Russian Revolution

150 THE CLASS STRUGGLE The state lands or government lands of the 50 governments of European RuSSia alone, are 138, 000, 000 dessyatins in area; the cabinet land: in all of Russia, 68, 000, 000; the appanage lauds about 8, 000, 000; church lands about 2,(X)0, 000; the monastery land: over 700, 000 dessyatins. But about nine tenths of the state lands are situated in five northeastern and northern governments, not in agricultural regions, which are most in need of the addition of such lands. The cabinet lands, embracing many fruitful areas, include two great districts of Siberia, the districts of Altai and Nerchensk, again, however, too far removed from the centres of the peasant land poverty. Above all, these two forms of land holdings, together with the appanage lands, contain immense forests, not suitable for immediate cultivation. The church and monastery holdings are almost all suitable for cultivation, but many of them are already under peasant working.
For the reasons above indicated, out of all the countless land riches of Russia at this time, only about 10, 000, 000 dessyatins may be utilized for the immediate enlarging of the peasant cul tivated land. But these lands, when the forests have been cleared and more intensive agricultural methods have been introduced into Russia, will mean, for the Russia of the future, a great reserve of agricultural wealth, which will support millions of peasants, simply by settling them in the remoter sections of the country.
For the present, to secure the absolutely imperative reduction of the land poverty of the peasants, the chief source of supply for distribution is the noble estates: the other forms of great private ownership of land may be of assistance only in a supplementary sense. Not counting the forests, the noble estates in the fifty govermnents of European Russia hold not less than 25, 000,(X)0 dessyatins of land suitable for peasant cultivation. And once the forests of the nobles are subject to use by the people, the forestpoverty of the peasants will be at an end.
From the above the reader doubtless draws the inference that the principal tasks confronting the Russian Revolution in agricultural matters, in order to increase the wellbeing of the peasants and free them from economic exploitation by the landed THE LAND QUESTION 151 estates, particularly those of the nobles, were the following: The abolishment of all obligations hardening the purchased and rented lands of the peasants, the seizing of all noble, cabinet, appanage, church and monastery lands as the property of the people; the increase of the peasant parcels at the expense of the other forms of property, above mentioned, together with the state lands, wherever there may be land poverty; and chiefly, the creation of such forms of land ownership as may release the peasant proprietors from further exploitation by the medium of land.
These tasks, in turn, are by no means hostile to the economic position of the Russian proletariat. The land poverty and the pauperism of the peasants have always been causes for the low wages of the city and country workers. The small peasant semiproletarians, who had no means of purchasing or renting additional lands, were obliged, in order to live, to seek additional wages as hired laborers on the great estates or in the cities.
Having been used to a low standard of living, and yet feeling that they had a material aid in their own land holdings, they were ready, as workers, to work for low wages. In this way they squeezed down the wages of the landless peasants also, pure proletarians, who were employed in agricultural labor and in the cities. Consequently, as long as the great mass of Russian petty peasant proprietors is unable, for lack of land, to live on its own holdings, the labor wages of the country and city proletariat of Russia will not be maintained at a sufficient figure.
In short, in the intemt of democracy as a whole, the following democratic problem confronts the Russian Revolution, as far as the agrarian side is concerned: to bring about the agrarian transformation in such a manner as shall not hamper the economic development of the country and shall serve to strengthen permanently the democratic system of government.
The means of realizing the above, as well as the other problems indicated, may be seen in an analysis of the agrarian program and the agrarian policy of the Russian revolutionary organizations on whom the solution of the agrarian question has devolved. Principally this means the Social Democrats and the Social Revo lutionaries, for from the standpoint of party lines, it is these two