58 THE CLASS STRUGGLE will assure the success of a complete and thoroughgoing Revolution.
Let us now take up the question: What changes in the agricultural oonditions of Russia have already been carried out by the Russian Revolution, and what changes are still to be wrought?
The provisional governments in the course of 1917, up to the November coup état of the Bolsheviks, issued a number of decrees on the agrarian question. Land committee: were estab lished, for the whole country as well as in the localities, for the working out of the agrarian reform as well as for provisional regulation of local land conditions. The Kerensky Government resolved to hand over to the administration of these committees certain lands of private owners, which were of value agriculturally. In practice this led to the land committees beginning to assign noble lands to peasant occupation, themselves determining the rental sum. The provisional government likewise stopped all purchase, sale and mortgage on land, recognizing the validity only of the land deeds that had been executed before the lst of March, e. before the Revolution. By this means the desire of the nobles to sell out as fast as they could, for cash, was frustrated; for they were doomed by the Revolution to lose all their lands to the peasants, without compensation.
Furthermore, the Provisional Government declared all cabinet and appanage lands to be national property. But they hesitated to declare the transfer of noble lands also to the ownership of the people, continually postponing this radical agrarian transformation for the Constituent Assembly.
But, after the November colip état, the Bolshevik government immediately resolved that all the great, privately owned lands should go to the land committees. Thus was accomplished the first revolutionary act of confiscation of great private estates for the benefit of the people. This ordinance was issued in accordance with the decisions of the Petrograd and Moscow Soviets of Soldiers and Workers Delegates, at the end of October, and the November decisions of the General Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers and Soldiers Deputies, and the General Russian Congress of Peasants Deputies.
THE LAND QUESTION 59 It is already clear from these facts how untrue is the interpre tation of the November Land Decree in many American capitalist newspapers. They considered it simply as an anarchistic arms!
of the Bolsheviks alone. As a matter of fact, this decree was the result of the aspirations of the Russian proletariat and of the most revolutionary section of the peasantry, as it was their Soviets of Workers. Soldiers and Peasants Delegates, which in turn set the pace for the activity of the Petrograd revolutionary government.
The short lived Constituent Assembly in January, in its turn, succeeded before its dissolution in passing a motion for the transfer of the great country estates into the hands of the peasants.
It. can hardly be doubted that the peasants were already enforcing this measure when they elected their representatives tothe Cone stituent Assembly.
The all powerful All Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers and Soldiers Deputies in its new resolution on the land question, passed late in January, merely confirmed the previously described measures of the Petrograd Government of Workers Commis saries and of the Constituent Assembly, thus simply giving a final stimulus to the peasants to complete the liquidation of the property of the nobility. In this manner the essentials of the agrarian question have already been solved by the Russian Revolution. The cabinet, appanage, nobles lands, and possibly, those of the churches and monasteries, have already been taken by the people. Of course this does not mean a final regulation of the new form of land property in Russia. Much time will still be needed before all the confiscated lands, including those of the state, can be distributed, according to the requirements, and before they finally pass into the possession of the government as a whole, or of the local autonomous powers or of the petty peasant owners.
But there can hardly be further doubt that as early as the spring of this year, millions of Russian peasants will already be ploughing and sowing the lands that have been handed over to them from the great estates, particularly those of the nobles, and will