in conditions corresponding to these relationships. Just listen to what we are told by the Narodnik ("friend of the people") immediately after the foregoing:
"If marriages are allowed between young people who have finished the course and remain at the gymnasium for three years; if separate premises are arranged for the family workers; and if the profits of the gymnasium allow them to be given at least a modest allowance in cash and kind when they leave it, then such a three years' stay there will be far less burdensome than military service. . . ."
Is it not obvious that such advantageous conditions will impel the population to bend every effort to gain admittance to the gymnasia? Judge for yourselves: firstly, they will be permitted to marry. True, according to the now existing civil legislation such permission (from the authorities) is not required at all. But bear in mind that these will be gymnasium pupils, male and female, true, as old as 25 years, but still gymnasium pupils. If university students are not permitted to marry, could gymnasium pupils be permitted to do so? And what is more, the permission will depend on the school authorities, consequently, on people with a higher education: obviously, there are no grounds for fearing abuses. Those who graduate the gymnasium and remain as regular workers there, are, however, no longer pupils. Nevertheless, they too, people between 21 and 27 years of age, have to obtain permission to marry. We cannot but recognise that the new path selected by the fatherland involves some curtailment of the civil rights of Russian citizens, but, after all, it must be admitted that the blessings of universal secondary education cannot be acquired without sacrifices. Secondly, separate premises will be provided for family workers, probably no worse than the cubicles now inhabited by factory workers. And thirdly, the regular workers get a "modest allowance" for this. Undoubtedly, the population will prefer the advantages of a quiet life under the wing of the authorities to the turmoils of capitalism, will prefer
them to such a degree that some worker's will stay permanently at the gymnasium (very likely out of gratitude for being allowed to marry): "The small contingent of regular workers, who remain at the gymnasium altogether and associate (sic!!) themselves with it, supplements these labour forces of the gymnasium farm. Such are the possible and by no means utopian labour forces of our agricultural gymnasium."
Have mercy on us! What is there "utopian" in all this? Regular unpaid workers, who have "associated themselves" with their masters, by whom they are permitted to marry -- just ask any old peasant, and he will tell you from his own experience that all this is quite feasible.
(To be continued.)*
* No continuation followed in the newspaper Samarsky Vestnik. -- Ed.