V. I. Lenin



Nevskaya Zvezda, No. 11,
June 3, 1912
Signed: V. I.

Published according to
the text in Nevskaya Zvezda

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1968

First printing 1963
Second printing 1968

Vol. 18, pp. 91-101.

Translated from the Russian by Stepan Apresyan
Edited by Clemens Dutt

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo,
 (May 2002)

page 618


  [66] In Russian political writing, the term "diehard" (zubr, literally, aurochs) was applied to the extreme Right-wing representatives of landlord reaction.    [p. 91]

  [67] See Note 47.

    [Note 47 -- Lenin is referring to the decree of November 9 (22), 1906, on "Additions to Certain Regulations of the Existing Law on Peasant Land Ownership and Land Tenure", drafted by Stolypin and named the law of June 14, 1910, upon its enactment by the Duma and the Council of State. On November 15 (28), 1906, another decree was issued -- "On the Granting of Loans by the Peasant Land Bank on the Security of Allotment Lands". The two decrees granted the peasants the right to take over their allotments as personal property and the right to withdraw from the village commune and settle on otrubs or khutors. Khutor and otrub peasants could obtain subsidies through the Peasant Bank to buy land. The Stolypin agrarian legislation aimed at making the kulaks the new social mainstay of the autocracy in the countryside while preserving the landed estates and forcibly destroying the village communes.
    The Stolypin agrarian policy speeded up the capitalist evolution of agriculture in the extremely painful "Prussian" way, with the feudal landlords retaining their power, property and privileges. It intensified the forcible expropriation of the bulk of the peasantry and accelerated the development of the peasant bourgeoisie, whom it enabled to buy up the allotments of the peasant poor at a nominal price.
    Lenin described the Stolypin agrarian legislation of 1906 (and the law enacted on June 14 [27], 1910) as the second step, after the 1861 Reform, towards transforming the feudal autocracy into a bourgeois monarchy.
    Although the government vigorously advocated the withdrawal of peasants from the village communes, only some 2,500,000 peasant households withdrew from them in European Russia over nine years (1907-15). The right to secede from the village commune was used above all by the rural bourgeoisie, which was thus enabled to strenethen its farms. Some of the poor peasants who wanted to sell their allotments and end their connection with the countryside seceded too. The small peasants, crushed by want, remained poverty-stricken and backward.
    The Stolypin agrarian policy did not remove the main contra diction between the peasantry as a whole and the landlord class. Moreover, it brought further ruin to the mass of the peasantry and aggravated the class antagonisms between the kulaks and the peasant poor.]

   [p. 91]

  [68] Temporarily bonded peasants -- serfs who after the abolition of serfdom in 1861 were obliged to perform certain services for the landlords, i.e., do corvée service or pay quit-rent. The temporarily bonded status of the peasants continued until they had, by agreement with the landlords, acquired their allotments by paying compensation. It was only under the decree of 1881, which discontinued the "obligatory relation" between the peasants and the landlords as from January 1, 1883, that the landlords were obliged to accept compensation.    [p. 95]

  [69] In 1889 the tsarist government introduced the administrative office of rural superintendent to strengthen landlord rule over the peasants. The rural superintendents, who were selected from among the landed nobility, were vested with vast administrative and also judicial powers over the peasants, including the right to arrest peasants and subject them to corporal punishment.    [p. 96]