V. I. Lenin

Plans for an Article “The Peasantry and Social-Democracy”{2}

Written: Written not earlier than September 1904
Published: First published in 1938 in Lenin Miscellany XXXII. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 129-131.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  



The Peasantry and Social-Democracy

Marxist Theory and the Social-Democratic Programme
  1. { 1. The agrarian question in West-European Social-Democracy. David, etc.
  2. { 2. ” ” in Russia: both the old Narodniks and the liberals and the Socialist-Revolutionaries. Practical importance during reforms.
  3. 3. L a r g e- a n d s m a l l- s c a l e p r o d u c t i o n.
    etc. Conclusions concerning maintenance of labourers, cattle and land.
    D e n m a r k (David).
  4. 4. Co-operatives. D a v i d, etc. French reactionaries:
  5. 5. Russia’s specific features.
    Together with the peasant bourgeoisie against the land owners.
    ” ” the urban proletariat against the peasant bourgeoisie.
  6. 6. The importance of Social-Democratic agitation among the peasants, especially in periods of political revival. Development of class-consciousness, democratic and Social-Democratic thinking among the peasants.


  1. 1. Marxist theory (α) on the condition, evolution and role of the peasantry—and (β) the Social-Democratic programme. Closely bound up.
  3. 2. The urgency of the peasant question. The agrarian pro grammes of the Social-Democratic parties: the French (petty-bourgeois character. Engels’s critique{3}), the German (1895. Breslau, opportunist and revolutionary wings), Russian... (Critics. “David.”). (Bulgakov)....
  4. 3. It is the Russian agrarian programme of the Social-Democrats that especially distinguishes them from the Narodniks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries.
  5. 4. The principles of Marxist theory concerning th& peasantry (cf. The Development of Capitalism,{1} quotations from Marx). (1) the role of large-scale production; (2) the peasant’s petty-bourgeois character; (3) his past (—) and future (+). Add K. Kautsky, The Social Revolution.
  6. 5. Large- and small-scale production in agriculture....
    Stumpfe. Souchon. }}
    From MS.: Hecht, Auhagen, Klawki, Baden, German statistics....
  7. 6. Conclusion: the importance of the maintenance of labourers, cattle and land.
  8. 7. Add: Huschke, Haggard, Baudrillart, Lecouteux, Prussian Inquiry, Bavarian and Hessen inquiries, Hubach.
  9. 8. Debt. Prussian statistics.
  10. 9. Co-operatives. General statement of the question. Rocquigny, Goltz, Buchenberger, Haggard.
    Statistical data: German and Russian (communal lease). D e n m a r k.
  11. 10. Conclusions concerning the West.
  12. 11. Russia’s specific features.... On two flanks.
    The peasant bourgeoisie and the rural proletariat. Relics of serfdom, and the struggle against the bourgeoisie.
  14. 12. Together with the peasant bourgeoisie against the landowners, etc. ” ” the urban proletariat against the bourgeoisie.
    }} connect with cut-off lands.
  15. 13. Practical importance of the agrarian question in the possibly immediate future:
    Exposure of class contradictions in the countryuide. Democratic and Social-Democratic agitation and propaganda.


{1} See present edition, Vol. 3.—Ed.

{2} There is no information about Lenin’s having either written the work or given a lecture on the subject. The date has been approximated from the fact that the MS. is on the reverse of the MS. of Lenin’s remarks to Rosa Luxemburg’s article “The Organisational Questions of Russian Social-Democracy”, which was published in No. 69 of Iskra on July 10, 1904.

The material on the study of the works by authors whom Lenin mentions in-the two plans is published in Lenin Miscellany XXXII. This material was also used by Lenin for his lectures on “Marxist Views of the Agrarian Question in Europe and Russia”, which he gave at the Russian Higher School of Social Sciences in Paris from February 10 to 13 (23 to 26), 1903 (see Lenin Miscellany XIX, pp. 225–48). p. 129

{3} Engels criticised the agrarian programmes of the French and German Social-Democratic parties in his work The Peasant Question in France and Germany (see Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. II, Moscow, 1962, pp. 420–40). p. 130

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