Pravda No. 45, February 23, 1913.
Signed: V. I..
Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, , Moscow, Volume 18, pages 580-581.
Translated: Stepan Apresyan
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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What are the results of the new agrarian policy? All workers take an interest—a very legitimate one—in this question. Government statistics are kept so poorly and are so biassed that they are not to be trusted. The new land policy is no doubt a bourgeois policy, but it is wholly managed by the Purishkeviches, Markovs and Co., i.e., feudal landlords of the old type. One could hardly expect anything but failure from this kind of “management”.
We wish to note the conclusions drawn by Mr. V. Obolensky in the latest issue (No. 2, 1913) of Russkaya Mysl. This is a Black-Hundred and Cadet periodical. The author of the article, too, is a counter-revolutionary, which means that be is a witness partial to the landlords rather than to anyone else. He has discovered in Samara Gubernia an uyezd (Novouzensk) which has made “tremendous” progress in “land distribution”, more than fifty per cent of the householders having been allotted land in one piece.
Nevertheless, the conclusion which the author had to draw was this:
“As regards the immediate results of the new agrarian reform they can hardly be considered encouraging at all.... A considerable amount of allotment land has passed for a song from peasant semi-proletarians to well-to-do peasants and speculating buyers-up.... Rents have increased.... The difference in cultivability between integral farms and communal strip holdings is quite negligible.... The new law ... has helped to aggravate the contradictions between the conditions of economic activity and its inner content.... Perhaps the minds of the peasants are now working harder than they did at the height of the recent revolution.”
It is no use at all asking the liberal of Russkaya Mysl which way the minds of the peasants are working. It is not for nothing that he has left out altogether the question of feudal farming on the landed estates.
But it is worth giving some thought to the conclusions drawn by the liberal landlord. All the contradictions have become sharper, exploitation has increased, rent has risen, and progress in farming is quite negligible. Not “perhaps” but quite certainly the minds of the peasants are working.