Marx-Zasulich Correspondence February/March 1881

The Fourth Draft

8 March 1881

Dear Citizen,

A nervous complaint which has periodically affected me for the last ten years has prevented me from answering your letter of 16 February [ which you did the honour of sending me].

I regret that I am unable to give you a concise account for publication [of the problems] of the question which [you kindly] you did me the honour of asking. Two months ago, I already promised a text on the same subject to the St. Petersburg committee. Still, I hope that a few lines will suffice to leave you in no doubt [about the conclusions that have been] about the way in which my so-called theory has been misunderstood.

(1) The analysis in Capital therefore provides [ nothing] no reasons that might be used either for or against the vitality of the Russian commune.

[My personal opinion concerning the Russian commune, which I have studied for many years in the original sources, is as follows.] [After studying (for many years) the Russian commune in the original sources for.]

[In order to have a definitive view on the possible destinies of the Russian commune, one must have more than vague historical analogies. One must study it.] [I have studied it for many.] [I have made a study of it.]

[My persona! opinion on the possible fate of the Russian commune.]

The special studies I have made of it, including a search for original source-material, have [led me to the conclusion] convinced me that the commune is the natural [starting-point] fulcrum for social regeneration in Russia [for the regeneration of Russian society]. But [the first step must, of course, be to place it in conditions ... ] in order that it might function as such, the harmful influences assailing it on all sides must first be eliminated, and it must then be assured the conditions for spontaneous development.