Vladimir Ilyich Lenin


Chapter II. The Differentiation of the Peasantry

XIII. Conclusions From Chapter II

Let us sum up the main points that follow from the data examined above:

1) The social-economic situation in which the contemporary Russian peasantry find themselves is that of commodity economy. Even in the central agricultural belt (which is most backward in this respect as compared with the south eastern border regions or the industrial gubernias), the peasant is completely subordinated to the market, on which he is dependent as regards both his personal consumption and his farming, not to mention the payment of taxes.

2) The system of social-economic relations existing among the peasantry (agricultural and village-community) shows us the presence of all those contradictions which are inherent in every commodity economy and every order of capitalism: competition, the struggle for economic independence, the grabbing of land (purchasable and rentable), the concentration of production in the hands of a minority, the forcing of the majority into the ranks of the proletariat, their exploitation by a minority through the medium of merchant’s capital and the hiring of farm labourers. There is not a single economic phenomenon among the peasantry that does not bear this contradictory form, one specifically peculiar to the capitalist system, i.e., that does not express a struggle and antagonism of interests, that does not imply advantage for some and disadvantage for others. It is the case with the renting of land, the purchase of land, and with “industries” in their diametrically opposite types; it is also the case with the technical progress of farming.

We attach cardinal importance to this conclusion not only as regards capitalism in Russia, but also as regards the significance of the Narodnik doctrine in general. It is these contradictions that show us clearly and irrefutably that the system of economic relations in the “community” village does not at all constitute a special economic form (“people’s production,” etc.), but is an ordinary petty-bourgeois one. Despite the theories that have prevailed here during the past half-century, the Russian community peasantry are not antagonists of capitalism, but, on the contrary, are its deepest and most durable foundation. The deepest—because it is here, remote from all “artificial” influences, and in spite of the institutions which restrict the development of capitalism, that we see the constant formation of the elements of capitalism within the “community” itself. The most durable—because agriculture in general, and the peasantry in particular, are weighed down most heavily by the traditions of the distant past, the traditions of patriarchal life, as a consequence of which the transformative effects of capitalism (the development of the productive forces, the changing of all social relations, etc.) manifest themselves here most slowly and gradually.[1]

3) The sum-total of all the economic contradictions among the peasantry constitutes what we call the differentiation of the peasantry. The peasants themselves very aptly and strikingly characterise this process with the term “depeasantising.”[2] This process signifies the utter dissolution of the old, patriarchal peasantry and the creation of new types of rural inhabitants.

Before we proceed to describe these types, let us note the following. Reference to this process was made in our literature long ago and has been repeated very often. For example, in his day Mr. Vasilchikov, who made use of the works of the Valuyev Commission,[16] noted the formation of a “rural proletariat” in Russia and the “differentiation of the peasant social estate” (Landownership and Agriculture, 1st ed., Vol. I, Chapter IX). This fact was also mentioned by V. Orlov (Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia, Vol. IV, Pt. 1, p. 14) and by many others. But all these references were very fragmentary. No attempt was ever made to study this phenomenon systematically, and that is why we lack, to this day, adequate information about this phenomenon notwithstanding the wealth of data provided by the Zemstvo house-to-house censuses. Connected with this is the fact that the majority of the writers who have dealt with this problem regard the break-up of the peasantry simply as the emergence of property inequality, as simple “differentiation,” to use the favourite term of the Narodniks in general and of Mr. Karyshev in particular (see his book on Rentings and his articles in Russkoye Bogatstvo). Undoubtedly, the emergence of property inequality is the starting-point of the whole process, but the process is not at all confined to property “differentiation.” The old peasantry is not only “differentiating,” it is being completely dissolved, it is ceasing to exist, it is being ousted by absolutely new types of rural inhabitants—types that are the basis of a society in which commodity economy and capitalist production prevail. These types are the rural bourgeoisie (chiefly petty bourgeoisie) and the rural proletariat—a class of commodity producers in agriculture and a class of agricultural wage-workers.

It is extremely instructive that the purely theoretical analysis of the process of the formation of agricultural capitalism points to the differentiation of the small producers as an important factor in this process. We have in mind one of the most interesting chapters in Vol. III of Capital, namely Chapter 47, “Genesis of Capitalist Ground-Rent.” As the starting-point of this genesis Marx takes labour-rent (Arbeitsrente)[3] —“. . . where the direct producer, using instruments of labour (plough, cattle, etc.) which actually or legally belong to him, cultivates soil actually owned by him during part of the week, and works during the remaining days upon the estate of the feudal lord without any compensation from the feudal lord. . .” (Das Kapital, III, 2, 323. Russ. trans., 651). The next form of rent is rent in kind (Produktenrente), when the direct producer produces the entire product on land which he himself exploits, and gives up to the landowner the whole of the surplus product in kind. The producer here becomes more independent and is enabled to acquire by his labour a certain surplus over and above the amount of produce that satisfies his indispensable needs. “Similarly, this form” of rent “will give rise to greater differences in the economic position of the individual direct producers. At least the possibility for such a differentiation exists, and the possibility for the direct producer to have in turn acquired the means to exploit other labourers directly” (S. 329. Russ. trans., 657.)[17] And so, while natural economy still prevails, at the very first expansion of the independence of the dependent peasants, there already appear the germs of their differentiation. But these germs can develop only under the next form of rent, money rent, which represents a mere change in the form of rent in kind. The direct producer gives up to the landowner not produce, but the price of this produce.[4] The basis of this type of rent remains the same: the direct producer is as hitherto the traditional possessor of the land, but “the basis of this type of rent . . . is approaching its dissolution” (330). Money rent “presupposes a considerable development of commerce, of urban industry, of commodity production in general, and thereby of money circulation” (331).[18] The traditional, common-law relationship between the dependent peasant and the landowner is transformed here into a purely cash, contract-based relationship. This leads, on the one hand, to the expropriation of the old peasantry, and, on the other, to the peasant buying out his land and his liberty. The transformation of rent in kind into money rent is furthermore not only inevitably accompanied, but even anticipated, by the formation of a class of propertyless day labourers, who hire themselves out for money. During their genesis, when this new class appears but sporadically, the custom necessarily develops among the more prosperous peasants subject to rent payments (rentepflichtigen) of exploiting agricultural wage-labourers for their own account. . . . In this way, they gradually acquire the possibility of accumulating a certain amount of wealth and themselves becoming transformed into future capitalists. The old self-employed possessors of land themselves thus give rise to a nursery school for capitalist tenants, whose development is conditioned by the general development of capitalist production beyond the bounds of the countryside” (Das Kapital, III, 2, 332. Russ. trans., 659–660).[19]

4) The differentiation of the peasantry, which develops the latter’s extreme groups at the expense of the middle “peasantry,” creates two new types of rural inhabitants. The feature common to both types is the commodity, money character of their economy. The first new type is the rural bourgeoisie or the well-to-do peasantry. These include the independent farmers who carry on commercial agriculture in all its varied forms (the principal ones of which we shall describe in Chapter), then come the owners of commercial and industrial establishments, the proprietors of commercial enterprises, etc. The combining of commercial agriculture with commercial and industrial enterprises is the type of “combination of agriculture with industries” that is specifically peculiar to this peasantry. From among these well-to-do peasants a class of capitalist farmers is created, since the renting of land for the sale of grain plays (in the agricultural belt) an enormous part in their farms, often a more important part than the allotment. The size of the farm, in the majority of cases, requires a labour force larger than that available in the family, for which reason the formation of a body of farm labourers, and still more of day labourers, is a necessary condition for the existence of the well-to-do peasantry.[5] The spare cash obtained by these peasants in the shape of net income is either directed towards commercial operations and usury, which are so excessively developed in our rural districts, or, under favourable conditions, is invested in the purchase of land, farm improvements, etc. In a word, these are small agrarians. Numerically, the peasant bourgeoisie constitute a small minority of the peasantry, probably not more than one-fifth of the total number of households (which is approximately three-tenths of the population), although, of course, the proportion fluctuates considerably according to district. But as to their weight in the sum-total of peasant farming, in the total, quantity of means of production belonging to the peasantry, in the total amount of produce raised by the peasantry, the peasant bourgeoisie are undoubtedly predominant. They are the masters of the contemporary countryside.

5) The other new type is the rural proletariat, the class of allotment-holding wage-workers. This covers the poor peasants, including those that are completely landless; but the most typical representative of the Russian rural proletariat is the allotment-holding farm labourer, day labourer, unskilled labourer, building worker or other allotment holding worker. Insignificant farming on a patch of land, with the farm in a state of utter ruin (particularly evidenced by the leasing out of land), inability to exist without the sale of labour-power (= “industries” of the indigent peasants), an extremely low standard of living (probably lower even than that of the worker without an allotment)—such are the distinguishing features of this type.[6] One must assign not less than half the total peasant households (which is approximately 4/10 of the population) to membership of the rural proletariat, i.e., all the horseless and a large part of the one-horse peasants (this, of course, is only a wholesale, approximate calculation, one subject to more or less considerable modifications in the different areas, according to local conditions). The grounds which compel us to believe that such a considerable proportion of the peasantry already belong to the rural proletariat have been advanced above.[7] It should be added that our literature frequently contains too stereotyped an understanding of the theoretical proposition that capitalism requires the free, landless worker. This proposition is quite correct as indicating the main trend, but capitalism penetrates into agriculture particularly slowly and in extremely varied forms. The allotment of land to the rural worker is very often to the interests of the rural employers themselves, and that is why the allotment-holding rural worker is a type to be found in all capitalist countries. The type assumes different forms in different countries: the English cottager is not the same as the small-holding peasant of France or the Rhine provinces, and the latter again is not the same as the Knecht in Prussia. Each of these bears traces of a specific agrarian system, of a specific history of agrarian relations—but this does not prevent the economist from classing them all as one type of agricultural proletarian. The juridical basis of his right to his plot of land is absolutely immaterial to such a classification. Whether the land is his full property (as a small-holding peasant), or whether he is only allowed the use of it by the landlord or the Rittergutsbesitzer,[8] or, finally, whether he possesses it as a member of a Great Russian peasant community—makes no difference at all.[9] In assigning the indigent peasants to the rural proletariat we are saying nothing new. This term has already been used repeatedly by many writers, and only the Narodnik economists persist in speaking of the peasantry in general, as of something anti-capitalist, and close their eyes to the fact that the mass of the “peasantry” have already taken a quite definite place in the general system of capitalist production, namely, as agricultural and industrial wage-workers. In our country, people are very fond of singing the praises of our agrarian system, which retains the village community and the peasantry, etc., and of contrasting this to the Ostsee system, with its capitalist organisation of agriculture. It will not be without interest, therefore, to see what types of the agricultural population in the Ostsee region[20] are sometimes assigned to the class of farm labourers and day labourers. The peasants in the Ostsee gubernias are divided into those with large plots (25 to 50 dess. in separate lots), cottagers (with plots of 3 to 10 dess.) and landless peasants. As Mr. S. Korolenko quite rightly remarks, the cottager “most closely approximates to the general type of Russian peasant of the central gubernias” (Hired Labour, p. 495); he is everlastingly compelled to divide his time between seeking employment and cultivating his plot of land. But what is particularly interesting to us is the economic position of the farm labourers. The fact is that the landlords themselves find it advantageous to allot them land on account of wages. Here are some examples of the holdings of Ostsee farm labourers: 1) 2 dess. of land (we have converted Loftstelle into dessiatines: 1 Loftstelle = 1/3 dess.); the husband works 275 days and the wife 50 days a year at a wage of 25 kopeks per day; 2) 2 2/3 dess. of land; “the farm labourer keeps 1 horse, 3 cows, 3 sheep and 2 pigs” (pp. 508, 518); the farm labourer works alternate weeks and the wife works 50 days; 3) 6 dess. of land (Bauska Uyezd, Courland Gubernia), “the farm labourer keeps 1 horse, 3 cows, 3 sheep and several pigs” (p. 518), he works 3 days a week and his wife 35 days a year; 4) in Hasenpoth Uyezd, Courland Gubernia—8 dess. of land, “in all cases the farm labourers get their flour milled gratis and free medical aid and medicine, and their children attend school” (p. 519), etc. We draw the reader’s attention to the size of the holdings and the scale of the farming of these farm labourers, i.e., to the very conditions that, in the opinion of the Narodniks, set our peasants apart from the general European agrarian system, which corresponds to capitalist production. We combine all the examples given in the publication quoted: 10 farm labourers own 31.5 dess. of land, that is, an average of 3.15 dess. per labourer. The farm labourers here include peasants who work the lesser part of the year for the landlord (the husband half the year, and the wife 35 to 50 days) and also one-horse peasants who own 2 and even 3 cows each. The question arises: what constitutes the notorious difference between our “community peasant” and the Ostsee farm labourer of this type? In the Ostsee region they call things by their proper names, whereas in Russia one-horse farm labourers are combined with wealthy peasants, “averages” are struck, and sentimental talk is indulged in about the “community spirit,” the “labour principle,” “people’s production” and the “combination of agriculture with industries”... .

6) The intermediary link between these post-Reform types of “peasantry” is the middle peasantry. It is distinguished by the least development of commodity production. The independent agricultural labour of this category of peasant covers his maintenance in perhaps only the best years and under particularly favourable conditions, and that is why his position is an extremely precarious one. In the majority of cases the middle peasant cannot make ends meet without resorting to loans, to be repaid by labour-service, etc., without seeking “subsidiary” employment on the side, which also consists partly in the sale of labour power, etc. Every crop failure flings masses of the middle peasants into the ranks of the proletariat. In its social relations this group fluctuates between the top group, towards which it gravitates but which only a small minority of lucky ones succeed in entering, and the bottom group, into which it is pushed by the whole course of social evolution. We have seen that the peasant bourgeoisie oust not only the bottom group, but also the middle group, of the peasantry. Thus a process specifically characteristic of capitalist economy takes place, the middle members are swept away and the extremes are reinforced—the process of “depeasantising.”

7) The differentiation of the peasantry creates a home market for capitalism. In the bottom group, this formation of a market takes place on account of articles of consumption (the market of personal consumption). The rural proletarian, by comparison with the middle peasantry, consumes less, and, moreover, consumes food of worse quality (potatoes instead of bread, etc.), but buys more. The formation and development of a peasant bourgeoisie creates a market in twofold fashion: firstly and mainly on account of means of production (the market of productive consumption), since the well-to-do peasant strives to convert into capital those means of production which he “gathers” from both landlords “in straitened circumstances” and peasants in the grip of ruin. Secondly, a market is also created here on account of personal consumption, due to the expansion of the requirements of the more affluent peasants.[10]

8) On the question of whether the differentiation of the peasantry is progressing, and if so at what rate, we have no precise statistics that can be compared with the data in the combined tables (§§ I-VI). This is not surprising, for till now (as we have already remarked) no attempt whatever has been made to study even the statics of the differentiation of the peasantry systematically and to indicate the forms in which this process is taking place.[11] But all the general data on the economy of our rural districts indicate an uninterrupted and rapidly increasing differentiation: on the one hand, the “peasants” are abandoning and leasing out their land, the number of horseless peasants is growing, the “peasants” are fleeing to the towns, etc.; on the other hand, the “progressive trends in peasant farming” are also taking their course, the “peasants” are buying land, improving their farms, introducing iron ploughs, developing grass cultivation, dairy farming, etc. We now know which “peasants” are taking part in these two diametrically opposite sides of the process.

Furthermore, the development of the migration movement is giving a tremendous impetus to the differentiation of the peasantry, and especially of the agricultural peasantry. It is well known that the migration of peasants is mainly from the agricultural gubernias (migration from the industrial gubernias is quite negligible), and precisely from the densely populated central gubernias, where there is the greatest development of labour-service (which retards the differentiation of the peasantry). That is the first point. The second point is that it is mainly the peasants in medium circumstances who are leaving the areas of emigration and mainly the extreme groups who are remaining at home. Thus, migration is accelerating the differentiation of the peasantry in the areas of emigration and is carrying the elements of differentiation to the new places (the agricultural wage-labour of settlers in Siberia in the first period of their new life.[12] This connection between migration and the differentiation of the peasantry is fully proved by I. Hourwich in his superb research work, Peasant Migration to Siberia (Moscow, 1888). We strongly recommend to the reader this book which our Narodnik press has strenuously tried to hush up.[13]

9) A tremendous part, as is known, is played in our rural districts by merchant’s and usurer’s capital. We consider it superfluous to cite numerous facts and indicate sources relating to this phenomenon: the facts are well known and do not directly concern our theme. The only question of interest to us is the following: What relation has merchant’s and usurer’s capital in our countryside to the differentiation of the peasantry? Is there any connection between the relations among the various groups of peasants described above and the relations between peasant creditors and peasant debtors? Is usury a factor and a motive force of differentiation, or does it retard this differentiation?

Let us first indicate how theory presents this question. In the analysis of capitalist production given by the author of Capital very great significance was attached, as we know, to merchant’s and usurer’s capital. The main points of Marx’s views on this subject are the following: 1) merchant’s and usurer’s capital, on the one hand, and industrial capital[i.e., capital invested in production, whether agricultural or industrial, on the other, represent a single type of economic phenomenon, which is covered by the general formula: the buying of commodities in order to sell at a profit (Das Kapital, I, 2. Abschnitt, Chapter IV, especially pp. 148-149 of the second German edition[21]). 2) Merchant’s and usurer’s capital always historically precede the formation of industrial capital and are logically the necessary premise of its formation (Das Kapital, III, 1, S. 312-316; Russ. trans., pp. 262-265; III, 2, 132-137, 149; Russ. trans., pp. 488-492, 502)[22]; but in themselves neither merchant’s capital nor usurer’s capital represents a sufficient premise for the rise of industrial capital (i.e., capitalist production); they do not always break up the old mode of production and replace it by the capitalist mode of production; the formation of the latter “depends entirely upon the stage of historical development and the attendant circumstances” (ibid., 2, 133; Russ. trans., p. 489).[23] “To what extent they” (commercial and merchant’s capital) “bring about a dissolution of the old mode of production depends on their solidity and internal structure. And whither this process of dissolution will lead, in other words, what new mode of production will replace the old, does not depend on commerce, but on the character of the old mode of production itself” (ibid., III, 1, 316; Russ. trans., 265).[24] 3) The independent development of merchant’s capital is inversely proportional to the degree of development of capitalist production (ibid., S. 312; Russ. trans., 262)[25]; the greater the development of merchant’s and usurer’s capital, the smaller the development of industrial capital (= capitalist production), and vice versa.

Consequently, as applied to Russia, the question to be answered is: Is merchant’s and usurer’s capital being linked up with industrial capital? Are commerce and usury, in disintegrating the old mode of production, leading to its replacement by the capitalist mode of production, or by some other system?[14] These are questions of fact, questions that must be answered in regard to all aspects of the national economy of Russia. As regards peasant cultivation the data reviewed above contain the reply, and an affirmative reply, to this question. The ordinary Narodnik view that the “kulak” and the “enterprising muzhik” are not two forms of one and the same economic phenomenon, but totally unconnected and opposite types of phenomena, is absolutely without foundation. It is one of those Narodnik prejudices which no one has ever even attempted to prove by an analysis of precise economic data. The data indicate the contrary. Whether the peasant hires workers for the purpose of expanding production, whether he trades in land (recall the data quoted above on the large scale of land renting among the rich) or in groceries, or whether he trades in hemp, hay, cattle, etc., or money (usurer), he represents a single economic type, and his operations amount, at bottom, to one and the same economic relation. Furthermore, that in the Russian community village the role of capital is not confined to bondage and usury, that capital is also invested in production, is apparent from the fact that the well-to-do peasant puts his money into the improvement of his farm, into the purchase and renting of land, the acquisition of improved implements, the hiring of workers, etc., and not only into trading establishments and undertakings (see above). If capital in our countryside were incapable of creating anything but bondage and usury, we could not, from the data on production, establish the differentiation of the peasantry, the formation of a rural bourgeoisie and a rural proletariat; the whole of the peasantry would represent a fairly even type of poverty-stricken cultivators, among whom only usurers would stand out, and they only to the extent of money owned and not to the extent and organisation of agricultural production. Finally, from the above-examined data follows the important proposition that the independent development of merchant’s and usurer’s capital in our countryside retards the differentiation of the peasantry. The further the development of commerce proceeds, bringing the country closer to the town, eliminating the primitive village markets and undermining the monopoly of the village shopkeeper, and the more there develop forms of credit that accord with European standards, displacing the village usurer, the further and deeper must the differentiation of the peasantry proceed. The capital of the well-to-do peasants, forced out of petty trade and usury, will flow more abundantly into production, whither it is already beginning to flow.

10) Another important phenomenon in the economy of our countryside that retards the differentiation of the peasantry is the survivals of corvée economy, i.e., labour-service. Labour-service is based on the payment of labour in kind, hence, on a poor development of commodity economy. Labour-service presupposes and requires the middle peasant, one who is not very affluent (otherwise he would not agree to the bondage of labour-service) but is also not a proletarian (to undertake labour-service one must have one’s own implements, one must be at least in some measure a “sound” peasant).

When we said above that the peasant bourgeoisie are the masters of the contemporary countryside, we disregarded the factors retarding differentiation: bondage, usury, labour-service, etc. Actually, the real masters of the contemporary countryside are often enough not the representatives of the peasant bourgeoisie, but the village usurers and the neighbouring landowners. It is, however, quite legitimate to disregard them, for otherwise it is impossible to study the internal system of economic relationships among the peasantry. It is interesting to note that the Narodnik also employs this procedure, only he stops half-way and does not carry his reasoning to its logical conclusion. Speaking of the burden of taxes, etc., in The Destiny of Capitalism, Mr. V. V. observes that due to these reasons “the conditions for a natural (sic!) life no longer exist” (287) for the village community, for the “mir”. Excellent! But the whole question is precisely: what are these “natural conditions” that do not yet exist in our countryside? To obtain a reply to this question one must study the system of economic relationships within the village community, lifting away, if one may so express it, the survivals of pre-Reform times which obscure these “natural conditions” of life in our countryside. Had Mr. V. V. done this, he would have seen that this system of village relationships reveals the absolute differentiation of the peasantry, that the more completely bondage, usury, labour-service, etc., are forced out, the more profoundly will the differentiation of the peasantry proceed.[15] Above we have shown, on the basis of Zemstvo statistics, that this differentiation is already an accomplished fact, that the peasantry have completely split up into opposite groups.


[1] Cf. Das Kapital, I2, S. 527.[26]Lenin

[2] Agricultural Survey of Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia for 1892.—Lenin

[3] In the Russian translation (p. 651 and foll.) this term is given as “trudovaya renta” (“trudovaya” is the adjectival form of “trud”—labour. —Ed.). We think that our translation (“otrabotochnaya renta”—from “otrabotat,” to work off, to pay off by labour. —Ed.) is more correct, for the Russian language contains the specific term “otrabotki” (labour-service) which means precisely the work of the dependent peasant for the landowner.[27]Lenin

[4] A strict distinction must be drawn between money rent and capitalist ground-rent the latter presupposes the existences in agriculture of capitalists and wage-workers; the former the existence of dependent peasants. Capitalist rent is that part of surplus-value which remains after the deduction of the employer’s profit, whereas money rent is the price of the entire surplus product paid by the peasant to the landowner. An example of money rent in Russia is the quit-rent paid by the peasant to the landlord. Undoubtedly, the taxes which our peasants now have to pay represent, in part, money rent. Sometimes peasant renting of land also approximates to the paying of money rent; that is when the high rent the peasant has to pay for the land leaves him no more than a meagre wage.—Lenin

[5] Let us note that the employment of wage-labour is not an essential feature of the concept “petty bourgeoisie.” This concept covers all independent production for the market, where the social system of economy contains the contradictions described by us above (Sec. 2), particularly where the mass of producers are transformed into wage-workers.—Lenin

[6] To prove that it is correct to assign the indigent peasants to the class of allotment-holding wage-workers, one must show not only how, and what sort of, peasants sell labour-power, but also how and what sort of, employers buy labour-power. This will be shown in subsequent chapters.—Lenin

[7] Prof. Conrad considers the criterion for the real peasant in Germany to be ownership of a pair of draught animals (Gespann bauernguter), see Landownership and Agriculture (Moscow, 1896 pp. 84-85). For Russia the criterion should rather be put higher. In defining the concept “peasant,” what Conrad takes is the percentage of persons or households engaged in “hired labour” or “subsidiary industries” generally (ibid.),—Prof Stebut, who cannot be denied authority on questions of fact, wrote in 1882: “Since the fall of serfdom, the peasant with his small economic unit, engaged exclusively in growing grain, that is to say, principally in the central black-earth belt of Russia, has in the majority of cases become an artisan, a farm labourer or a day labourer, for whom agriculture is only a subsidiary occupation” (“Articles on Russian Agriculture, Its Defects and the Measures for Its Improvement,” Moscow, 1883, p. 11) Evidently the artisans here also include wage-workers in industry (building, etc.) However incorrect this use of terms, it is very widespread in our literature, even in specifically economic literature.—Lenin

[8] Lord of the manor.—Ed.

[9] Let us quote examples of the various European forms of wage-labour in agriculture from the Handw\"ort der Staatswiss. (Land ownership and Agriculture, Moscow, 1896). “The peasants’ holding,” says J. Conrad, “must be distinguished from the parcel, from the patch of the ‘ landless peasant’ or the ‘ market gardener,’ the owner of which is obliged to seek additionally outside occupation and employment” (pp. 83-84). “In France, according to the 1881 census, 18 million persons, i.e., somewhat less than half the population, obtained their livelihood in agriculture about 9 million owners of land, 5 million tenant farmers and half-croppers, 4 million day labourers and owners of small plots, or tenants obtaining their livelihood mainly by wage-labour. . . . It is assumed that at least 75% of the agricultural labourers in France have their own land” (p. 233, Goltz). In Germany, the rural workers include the following categories who possess land: 1) cottars, cottagers, gardeners[something like our gift-land peasants]; 2) contract day labourers; they possess land, and hire themselves out for a definite part of the year[cf. our “three-dayers”]. [28] “Contract day labourers constitute the bulk of the agricultural labourers in those parts of Germany where big landed property predominates” (p. 236); 3) agricultural labourers who do their farming on rented land (p. 237).—Lenin

[10] Only this fact that a home market is created by the differentiation of the peasantry can explain, for example, the enormous growth of the home market for cotton goods, the manufacture of which has grown so rapidly in the post-Reform period along with the wholesale ruin of the peasantry. Mr. N.–on, who illustrates his theories about the home market with this very example of our textile industry, was totally unable to explain the existence of this contradictory phenomenon.—Lenin

[11] The sole exception is I. Hourwich’s splendid work The Economics of the Russian Village, New York, 1892. Russ. trans. <<[Transcriber’s Note : Here the title is given in Russian characters.— ]>> Moscow, 1896. One must marvel at the skill with which Mr. Hourwich processed the Zemstvo statistical returns, which furnish no combined tables of groups of peasants according to economic strength.—Lenin

[12] Restriction of migration thus has an enormously retarding effect upon the differentiation of the peasantry.—Lenin

[13] See also Mr. Preemak’s Material in Figures for a Study of Migration to Siberia. (Note to 2nd edition.)—Lenin

[14] Mr V. V. touched upon this question on the very first page of The Destiny of Capitalism, but neither in this nor in any other of his works did he attempt to examine the facts about the relation between merchant’s and industrial capital in Russia. Mr. N.–on, although claiming to be a faithful follower of Marx’s theory, preferred, however, to replace the precise and clear category “merchant’s capital” by the vague and diffuse term of his own coinage—”capitalisation” or “the capitalisation of income”; and under cover of this hazy term successfully evaded, positively evaded, this question. The predecessor of capitalist production in Russia, according to him, is not merchant’s capital, but . . . “people’s production.”[29]Lenin

[15] Incidentally. In speaking of Mr. V. V.’s The Destiny of Capitalism, and particularly of Chapter VI, from which the annotation is taken, one cannot but indicate that it contains very good and quite fair pages. These are the pages where the author does not deal with the “destiny of capitalism” and not even with capitalism at all, but with the methods of exacting taxes. It is characteristic that Mr. V. V. does not notice the inseparable connection between these methods and the survivals of corvée economy, which latter (as we shall see below) he is capable of idealising!—Lenin

[26] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, pp. 504-505. [p. 173]

[16] The Valuyev Commission—the “Commission to Investigate the Condition of Russian Agriculture “ which functioned under the chairmanship of the tsar’s minister P. A. Valuyev. In the years 1872-1873 the Commission collected a large amount of material dealing with the condition of agriculture in post-Reform Russia: Governors’ reports, statements and depositions of landlords, marshals of the nobility, Zemstvo administrations, volost boards, grain merchants, village priests, kulaks, statistical and agricultural societies and other bodies connected with agriculture. This material was published in Papers of the Commission of Inquiry into the Condition of Russian Agriculture, St. Petersburg, 1873.

[27] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 770.

Lenin’s note on the wrong translation of the term “Arbeitsrente” as “trudovaya renta” refers to the translation by Nikolai-on (Danielson) of 1896. [p. 174]

[17] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 776.

[18] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, pp. 777-778.

[19] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 779.

[28] Gift-land peasants, those of the former landlords’ peasants, who, at the time of the Reform of 1861, by “agreement” with their landlords received their allotments as a gift (without having to redeem them). The gilt-lander received a miserable strip, amounting altogether to a quarter of the so-called “top” or “statutory” allotment, i.e., of the allotment established by law for the given locality. All the rest of the lands that had constituted the peasants’ allotments before the Reform were seized by the landlord, who held his “gift-landers,” forcibly dispossessed of their land, in a state of economic bondage even after serfdom was abolished.

Three-dayers,” a category of allotment-holding agricultural wage-workers. Farming the land he held on a poverty level, the “three-dayer” was a day labourer who, in return for grain or 20 to 30 rubles in cash, had to agree to conditions of bondage or pay off the debt by working three days a week throughout the summer on the farm of the kulak or the landlord who made the loan. This type of allotment-holding agricultural labourer was met with on a particularly extensive scale in the north western gubernias of tsarist Russia.

[20] Ostsee region—the Baltic region of tsarist Russia, which included the gubernias of Esthland, Courland and Liflandia. This area is now the territory of the Latvian and Estonian Soviet Socialist Republics.

[21] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, pp. 163-165.

[22] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, pp. 322-327, 580-584, 595-596.

[23] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 581.

[24] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 326.

[25] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 323.

[29] The Narodnik theory of “people’s production” is criticised by Lenin in his earlier work What the “Friends of the People” Are and How They Fight the Social-Democrats. (See present edition, Vol. 1.)

  XII. Zemstvo Statistics On Peasant Budgets |  

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