* See present edition, Vol. 13, p. 309. --Ed.
Maslov says nothing in Golos about that article, and quotes from his Agrarian Question ! But that is a silly game of hide-and-seek! I never said that Maslov, in The Agrarian Question, went to the length of asserting that to refute Narodism it was necessary to refute Marx.
But in Obrazovaniye Maslov did say this. And it was to this that I was objecting, and not at all to what expenditure of capital determines intensification. Does or does not Maslov maintain his assertion that "if it were not for the fact that the productivity of successive expenditures of labour on the same plot of land diminishes, the idyll which the Socialist Revolutionaries . . . depict could, perhaps, be realised"?
You go into hiding, worthy opponent? But that means acknowledging defeat.
Do you maintain your assertion that you "happened to be the first to lay special emphasis on the difference between the significance of the cultivation of the soil and of technical progress for the development of farming, and, in particular, for the struggle between large-scale and small production"? That is what you said in Obrazovaniye. And that is what I quoted in Proletary. It is to that, and only to that question, that your argument about the reaping-machine refers -- an argument in Obrazovaniye, and not in The Agrarian Question. By not defending what he has said in Obrazovaniye, Maslov admits he is wrong.
Thus on the substance of the question all Maslov does in Golos is to wriggle. He repeats his muddle about Marx not deducing absolute rent from private property in land, but does not directly defend his amendments to Marx; his arguments against Marx he omits from his quotations; what he has said in Obrazovaniye he evades altogether. And we repeat: Maslov's abolition of Marx's absolute rent in The Agrarian Question, and Maslov's arguments in Obrazovaniye, remain unsurpassed pearls of confusion, the importation of a bourgeois point of view into theory.
As regards the German edition of Maslov's book, I poked fun at the fact that in it all the corrections to Marx are hidden away. Maslov defends himself by saying that the publisher did not bring out the whole of the first part of his book. What does this correction by Maslov amount to? I said Maslov had thrown out these corrections. Maslov says it
was the publisher who did it -- and the publisher is the German Social-Democrat Dietz.
If it was Dietz who threw out Maslov's "theory", Maslov's "corrections" to Marx, with Maslov's consent, then my argument is not affected in any way. If Dietz did it without Maslov's consent, then my argument changes only in its form: Dietz, by throwing out the stupidities from Maslov's book, acted wisely.
Was that the correction which the worthy Maslov was seeking?
Maslov says that I "begin to seek heresies in my opponents" because I "wish to cover up" the heresy of my friends. That is not true. Against what I consider heresy in my friends I speak as strongly as I do against you. That can be seen from my footnote in the symposium, In Memory of Marx,[*] which has just appeared. As for Maslov's heresies I "began to seek" them in "Zarya " in 1901,[**]i.e., two years before the split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, two years before Maslov's first municipalisation programme. In 1901 Maslov was my "opponent" in the Party only on the question of his corrections to Marx's theory.
P.S. The present article had already been written when I received a special leaflet from the management of Golos Sotsial-Demokrata, which says:
"Owing to a printer's error in No. 8-9 of Golos Sotsial-Demokrata, the comment of the editorial board to Comrade Maslov's letter was omitted. This mistake will be immediately corrected, and the comment made available to subscribers and purchasers."
We have not yet received this correction. I think it my duty to inform our readers about this printer's error. But is there not yet another printer's error in the special leaflet I reprint here? Should it not, instead of Comrade Maslov, read Mr. Maslov? Was it not Plekhanov who declared in print that people who depart from Marx are for him not comrades but gentlemen! Or does not that hold good for Mensheviks who preach departure from Marxism?
* See p. 34 of this volume. --Ed. [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "Marxism and Revisionism". -- DJR]
** See present edition, Vol. 5, p. 127. --Ed. [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "The Agrarian Question and the 'Critics of Marx'". -- DJR]