V. I.   Lenin

On the So-Called Market Question[1]

Written: Written in the summer of 1893
Published: First published in 1937 in No. 21 of the the journal Bolshevik. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, ..., Moscow, Volume 1, pages 75-128.
Translated: ... ...
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2001). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.


I  79
II  79
III  84
IV  89
V  93
VI  99
VII  107
VIII  122



[1] Lenin’s work On the So-Called Market Question was written in St. Petersburg in the autumn of 1893.

The main points contained in this work were first outlined by Lenin at a circle meeting of St. Petersburg Marxists (known as the circle of ‘the ancients”) when a discussion took place on G. B. Krasin’s lecture on “The Market Question.” According to participants in the circle meeting, Lenin—s paper created a tremendous impression on all present. N. K. Krupskaya wrote in her reminiscences of Lenin:

“The question of markets was treated with ultra-concreteness by our new Marxist friend. He linked it up with the interests of the masses, and in his whole approach one sensed just that live Marxism which takes phenomena in their concrete surroundings and in their development.” (N. K. Krupskaya, Reminiscences of Lenin, Moscow, 1959, p. 12.)

In his speech at the circle meeting, and also in the paper entitled On the So-Called Market Question, Lenin pointed to the errors of Krasin, who considered the existence of foreign markets to be a necessary condition of capitalist production and denied any connection between the two subdivisions of social production. At the same time, Lenin severely criticised the views of the liberal Narodniks on the destiny of capitalism in Russia, and also the outlook of the representatives of nascent “Legal Marxism.”

Lenin’s work On the So-Called Market Question went the rounds of the Social-Democratic circles in St. Petersburg and other cities, and was a powerful weapon in the fight against Narodism and “Legal Marxism.” The principal conclusions drawn in this work were developed later by Lenin in his book The Development of Capitalism in Russia.

The manuscript of On the So-Called Market Question, which for a time was considered lost, came into the possession of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the CC. C.P.S.U. only in 1937.

It was first published in the journal Bolshevik, issue No. 21, 1937, and in 1938 was issued in book form by the Institute. p. 75

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