The article considers the life and work of the great Russian and Soviet economist A. V. Chayanov in the watershed year of 1918. The article introduces into the scientific circulation a number of documents from the funds of the Russian State Archive of Economics and of the Department of Manuscripts of the Russian State Library. The author describes the work of Chayanov in the bodies of cooperation — cooperative publishing house, Council of the Central Association of Flax Growers, and Committee for the Protection of Art Treasures which was established at his suggestion by the decision of the cooperative congress. The author emphasizes the role of cooperation in the survival of the scientific and creative intelligentsia under the hunger, devastation and chaos after the outbreak of the Civil War. Among the few surviving documents of the Council of All-Russian Cooperative Congresses, the most interesting are the meetings of the publishing commission, which prove that in 1918, Chayanov was one of the most published authors. The Council of the Central Association of Flax Growers helped Chayanov to survive, although its position as a key member of the All-Russian Cooperative Congresses was greatly shaken. The article describes the work of Chayanov in the Committee for the Protection of Art Treasures. The author considers the creation, criticism and role in Chayanov’s biography of his two fiction works — History of Miusskaya Square (to the history of the University named after A. L. Shanyavsky) and History of a Barber’s Doll, or the Last Love of the Moscow Architect M. — and the ideology of Chayanov at the end of 1918, which helps to understand his psychological condition and the evolution of his worldview when searching for his place in the life of new Russia.
A. V. Chayanov, cooperation, publishing committee, writing, anarchism.
Savinova Tatyana A., PhD (Economics), Head of the Department of the Russian State Archive of Economics, Researcher, Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119435, Moscow, Bolshaya Pirogovskaya St., 17.
This article by A.V. Chayanov was published in the edition of the Moscow Union of Consumer Societies “Cooperative Rural Calendar for 1918” (Moscow, 1917, pp. 42–44). The article is of interest mainly as a short, impressive, journalistic, rapid forecast of the possible evolutionary directions of the Russian economy and society in the short-term and mid-term national-economic perspective. This is a polemical political-economic article due to Chayanov’s reflections on the interpretation of such concepts as ‘state socialism’ and ‘socialism’ in general, on the meaning of ‘public reason’ in the ongoing and future reforms, and also due to Chayanov’s forecasts of the Russian economic development as determined by such multidirectional economic, political and social factors as the state debt that had multiplied during the war, the weakening impact of inflation on the economy, and the after-war tasks of transferring the economy to a peaceful track. In his positive forecasts, Chayanov put special hopes on the awakening social and productive forces of the Russian peasantry. Chayanov believed that the growth of culture, labor productivity and cooperation among the peasantry would allow to find a way out of the impasse of the 1917 economic devastation. Although, as the later historical events showed, Chayanov’s belief in ‘public reason’ and the corresponding humanistic socialist prospects for Russia did not come true, he systematically identified the key dominants of both revolutionary and evolutionary transformations of the huge peasant country under the great social-political upheavals of the 20th century.
Agrarian reform, A.V. Chayanov, state socialism, cooperation, peasantry, public reason, World War I, revolution.
Chayanov Alexander V.
Afanasenkov Vladislav O., Researcher, Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences; Junior Researcher, Research Laboratory of Economic and Social History, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Vernadskogo Prosp., 82, Moscow, 119571, Russia.
The article presents the life trajectories of representatives of those national groups that became active rural entrepreneurs in the North-West Region of Russia at different times. Unfortunately, we have not yet considered the national-ethnic aspect of rural entrepreneurship in our research projects (see, e.g.: Bozhkov, 2019; Bozhkov, Ignatova, 2015; 2017; Bozhkov, Trotsuk, 2018; Ignatova, 2016). The article focuses on various problems that the migrants from different former republics of the Soviet Union face in the zones of risky Russian agriculture. The empirical basis of the article is the data (transcripts of interviews and field observations) of sociological expeditions supported by the Russian Foundation for Humanities and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in 2005–2008 and 2018–2019. The four ‘cases’ confirm the hypothesis that, regardless of the migration-generational trajectory and activities in the Russian countryside, all entrepreneurs face the same problems (labor shortage, abandoned production facilities and dilapidated social infrastructure, expensive loans and harsh tax and administrative pressure ‘from above’—despite the declarative-nominal support of the state, the general atmosphere of social distrust, the lack of traditions and skills of real cooperation, and so on). There is some specificity of such problems; however, it is determined not by the national-ethnic factor, but rather by the reaction of the traditional rural community to ‘outsiders’ who bring their own rules and disrupt the routine of local life (with its unemployment, impoverishment, desolation and alcoholism).
migration, nationality, rural entrepreneurs, northern Non-Black-Earth Region, local communities, cooperation, government support
Bozhkov Oleg B., Senior Researcher, Sociological Institute — a branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 7th Krasnoarmeyskaya St., 25/14, Saint Petersburg, 190005.
Trotsuk Irina V., DSc (Sociology), Professor, Sociology Chair, RUDN University; Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, Russia, 119571.