Chayanovian utopian visions: Looking for the balance under the crises of optima intensification

Nikulin A.M. Chayanovian utopian visions: Looking for the balance under the crises of optima intensification // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2017. V.2. №1. pp. 6-30.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2017-2-1-6-30


The article considers the features of A. V. Chayanov worldview, who in his multifaceted intellectual activities used to experiment with the genre of utopia. Based on the analysis of such utopian works of Chayanov as “Few Studies of the Isolated State” (1915– 1923), “My Brother Alexey’s Journey to the Land of Peasant Utopia” (1920), and “On the Possible Future of the Peasant Economy” (1928) the author identifies basic elements of Chayanov’s scientific and creative worldview. All three Chayanov’s utopias vary greatly in style and genre, thus indicating his amazing fantasy and plastic ingenuity. For instance, the first utopia is predominantly a marginal-mathematical treatise on the competitive coexistence of capitalist and peasant economies in agriculture. The second utopia is a kind of fantastic-political tale of the ineradicable variety of political and social-economic structures of the world. The third utopia represents the genre of typical scientific and technological utopia with atypical existential-aesthetic end. In each utopia, Chayanov creates an original model of social development that despite the social crises of the first third of the XX century seeks a compromise between town and village, industry and agriculture, peasantry and state capitalism, science and art, individual and society. The article critically considers the utopian relativistic ethics of Chayanovian agrarianism based on the idea of achieving the harmonic optima of social development. 


autarchic state, peasant economy, capitalism in agriculture, cultural diversity, technological progress, relativistic ethics

About the author

Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



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