Vladimir Ilyich Lenin


Chapter VIII. The Formation of the Home Market

II. The Growth of the Commercial and Industrial Population

We have stated above that the growth of the industrial population at the expense of the agricultural is a requisite phenomenon of every capitalist society. In what way the separation of industry from agriculture steadily takes place has also been examined, and now all that remains is to sum up on this question.

1) The Growth of the Towns

The most striking expression of the process under examination is the growth of the towns. Here are data on this growth in European Russia (50 gubernias) in the post Reform period[1]:

V. I. Lenin’s grouping of towns in European Russia according to the population census of 1897

Thus, the percentage of urban population is constantly growing, that is, the population is being diverted from agriculture into commercial and industrial occupations.[2] The population of the towns is growing twice as fast as that of the rest of the country: from 1863 to 1897 the total population increased 53.3%, the rural 48.5%, while the urban increased 97%. Over a period of 11 years (1885-1897) “the influx, at a minimum, of the rural population into the towns” was 2 1/2 million persons, according to Mr. V. Mikhailovsky’s estimate,[3] i.e., more than 200,000 per annum.

The population of towns that are important industrial and commercial centres is growing much more rapidly than the urban population generally. The number of towns with 50,000 and more inhabitants more than trebled between 1863 and 1897 (13 and 44). In 1863, of the total urban population only about 27% (1.7 million out of 6.1) were concentrated in such large centres; in 1885 it was nearly 41% (4.1 million out of 9.9),[4] and in 1897 it was already more than half, about 53% (6.4 million out of 12 million). In the 1860s, therefore, the smaller towns provided the general pattern of the urban population, but in the 1890s they were completely outweighed by the big cities. The population of the 14 towns that had been the biggest in 1863 increased from 1.7 million inhabitants to 4.3 million, i.e., by 153%, whereas the overall urban population increased by only 97% . Hence, the enormous growth of large industrial centres and the emergence of a large number of new centres is one of the most characteristic features of the post-Reform period.

2) The Significance of Home Colonisation

As we have pointed out above (Chapter I, § II, p. 40), theory deduces the law that the industrial population grows at the expense of the agricultural from the fact that in industry variable capital increases absolutely (the growth of variable capital means a growth of the number of industrial workers and a growth of the total commercial and industrial population), whereas in agriculture the “variable capital required for the exploitation of a certain plot of land decreases absolutely.” “It can thus only increase,” Marx adds, “to the extent that new land is taken into cultivation, but this again requires as a prerequisite a still greater growth of the non-agricultural population.”[44] Hence it is clear that the growth of the industrial population is a phenomenon observable in its pure form only when we have before us an already populated territory in which all the land is already occupied. The inhabitants of such a territory, when forced-out of agriculture by capitalism, have no other alternative but to migrate to the industrial centres or to other countries. But the situation is essentially different when we have before us a territory in which not all the land is occupied, and which is not yet fully populated. The inhabitants of such a territory, when forced out of agriculture in a populated area, may remove to an unpopulated part of that territory and set about “taking new land into cultivation.” The result will be an increase in the agricultural population, and this increase may be (for some time) no less, if not more, rapid than the increase in the industrial population. In that case, we have before us two different processes: 1) the development of capitalism in the old, populated country or part of the country; 2) the development of capitalism on “new land.” The first process expresses the further development of established capitalist relationships; the second, the rise of new capitalist relationships on new territory. The first process means the development of capitalism in depth, the second, in breadth. Obviously, to confuse these two processes must inevitably lead to a wrong conception of the process which diverts the population from agriculture to commercial and industrial occupations.

Post-Reform Russia affords us an example of the two processes going on simultaneously. At the beginning of the post-Reform period, in the 60s, the southern and eastern outer regions of European Russia were largely unpopulated, and there was an enormous influx into those areas of migrants from the central agricultural part of Russia. It was this formation of a new agricultural population on new territory that to some extent obscured the parallel process of the diversion of the population from agriculture to industry. To get a clear picture, from data on the urban population, of the specific feature of Russia here described, we must divide the 50 gubernias of European Russia into separate groups. We give data on the urban population in 9 areas of European Russia in 1863 and in 1897 (see p. 564).


As far as the question that interests us is concerned, the greatest importance attaches to three areas: 1) the non-agricultural industrial area (the 11 gubernias in the first two groups, including the 2 metropolitan gubernias).[5] This is an area from which migration to other areas has been very slight. 2) The central agricultural area (the 13 gubernias in group 3). Migration from this area has been very consider able, partly to the previous area, but mainly to the next. 3) The agricultural outer regions (the 9 gubernias in group 4) constitute an area that has been colonised in the post-Reform period. The percentage of urban population in all these 33 gubernias differs very little, as the table shows, from the percentage of urban population in European Russia as a whole.

In the first area, the non-agricultural or industrial, we observe a particularly rapid rise in the percentage of urban population: from 14.1% to 21.1%. The growth of the rural population is here very slight, being little more than half of that for the whole of Russia. The growth of the urban population, on the other hand, is considerably above the average (105% as against 97%). If Russia is to be compared with West-European industrial countries (as is often done here), then these countries should be compared with just this one area, for it alone has conditions approximately similar to those of the industrial capitalist countries.

In the second, the central agricultural area, we see a different picture. The percentage of urban population here is very low and grows with less than average rapidity. The increase in the population between 1863 and 1897, both urban and rural, was much below the average for Russia. This is to be explained by the vast stream of migrants from this area to the border regions. According to Mr. V. Mikhailovsky’s calculations, between 1885 and 1897 nearly 3 million people, or more than one-tenth of the population left these parts.[6]

In the third area, the outer regions, we see that the percentage of urban population underwent an increase that was slightly below the average (from 11.2% to 13.3%, i.e., in the proportion of 100 : 118, whereas the average is from 9.94 to 12.76, i.e., in the proportion of 100 : 128). And yet the absolute growth of the urban population here, far from being less, was considerably above the average (+130% as against +97%). The diversion of population from agriculture to industry has, consequently, been very intense, but it is hidden by the enormous growth of the agricultural population as a result of influx: in this area the rural population increased by 87%, as against an average for Russia of 48.5%. In certain gubernias this obscuring of the process of the industrialisation of the population is still more striking. For instance, in Taurida Gubernia the percentage of urban population was the same in 1897 as in 1863 (19.6%), and in Kherson Gubernia actually declined (from 25.9% to 25.4%), although the growth of the towns in both the gubernias was not far behind that of the metropolitan cities (+131%, +135%, as against +141% in the two metropolitan gubernias). The rise of a new agricultural population on new territory thus leads, in turn, to a still greater growth of the non-agricultural population.

3) The Growth of Factory and of Commercial and Industrial Townships and Villages

In addition to the towns, the following have the significance of industrial centres: firstly, suburbs, which are not always counted with the towns and which are spreading in an increasing area around the big towns; and secondly, factory townships and villages. Such industrial centres[7] are particularly numerous in the industrial gubernias where the percentage of urban population is extremely low.[8] The above table containing the data, by areas, of the town population shows that in the 9 industrial gubernias the percentage in 1863 was 7.3% and in 1897, 8.6%. The fact is that the commercial and industrial population of these gubernias is concentrated mainly, not in towns, but in industrial villages. Among the “towns” of Vladimir, Kostroma, Nizhni-Novgorod and other gubernias there are not a few with less than 3,000, 2,000 or even 1,000 inhabitants, where as there are numerous “villages” in each of which there are 2,000, 3,000 or 5,000 factory workers alone. In the post-Reform period, rightly observes the compiler of the Survey of Yaroslavl Gubernia (Vol. II., 191),“the towns have begun to grow still faster, and in addition there has been the growth of settlements of a new type, a type of factory centre midway between the town and the village.” We have cited data showing the enormous growth of these centres and the number of factory workers concentrated in them. We have seen that there are quite a few centres of this kind throughout Russia, not only in the industrial gubernias, but also in the South. In the Urals the percentage of urban population is lowest: in Vyatka and Perm gubernias it was 3.2% in 1863 and 4.7% in 1897. But here is an example of the relative size of the “urban” and the industrial populations: in Krasnoufimsk Uyezd, Perm Gubernia, the urban population numbers 6,400 (1897), whereas according to the Zemstvo census of 1888-1891, the population of the industrial section of the uyezd numbers 84,700, of whom 56,000 do not engage in agriculture at all, and only 5,600 obtain their livelihood mainly from the land. In Ekaterinburg Uyezd, according to the Zemstvo census, 65,000 inhabitants are landless and 81,000 have only meadow land. Hence, the industrial non-urban population of two uyezds alone is larger than the urban population of the whole gubernia (in 1897 it was 195,600!).

Finally, in addition to factory settlements, the significance of industrial centres attaches to the trading and industrial villages, which are either at the head of large handicraft districts, or have developed rapidly since the Reform, owing to their situation on the banks of rivers, near railway stations, etc. Several examples of such villages were given in Chapter VI, § II, and we saw that, like the towns, they attract the rural population, and that they are usually marked by a level of literacy among the population above the average.[9] As a further example let us quote data on Voronezh Gubernia in order to show the relative importance of urban and non-urban industrial and commercial centres of population. The Combined Returns for Voronezh Gubernia gives a combined table classifying the villages in 8 uyezds of the gubernia. In these uyezds there are 8 towns, with a population of 56,149 (in 1897). Of the villages, on the other hand, 4 stand out with 9,376 households, and with 53,732 inhabitants, i.e., they are much bigger than the towns. In 5 these villages there are 240 commercial and 404 industrial establishments. Of the total households, 60% do not cultivate at all, 21% cultivate by neighbour-hire or on a half-crop basis, 71% have neither draught animals nor implements, 63% buy grain all year round, 86% engage in industries. By placing the entire population of these centres in the category of commercial and industrial, we not only do not exaggerate, but rather minimise, the size of the latter, for altogether in these 8 uyezds 21,956 households cultivate no land at all. Nevertheless, in the agricultural gubernia we have taken, the commercial and industrial population outside the towns turns out to be not less than that inside the towns.

4) Non-Agricultural Outside Employments

But even if we add to the towns the factory and commercial and industrial villages and townships we are far from exhausting the total industrial population of Russia. The lack of freedom of movement and the social-estate exclusiveness of the village community fully explain the remarkable characteristic of Russia that we have to include no small part of the rural population in its industrial population, that part which obtains its livelihood by working in industrial centres and spends part of the year in these centres. We refer to the so-called non-agricultural “outside employments.” From the official point of view, these “industrialists” are peasant farmers who merely have “subsidiary employments,” and the majority of the Narodnik economists have, without further ado, adopted that viewpoint. There is no need, after what has been said above, to prove in detail how unsound it is. At all events, however much opinions on it may vary, there cannot be the slightest doubt that it indicates a diversion of the population from agriculture into commercial and industrial occupations.[10] How far this fact changes our idea of the size of the industrial population in the towns may be seen from the following example. In Kaluga Gubernia the percentage of urban population is much lower than the average for Russia (8.3%, as against 12.8%). Now the Statistical Survey of that gubernia for 1896 calculates, on the basis of passport data, the total number of months during which migratory workers were absent from their homes. It appears that the total is 1,491,600 months; divided by 12 this will give an absent population of 124,300 persons, i.e., “nearly 11% of the total population ” (loc. cit., 46)! Add this number to the urban population (in 1897—97,900), and the percentage of industrial population will be a very considerable one.

Of course, a certain part of the migratory non-agricultural workers are registered among the existing town population, and are also part of the population of the non-urban industrial centres to which we have already referred. But only a part, for owing to the mobile character of this section of the population, it is difficult to cover them by any local census; furthermore, population censuses are usually taken in the winter, whereas most of these industrial workers leave their homes in the spring. Here are data for some of the principal gubernias of non-agricultural migration.[11]

Percentage distribution of residential permits issued.

The number of passports issued reaches the maximum everywhere in the spring. Hence, a large part of the temporarily absent workers are not included in the censuses of the towns.[12] But these temporary town-dwellers may also more legitimately be assigned to the urban rather than the rural population. “A family which gets its livelihood throughout the year, or during the greater part of it, in the town has far more reason to regard the town, which provides its subsistence, as its place of domicile than the village, with which it has only family and fiscal ties.”[13] The enormous significance these fiscal ties have to this day can be seen from the fact, for instance, that among migratory Kostroma people “it is a rare thing for peasants to get for it [the land] some small part of the taxes to be paid; usually they lease it on the sole condition that the tenants put it to use, the owner himself paying all the taxes” (D. Zhbankov, Women’s Country, Kostroma, 1891, p. 21). In the Survey of Yaroslavl Gubernia (Vol. II, Yaroslavl, 1896), we also find repeated references to migratory industrial workers having to purchase their release from their villages and allotments (pp. 28, 48, 149, 150, 166 and others).[14]

How many migratory non-agricultural workers are there? The number of people engaged in all kinds of industries employing migratory workers is not less than from 5 to 6 millions. In fact, in 1884, about 4.67 million passports and identity cards were issued in European Russia,[15] and passport revenue grew between 1884 and 1894 by more than one-third (from 3.3 to 4.5 million rubles). In 1897 the total number of passports and cards issued in Russia was 9,495,700 (of which 9,333,200 were issued in the 50 gubernias of European Russia). In 1898 the number was 8,259,900 (European Russia, 7,809,600).[16] The number of workers superfluous (as compared with local demand) in European Russia has been estimated by Mr. S. Korolenko at 6.3 million. Above we have seen (Chapter III, § IX, p. 239) that in 11 agricultural gubernias the number of passports issued exceeded Mr. Korolenko’s estimate (2 million as against 1.7 million). Now we can add the data for 6 non-agricultural gubernias: Mr. Korolenko sets the number of superfluous workers in these at 1,287,800, while the number of passports issued was 1,298,600.[17] Thus, in 17 gubernias of European Russia (11 black-earth, plus 6 non-black earth) there are, according to Mr. Korolenko, 3 million workers who are superfluous (as against the local demand). In the 90s, however, the number of passports and cards issued in these 17 gubernias was 3.3 million. In 1891, these gubernias provided 52.2% of the total passport revenue. Hence, the number of migratory workers in all probability exceeds 6 million. Finally, Zemstvo statistical data (most of which are obsolete) led Mr. Uvarov to the conclusion that Mr. Korolenko’s figure was close to the truth, and that the figure of 5 million migratory workers was “very highly probable.”[18]

The question now arises: how large is the number of non-agricultural and of agricultural migratory workers? Mr. N.–on very boldly and quite mistakenly asserts that “the overwhelming majority of peasant outside employments are agricultural” (Sketches, p. 16). Chaslavsky, whom Mr. N.–on cites, expresses himself much more cautiously; he cites no data and limits himself to general remarks about the size of the areas which provide workers of one type or another. On the other hand, Mr. N.–on’s railway passenger traffic data prove absolutely nothing, for non-agricultural workers also leave their homes mainly in spring and, moreover, use the railways much more than agricultural workers do.[19] We presume, on the contrary, that the majority (although not the “overwhelming” majority) of the migratory workers are probably non-agricultural workers. This view is based, firstly, on data concerning the distribution of passport revenue, and, secondly, on Mr. Vesin’s data. Years ago Flerovsky, on the basis of the returns for 1862-63 showing the distribution of revenue from “miscellaneous duties” (more than one-third of which was obtained from the issue of passports), drew the conclusion that the greatest movement of peasants in search of work was from the metropolitan and the non-agricultural gubernias.[20] If we take the 11 non-agricultural gubernias which we combined above (part 2 of this section) into a single area, and which non-agricultural workers leave in large numbers, we shall see that these gubernias in 1885 contained only 18.7% of the population of all European Russia (in 1897— 18.3%), whereas they accounted for 42.9% of the passport revenue in 1885 (in 1891—40.7%).[21] Non-agricultural workers are provided by very many other gubernias, and we must there fore conclude that agricultural workers constitute less than half of the migrants. Mr. Vesin divides 38 gubernias of European Russia (which account for 90% of the departure permits) into groups according to the different types of migration that predominate, and obtains the following results.[22]

Number of departure permits issued.

“These figures show that industries employing migratory workers are more prevalent in the first group than in the third. . . . These figures also show that there is a diversity in the duration of absence to secure employment corresponding to the difference in the groups. Where non-agricultural industries employing migratory workers predominate, the length of absence is much greater” (Dyelo, 1886, No. 7, p. 134).

Finally, the statistics given above for excise-paying trades, etc., enable us to classify the residential permits issued in all the 50 gubernias of European Russia. Making the indicated corrections to Mr. Vesin’s classification, and distributing among these same groups the 12 gubernias for which figures are lacking for 1884 (Olonets and Pskov gubernias to group I; the 9 Baltic and North-West gubernias to group II; and Astrakhan Gubernia to group III), we get the following picture:

Total residential permits issued.


Migration for work away from home, according to these data, is much more prevalent in group I than in group III.

Thus, there can be no doubt that the mobility of the population is far greater in Russia’s non-agricultural zone than in the agricultural. The number of non-agricultural migratory workers must be greater than that of the agricultural, and must be not less than three million.

The enormous and ever-increasing growth of migration is confirmed by all sources. Passport revenue increased from 2.1 million rubles in 1868 (1.75 million rubles in 1866) to 4.5 million rubles in 1893-94, i.e., it more than doubled. The number of passports and identity cards issued increased in Moscow Gubernia between 1877 and 1885 by 20% (males) and 53% (females); in Tver Gubernia, between 1893 and 1896 by 5.6%, in Kaluga Gubernia, between 1885 and 1895 by 23% (and the number of months of absence by 26%); in Smolensk Gubernia, from 100,000 in 1875 to 117,000 in 1885 and 140,000 in 1895; in Pskov Gubernia, from 11,716 in 1865-1875 to 14,944 in 1876 and to 43,765 in 1896 (males). In Kostroma Gubernia, in 1868, 23.8 passports and cards per 100 males were issued and 0.85 per 100 females, and in 1880—33.1 and 2.2. And so on and so forth.

Like the diversion of the population from agriculture to the towns, non-agricultural migration is a progressive phenomenon. It tears the population out of the neglected, backward, history-forgotten remote spots and draws them into the whirlpool of modern social life. It increases literacy among the population,[24] heightens their understanding,[25] and gives them civilised habits and requirements.[26] The peasants are induced to migrate by “motives of a higher order,” i.e., by the greater smartness and polish of the Petersburger; they look for places where “things are better.” “Life and work in Petersburg are considered to be easier than in the country.”[27] “All country-folk are called raw, and the strange thing is that they are not in the least offended at this, but refer to themselves as such and complain that their parents did not send them to St. Petersburg to study. It should be stated, however, that these raw country people are not nearly so raw as those in the purely agricultural districts; they unconsciously copy the outward appearance and the habits of the Petersburgers; the light of the metropolis falls indirectly on them.”[28] In Yaroslavl Gubernia (apart from examples of people growing rich) “there is still another cause which drives everyone from his home. That is—public opinion, which dubs a bumpkin to the end of his days anybody who has not lived in Peters burg, or somewhere else, but engages in agriculture or some handicraft, and such a man finds it hard to get a wife” (Survey of Yaroslavl Gubernia, II, 118). Migration to the town elevates the peasant as a citizen, releasing him from the host of patriarchal and personal relationships of dependence and social-estate divisions so strongly entrenched in the rural districts....[29] “A prime factor that fosters migration is the growing sense of human dignity among the people. Liberation from serf dependence, and the long-standing association of the more active section of the rural population with town life, have long since roused the desire in the Yaroslavl peasant to uphold his ‘ego,’ to get away from the state of poverty and dependence to which rural life has doomed him, to a state of sufficiency, independence and respect. . . . The peasant who lives on outside earnings feels freer and more on a level of equality with people belonging to other social estates, which is why the rural youth are so eager to go to the town” (Survey of Yaroslavl Gubernia, II, 189-190).

Migration to the towns loosens the old patriarchal family ties and places women in a more independent position, on an equal footing with men. “Compared with those in the localities of no migration, the families of Soligalich and Chukhloma” (the uyezds of Kostroma Gubernia where migration is greatest) “are much less closely knit, not only in the sense of the patriarchal authority of the older, but even in the relations between parents and children, husband and wife. One cannot, of course, expect strong affection for their parents and attachment to the parental home from sons who are sent to Petersburg from the age of 12; unconsciously they become cosmopolitans: ‘where it is well, there is my country.’”[30] “Accustomed to dispense with the authority and assistance of her husband, the Soligalich woman is quite unlike the downtrodden peasant woman of the agricultural zone: she is independent and self-reliant. . . . Wife-beating is a rare exception here. . . . Generally speaking, equality between women and men is to be observed almost everywhere and in all things.”[31]

Last but not least,[32] non-agricultural migration raises the wages not only of the wage-workers who migrate but also of those who stay behind.

This fact is most strikingly reflected in the general circumstance that the non-agricultural gubernias where wages are higher than in the agricultural gubernias, attract agricultural workers from the latter.[33] Here are some interesting data for Kaluga Gubernia:

Monthly earnings

“These figures fully illustrate the phenomena . . . 1) that migration for work in industry helps to raise wages in agriculture, and 2) that it attracts the best forces of the population.”[34] Not only money wages, but real wages also rise. In the group of uyezds from which not fewer than 60 out of every 100 working people migrate the average wage of the farm labourer employed by the year is 69 rubles, or 123 poods of rye; in the uyezds where from 40 to 60% migrate, it is 64 rubles, or 125 poods of rye; in the uyezds which supply less than 40% of the migrants, it is 59 rubles, or 116 poods of rye.[35] In these same groups of uyezds the percentage of letters of complaint about a shortage of labour steadily drops: 58%, 42% and 35%. In manufacturing industry wages are higher than in agriculture, and “the industries, according to the statements of numerous correspondents, help to develop new requirements (tea, calico, boots, clocks, etc.) among the peasant population, raise their general standard of living, and in this way bring about a rise in wages.”[36] Here is a typical view by a correspondent: “The shortage [of labour] is always acute, and the reason is that the suburban population is spoilt, it works in the railway workshops and serves on the railways. The nearness of Kaluga and its markets always attract the surrounding inhabitants, who come to sell eggs, milk, etc., and then engage in orgies of drunkenness in the taverns; the reason is that everybody wants to get the highest pay for the least work. To be an agricultural labourer is considered a disgrace : all strive to get to the town, where they swell the ranks of the proletariat and the riff-raff; the countryside, on the other hand, suffers from a shortage of capable and healthy labourers.”[37] We would be quite justified in describing this appraisal of industries employing migratory workers as Narodist. Mr. Zhbankov, for instance, while pointing out that those who migrate are not superfluous but “necessary” workers whose places are taken by entering peasants, considers it “obvious” that “such mutual replacements are very disadvantageous.”[38] For whom, dear Mr. Zhbankov? “Life in the capitals cultivates many civilised habits of the lower order and an inclination to luxury and showiness, and this results in a useless (sic !!) waste of money”[39]; the expenditure on this showiness, etc., is largely “unproductive” (!!)[40] Mr. Hertzenstein positively howls about the “sham culture,” “the riotous living,” “wild carousing,” “orgies of drunkenness and filthy debauchery,” etc.[41] From the fact of wholesale migration the Moscow statisticians draw the outright conclusion that it is necessary to take “measures that would diminish the need for migratory labour.”[42] Mr. Karyshev argues about migratory labour as follows: “Only an increase in the peasants’ holdings to a size sufficient to provide the main (!) requirements of their families can solve this most serious problem of our national economy.”[43]

And it does not occur to any of these serene-spirited gentlemen that before talking about “solving most serious problems,” one must see to it that the peasants obtain complete freedom of movement, freedom to give up their land and leave the community, freedom to settle (without having to pay “riddance” money) in any community, urban or rural, whatsoever!

And so the diversion of the population from agriculture is expressed, in Russia, in the growth of the towns (a growth partly obscured by home colonisation), suburbs, factory and commercial and industrial villages and townships, as well as in non-agricultural migration. All these processes, which have been and are rapidly developing in breadth and depth in the post-Reform period, are necessary components of capitalist development and are profoundly progressive as compared with the old forms of life.


[1] For 1863 the figures are from the Statistical Chronicle (I, 1866) and the Military Statistical Abstract. The figures of the urban population of the Orenburg and Ufa gubernias have been corrected according to the tables of towns. That is why our figure for the total urban population is 6,105,100 and not 6,087,100 as given in the Military Statistical Abstract.—For 1885 the data are from Returns for Russia for 1884-85.—For 1897 the figures are those of the returns of the census of January 28, 1897. (First General Census of the Population of the Russian Empire, 1897, Central Statistical Committee, St. Petersburg, 1897 and 1898, Pts. 1 and 2.) The permanent urban population, according to the 1897 census, was 11,830,500, i.e., 12.55%. We have taken the existing population of the towns.—Let us observe that we cannot vouch for the figures for 1863, 1885 and 1897 being absolutely uniform and comparable. For that reason we limit our comparison to the most general proportions and give the data for the big towns separately.—Lenin

[2] “The number of urban settlements of an agricultural character is extremely small and the number of their inhabitants is quite insignificant compared with the total number of town-dwellers.” (Mr Grigoryev in The Influence of Harvests and Grain Prices, Vol. II; p. 126.)—Lenin

[3] Novoye Slovo, June 1897, p. 113.—Lenin

[4] Mr. Grigoryev gives a table (loc, cit., 140) which shows that in 1885 of all towns 85.6% had less than 20,000 inhabitants each; 38% of all town-dwellers were living in them; 12.4% of the towns (82 out of 660) had less than 2,000 inhabitants each, and only 1.1% of all town-dwellers (110,000 out of 9,962,000) were living in them.—Lenin

[5] That we are right in combining with the metropolitan gubernias the non-agricultural gubernias taken by us is borne out by the fact that the population of the metropolitan cities is augmented chiefly by migrants from these gubernias. According to the Petersburg census of December 15,1890, there were in that city 726,000 members of the peasant and the burgher estates, of these, 544,000 (i.e., three fourths) were members of the peasant and the burgher estates from the 11 gubernias out of which we constituted area No. 1.—Lenin

[6] Loc. cit., p. 109. “This movement has no parallel in the modern history of Western Europe” (110-111).—Lenin

[7] See above, Chapter VII, § VIII, and Appendix III to Chapter VII.—Lenin

[8] On the significance of this circumstance, to which Korsak in his day drew attention, compare the just remarks of Mr. Volgin (loc. cit., pp. 215-216).—Lenin

[9] How numerous in Russia are villages that constitute very big centres of population may be judged from the following (though obsolete) data of the Military Statistical Abstract : in 25 gubernias of European Russia there were in the 60s a total of 1,334 villages with over 2,000 inhabitants each. Of them, 108 had from 5,000 to 10,000 inhabitants, 6 from 10,000 to 15,000, 1 from 15,000 to 20,000 and 1 over 20,000 (p. 169). The development of capitalism in all countries, not only in Russia, has led to the rise of new industrial centres not officially classified as towns. “Differences between town and country are obliterated, near growing industrial towns this takes place due to the removal of industrial enterprises and workers’ dwellings to the suburbs and outskirts of the towns; near declining small towns it takes place due to the merging of the latter with the surrounding villages and also to the development of large industrial villages. . . . Differences between the urban and rural populated areas are eliminated due to numerous transitional formations. Statisticians have recognised this long ago, and instead of the historico-juridical concept of the town have adopted the statistical concept, which distinguishes centres of population solely according to the number of inhabitants” (B\"ucher, Die Entstehung der Volkswirtschaft, T\"ubingen, 1893, S. 296-297 and 303-304). In this respect also Russian statistics lag far behind European statistics. In Germany and in France (Statesman’s Yearbook, pp. 536, 474) under towns are placed centres of population having more than 2,000 inhabitants, and in England “net urban sanitary districts,” i.e., also factory villages, etc. Hence, Russian data on the “urban” population are not at all comparable with European.—Lenin

[10] Mr. N.–on has not noticed at all in Russia the process of the industrialisation of the population! Mr. V. V. observed it and admitted that the growth of migration expresses a diversion of the population from agriculture (The Destiny of Capitalism, 149); however, far from including this process in the sum-total of his views on the “destiny of capitalism,” he tried to hush it up with lamentations about the point that “there are people who find all this very natural” (for capitalist society? Can Mr. V. V. imagine capitalism without this phenomenon?) “and almost desirable” (ibid.). It is desirable without the “almost,” Mr. V. V.!—Lenin

[11] Residential Permits Issued to the Peasant Population of Moscow Gubernia in 1880 and 1885.—Statistical Yearbook of Tver Gubernia for 1897.—Zhbankov: Industries Employing Migratory Workers in Smolensk Gubernia, Smolensk, 1896.—Same author’s: The Influence of Industries Employing Migratory Workers, etc., Kostroma, 1887.—Industries of the Peasant Population of Pskov Gubernia, Pskov, 1898.—Mistakes in the percentages for Moscow Gubernia could not be corrected because there were no absolute figures.—For Kostroma Gubernia only uyezd figures are available, and then only in percentages. We had, therefore, to take the average of the uyezd figures, and for this reason we give the data for Kostroma Gubernia separately. As regards Yaroslavl Gubernia, it is estimated that of the migratory industrialists 68.7% are absent all year round: 12.6% in the autumn and winter, and 18.7% in the spring and summer. We would observe that the data for Yaroslavl Gubernia (Survey of Yaroslavl Gubernia, Vol. II, Yaroslavl, 1896) are not comparable with the preceding ones, since they are based on the statements of priests, etc., and not on passport data.—Lenin

[12] It is known, for instance, that in the suburbs of St. Petersburg the population increases very considerably in the summer.—Lenin

[13] Statistical Survey of Kaluga Gubernia for 1896, Kaluga, 1897, p. in Sec. II.—Lenin

[14] “Industries employing migratory workers . . . are a form that obscures the uninterrupted growth of the towns. . . . Communal land tenure and various peculiarities of the financial and administrative life of Russia do not allow the peasant to become a town-dweller as easily as in the West. . . . Legal threads sustain his (the migratory worker’s) tie with the village, but actually by occupation, habits and tastes he has become completely assimilated with the town and often regards this tie with his village as irksome” (Russkaya Mysl, 1896, No. 11, p. 227). That is very true, but for a publicist is not enough. Why did not the author declare definitely for complete freedom of movement, for the freedom of the peasant to leave the village community? Our liberals are still afraid of our Narodniks. But they have no reason to be.

And here, for purposes of comparison, are the views of a sympathiser with Narodism, Mr. Zhbankov: “Migration to the towns is, as it were, a lightning conductor (sic!) against the rapid growth of the capitals and big cities and the increase of the urban and landless proletariat. Both from the sanitary and from the social and economic points of view, this influence of industries employing migratory workers should be regarded as beneficial: so long as the masses of the people are not completely divorced from the land, which provides the migratory workers with some security” (a “security” they pay money to break with!), “these workers cannot become the blind instruments of capitalist production, and the hope remains of organising agricultural-industrial communes” (Yuridichesky Vestnik, 1890, No. 9 p 145). Is not the retention of petty-bourgeois hopes really beneficial? As for “blind instruments,” the experience of Europe and all the facts observed in Russia show that this description is far more applicable to the worker who retains his ties with the land and with patriarchal relationships than to the one who has broken these ties. The figures and facts given by Mr. Zhbankov himself show that the migratory “Petersburger” is more literate, cultured and developed than the settled Kostromer in some “backwoods” uyezd.—Lenin

[15] L. Vesin, The Significance of Industries Employing Migratory Workers, etc., Dyelo (Business ), 1886, No. 7, and 1887, No. 2.—Lenin

[16] Statistics of Excise-Paying Trades, etc., for 1897-1898, St. Petersburg, 1900. Published by Head Office of Non-Assessed Taxes Department.—Lenin

[17] Gubernias: Moscow (1885, obsolete data), Tver (1896), Kostroma (1892), Smolensk (1895), Kaluga (1895), Pskov (1896). The sources have been indicated above. The data refer to all departure permits, male and female.—Lenin

[18] Vestnik obshchestvennoi gigieny, sudebnoi i prakticheskoi meditsiny (Journal of Public Hygiene and of Forensic and Practical Medicine ), July, 1896. M. Uvarov: The Influence of Industry Employing Migratory Workers on the Sanitary Conditions of Russia. M. Uvarov gathered the data for 126 uyezds of 20 gubernias.—Lenin

[19] Cf. above, p. 239, footnote.—Lenin

[20] The Condition of the Working Class in Russia, St. Petersburg, 1869, p. 400 and foll.—Lenin

[21] Data on passport revenue taken from Returns for Russia for 1884-85 and for 1896. In 1885, passport revenue in European Russia amounted to 37 rubles per 1,000 inhabitants; in the 11 non-agricultural gubernias it was 86 rubles per 1,000 inhabitants.—Lenin

[22] The last two columns in the table have been added by us. Group 1 includes the following gubernias: Archangel, Vladimir, Vologda Vyatka, Kaluga, Kostroma, Moscow, Novgorod, Perm, St. Petersburg, Tver, Yaroslavl; group II: Kazan, Nizhni-Novgorod, Ryazan, Tula, Smolensk; group III: Bessarabia, Volhynia, Voronezh, Ekaterinoslav, Don, Kiev, Kursk, Orenburg, Orel, Penza, Podolsk, Poltava, Samara, Saratov, Simbirsk, Taurida, Tambov, Ufa, Kharkov, Kherson, Chernigov.—We must mention that this classification contains some inaccuracies exaggerating the proportion of migration for agricultural work. The gubernias of Smolensk, Nizhni-Novgorod and Tula should be included in group I (cf. Agricultural Survey of Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia for 1896, Chapter XI—Tula Gubernia Handbook for 1895, Section VI, p. 10: the number of persons leaving for work away from their homes is given as 188,000—but Mr. Korolenko calculated that there were only 50,000 superfluous workers!—the 6 northern, non-black-earth uyezds accounting for 107,000 migrants.) Kursk Gubernia should be included in group II (S. Korolenko, loc. cit.: from 7 uyezds the majority leave for handicraft, and from the remaining 8 all leave for agricultural industries). Unfortunately, Mr. Vesin does not give the number, by gubernias, of departure permits issued.—Lenin

[23] * Incidentally, the author of the survey of these data (loc. cit., Chapter VI, p. 639) ascribes the decrease in the number of passports issued in 1898 to the drop in the migration of summer workers to the southern gubernias resulting from the bad harvest and the widespread use of machinery in agriculture. This explanation is of no value whatever, since the number of residential permits issued declined least in group III and most in group I. Are the methods of registration in 1897 and in 1898 comparable? (Note to 2nd edition.)—Lenin

[24] Zhbankov: The Influence of Industries Employing Migratory Workers, etc., p. 36 and foll. The percentage of literate males in the uyezds of Kostroma Gubernia from which there is migration is 55.9%; in the factory uyezds, 34.9%, in the settled (forest) uyezds, 25.8%; of literate females: 3.5%, 2.0% and 1.3%; school children: 1.44%, 1.43%, and 1.07%. Children in uyezds from which there is migration also attend school in St. Petersburg.—Lenin

[25] “The literate Petersburgers take a positively better and more intelligent attitude to medical treatment” (ibid., 34), so that infectious diseases are not so fatal among them as in the “little-cultured ” volosts (author’s italics).—Lenin

[26] “The uyezds from which there is migration are much superior to the agricultural and forest localities in the arrangement of their lives. . . . The clothes of the Petersburgers are much cleaner, smarter and more hygienic. . . . The children are kept cleaner, and that is why the itch and other skin diseases are not so frequent among them” (ibid., 39. Cf. Industries Employing Migratory Workers in Smolensk Gubernia, p. 8). “The villages from which there is migration differ considerably from those from which there is none: houses, clothes, habits and amusements remind one more of town than of village life” (Industries Employing Migratory Workers in Smolensk Gubernia, p. 3). In the volosts of Kostroma Gubernia from which there is migration “you find paper, ink, pencils and pens in half the houses” (Women’s Country, 67-68).—Lenin

[27] Women’s Country, 26-27, 15.—Lenin

[28] Ibid., p. 27.—Lenin

[29] For example, the Kostroma peasants are prompted to become registered as burghers, among other things by possible “corporal punishment,” which is “even more awful to the flashy Petersburger than to the raw country dweller” (ibid., 58).—Lenin

[30] Ibid., 88.—Lenin

[31] Yuridichesky Vestnik, 1890, No. 9, p. 142.—Lenin

[32] This expression is in English in the original.—Ed.

[33] Cf. Chapter IV, § IV, pp. 270-271.—Lenin

[34] Statistical Survey of Kaluga Gubernia for 1896, Sec. II, p. 48.—Lenin

[35] Ibid., Sec. I, p. 27.—Lenin

[36] Ibid., p. 41.—Lenin

[37] Ibid., p. 40, author’s italics.—Lenin

[38] Women’s Country, 39 and 8. “Will not these genuine peasants (newly-entered) exert a sobering influence, by the prosperous life they lead, upon the native population, who regard not the land but employment away from home as their main source of livelihood?” (p 40). “Incidentally,” remarks the author sadly, “we have already cited an example of the opposite influence.” Here is the example. Vologda folk bought land and lived “very prosperously.” “In reply to the question I put to one of them as to why, though well-off, he let his son go to St. Petersburg, he said: ‘It’s true we are not poor, but life is very dull here, and my son, seeing others go, wanted to get educated himself; at home too he was the one with knowledge’” (p. 25). Poor Narodniks! How can they help deploring the fact that even the example of well-to-do, land-purchasing muzhik farmer cannot “sober” the youth, who, in their desire to “get educated,” flee from the “allotment that secures them their livelihood”!—Lenin

[39] The Influence of Industries Employing Migratory Workers, etc., 33, author’s italics.—Lenin

[40] Yuridichesky Vestnik, 1890, No. 9, 138.—Lenin

[41] Russkaya Mysl (not Russky Vestnik, but Russkaya Mysl),[45] 1887, No. 9, p. 163.—Lenin

[42] Residential Permits, etc., p. 7.—Lenin

[43] Russkoye Bogatstvo, 1896, No. 7, p. 18. So then, the “main” requirements are to be met by the allotment, and the rest apparently by “local employments” secured in the “countryside,” which “suffers from a shortage of capable and healthy labourers”!—Lenin

[44] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. III, Moscow, 1959, p. 622. [p. 562]

[45] In the 1890s Russkaya Mysl was a liberal publication and Russky Vestnik, a magazine expressing the reactionary view. [p. 580]

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