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V. I. Lenin

THE PERSECUTORS OF THE ZEMSTVO
AND THE HANNIBALS OF LIBERALISM

Written in June 1901
 
First published in December 1901
in Zarya, No. 2-3
Signed: T. P.

Published according to the text in
the magazine, checked with the text
in the collection:
Vl. Ilyin. Twelve Years. 1907
 

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

Vol. 5, pp. 31-80.

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


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

THE PERSECUTORS OF THE ZEMSTVO AND THE HANNIBALS OF
  LIBERALISM [12]


I.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
II.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
III.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
IV.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
V.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
VI.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

36
43
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NOTES






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    NOTES

      [12] "The Persecutors of the Zemstvo and the Hannibals of Liberalism " is a criticism of the confidential Memorandum, "The Autocracy and the Zemstvo", written by the tsarist minister S. Y. Witte and published abroad illegally, and of the preface to it written by the liberal P. B. Struve.
        Lenin's article occasioned serious disagreement among the editors of Iskra, Plekhanov and several other members of the Editorial Board expressing themselves against it.
        The polemic over the article which the Board members conducted in their correspondence lasted about a month. Lenin accepted some suggestions to alter certain particular formulations but emphatically refused to modify the sharp tone of exposure and the direction of the article.    [p.31]

      [13] Zarya (Dawn ) -- a Marxist scientific and political magazine published in Stuttgart in 1901-02 by the Iskra Editorial Board.
        The following articles of Lenin were published in Zarya: "Casual Notes", "The Persecutors of the Zemstvo and the Hannibals of Liberalism", the first four chapters of "The Agrarian Ques-

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    tion and the 'Critics of Marx'" (published under the title "The 'Critics' on the Agrarian Question"), "Review of Home Affairs", "The Agrarian Programme of Russian Social-Democracy". Altogether four numbers (in three issues) appeared: No. 1 -- April 1901 (actually on March 23, new style), Nos. 2-3 -- December 190l, and No. 4 -- August 1902.    [p.35]

      [14] The "Regulations Governing Redemption by Peasants Who Have Emerged from Serf Dependence " signed by Alexander II on February 19, 1861, together with the Manifesto announcing the abolition of serfdom.    [p.37]

      [15] Kolokol (The Bell ) -- a revolutionary periodical published under the motto of Vivos voco! (I call on the living!) by A. I. Herzen and N. P. Ogaryov from July 1, 1857 to April i865, in London and from 1865 to December 1868, in Geneva. In 1868 the periodical was published in French with a supplement in Russian. Kolokol was published in an edition of 2,500 copies and spread throughout Russia. It exposed the tyramly of the autocracy, the plunder and embezzlement of the civil servants, and the ruthless exploitation of the peasants by the landlords.
        Kolokol was the leading organ of the revolutionary uncensored press and the precursor of the working-class press in Russia; it played an important role in the development of the general-democratic and revolutionary movement, in the struggle against the autocracy and against serfdom.
        La Revue des deux mondes (Review of the Two Worlds ) -- a French bourgeois-liberal monthly publisbed in Paris from 1829 to 1940. It began as a literary and art journal, but subsequently began to devote considerable space to philosophy and politics. Some of the most eminent writers contributed to the review -- among them Victor Hugo, George Sand, Honoré de Balzac, and Alexandre Dumas. Since 1948 it has been published under the title La Revue. Literature, histoire, arts et sciences des deux mondes (The Review. The literature, history, arts and sciences of the two worlds ).    [p.37]

      [16] Katkov, M. N. -- reactionary journalist. From 1851 he edited Moskovskiye Vedomosti (Moscow Recorder ). He was a rabid opponent, not only of the revolutionary movement, but of all social progress.    [p.37]

      [17] Civil Mediator -- an administrative office instituted by the tsarist government at the time of the implementation of the "Peasant Reform" of 1861. The civil mediators, appointed by the governor from among the local nobility, where empowered to investigate and render decisions on conflicts between peasants and landlords that occurred during the implementation of the "Regulations" on the emancipation of the peasants; they were actually intended to be protectors of the interests of the ruling classes. The chief function of the civil mediators was to draw up "title

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    deeds" which gave the precise dimensions of the peasants' allotments and their location, as well as details of the obligations of the peasants; the mediators were also charged with the supervision of peasant local self-government bodies. The mediators approved the elected officials of the peasant administration, had the right to impose penalties upon them, to arrest or fine them, and to annul the decisions of village meetings.
        In this passage Lenin refers to the liberal-minded civil mediators in Tver Gubernia, who refused to implement the "Regulations" and who decided to be guided in their work by the decisions of the Assembly of the Nobility in their gubernia; this Assembly, in Fehruary 1862, had formally recognised the unsatisfactory nature of the "Regulations" and the necessity for the immediate redemption of peasant lands with state aid, as well as the introduction of a number of democratic institutions. The Tver civil mediators were arrested by the tsarist government and each was sentenced to over two years' imprisonment.    [p.38]

      [18] Raznochintsi (i.e., "men of different estates") -- the Russian commoner-intellectuals, drawn from the small townsfolk, the clergy, the merchant classes, the peasantry, as distinct from those drawn from the nobility.    [p.38]

      [19] To Young Russia -- a proclamation issued by P. G. Zaichnevsky's revolutionary group in May 1862. The proclamation called for revolutionary action against the autocracy and advanced the slogan for "a social and democratic Russian republic" in the form of a federation of the regions.    [p.38]

      [20] Chernyshevsky, N. C. (1828-1889) -- the great Russian revolutionary democrat, materialist philosopher, scholar, critic, and author; the leader of the revolutionary movement in the sixties of the past century. In 1862 Chernyshevsky was arrested and sentenced to 14 years' penal servitude and exile for life in Siberia, he was allowed to return only in 1883. Chernyshevsky had a tremendous influence on the development of Russian progressive social thought.    [p.38]

      [21] At the Glorious Post -- a collection published by the Narodniks to commemorate forty years of literary and social activity (1860-1900) of the Narodnik ideologist N. K. Mikhailovsky.    [p.39]

      [22] Sovremennik (The Contemporary ) -- a monthly scientilic, political, and literary journal founded by Alexander Pushkin; published in St. Petersburg from 1836 to 1866. From 1847 it was published by N. A. Nekrasov and I. I. Panayev. Among the contributors were V. G. Belinsky, N. G. Chernyshevsky, N. A. Dobrolyuhov, N. V. Shelgunov, M. Y. Saltykov-Shchedrin, and M. A. Antonovich. Sovremennik was the most progressive journal of its day; it voiced the aspirations of revolutionary democracy. It was closed down by the tsarist government in 1866.    [p.39]

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      [23] Russkoye Slovo (Russian Word ) -- a prominently progressive literary and political monthly published in St. Petersburg from 1859 to 1866, among its contributors were D. I. Pisarev and N. V. Shelgunov. The journal had considerable influence among the youth of the sixties. It was closed down by the tsarist government in 1866.    [p.39]

      [24] Dyen (The Day ) -- a weekly newspaper published in Moscow from 1861 to 1865 by I. S. Aksakov.    [p.39]

      [25] Literary Fund (The Literary Fund Society for Aid to Indigent Writers and Scientists and Their Families) -- a legal benevolent society founded in St. Petersburg in 1859 with the participation of N. G. Chernyshevsky. Under the pretext of helping indigent writers and scientists, the organisers made an attempt to muster the progressive, revolutionary-minded section of the intelligentsia. In April 1862 an attempt was made by progressives to establish a legal student society through the founding of a "Department for Aid to Poor Students". The Department was headed by a student committee. A considerable section of the committee was connected with the illegal revolutionary organisation Zemlya i Volya (Land and Freedom). In June 1862 the Department was closed by the tsarist government.    [p.40]

      [26] The Chess Club was founded on the initiative of N. G. Chernyshevsky and his closest associates in St. Petershurg in January 1862. Among the leading members of the Club were N. A. Nekrasov, the brothers A. A. and N. A. Serno-Solovyevich, the brothers V. S. and N. S. Kurochkin, P. L. Lavrov, G. Y. Blagosvetlov, G. Z. Yeliseyev, and N. G. Pomyalovsky. Members of the illegal Zemlya i Volya organisation also belonged to the Club. The Chess Club was actually a literary club, the centre of the St. Petersburg revolutionary-minded intelligentsia. In June 1862 the Club was closed by the Tsarist government.    [p.40]

      [27] Radishchev, A. N. (1749-1802) -- Russian writer and revolutionary. In his famous work A Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow, he made the first open attack on serfdom in Russia. By order of Catherine II he was sentenced to death for the book, but the sentence was commuted to 10 years' exile in Siberia. He returned from exile under amnesty, but when the tsarist government threatened him with new persecutions he committed suicide. Lenin considered Radishchev to have been one of the most outstanding champions of progress among the Russian people.    [p.41]

      [28] Arakcheyev, A. A. -- reactionary tsarist statesman at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of nineteenth centuries; he greatly influenced home and foreign policies during the reigns of Paul I and Alexander I. An epoch of unlimited police despotism and the outrages of the controlling military is associated with his name ("Arakcheyevshchina").    [p.41]

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      [29] The Decembrist Revolt -- led by a group of revolutionaries from the nobility who opposed the autocracy and serfdom.    [p.41]

      [30] Lenin refers to the participation of the troops of Tsar Nicholas I in the suppression of the revolutionary movement in Europe in 1848-49, particularly the revolution in Hungary in 1849.    [p.41]

      [31] États généraux (The States General ) -- a representative body of the social-estates of France from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, consisting of deputies from the nobility, the clergy, and the Third Estate, it was convened by the king for the settlement of administrative and financial questions. The States General were not convened for 175 years -- from 1614 to 1789. When they were convened in 1789 by Louis XVI for the purpose of settling the financial crisis, the body was proclaimed as the National Assembly by a decision of the deputies representing the Third Estate.    [p.41]

      [32] Herzen, A. I. (1812-1870) -- prominent Russian revolutionary democrat, materialist philosopher, publicist, and author.    [p.42]

      [33] General Vannovsky, appointed Minister of Education in 1901, made use of liberal phrases such as "love" and "heartfelt solicitude" for the student youth, with the aim of quietening the student disturbances. After introducing a number of insignificant reforms in the sphere of education, he resorted to renewed repressive measures against the revolutionary students -- arrests, banishment, expulsions from universities, etc.    [p.44]

      [34] Volnoye Slovo (Free Word ) -- a weekly, and from No. 37 a fortnightly, periodical published in Geneva from 1881 to 1883; altogether 62 issues appeared. Volnoye Slovo claimed to have as its purpose the unification of opposition elements and propagated liberal ideas on the need to reform the Russian social system on "principles of freedom and self-government". Actually it was founded with the knowledge of the secret police by members of the Holy Guard (a secret organisation promoted by the biggest landed nobility and high government officials, headed by Prince A. P. Shuvalov and others) for purposes of political provocation. Volnoye Slovo was edited by the police agent A. P. Malshinsky.
        At the end of 1882 the Holy Guard collapsed and Volnoye Slovo beginning with No. 52 (January 8, 1883), was edited by M. P. Dragomanov; it claimed to be the organ of the Zemstvo League, which did not exist as a permanent and properly-constituted organisation.    [p.50]

      [35] Pravitelstvenny Vestnik (Government Herald ) -- official government newspaper published in St. Petersburg from 1869 to 1917.    [p.50]

      [36] The Assembly of Notables of Louis XVI -- an assembly of the highest representatives of the privileged social-estates of France convened by King Louis XVI in 1787 and 1788 to settle the country's financial

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    crisis. The Assembly refused to pass an ordinance taxing the privileged social-estates and Louis XVI was forced to convene the States General.    [p.52]

      [37] Dictatorship of the heart -- the name given ironically to the short-lived policy of flirting with the liberals, pursued by the tsarist official Loris-Melikov, who, in 1880, was appointed chief of the Supreme Administrative Commission to combat "sedition" and later, Minister of the Interior.    [p.53]

      [38] Sotsial-Demokrat (Social-Democrat ) -- a literary-political review published abroad by the Emancipation of Labour group in the period 1890-92. Altogether four issues appeared.
        Lenin quotes an article by Vera Zasulich entitled "Revolutionaries from the Bourgeois Milieu", published in No. 1 for 1890.    [p.54]

      [39] Narodnaya Volya (The People's Will ) -- a secret Narodnik terrorist organisation, whose members carried out the assassination of Alexander II, on March 1, 1881; it came into being in August 1879 following the split in the secret society Zemlya i Volya (Land and Freedom). 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, and A. A. Kvyatkovsky. The immediate aim of the Narodnaya Volya was the overthrow of the tsarist autocracy, while its programme provided for the establishment of a "permanent popular representative body" elected on the basis of universal suffrage, the proclamation of democratic liberties, the transfer of land to the people, and the elaboration of measures for the factories to pass into the hands of the workers. The Narodnaya Volya, however, was unable to find the road to the masses of the people and took to political conspiracy and individual terror. The terrorist struggle of the Narodnaya Volya was not supported by a mass revolutionary movement; this enabled the government to crush the organisation by fierce persecution, death sentences, and provocation.
        After 1881 the Narodnaya Volya ceased to exist as an organisation. Repeated attempts to revive it, made during the 1880s ended in failure. An instance was the terrorist group that was formed in 1886, headed by A. I. Ulyanov (Lenin's brother) and P. Y. Shevyrev; after an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Alexander III the group was exposed and its active members were executed.
        Although he criticised the erroneous, utopian programme of the Narodnaya Volya, Lenin showed great respect for the selfless struggle waged by its members against tsarism. In 1899, in "A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats", Lenin stated 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).    [p.54]

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      [40] Land redemption payments were fixed by the "Regulations Governing Redemption by Peasants Who Have Emerged from Serf Dependence", approved on February 19, 1861. The tsarist government compelled peasants to pay redemption money for the land allotted to them at a rate several times higher than the actual value of the land. Upon the conclusion of the redemption deal, the government paid a sum of money to the landlord as redemption money, which sum was regarded as a debt to be repaid by the peasant in annual instalments over a period of 49 years. The "land redemption payments" were unbearably burdensome for the peasants and led to mass ruin and pauperisation. Peasants who had formerly been landlord's serfs alone paid a sum of about 2,000 million rubles to the tsarist government, while the land they received was not worth more than 544 million rubles. Since the deals did not take effect immediately, but at various times up to 1883, the payments were to have continued until 1932. The peasant movement at the time of the First Russian Revolution (1905-07), however, compelled the tsarist government to cancel the land redemption payments as from January 1907.    [p.56]

      [41] Rural superintendent -- an office instituted by the tsarist government in 1889 to increase the power of the landlords over the peasantry. The rural superintendents, appointed from among the local landed nobility, were granted tremendous powers, not only administrative, but juridical, which included the right to arrest peasants and order corporal punishment.    [p.59]

      [42] "Separate Supplement " to Rabochaya Mysl -- a pamphlet published by the editors of the "Economist" newspaper Rabochaya Mysl in September 1899. The pamphlet, especially the included article "Our Reality", signed R. M., was a candid expose of the opportunist views of the "Economists". Lenin criticised the pamphlet in his article "A Retrograde Trend in Russian Social-Democracy" (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 255-85), and in his book What Is To Be Done? (see present volume. pp. 361-67, 397, 407-08).    [p.67]

      [43] Bernsteinism -- an anti-Marxist trend in international Social-Democracy which arose in Germany at the end of the nineteenth century and derived its name from the German Social-Democrat Eduard Bernstein. Bernstein set out to revise the revolutionary teachings of Marx in the spirit of bourgeois liberalism.
        In Russia Bernsteinism had its adherents in the "legal Marxists" the"Economists", the Bundists, and the Mensheviks.    [p.73]

      [44] Listok (Small Paper ) -- a monthly newspaper of constitutional liberal views published illegally abroad by Prince P. V. Dolgorukov. Altogether twenty-two numbers were issued between November 1862 and July 1864. The first five numbers were issued in Brussels, the others in London.    [p.76]

      [45] Narodnoye Pravo (People's Right ) Party -- an underground organisation of the democratic intelligentsia formed in 1893, with the

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    assistance of ex-members of the Narodnaya Volya (M. A. Natanson and others), and crushed by the tsarist government in the spring of 1894. The Narodnoye Pravo issued two programmatic documents "An Urgent Question" and "Manifesto". Most of the Narodnoye Pravo members subsequently joined the Socialist-Revolutionary Party.    [p.79]

      [46] Lenin refers here to a thesis in Marx's The Class Struggles in France, 1848 to 1850 (see Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1858, p. 139).    [p.79]



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