The interview with the DSc (History), Professor V. V. Kondrashin presents the milestones of his biography in the historical context of the Russian science and politics in the 20th—21st century. This biographical reflection includes the events of childhood that awakened his interest in history, the difficulties in the academic career of a young man of the people, the historian’s survival under the social crisis of the 1990s. An important part of the interview is formed by Kondrashin’s memories of his teachers in school and university—V. V. Danilov and V. V. Kabanov, M. Levin and T. Shanin. Another significant part of the interview focuses on the most important issues of Kondrashin and his colleagues’ historical research, mainly the history of the Russian and Soviet countryside under revolutions and reforms of the 20th century (peasant wars, NEP, collectivization, World War II and the late Soviet period of agrarian history). The interview was not limited to the Russian historical context—Kondrashin mentions international scientific projects such as the study of the 1932-1933 famine in the USSR, and of the survival and development of the Soviet Union in the interaction with its close and distant neighboring countries. Kondrashin describes the cooperation of Russian scientists with their colleagues from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Eastern Europe, France, England, USA, Japan and Australia. A special part of the interview presents his reflections on the ‘historian and power’ issue. Due to his active social position, Kondrashin was engaged in various social-political activities, including his work as a Senator of the Federation Council. The interview ends with a discussion of his scientific plans for the year of his sixtieth anniversary.
History, peasantry, revolution, reforms, NEP, collectivization, USSR.
Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Head of the Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.
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.
This text is a translation into English of the brochure “What is the ‘Agrarian Question’?” published by A.Chayanov in the summer of 1917, between the February and October Revolutions in Russia.
Young 29-year-old professor Chayanov took an active part in the revolutionary events of 1917, trying to justify the fine-drawn plan for agrarian reforms for the new Russia. Chayanov became one of the initiators of the creation of the League for Agrarian Reforms, which included many leading agrarians of various political trends in Russia with a view to discussing and developing a holistic strategy for agrarian reforms in Russia.
The popular-science version of his views on agrarian reform, summarizing the most varied ideas of the League for Agrarian Reforms, Chayanov presented in the brochure “What is the ‘Agrarian Question’”.
In the ideological basis of this work lies the realization of the revolutionary demand “Land to the working people!”, which affirmed the necessity of transferring the landlord’s land into the hands of the peasantry. Chayanov considered various options for such a transition of land in the form of agrarian programs of socialization, nationalization, municipalization of land, a single land tax, and the system of state regulation of land ownership.
In reforming Chayanov proposed to be guided by two principles: 1) the greatest productivity of peasant labor applied to the land; 2) democratization of the distribution of national income. The extensive development of peasant cooperation was to ensure the implementation of these principles. Chayanov also stressed in every possible way the importance of taking into account regional and national peculiarities in resolving the agrarian question in such a huge country as Russia.
Personally, Chayanov was inclined to the way of agrarian reforms combining state regulation of land ownership and progressive taxation. Though, the October Revolution under the leadership of the Bolsheviks and left-wing socialist revolutionaries in their “Decree on Land” declared the implementation of the most radical version of agrarian reforms — the socialization of the land, stopping the search for the best compromise agrarian solutions that Chayanov and his colleagues tried to implement in the League for Agrarian reforms.
Chayanov’s brochure “What is the ‘Agrarian Question’?” is a model of theoretical and practical search for alternatives to the fine-drawn solution of the agrarian question in the interests of the peasants on the basis of a broad political coalition of democratic forces.
Agrarian reform, peasantry, revolution, A.V. Chayanov.
Chayanov Alexander V.
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.
Trotsuk Irina V., DSc (Sociology), Associate Professor, Sociology Chair, RUDN University; Senior Researcher, Center for Fundamental Sociology Higher School of Economics, Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.
The article considers the applicability of game theory for the study of conflicts in peasant communes in the first half of the XX century. Game theory models can explain peasant motives and behavior and reconstruct the decision-making in the commune under the conflict. Game theory can become a part of the historical analysis for it is an interdisciplinary approach that can reveal the logic of endogenous behavior within the commune and its interaction with external institutions and actors. The author provides different definitions of game theory and considers its potential for the analysis of peasant life. The article defines principles and prerequisites for constructing a mathematical model of the peasant commune behavior under the conflict, and factors that motivate peasants to follow a certain line of actions and to choose specific strategies in different situations. The main problem of the game model is the dependence of each ‘player’ on the actions of other ‘players’. The author presents a cognitive mathematical model based on the clash of interests of a manager (willing to increase economic efficiency) and a commune (willing to ensure justice on the principles of a moral economy and ethics of survival). Thus, the author identifies transactional and information functions of peasant revolts.
peasant community, game theory, conflict, revolution, frankpledge, mathematical model, violence, survival ethics
Shornikov Evgeny I., Postgraduate Student, School of Public Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Russia, 119571, Moscow, prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.