Let us sum up the economic deductions which are to serve as an introduction to the re-examination of the question of the Social-Democratic agrarian programme.
We have seen that the “pivot” of the agrarian struggle in our revolution is the feudal latifundia. The peasants’ struggle for the land is, first and foremost, a Struggle for the abolition of these latifundia. Their abolition and their complete transfer to the peasantry undoubtedly coincide with the line of the capitalist evolution of Russian agriculture. Such a path of this evolution would mean the most rapid development of productive forces, the best conditions of labour for the mass of the population, and the most rapid development of capitalism, with the conversion of the free peasants into farmers. But another path of bourgeois evolution of agriculture is possible, viz., the preservation of the landlord farms and latifundia and their slow conversion from farms based on serfdom and bondage into Junker farms. It is these two types of possible bourgeois evolution that form the basis of the two types of agrarian programmes proposed by different classes in the Russian revolution. Moreover, a special feature of Russia, a feature that is one of the economic foundations for the possibility of the “American” evolution, is the existence of vast lands available for colonisation. While entirely unsuitable for emancipating the Russian peasantry from the yoke of serfdom in European Russia, these lands will become more extensive and more accessible in proportion to the freedom enjoyed by the peasantry in Russia proper, and to the scope of development of the productive forces.