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The Development of Large-Scale Machine Industry

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Written: 1896-1899.
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th Edition, Moscow, 1964, Volume 3, pp. 454-551
Publisher: Progress Publishers
First Published: First printed in book form at the end of March 1899. Published according to the text of the second edition, 1908.
Original Transcription & Markup:R. Cymbala (2000)
Re-Marked up by:Kevin Goins (2008)
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2000). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.


I. The Scientific Conception of the Factory and the Significance of “Factory” Statistics 
II. Our Factory Statistics 
III. An Examination of Historico-Statistical Data On the Development of Large-Scale Industry 
IV. The Development of the Mining Industry 
V. Is the Number of Workers in Large Capitalist Enterprises Growing?
VI. Steam-Engine Statistics 
VII. The Growth of Large Factories 
VIII. The Distribution of Large-Scale Industry 
IX. The Development of the Lumber and Building Industries 
X. The Appendage to the Factory 
XI. The Complete Separation of Industry From Agriculture 
XII. Three Stages in the Development of Capitalism in Russian Industry 

I. The Scientific Conception of the Factory and the Significance of “Factory” Statistics[5]

Before dealing with large-scale machine (factory) industry, we must first establish the fact that the scientific conception of the term does not correspond at all to its common, everyday meaning. In our official statistics, and in literature generally, a factory is taken to mean any more or less big industrial establishment with a more or less considerable number of wage-workers. According to Marx’s theory, however, the term large-scale machine (factory) industry applies only to a definite stage of capitalism in industry, namely, the highest stage. The principal and most important feature of this stage is the employment of a system of machines for production.[1] The transition from the manufactory to the factory signifies a complete technical revolution, which does away with the craftsman’s manual skill that has taken centuries to acquire, and this technical revolution is inevitably followed by the most thoroughgoing destruction of social production relations, by a final split among the various groups of participants in production, by a complete break with tradition, by an intensification and extension of all the dark aspects of capitalism, and at the same time by a mass socialisation of labour by capitalism. Large-scale machine industry is thus the last word of capitalism, the last word of its “elements of social progress”[2] and regress.

From this it is clear that the transition from the manufactory to the factory is particularly important when we deal with the development of capitalism. Whoever confuses these two stages deprives himself of the possibility of understanding the transforming, progressive role of capitalism. That is the mistake made by our Narodnik economists, who, as we have seen, na\”ively identify capitalism generally with “factory” industry and propose to solve the problem of the “mission of capitalism” and even of its “unifying significance”[3] by simply referring to factory statistics. Apart from the fact that on matters of factory statistics these writers (as we shall show in detail below) have betrayed astonishing ignorance, they commit a still graver error in their amazingly stereotyped and narrow understanding of Marx’s theory. In the first place, it is ridiculous to reduce the problem of the development of large-scale machine industry to mere factory statistics. It is a question not only of statistics, but of the forms assumed and the stages traversed by the development of capitalism in the industry of the country under consideration. Only after the substance of these forms and their distinguishing features have been made clear is there any sense in illustrating the development of this or that form by means of properly compiled statistics. If, however, they restrict themselves to Russian statistics, this inevitably leads to lumping together the most diverse forms of capitalism, to not seeing the wood for the trees. Secondly, to reduce the whole mission of capitalism to that of increasing the number of “factory” workers means to betray as profound an understanding of theory as did Mr. Mikhailovsky when he expressed surprise as to why people talk about the socialisation of labour by capitalism, when all that this socialisation amounts to, he averred, is that several hundred or thousand workers saw, chop, cut, plane, etc., under one roof.[4]

The task of our further exposition is twofold: on the one hand, we shall examine in detail the condition of our factory statistics and the question of their suitability. This, largely negative, work is necessary because the data involved are positively abused in our literature. On the other hand, we shall examine the data attesting to the growth of large-scale machine industry in the post-Reform period.


[1] Das Kapital, I, Chapter 13 [Chap. 15, Eng. ed. –Ed.].—Lenin

[2] Ibid., I2, S. 499.[6]Lenin

[3] Mr. N.–on in Russkoye Bogatstvo, 1894, No. 6, pp. 103 and 119.—See also his Sketches, and Mr. V. V.’s Destiny of Capitalismpassim.—Lenin

[4] Otechestvenniye Zapiski, 1883, No. 7, Letter to the editor from Mr. Postoronny [Outsider].—Lenin

[5] To characterise the development of large-scale industry in tsarist Russia in the post-Reform period Lenin examined the material contained in numerous factory statistical sources of that period (statistical returns, monographs and works of research, official reference books, magazine and newspaper reports, papers, etc.). Lenin’s work of checking, processing, combining and scientifically grouping statistical data is shown in the notes he made in various books and from other material published in section 2 of Lenin Miscellany XXXIII. For Lenin’s estimation of the main sources of factory statistics see also his article “On the Question of Our Factory Statistics.” (See present edition, Vol. 4.) [p. 454]

[6] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, p. 474. [p. 454]

II. Our Factory Statistics

The main source of factory statistics in Russia is the returns supplied annually by owners of factories and works to the Department of Commerce and Manufacture, in conformity with the law passed at the very beginning of the present century.[1] The very detailed regulations in this law concerning the submission of information by factory owners are nothing but a pious wish, and to this day the factory statistics are organised on the old, purely pre-Reform lines and are simply appendices to gubernatorial reports. There is no precise definition of the term “factory and-works,” and consequently gubernia and even uyezd authorities employ it in the most diverse ways. There is no central body to direct the proper and uniform collection, and verification, of returns. The distribution of industrial establishments among various departments (Mining, Department of Commerce and Manufacture, Miscellaneous Taxes Department, etc.) still further increases the confusion.[2]

In Appendix II we cite the data on our factory industry in the post-Reform period that are to be found in official publications, namely, for the years of 1863-1879 and 1885-1891. These data relate only to trades not subject to excise duty; moreover, for different periods information is given for a different number of trades (the returns for 1864-1865 and for 1885 and subsequent years being the fullest); that is why we have singled out 34 trades for which data are available for 1864-1879 and 1885-1890, i.e., for 22 years. To judge the value of these data, let us first examine the most important publications on our factory statistics. Let us begin with the 60s.

The compilers of factory statistics in the 60s fully appreciated the extremely unsatisfactory nature of the returns they were handling. In their unanimous opinion the number of workers and the total output were considerably understated in the factory-owners’ reports; “there is no uniform definition, even for the different gubernias, of what should be regarded as a factory and a works, since many gubernias include among the factories and works, for example, windmills, brick-making sheds and small industrial establishments, while others take no account of them, with the result that even comparative data on the total numbers of factories and works in the different gubernias are valueless.”[3] Still more trenchant is the criticism by Bushen, Bok and Timiryazev,[4] who, in addition, point to the inclusion of those occupied at home among the factory workers, to the fact that some factory owners supply returns only for workers who live on the factory premises, etc. “There are no correct official statistics on manufactory and factory industry,” says Mr. Bushen, “and there will be none until there is a change in the main principles on which the primary material is gathered.”[5] “The tables of factories and works for many trades include, evidently by misunderstanding, numerous purely artisan and handicraft establishments that possess nothing of the character of a factory or works.”[6] In view of this, the editors of the Yearbook refused even to summarise the data printed, “not desiring to pass on to the public incorrect and obviously exaggerated figures.”[7] To give the reader a precise idea of the extent of this obvious exaggeration, let us turn to the data given in the Yearbook, which differs to advantage from all other sources, in that it contains a list of factories with an output exceeding 1,000 rubles. At the present time (since 1885), establishments with a smaller total output are not counted as factories. An estimate of these small establishments according to the Yearbook reveals that 2,366 were included in the general list of factories, employing 7,327 workers and an output amounting to 987,000 rubles. The total number of factories, however, in 71 trades, according to the Yearbook, was 6,891, with 342,473 workers and an output totalling 276,211,000 rubles. Consequently, the small establishments represent 34.3 % of the total number of establishments, 2.1% of the total number of workers, and 0.3% of the total output. It stands to reason that it is absurd to regard such small establishments (with an average per establishment of a little over 3 workers and less than 500 rubles output) as factories, and that there can be no question of there being anything like a complete registration of them. Not only have such establishments been classed as factories in our statistics, but there have even been cases of hundreds of handicraftsmen being quite artificially and arbitrarily combined as a “factory.” For example, this very Yearbook mentions in the rope-making trade of the Izbylets Volost, Gorbatov Uyezd, Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia, a factory “of the peasants of the Izbylets Volost; 929 workers; 308 spinning wheels; output 100,400 rubles” (p. 149); or in the village of Vorsma in the same uyezd, a factory of “temporarily bound peasants of Count Sheremetev; 100 smithies; 250 carpenters’ benches (in homes); 3 horse-operated and 20 hand-operated grind stones; 902 workers; output 6,610 rubles” (p. 281). One can imagine what an idea of the real situation such statistics give![8]

A special place among the sources of factory statistics of the 60s is held by the Military Statistical Abstract (Vol. IV. Russia, St. Petersburg, 1871). It gives data on all the factories and works of the Russian Empire, including mining and excise-paying establishments, and estimates that in 1866 there were in European Russia no more nor less than 70,631 factories, 829,573 workers, with an output totalling 583,317,000 rubles!! These curious figures were arrived at, firstly, because they were taken, not from the reports of the Ministry of Finance, but from the special returns of the Central Statistical Committee (these returns were never published in any of the Committee’s publications, nor is it known by whom, how and when they were gathered and processed);[9] secondly, because the compilers of the Military Statistical Abstract did not hesitate in the least to class even the smallest establishments as factories. (Military Statistical Abstract, p. 319) and furthermore supplemented the basic returns with other material: returns of the Department of Commerce and Manufacture, returns of the Commissariat, returns of the Ordnance and Naval Departments, and finally, returns “from the most diverse sources” (ibid., p. XXIII).[10] Therefore, in using the data of the Military Statistical Abstract for purposes of comparison with present-day data, Messrs. N.–on,[11] Karyshev[12] and Kablukov[13] revealed their total unfamiliarity with the principal sources of our factory statistics and their utterly uncritical attitude towards these statistics.

During the debate in the Free Economic Society on the paper read by M. I. Tugan-Baranovsky, who pointed to the completely erroneous character of the figures in the Military Statistical Abstract, several speakers declared that even if there was an error in the number of workers, it was only a slight one—10 to 15%. That was said, for example, by Mr. V. V. (see verbatim report of debate, St. Petersburg, 1898, p. 1). He was “joined” by Mr. V. Pokrovsky, who also confined himself to a bald statement (p. 3). Without even attempting a critical examination of the various sources of our factory statistics, these people and their supporters contented themselves with generalities about the unsatisfactory nature of factory statistics, and about the data having recently become more exact (??) and so forth. The main issue, the crude error of Messrs. N.–on and Karyshev, was thus simply glossed over, as P. B. Struve quite rightly observed (p. 11). We therefore think it worth while to calculate those exaggerations in the data of the Military Statistical Abstract which could and should have been noticed by anybody handling the sources attentively. For 71 trades we have the parallel statistics for 1866 both of the Ministry of Finance (Ministry of Finance Yearbook, I) and of unknown origin (Military Statistical Abstract ). For these trades, leaving out the metallurgical, the Military Statistical Abstract exaggerated the number of workers employed in factories and works in European Russia by 50,000. Further, for those trades for which the Yearbook gave only gross figures for the Empire, refusing to analyse them in detail in view of their “obvious exaggeration” (Yearbook, p. 306), the Military Statistical Abstract gives 95,000 workers over and above these figures. In brick-making the number of workers is exaggerated by a minimum of 10,000 ; to convince oneself of this, one should compare the data by gubernias given in the Military Statistical Abstract and those in Returns and Material of the Ministry of Finance, No. 4 of 1866 and No. 6 of 1867. For the metallurgical trades the Military Statistical Abstract exaggerated the number of workers by 86,000 as compared with that in the Yearbook, having evidently included some of the mine workers in its figure. For the excise-paying trades the Military Statistical Abstract, as we shall show in the next section, exaggerates the number of workers by nearly 40,000. Altogether there is an exaggeration of 280,000. This is a minimum and incomplete figure, for we lack material to verify the data of the Military Statistical Abstract for all trades. One can therefore judge to what extent those who assert that the error of Messrs. N.–on and Karyshev is trifling are informed on this subject!

In the 1870s much less was done to combine and analyse factory statistics than in the 1860s. The Ministry of Finance Yearbook contains data for only 40 trades (not subject to excise duty) for 1867-1879 (Vols. VIII, X and XII; see Appendix II), the exclusion of the other trades being ascribed to the “extremely unsatisfactory nature of the material” for industries “which are connected with agricultural life, or are appendages of artisan and handicraft industries” (Vol. VIII, p. 482; same, Vol. X, p. 590). The most valuable source for the 1870s is Mr. P. Orlov’s Directory of Factories and Works (1st edition, St. Petersburg, 1881, returns for 1879 taken from the same reports of factory owners to the Department of Commerce and Manufacture). This publication lists all establishments with an output of not less than 2,000 rubles. The others, being small and inseparable from handicraft establishments, are not enumerated in this list, but are included in the summarised data given by the Directory. Since no separate totals are given for establishments with an output of 2,000 rubles and over, the general data of the Directory, like those of previous publications, combine the small establishments with the large ones; for different trades and different gubernias unequal numbers of small establishments are included (quite fortuitously, of course) in the statistics.[14] Regarding trades connected with agriculture, the Directory repeats (p. 396) the Yearbook’s reservation and refuses to give “even approximate totals” (author’s italics) owing to the inaccuracy and incompleteness of the data.[15] This view (quite a legitimate one, as we shall see below) did not, however, prevent the inclusion in the Directory’s general totals of all these particularly unreliable figures, which are thus lumped together with relatively reliable ones. Let us give the Directory’s total figures for European Russia, with the observation that, unlike previous figures, they also embrace excise paying trades (the second edition of the Directory, 1887, gives the returns for 1884; the third, 1894, those for 1890):Factory data.


We shall show further that the drop in the number of factories indicated by these data was actually fictitious; the whole point is that at different times different numbers of small establishments were classed as factories. Thus, the number of establishments with an output exceeding 1,000 rubles was estimated in 1884 at 19,277, and in 1890, at 21,124; with an output of 2,000 rubles and over: in 1884 at 11,509, and in 1890 at 17,642.[17]

In 1889 the Department of Commerce and Manufactures began to issue in separate editions Collections of Data on Factory Industry in Russia (for 1885 and subsequent years). These data are based on the material mentioned (factory owners’ reports), and their treatment is far from satisfactory, being inferior to that in the above-mentioned publications of the 60s. The only improvement is that the small establishments, i.e., those with an output of under 1,000 rubles, are not included among the factories and works, and information regarding them is given separately, without their being distributed according to trades.[18] This, of course, is a totally inadequate criterion of what a “factory” is; a complete registration of establishments with an output exceeding 1,000 rubles is out of the question under the present system of gathering information; the separation of “factories” in trades connected with agriculture is done quite haphazardly—for instance, for some gubernias and in some years watermills and windmills are classed as factories, while in others they are not.[19] The author of the section “Chief Results of Factory Industry in Russia for 1885-1887” (in the Collection for these years) falls repeatedly into error in disregarding the fact that the data for the different gubernias are dissimilar and not comparable. Finally, to our characterisation of the Collections let us add that till 1891 inclusive they only covered trades not subject to excise duty, while from 1892 onwards they cover all trades, including mining and excise-paying; no special mention is made of data comparable with others given previously, and no explanation whatever is given of the methods by which ironworks are included in the total number of factories and works (for instance, ironworks statistics have never given the value but merely the volume of works’ output. How the compilers of the Collections arrived at the value of the output is unknown).

In the 1880s there was still another source of information about our factory industry, one deserving attention for its negative qualities and because Mr. Karyshev used data from this source.[20] This is the Returns for Russia for 1884-85 (St. Petersburg, 1887. Published by the Central Statistical Committee), which gives in one of its tables the “totals of output of factory industry in European Russia, 1885” (Table XXXIX); the number of factories and of workers is given only for Russia as a whole, without being distributed according to gubernias. The source of information is “data of reports of Messrs. the Governors” (p. 311). The data cover all trades, including both excise-paying and mining, and for every trade the “average” number of workers and output per works is given for the whole of European Russia. Now it is these “averages” that Mr. Karyshev proceeded to “analyse.” To judge their value, let us compare the data in the Returns with those in the Collection (to make such a comparison we must subtract from the first-mentioned data the metallurgical, excise-paying, fishing and “other” trades; this will leave 53 trades; the data are for European Russia):Factory data, Returns vs. Collection.

Thus, the gubernatorial reports included tens of thousands of small agricultural and handicraft establishments among the “factories”! Of course, such establishments were included among the factories quite fortuitously for the various trades, and for the various gubernias and uyezds. Here are examples of the number of works according to the Returns and the Collection, in some trades: fur—1,205 and 259; leather—4,079 and 2,026; mat-and-bag—562 and 55; starch-and-treacle—1,228 and 184; flour-milling—17,765 and 3,940; oil-pressing—9,341 and 574; tar-distilling—3,366 and 328; brick-making—5,067 and 1,488; pottery and glazed tile–2,573 and 147. One can imagine the sort of “statistics” that will be obtained if one estimates the “size of establishments”[21] in our factory industry by taking “average figures” based on such a method of computing “factories”! But Mr. Karyshev forms his estimate in precisely this manner when he classes under large-scale industry only those trades in which the above mentioned “average number ” of workers per factory (for the whole of Russia) is over one hundred. By this phenomenal method the conclusion is reached that only a quarter of the total output is provided by “large-scale industry as understood within the above-indicated limits”!! (p. 47 of article cited).[22] Further on we shall show that factories with 100 and more workers actually account for more than half the total output of our factory industry.

Let us observe, incidentally, that the data of the local gubernia statistical committees (which are used for the gubernatorial reports) are always distinguished by the utter vagueness of the term “factory-and-works” and by the casual registration of small establishments. Thus, in Smolensk Gubernia, for 1893-94, some uyezds counted dozens of small oil-presses as factories, while others did not count any; the number of tar “works” in the gubernia was given as 152 (according to Directory for 1890, not one), with the same casual registration in the various uyezds, etc.[23] For Yaroslavl Gubernia, the local statisticians in the 90s gave the number of factories as 3,376 (against 472 in the Directory for 1890), including (for some uyezds) hundreds of flour-mills, smithies, small potato-processing works, etc.[24]

Quite recently our factory statistics have undergone a reform which has changed the plan for the gathering of information, changed the significance of the term “factory and-works” (new criteria have been adopted; the presence of an engine or of not less than 15 workers), and enlisted factory inspectors in the work of gathering and verifying information. We refer the reader for details to the above mentioned article in our Studies[25] where a detailed examination is made of the List of Factories and Works (St. Petersburg, 1897)[26] compiled according to the new plan, and where it is shown that despite the reform, improvements in our factory statistics are scarcely noticeable ; that the term “factory-and-works” has remained absolutely vague; that the data are very often still quite haphazard and must, therefore, be handled with extreme caution.[27] Only a proper industrial census, organised on European lines, can extricate our industrial statistics from their chaotic condition.[28]

It follows from the review of our factory statistics that the data they contain cannot in the overwhelming majority of cases be used without being specially processed, the principal object of which should be to separate the relatively useful from the utterly useless. In the next section we shall examine in this respect the data on the most important trades, but at the moment we put the question: is the number of factories in Russia increasing or decreasing? The main difficulty in answering this question is that in our factory statistics the term “factory” is employed in the most chaotic manner; that is why the negative replies to this question which are sometimes given on the basis of factory statistics (e.g., by Mr. Karyshev) cannot be of any use. We must first establish some definite criterion for the term “factory”; without that condition it would be absurd to illustrate the development of large-scale machine industry with data for establishments of which the totals have at various times included various numbers of small flour-mills, oil-presses, brick-sheds, etc., etc. Let us take as a criterion the employment of not fewer than 16 workers in the establishment, and then we shall see that the number of such industrial establishments in European Russia in 1866 was a maximum of from 2,500 to 3,000, in 1879 about 4,500, in 1890 about 6,000, in 1894-95 about 6,400, and in 1903 about 9,000.[29] Consequently, the number of factories in Russia in the post-Reform period is growing, and growing fairly rapidly.


[1] For a detailed review of the sources of our factory statistics, see in Statistical Chronicle of the Russian Empire, Series II, Vol. VI, St. Petersburg, 1872, Material for the Statistics of Factory Industry in European Russia for 1868. Compiled by Mr. Bok. Introduction, pp. I-XXIII.—Lenin

[2] See article “On the Question of Our Factory Statistics” in Studies, where the latest publication of the Department of Commerce and Manufacture on our factory industries is examined in detail. (See present edition, Vol. 4. –Ed.)—Lenin

[3] P. Semyonov in the preface to Statistical Chronicle, I, 1866, p.XXVII.—Lenin

[4] Statistical Atlas of Main Branches of Factory Industry of European Russiawith List of Factories and Works, 3 vols., St. Petersburg 1869, 1870 and 1873.—Lenin

[5] The Ministry of Finance Yearbook, I, p. 140.—Lenin

[6] Ibid., p. 306.—Lenin

[7] Ibid., p. 306.—Lenin

[8] As to understatements by factory owners in their returns regarding the number of employed workers and the output, the above mentioned sources make two interesting attempts at verification. Timiryazev compared the returns made by over a hundred big factory owners for the official statistics with the returns they made for the 1865 Exhibition. The latter figures proved to be 22% higher than the former (loccit., I, pp. IV-V). In 1868 the Central Statistical Committee, as an experiment, instituted a special investigation of factory industry in Moscow and Vladimir gubernias (where in 1868 nearly half of all the workers and of the total output of the factories and works of European Russia were concentrated). If we take the trades for which data are given both by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Statistical Committee, we get the following figures: according to the Ministry of Finance there were 1,749 factories, 186,521 workers, with an output totalling 131,568,000 rubles, whereas according to the investigation by the Central Statistical Committee there were 1,704 factories, 196,315 workers on premises plus 33,485 outside workers, and an output totalling 137,758,000 rubles.—Lenin

[9] It is very possible that these returns were simply taken from gubernatorial reports, which, as we shall see below, always enormously exaggerate the number of factories and works.—Lenin

[10] How widely the Military Statistical Abstract applied the term “factory” becomes particularly evident through the following: the Yearbook statistics are called “the statistics of our large establishments” (p. 319, authors’ italics). As we have seen, 1/3, of these “large” establishments have an output of less than 1,000 rubles!! We omit more detailed proof of the point that the figures given in the Military Statistical Abstract must not be used for purposes of comparison with present-day factory statistics, since this task has already been performed by Mr. Tugan-Baranovsky (see his book The Factoryetc., p. 336 and foll.). Cf. Studies, pp. 271 and 275. (See present edition, Vol. 4, “On the Question of Our Factory Statistics.” –Ed.)—Lenin

[11] Sketches, p. 125 and Russkoye Bogatstvo, 1894, No 6.—Lenin

[12] Yuridichesky Vestnik, 1889 No. 9, and Material on the Russian National Economy, Moscow, 1898.—Lenin

[13] Lectures on Agricultural Economics, Moscow, 1897, p. 13.—Lenin

[14] Examples will be given in the next section. Here let us refer to p. 679 and foll. of the Directory; a glance at these pages will readily convince anyone of the justice of what has been said in the text.—Lenin

[15] In the third edition of the Directory (St. Petersburg, 1894), this reservation is not repeated, regrettably so, for the data are as unsatisfactory as ever.—Lenin

[16] Certain missing data have been added approximately; see Directory, p. 695.—Lenin

[17] See classification of factories according to total output in the second and third editions of the Directory.—Lenin

[18] It goes without saying that the data on the small establishments are quite haphazard: in some gubernias and in some years their number is given in hundreds and thousands, in others in tens and units. For example, in Bessarabia Gubernia, from 1887 to 1890: 1,479—272—262— 1,684; in Penza Gubernia, from 1885 to 1891 4—15—0—1,127—1,135— 2,148—2,264, etc., etc.—Lenin

[19] Cf. examples in Studies, p. 274. (See present edition, Vol. 4, “On the Question of Our Factory Statistics.” –Ed.) Mr. Tugan-Baranovsky was somewhat mistaken in asserting that the number of actual factories dropped between 1885 and 1891 (The Factory, p. 350), and comparing the average number of workers per factory for different trades at different times (ibid., 355). The data in the Collection are too chaotic for use, without being specially processed, in drawing such conclusions.—Lenin

[20] N. A. Karyshev, “Statistical Survey of the Distribution of the Principal Branches of Manufacturing Industry in Russia.” Yuridichesky Vestnik, 1889, No. 9, September. Together with Mr. Karyshev’s latest work, examined by us in our Studies, this article serves as an example of how not to handle our factory statistics.—Lenin

[21] Section IV of Mr. Karyshev’s article. Let us observe that for comparison with the Returns we could, instead of the Collection, have taken Mr. Orlov’s Directory, the second edition of which (1884) is quoted by Mr. Karyshev too.—Lenin

[22] “Thus, three quarters of the latter” (total annual output) “is provided by establishments of a relatively small type. This phenomenon may have its roots in many extremely important elements of Russian national economy. To them, by the way, should be assigned the system of land tenure of the mass of the population, the tenacity of the village community (sic !), which raises serious obstacles to the development of a professional class of factory workers in our country. With this is combined (!) the widespread character of the domestic form of the processing of products in the very (central) zone of Russia in which our factories and works are mainly concentrated” (ibid., Mr. Karyshev’s italics). Poor “village community”! It alone must bear all the blame for everything, even for the statistical errors of its learned admirers!—Lenin

[23] Data from Mr. D Zhbankov’s Sanitary Investigation of Factories and Works of Smolensk Gubernia (Smolensk, Vol. I, 1896).—Lenin

[24] Survey of Yaroslavl Gubernia, Vol. II, Yaroslavl, 1896 Cf. also Tula Gubernia Handbook for 1895 (Tula, 1895), Sec. VI; pp. 14-15: Factory Returns for 1893.—Lenin

[25] See present edition, Vol. 4, “On the Question of Our Factory Statistics.”—Ed.

[26] According to Mr. Karyshev’s calculations, the totals of the figures given in the List relating to European Russia are: 14,578 factories, with 885,555 workers and an output totalling 1,345,346,000 rubles.—Lenin

[27] The collections of factory inspectors’ reports published by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (for 1901-1903) give data on the number of factories and works, as well as workers employed in them (for 64 gubernias of Russia), the factories and works being classified according to the number of workers (up to 20; 21-50; 51-100; 101-500- 501-1,000; over 1,000). This is a big step forward in our factory statistics. The data for large workshops (21 workers and over) are probably reliable, at least in some degree. The data for “factories” with fewer than 20 workers are obviously casual and utterly worthless. For example, in Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia the number of factories employing fewer than 20 workers in 1903 is given as 266; the number of workers employed in them—1,975, or an average of fewer than 8 workers. In Perm Gubernia there are 10 such factories with 159 workers! Ridiculous, of course. The total for 1903 for 64 gubernias: 15,821 factories with 1,640,406 workers; and if we deduct factories and works employing fewer than 20 workers, we get 10,072 factories and works with 1,576,754 workers. (Note to 2nd edition.)—Lenin

[28] Cf. Vestnik Finansov, 1896, No. 35. Reports of papers and debates at Nizhni-Novgorod congress. Mr. Mikhailovsky very vividly described the chaotic condition of factory statistics, showing how the questionnaire travels “down to the lowest police official, who circulates it at last, getting a receipt, of course, to those industrial establishments which he deems worthy of attention, but most often in those of them which he circularised the previous years”;—how the replies given to the various questions are either: “same as last year”—(it is enough to go over the Collections of the Department of Commerce and Manufacture for the various trades in various gubernias to be convinced of the truth of this) —or are absolutely meaningless, etc.—Lenin

[29] The data concern all trades (i.e., including excise-paying) except mining. For 1879, 1890 and 1894-95 we have computed the data from Directories and the List. From the data in the List we have excluded printing works, of which no account was taken formerly in factory statistics (see Studies, p. 273) [See present edition, Vol 4, “On the Question of Our Factory Statistics.” –Ed.]. For 1866 we have according to the data in the Yearbook for 71 trades, 1,861 establishments each employing 16 and more workers, out of a total of 6,891 establishments; in 1890 these 71 trades accounted for about four-fifths of the total number of establishments with 16 and more workers. The criterion adopted by us for the term “factory” is, in our view, the most exact, since the most varied programmes for our factory statistics have undoubtedly accepted the inclusion of establishments with 16 and more workers among the factories, and this for all branches of industry. There can be no doubt that the factory statistics never could, and cannot now, register all establishments employing 16 and more workers (see instances in Chapter VI, II), but we have no grounds for thinking that there were more omissions formerly than now. For 1903 the data are from the Collection of Factory Inspectors’ Reports. In the 50 gubernias of European Russia there were 8,856 factories and works with over 20 workers 41 each.—Lenin

III. An Examination of Historico-Statistical Data On the Development of Large-Scale Industry

We have noted above that to judge the development of large-scale industry from factory statistics it is necessary to separate the relatively useful material in these statistics from the utterly useless. Let us, with this in view, examine the main branches of our manufacturing industry.

1) Textile Trades

At the head of the wool trades is cloth production, which in 1890 had an output of over 35 million rubles and employed 45,000 workers. The historico-statistical data on this trade indicate a considerable drop in the number of workers, namely, from 72,638 in 1866 to 46,740 in 1890.[1] To appraise this phenomenon we must take account of the fact that up to the 1860s inclusive, felt cloth production was organised on specific and original lines: it was concentrated in relatively large establishments which, however, did not in any way come under the category of capitalist factory industry, since they were based on the labour of serfs, or of temporarily bound peasants. In the surveys of the “factory” industry of the 60s we therefore meet with the division of cloth mills into 1) those owned by landlords or nobles, and 2) those owned by merchants. The former produced mainly army cloth, the government contracts having been distributed equally among the mills in proportion to the number of machines. Compulsory labour was the cause of the technical backwardness of such establishments and of their employing a much larger number of workers than the merchant mills based on the employment of hired labour.[2] The principal drop in the number of workers, engaged in felt cloth production took place in the gubernias with landlord factories; thus, in the 13 such gubernias (enumerated in the Survey of Manufactory Industries ), the number of workers dropped from 32,921 to 14,539 (1866 and 1890), while in the 5 gubernias with merchant factories (Moscow, Grodno, Liflandia, Chernigov and St. Petersburg) it dropped from 31,291 to 28,257. From this it is clear that we have here two opposite trends, both of which, however, indicate the development of capitalism—on the one hand, the decline of landlord establishments of a manorial-possessional character,[35] and on the other, the development of purely capitalist factories out of merchant establishments. A considerable number of the workers employed in felt cloth production in the 60s were not factory workers at all in the strict sense of the term; they were dependent peasants working for landlords.[3] Cloth production is an example of that specific phenomenon of Russian history—the employment of serf labour in industry. Since we are dealing only with the post-Reform period, the above brief remarks will suffice to show the way in which this phenomenon is reflected in factory statistics.[4] We shall now quote some figures drawn from statistics on steam-engines in order to estimate the development of large-scale machine production in this industry: in 1875-1878, in the wool-spinning and cloth industries of European Russia there were 167 mechanised establishments using 209 steam-engines with a total of 4,632 h.p., and in 1890 there were 197 establishments using 341 steam-engines with a total of 6,602 h.p. The use of steam power, therefore, did not make very rapid progress; this is to be explained partly by the traditions of landlord factories and partly by the displacement of felt cloth by the cheaper worsted and mixed fabrics.[5] In the years 1875-1878 there were seven mechanised establishments using 20 steam-engines with a total of 303 h.p., and in 1890 there were 28 mechanised establishments employing 61 steam-engines to a total of 1,375 h.p.[6]

In regard to the woollen-goods industry let us also take note of felt-making, a branch that shows in particularly striking fashion the impossibility of comparing factory statistics for different times: the figures for 1866 are 77 factories with a total of 295 workers, while for 1890 they are 57 factories with 1,217 workers. The former figure includes 60 small establishments employing 137 workers with an output of under 2,000 rubles, while the latter includes an establishment with four workers. In 1866 39 small establishments were recorded in Semyonov Uyezd, Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia, where felt-making is now highly developed but is regarded as a “handicraft” and not a “factory” industry (see Chapter VI, § II, 2).

Further, a particularly important place in the textile trades is held by cotton processing, a branch which now employs over 200,000 workers. Here we observe one of the biggest errors of our factory statistics, namely, the combining of factory workers and capitalistically occupied home workers. Large-scale machine industry developed here (as in many other cases) by drawing home workers into the factory. It is obvious how distorted this process will appear if work-distributing offices and work rooms are classed as “factories,” if home workers are lumped together with factory workers! For 1866 (according to the Yearbook ) up to 22,000 home workers were included among factory workers (by no means the full number, for the Yearbook, evidently by pure accident, omits in the case of Moscow Gubernia those notes about “work from village to village” which are so abundant for Vladimir Gubernia). For 1890 (according to the Directory ) we found only about 9,000 such workers. Clearly, the figures given in the factory statistics (1866—59,000 workers in the cotton weaving mills; 1890—75,000) underrate the increase in the number of factory workers that actually took place.[7] Here are data showing what different establishments were classed at different times as cotton-weaving “factories”:[8]Cotton-weaving factories.

Thus, the decrease in the number of “factories” shown by the “statistics” actually indicates the displacing of distributing offices and workrooms by the factory. Let us illustrate this by the example of two factories:Terentyev’s and Garelin’s factories.

Hence, to assess the development of large-scale machine production in this branch of industry it is best to take the data giving the number of power-looms. In the 18609 there were about 11,000,[9] and in 1890 about 87,000. Large-scale machine industry was consequently developing at enormous speed. In cotton spinning and weaving there was recorded in 1875-1878 a total of 148 mechanised establishments, having 481 steam-engines totalling 20,504 h.p., and in 1890, 168 mechanised establishments, having 554 steam-engines with a total of 38,750 h.p.

Precisely the same mistake is made in Russian statistics in relation to linen production, wherein a decrease in the number of factory workers is erroneously shown (1866—17,171; 1890—15,497). Actually, in 1866, of 16,900 looms belonging to linen-mill owners only 4,749 were kept in their establishments, the remaining 12,151 being held by work room owners.[10] The number of factory workers for 1866, therefore, included about 12,000 home workers, and for 1890 only about 3,000 (computed from Directory ). The number of power-looms, however, grew from 2,263 in 1866 (computed from Military Statistical Abstract ) to 4,041 in 1890, and of spindles from 95,495 to 218,012. In flax spinning and linen-weaving in the years 1875-1878 there were 28 mechanised establishments, having 47 steam engines with a total of 1,604 h.p., while in 1890 there were 48 mechanised establishments, having 83 steam-engines with a total of 5,027 h.p.[11]

Lastly, of the textile trades mention should be made of dyeing, printing and finishing, in which trades the factory statistics combine factories and the very smallest handicraft establishments with only 1 or 2 workers each and an output of a few hundred rubles.[12] Naturally, this causes no little confusion and obscures the rapid growth of large-scale machine industry. The following figures reflect this growth: in the wool-cleaning, dyeing, bleaching and finishing trades in 1875-1878 there were 80 mechanised establishments with 255 steam-engines totalling 2,634 h.p.; in 1890 there were 189 mechanised establishments with 858 steam-engines totalling 9,100 h.p.

2) Wood – Working Industries

In this section the most reliable data are those on saw milling, although in the past small establishments were also included here.[13] The enormous development of this trade in the post-Reform period (1866—4 million rubles 1890—19 million rubles), accompanied by a considerable increase in the number of workers (4,000 and 15,000) and in the number of steam-powered establishments (26 and 430), is particularly interesting, in that it affords striking evidence of the growth of the lumber industry. Saw-milling is but one of the operations of the lumber industry, which is a necessary concomitant of the first steps of large-scale machine industry.

As to the rest of the trades in this section, namely, furnishing and carpentry, bast-matting, and pitch and tar—the factory statistics relating to them are distinguished for their particularly chaotic condition. The small establishments so numerous in these trades were formerly included among the “factories” in numbers fixed arbitrarily, and the same is sometimes done even today.[14]

3) Chemical, Livestock – Product
and Ceramic Industries

The statistics on the chemical industry proper are distinguished for their relative reliability. The following returns show its growth: in 1857 chemical products were consumed in Russia to a total of 14 million rubles (3.4 million rubles home produced and 10.6 million rubles imported); in 1880, to a total of 36 1/4 million rubles (7 1/2 million rubles home produced and 28 3/4 imported); and in 1890, to a total of 42.7 million rubles (16.1 million rubles home produced and 26.6 imported).[15] These data are particularly interesting because the chemical industries are extremely important as producers of auxiliary materials for large-scale machine industry, i.e., articles of productive (and not personal) consumption. As to potash and saltpetre production, let us remark that the number of factories given is unreliable, again due to the inclusion of small establishments.[16]

The tallow trade has undoubtedly declined in the post-Reform period. Thus, the value of output of the tallow candle and tallow-boiling trade was estimated in 1866-1868 at 13.6 million rubles, and in 1890 at 5 million rubles.[17] This decline is to be explained by the growing use of mineral oils for lighting, which are displacing the old-time tallow candle.

For leather production (1866: 2,308 establishments with 11,463 workers and an output totalling 14.6 million rubles; 1890: 1,621 establishments with 15,564 workers and an output totalling 26.7 million rubles) statistics constantly lump together factories and small establishments. The relatively high cost of raw materials, which explains the high total output, and the fact that this trade requires very few workers, make it particularly difficult to draw a line of demarcation between the handicraft establishments and the factories. In 1890, of the total number of factories (1,621), only 103 had an output of less than 2,000 rubles; in 1879 there were 2,008 out of a total of 3,320[18]; in 1866, of 2,308 factories[19] 1,042 had an output of less than 1,000 rubles (these 1,042 factories employed 2,059 workers and had an output totalling 474,000 rubles). Thus, the number of factories increased, although the factory statistics show a decrease. As for the small leather establishments, their number is still very large today: for instance, The Factory Industry and Trade of Russia, published by the Ministry of Finance (St. Petersburg, 1893), gives a total of nearly 9,500 handicraft works, with 21,000 workers and an output of 12 million rubles. These “handicraft” establishments are much larger than those which in the 60s were included among “factories and works.” Since small establishments are included among the “factories and works” in unequal numbers in the different gubernias and in different years, the statistics on this trade should be treated with great caution. The steam-engine statistics for 1875-1878 gave for this industry 28 mechanised establishments with 33 steam-engines to a total of 488 h.p. and in 1890 there were 66 mechanised establishments with 82 steam-engines to a total of 1,112 h.p. In these 66 factories 5,522 workers (more than a third of the total) were concentrated with an output totalling 12.3 million rubles (46% of the total), so that the concentration of production was very considerable, and the productivity of labour in the large establishments far above the average.[20]

The ceramic trades fall into two categories in accordance with the character of the factory statistics: in some, there is hardly any combining of small-scale production with large. That is why these statistics are fairly reliable. This applies to the following industries: glass, porcelain and chinaware, plaster and cement. Particularly remark able is the rapid growth of the last-mentioned trade, which is evidence of the development of the building industry: the total output in 1866 was estimated at 530,000 rubles (Military Statistical Abstract ), and in 1890 at 3,826,000 rubles; the number of power-operated establishments in 1875-1878 was 8, and in 1890 it was 39. On the other hand, in the pottery and brick trades the inclusion of small establishments is observed on a tremendous scale, and for that reason the factory statistics are very unsatisfactory, being particularly exaggerated for the 60s and 70s. Thus, in the pottery trade in 1879 there were listed 552 establishments, with 1,900 workers and an output totalling 538,000 rubles, and in 1890, 158 establishments with 1,978 workers and an output totalling 919,000 rubles. If we subtract the small establishments (those with an output of less than 2,000 rubles) we get: 1879—70 establishments, with 840 workers and an output of 505,000 rubles; 1890—143 establishments, with 1,859 workers and an output of 857,000 rubles. That is to say, instead of the decrease in the number of “factories” and stagnation in the number of workers shown in the statistics, there was actually a considerable increase in both the one and the other. In brick-making the official data for 1879 showed 2,627 establishments, with 28,800 workers and an output totalling 6,963,000 rubles; for 1890—1,292 establishments, with 24,334 workers and an output of 7,249,000 rubles; and without the small establishments (those with an output of less than 2,000 rubles) we get for 1879—518 establishments, with 19,057 workers and an output of 5,625,000 rubles; and for 1890—1,096 establishments, with 23,222 workers and an output of 7,240,000 rubles.[21]

4) Metallurgical Industries

In the factory statistics for the metallurgical industries the sources of confusion are, firstly, the inclusion of small establishments (exclusively in the 60s and 70s),[22] and, secondly and mainly, the fact that metallurgical plants are “subject, not to the jurisdiction” of the Department of Commerce and Manufacture, but to that of the Department of Mines. The returns of the Ministry of Finance usually omit ironworks “on principle”; but there have never been uniform and invariable rules for the separation of ironworks from the other works (and it would hardly be possible to devise them). That is why the factory statistics published by the Ministry of Finance always include ironworks to some extent, although the actual degree to which they are included varies for different gubernias and for different years.[23] General data on the increased use of steam-engines in metallurgy since the Reform will be given below, when we deal with the mining and metallurgical industry.

5) Food Industries

These industries merit special attention for the question that concerns us, since the confusion in factory statistics attains here its maximum. And yet, these industries occupy a prominent place in our factory industry as a whole.

Thus, according to the Directory for 1890 these industries account for 7,095 factories, with 45,000 workers and an output totalling 174 million rubles out of a total for European Russia of 21,124 factories, with 875,764 workers and an output of 1,501 million rubles. The fact is that the principal trades of this group—flour-milling, groat milling and oil-pressing—consist of the processing of agricultural produce. There are hundreds and thousands of small establishments in Russia engaged in this processing in every gubernia, and since there are no generally established rules for selecting the “factories and works” from among them, the statistics pick out such small establishments quite fortuitously. That is why the numbers of “factories and works” for different years and for different gubernias fluctuate enormously. Here, for example, are the figures for the flour-milling trade for various years, as taken from various sources: 1865— 857 mills (Returns and Material of the Ministry of Finance ); 1866— 2,176 (Yearbook ); 1866—18,426 (Military Statistical Abstract ); 1885—3,940 (Collection ); 17,765 (Returns for Russia ); 1889, 1890 and 1891—5,073, 5,605 and 5,201[24] (Collection ); 1894-95—2,308 (List ). Among the 5,041 mills listed in 1892 (Collection ), 803 were steam-, 2,907 water-, 1,323 wind- and 8 horse-operated! Some gubernias counted only steam-mills, others included watermills (in numbers ranging from 1 to 425), still others (the minority) included also windmills (from 1 to 530) and horse-operated mills. One can imagine the value of such statistics, and of conclusions based on a credulous use of the data they provide![25] Obviously, to judge the growth of large-scale machine industry we must first establish a definite criterion for the term “factory.” Let us take as such a criterion the employment of steam-engines: steam-mills are a characteristic concomitant of the epoch of large-scale machine industry.[26]

We get the following picture of the development of factory production in this branch of industry.[27]Factory production in food industries.

The statistics for the oil-pressing trade are unsatisfactory for the same reason. For instance, in 1879 2,450 works were listed with 7,207 workers and an output totalling 6,486,000 rubles, and in 1890 there were 383 works, with 4,746 workers and an output totalling 12,232,000 rubles. But this decrease in the number of factories and of workers is only apparent. If the data for 1879 and 1890 are made comparable, i.e., if we exclude establishments with an output of less than 2,000 rubles (not included in the lists) we get for 1879: 272 works, with 2,941 workers and an output totalling 5,771,000 rubles, and for 1890—379 works, with 4,741 workers and an output totalling 12,232,000 rubles. That large-scale machine industry has developed in this trade no less rapidly than in flour-milling is evident, for example, from the statistics for steam-engines; in 1875-1878 there were 27 steam-powered works, with 28 steam engines of 521 h.p., while in 1890 there were 113 mechanised works, with 116 steam-engines totalling 1,886 h.p.

The other trades of this group are relatively small. Let us note that in the mustard and fish-products trades, for instance, the statistics of the 60s included hundreds of small establishments such as have nothing whatever in common with factories and are now not classed as such. The extent to which our factory statistics for various years need correction is evident from the following: with the exception of flour-milling, the Directory for 1879 gave in this section a total of 3,555 establishments with 15,313 workers, and for 1890—1,842 establishments with 19,159 workers. For 7 trades,[28] small establishments (with an output of less than 2,000 rubles) were included as follows: in 1879—2,487 with 5,176 workers and an output totalling 916,000 rubles and in 1890, seven establishments, employing ten workers and with an output totalling two thousand rubles! To make the data comparable, one should, consequently, subtract in one case five thousand workers, and in the other, ten persons!

6) Excise – Paying and Other Trades

In some of the excise-paying trades we observe a decrease in the number of factory workers between the 1860s and the present day, but the decrease is not nearly as considerable as is asserted by Mr. N.–on,[29] who blindly believes every figure in print. The fact is that for the majority of excise-paying trades the only source of information is the Military Statistical Abstract, which, as we know, tremendously exaggerates the totals in the factory statistics. Unfortunately, however, we have little material with which to verify the data in the Abstract . In distilling, the Military Statistical Abstract counted in 1866 a total of 3,836 distilleries with 52,660 workers (in 1890—1,620, with 26,102 workers), but the number of distilleries does not coincide with the data of the Ministry of Finance, which in 1865-66 calculated 2,947 operating distilleries and in 1866-67—3,386.[30] Judging by this, the number of workers is exaggerated by some 5,000 to 9,000. In vodka distilling, the Military Statistical Abstract computes 4,841 distilleries, with 8,326 workers (1890: 242 distilleries with 5,266 workers); of these Bessarabia Gubernia has 3,207 distilleries with 6,873 workers. The absurdity of these figures is glaring. In fact, we learn from material published by the Ministry of Finance[31] that the actual number of vodka distilleries in Bessarabia Gubernia was 10 or 12, and in the whole of European Russia 1,157. The number of workers was consequently exaggerated by a minimum of 6 thousand. The cause of this exaggeration is, evidently, that the Bessarabian “statisticians” included vineyard owners among the owners of distilleries (see below on tobacco making). In beer- and mead-brewing, the Military Statistical Abstract counts 2,374 breweries, with 6,825 workers (1890—918 breweries, with 8,364 workers), whereas The Ministry of Finance Yearbook estimates a total of 2,087 breweries in European Russia for 1866. The number of workers is exaggerated here too.[32] In the beet-sugar and sugar-refining trades, the Military Statistical Abstract exaggerates the number of workers by 11 thousand, counting 92,126 persons, as against 80,919 according to the data of The Ministry of Finance Yearbook (1890—77,875 workers). In tobacco-making, the Military Statistical Abstract gives 5,327 factories, with 26,116 workers (1890— 281 factories, with 26,720 workers); of these, 4,993 factories with 20,038 workers are in Bessarabia Gubernia. Actually, the number of tobacco factories in Russia in 1866 was 343, and in Bessarabia Gubernia 13.[33] The number of workers has been exaggerated by about 20 thousand, and even the compilers of the Military Statistical Abstract themselves indicated that “the factories shown in Bessarabia Gubernia . . . are nothing but tobacco plantations” (p. 414). Mr. N.–on evidently thought it superfluous to glance at the text of the statistical publication he uses; that is why he failed to notice the error, and discoursed with a highly serious air about a “slight increase in the number of workers in the . . . tobacco factories” (article cited, p. 104)!! Mr. N.–on simply takes the total number of workers in the excise paying trades from the Military Statistical Abstract and the Directory for 1890 (186,053 and 144,332) and calculates the percentage of decrease. . . . “In a period of 25 years there has been a considerable drop in the number of workers employed. It has diminished by 22.4%. . . . “Here” (i.e., in the excise-paying trades) “we see no signs of an increase, the plain fact being that the number of workers has simply declined by a quarter of its previous magnitude” (ibid.). Indeed, what could be “simpler”! Take the first figure you lay your hands on, and calculate a percentage! As for the trifling circumstance that the figure given in the Military Statistical Abstract exaggerates the number of workers by some forty thousand, that can be ignored.

7) Conclusions

The criticism of our factory statistics given in the last two sections leads us to the following main conclusions:

1. The number of factories in Russia has been rapidly growing in the post-Reform period.

The opposite conclusion, which follows from our factory statistics, is erroneous. The point is that the figures we are given of factories include small artisan, handicraft and agricultural establishments, and the further back we go from the present daythe larger the number of small establishments included in the number of factories.

2. The number of factory workers and the volume of output of factories and works are likewise exaggerated for the past period in our statistics. This is due, firstly, to the fact that former]y a greater number of small establishments were included. Hence, the data for the industries that merge with handicrafts are particularly unreliable.[34] Secondly, it is due to the fact that in the past more capitalistically employed home workers were classified as factory workers than today.

3. It is customary in this country to think that if figures are taken from the official factory statistics they must be considered comparable with other figures taken from the same source, and must be regarded as more or less reliable, until the contrary is proved. What has been said above, however, leads to the opposite conclusion, namely, that all comparisons of our factory statistics for different times and for different gubernias must be regarded as unreliable until the reverse is proved.


[1] In all cases, unless otherwise stated, we take the data of the Yearbook for 1866 and those of the Directories for 1879 and 1890.—The Historico-Statistical Survey (Vol. II) gives annual information on cloth production from 1855 to 1879; the following are the five-year averages of workers employed from 1855-1859 to 1875-1879: 107,433-96,131- 92,117; 87,960 and 81,458.—Lenin

[2] See A Survey of Various Branches of Manufactory Industry in Russia, Vol. I, St. Petersburg, 1862, particularly pp. 165 and 167. Cf. also Military Statistical Abstract, D. 357 and foll. At the present time we rarely meet in the lists of cloth manufacturers the celebrated noble families that constituted the overwhelming majority in the 1860s.—Lenin

[3] The following examples are taken from Zemstvo statistical material. Concerning N. P. Gladkov’s cloth factory in Volsk Uyezd Saratov Gubernia (in 1866 it had 306 workers), we read in the Zemstvo statistical abstract for this uyezd (p. 275) that peasants were forced to work in the factory belonging to the lord. “They worked in the factory until they married, and then became tax-paying members of the peasant community.” In the village of Rvassy, Ranenburg Uyezd, Ryazan Gubernia, there was in 1866 a cloth factory employing 180 workers. The peasants performed their Corvée by working in the mill, which was closed down in 1870 (Statistical Returns for Ryazan Gubernia, Vol. II, Pt. I, Moscow, 1882, p. 330).—Lenin

[4] See Nisselovich, A History of the Factory Legislation of the Russian Empire, Pts. I and II, St. Petersburg, 1883-1884.—A. Semyonov, A Study of Historical Data on Russian Foreign Trade and Industry, St. Petersburg, 1858-1859, 3 parts.—V. I. Semevsky, The Peasants in the Reign of Catherine II, St. Petersburg, 1881.—Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia. Sanitary Statistical Sec, Vol IV, Pt. I (general summary), Moscow, 1890, article by A. V. Pogozhev, “The Manorial-Possessional Factories of Moscow Gubernia.”—M. Tugan-Baranovsky, The Russian Factory, St. Petersburg, 1898, Vol. I.—Lenin

[5] Cf. Successes of Russian Industry According to Surveys of Expert Commissions, St. Petersburg, 1897, p. 60.—Lenin

[6] The data on steam-engines in this and the following instances are taken from Material for the Statistics of Steam-Engines in the Russian Empire published by the Central Statistical Committee, St. Petersburg, 1882; for 1890 they are taken from Collection of Data on Factory Industry ; data on mechanised establishments are from the Directory.—Lenin

[7] Cf. Tugan-Baranovsky, loccit., p. 420.—The total number of village hand weavers working for capitalists was estimated by Semyonov at approximately 385,857 in 1859 (loccit., III, 273) to these he added another 200,000 village workers engaged “in other factory trades” (ibid., p. 302). At the present time, as we have seen above, the number of capitalistically employed home workers is much larger.—Lenin

[8] Establishments with an output of under 2,000 rubles are classed as workrooms. The data of the special investigation of factories and works in Moscow and Vladimir gubernias made in 1868 by the Central Statistical Committee contain the repeated statement that the output figures of the small weaving establishments merely indicate pay for work done. Establishments that distribute work to home workers are classed as offices. For 1866 the figure given for these establishments is far from complete, owing to obvious omissions in the case of Moscow Gubernia.—Lenin

[9] Military Statistical Abstract, 380.— Survey of Manufactory Industry, Vol, II, St. Petersburg, 1863, p. 451. —In 1898 the number of power-looms used in cotton weaving (for the whole Empire, evidently) was reckoned at 100,630. Successes of Russian Industry, p. 33.—Lenin

[10] Military Statistical Abstract, pp. 367-368: Commissariat returns.—Lenin

[11] In silk-weaving in 1879 there were 495 power-looms and 5,996 hand-looms (Historico-Statistical Survey), and in 1890 there were 2,899 of the former and over 7,500 of the latter.—Lenin

[12] For example, in 1879 the number of factories computed in these trades was 729; of this number, 466 had 977 workers and an output of 170,000 rubles. Even today one can find many such “factories”—for instance, in the description of the handicraft industries of Vyatka and Perm gubernias.—Lenin

[13] Cf. Military Statistical Abstract, p. 389. Survey of Manufactory Industry, I, 309.—Lenin

[14] Thus in 1879, of 91 bast-matting factories 39 had an output of less than 1,000 rubles each (Cf. Studies, p. 155). [See present edition Vol. 2, The Handicraft Census of 1894-95 in Perm Gubernia. –Ed.] In the pitch-and-tar trade for f890 there were computed 140 factories, all with an output exceeding 2,000 rubles; for 1879, 1,033 were computed, of which 911 had an output of less than 2,000 rubles; for 1866 the number listed was 669 (for the Empire), while the Military Statistical Abstract even gave the figure of 3,164!! (Cf. Studies, pp. 156 and 271.) [See present edition, Vol. 2, The Handicraft Census of 1894-95 in Perm Gubernia, and Vol. 4, “On the Question of Our Factory Statistics.” –Ed.]—Lenin

[15] Military Statistical AbstractHistorico-Statistical Survey and Productive Forces, IX, 16.—The number of workers in 1866—5,645; in 1890—25,471; in 1875-1878—38 mechanised establishments, with 34 steam-engines to a total of 332 h.p.; and in 1890—141 mechanised establishments, with 208 steam-engines to a total of 3,319 h.p.—Lenin

[16] Cf. Directory for 1879 and 1890 about potash production. The production of saltpetre is now concentrated in one factory in St. Petersburg, whereas in the 60s and 70s saltpetre was obtained from burti (dungheaps).—Lenin

[17] Here, too, the number of factories in the 60s and 709 included a host of small establishments.—Lenin

[18] In 1875, Prof. Kittary, in his Map of Leather Production in Russia, gave an aggregate of 12,939 establishments, with output totalling 47 1/2 million rubles, whereas the factory statistics gave 2,764 establishments, with output totalling 26 1/2 million rubles (Historico-Statistical Survey). In the fur trade, another in this section, a similar lumping is observed of small establishments together with factories: Cf. Directory for 1879 and for 1890.—Lenin

[19] The Military Statistical Abstract gave an aggregate of even 3,890!!—Lenin

[20] If we distribute the factories shown in the Directory as for 1890 according to date of establishment we get the following: of 1,506 factories the number established at dates unknown was 91, before 1850 —331; in the 1850s—147; in the 60s—239; in the 70s—320; in the 80s —351; in 1890—21. In every succeeding decade more factories were established than in the preceding one.—Lenin

[21] The small establishments in these industries are now classed with the handicrafts. Cf., for instance, the table of small industries (Appendix I) or Studies, pp. 158-159. (See present edition, Vol. 2, The Handicraft Census of 1894-95 in Perm Gubernia. –Ed.). The Ministry of Finance Yearbook (Vol. I) refused to give totals for these industries because the figures were obviously exaggerated. Progress in statistics since then is expressed in an increased boldness and disregard of the quality of material used.—Lenin

[22] Thus, in the 60s, dozens of smithies were classed for some gubernias as “ironworks.”– See Returns and Material of the Ministry of Finance, 1866, No. 4, p. 406; 1867, No. 6 p. 384.—Statistical Chronicle, Series II, Vol. 6.—Cf. also the example quoted above (§ II) where the Yearbook for 1866 includes the small handicraftsmen of the Pavlovo district among the “factory owners.”—Lenin

[23] See examples in Studies, p. 269 and p. 284 (see present edition, Vol. 4, “On the Question of Our Factory Statistics.” –Ed.), where Mr. Karyshev’s error in ignoring this circumstance is examined. The Directory for 1879, for instance, includes the Kulebaki and Vyksa ironworks, or departments of them (pp. 356 and 374), which are omitted in the Directory for 1890.—Lenin

[24] And in addition 32,957 “small windmills,” not counted among the “factories and works.”—Lenin

[25] See examples of such conclusions drawn by Mr. Karyshev in the above-quoted article in the Studies. (See present edition, Vol. 4, opcit. –Ed.)—Lenin

[26] Large watermills are also in the nature of factories, of course, but we have no data to enable us to single them out from among the small ones. In the Directory for 1890 we saw listed 250 watermills each employing 10 and more workers. They employed 6,378 workers.—Lenin

[27] Military Statistical AbstractDirectories and Collection. According to the List for 1894-95, there are 1,192 steam-mills in European Russia. The statistics for steam-engines gave the number of steam-mills in European Russia in 1875-1878 as 294.—Lenin

[28] Oil-pressing, starch, treacle, malt, confectionery, preserves and vinegar.—Lenin

[29] Russkoye Bogatstvo, 1894, No. 6, pp. 104-105.—Lenin

[30] The Ministry of Finance Yearbook, I, pp. 76 and 82. The total number of distilleries (including those not in operation) was 4,737 and 4,646 respectively.—Lenin

[31] Yearbook, I, p. 104.—Lenin

[32] E.g., in Simbirsk Gubernia, the Military Statistical Abstract computes 218 distilleries (!) with 299 workers and an output totalling 21,600 rubles. (According to the Yearbook there were 7 distilleries in the gubernia.) Very likely, these were small domestic or peasant establishments.—Lenin

[33] The Ministry of Finance Yearbook, p. 61. Cf. Survey of Manufactory Industry (Vol. II St. Petersburg, 1863), which gives detailed information for 1861: 534 factories, with 6,937 workers; and in Bessarabia Gubernia, 31 factories, with 73 workers. The number of tobacco factories fluctuates greatly from year to year.—Lenin

[34] If we take the gross figures for all trades and for long periods, the exaggeration resulting from the cause mentioned will not be great, for the small establishments account for a small percentage of the total number of workers and the total output. It goes without saying that one presumes a comparison of figures taken from similar sources (there can be no question of comparing the returns of the Ministry of Finance with those of gubernatorial reports, or of the Military Statistical Abstract ).—Lenin

[35] The “landlord establishment of a manorial-possessional character ” was a feudal manorial manufactory belonging to a landlord and employing his serf-peasants. By a decree of Peter I issued in 1721, merchant factory owners were permitted to purchase peasants for work in their factories. The feudal workers attached to such enterprises were called “possessional peasants.” [p. 470]

IV. The Development of the Mining Industry[1]

In the initial period of Russia’s post-Reform development the principal centre of ore-mining was the Urals. Constituting a single area, until quite recently separated sharply from Central Russia, it has at the same time an original industrial structure. For ages the basis of the “organisation of labour” in the Urals was serfdom, which to this day, the very end of the 19th century, leaves its impress on quite important aspects of life in this mining area. In the old days serfdom was the basis of the greatest prosperity of the Urals and of its dominant position, not only in Russia, but partly also in Europe. In the 18th century iron was one of Russia’s principal items of export; in 1782 nearly 3.8 million poods of iron were exported; in 1800-1815 from 2 to 1 1/2 million poods; in 1815-1838 about 1 1/3 million poods. Already “in the 20s of the 19th century Russia was producing 1 1/2 times as much pig-iron as France, 4 1/2 times as much as Prussia and 3 times as much as Belgium.” But the very serfdom that helped the Urals to rise to such heights when European capitalism was in its initial period was the very cause of the Urals’ decline when capitalism was in its heyday. The iron industry in the Urals developed very slowly. In 1718 Russia’s output of pig-iron was about 6 1/2 million poods, in 1767 about 9 1/2 million poods, in 1806 12 million poods, in the 30s—9 to 11 million poods, in the 40s—11 to 13 million poods, in the 50s—12 to 16 million poods, in the 60s—13 to 18 million poods, in 1867—17 1/2 million poods. In one hundred years the output was not even doubled, and Russia dropped far behind other European countries, where large-scale machine industry had given rise to a tremendous development of metallurgy.

The main cause of stagnation in the Urals was serfdom; the ironmasters were at once feudal landlords and industrialists, and their power was based not on capital and competition, but on monopoly[2] and their possessional right. The Ural ironmasters are big landowners even today. In 1890, the 262 ironworks in the Empire had 11.4 million dessiatines of land (including 8.7 million dessiatines of forestland), of which 10.2 million belonged to 111 Urals ironworks (forestland covering 7.7 million dessiatines). On the average, consequently, each Urals works possesses vast latifundia covering some hundred thousand dessiatines. The allotment of land to the peasants from these estates has to this day not been completed. Labour is obtained in the Urals, not only by hire, but also on the labour-service basis. The Zemstvo statistics for Krasnoufimsk Uyezd, Perm Gubernia, for example, estimate that there are thousands of peasant farms that have the use of factory-owned land, pastures, woodland, etc., either gratis, or at a low rent. It stands to reason that this free use of the land actually has a very high cost, for it serves to reduce wages to a very low level; the ironworks get their “own” workers, tied down to the works and cheaply paid.[3] Here is the way Mr. V. D. Belov describes these relationships:

The Urals enjoy the advantage, says Mr. Belov, of having workers who have been moulded by their “original” history. “Workers in other factories, abroad, or even in St. Petersburg, have not the interests of their factory at heart: they are here today and gone tomorrow. While the factory is running they work; when losses take the place of profits, they take up their knapsacks and go off as fast and as readily as they came. They and their employers are permanent enemies. . . . The position is entirely different in the case of the Ural workers. They are natives of the place and in the vicinity of the works they have their land, their farms and their families. Their own welfare is closely, inseparably, bound up with the welfare of the works. If it does well, they do well; if it does badly, it is bad for them; but they cannot leave it (sic !): they have more here than a knapsack (sic !); to leave means to wreck their whole world, to abandon the land, farm and family. . . . And so they are ready to hang on for years to work at half pay, or, what amounts to the same thing, to remain unemployed half their working time so that other local workers like themselves may earn a crust of bread. In short, they are ready to accept any terms the employers offer, so long as they are allowed to remain. . . . Thus, there is an inseparable bond between the Ural workers and the works; the relationships are the same today as they were in the past, before their emancipation from serf dependence; only the form of these relationships has changed, nothing more. The former principle of serfdom has been superseded by the lofty principle of mutual benefit.”[4]

This lofty principle of mutual benefit manifests itself primarily in reduction of wages to a particularly low level. “In the South . . . a worker costs twice and even three times as much as in the Urals”—for example, according to data covering several thousand workers, 450 rubles (annually per worker) as against 177 rubles. In the South “at the first opportunity of earning a decent wage in the fields of their native villages or anywhere else, the workers leave the iron works, and coal- or ore-mines” (Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 17, p. 265). In the Urals, however, a decent wage is not to be dreamt of.

Naturally and inseparably connected with the low wages and servile status of the Ural workers is the technical backwardness of the Urals. There pig-iron is smelted mostly with the aid of wood fuel, in old-fashioned furnaces with cold or slightly heated blast. In 1893, the number of cold-blast furnaces in the Urals was 37 out of 110, while in the South, there were 3 out of 18. A mineral-fuel furnace had an average output of 1.4 million poods per year, while a wood-fuel furnace had one of 217,000 poods. In 1890 Mr. Keppen wrote: “The refining process of smelting pig-iron is still firmly established in the ironworks of the Urals, whereas in other parts of Russia it has been almost entirely displaced by the puddling process.”[19] Steam-engines are used to a far less extent in the Urals than in the South. Lastly, we cannot but note the seclusion of the Urals, its isolation from the centre of Russia owing to the vast distance and the absence of railways. Until quite recently the products of the Urals were transported to Moscow mainly by the primitive method of “floating” by river once a year.[5]

Thus the most direct survivals of the pre-Reform system, extensive practice of labour-service, bonded condition of the workers, low productivity of labour, backwardness of technique, low wages, prevalence of hand production, primitive and rapaciously antediluvian exploitation of the region’s natural wealth, monopolies, hindrances to competition, seclusion and isolation from the general commercial and industrial march of the times— such is the general picture of the Urals.

The mining area in the South[6] is in many respects the very opposite of the Urals. The South is in the period of formation and is as young as the Urals are old and the system prevailing there “time-hallowed.” The purely capitalist industry which has arisen here during recent decades recognises no traditions, no social-estate or national divisions, no seclusion of definite sections of the population. There has been a mass influx of foreign capital, engineers and workers into South Russia; and in the present period of boom (1898) entire factories are being brought there from America.[7] International capital has not hesitated to settle within the tariff wall and establish itself on “foreign” soil: ubi beneibi patria[8] …. The following are statistics on the displacement of the Urals by the South[20]:Output of pig-iron.

These figures clearly show what a technical revolution is now taking place in Russia, and what an enormous capacity for the development of productive forces is possessed by large-scale capitalist industry. The predominance of the Urals meant the predominance of serf labour, technical backwardness and stagnation.[9] On the contrary, we now see that the development of metallurgical industry is proceeding faster in Russia than in Western Europe and in some respects even faster than in the United States. In 1870 Russia produced 2.9% of the world output of pig-iron (22 million poods out of 745 million), and in 1894—5.1% (81.3 million poods out of 1,584.2) (Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 22). In the last 10 years (1886-1896) Russia has trebled her output of pig-iron (32 1/2 to 96 1/2 million poods), whereas it took France, for example, 28 years to do so (1852-1880), the U.S.A. 23 years (1845-1868), England 22 (1824-1846) and Germany 12 (1859-1871; see Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 50). The development of capitalism in the young countries is greatly accelerated by the example and the aid of the old countries. Of course, the last decade (1888-1898) has been a period of exceptional boom, which, like all capitalist prosperity, will inevitably lead to a crisis; but capitalist development cannot proceed at all except in spurts.

The introduction of machinery into production and the increase in the number of workers have been much more rapid in the South than in the Urals.[10]Steam-engines, h.p. and mine-workers.

Thus we see that in the Urals the increase in the use of steam-power was only some 2 1/2 times, whereas in the South it was sixfold ; the increase in the number of workers in the Urals was 1 2/3 times, whereas in the South it was nearly fourfold.[11] Consequently, it is capitalist large-scale industry that rapidly increases the number of workers, at the same time enormously increasing the productivity of their labour.

Alongside of the South, mention should be made of the Caucasus, which is also characterised by an amazing growth of the mining industry in the post-Reform period. The out put of oil, which in the 60s did not even reach a million poods (557,000 in 1865), was in 1870—I.7 million poods, in 1875—5.2 million poods, in 1880—21.5 million poods, in 1885— 116 million poods, in 1890—242.9 million poods, in 1895—38k million poods and in 1902—637.7 million poods. Nearly all the oil is obtained in Baku Gubernia, and Baku “from an insignificant town has turned into a first-class Russian industrial centre, with 112,000 inhabitants.”[12] The enormous development of the extraction and processing of oil has given rise in Russia to a greater consumption of kerosene that has completely ousted the American product (increase of personal consumption with the cheapening of the product by factory processing), and to a still greater consumption of oil by-products as fuel in factories, in works and on the railways (increase of productive consumption).[13] The number of workers in the mining industry of the Caucasus has also grown very rapidly: from 3,431 in 1877 to 17,603 in 1890, i.e., has increased fivefold .

To illustrate the structure of industry in the South let us take the data for the coal industry in the Donets Basin (where the average mine is smaller than in any other part of Russia). Classifying the mines according to number of workers employed, we get the following picture:[14] (See Table on p. 493.)Mines according to number of workers employed.

Thus, in this area (and in this one only) there are extremely small peasants’ mines, which, however, despite their great number, play an absolutely insignificant part in the total output (104 small mines account for only 2% of the total coal output) and are marked by an exceedingly low productivity of labour. On the other hand, the 37 largest mines employ nearly all of the total number of workers and produce over 70% of the total coal output. Productivity of labour increases parallel with the increase in the size of the mines, even irrespective of whether machinery is used or not (cf., for example, categories V and III of mines, as to quantity of steam-power and output per worker). Concentration of production in the Donets Basin is steadily increasing: thus, in the four years 1882-1886, of 512 coal consigners, 21 dispatched over 5,000 wagon-loads (i.e., 3 million poods) each, making 229,700 wagon-loads out of 480,800, i.e., less than half. In the four years 1891-1895, however, there were 872 consigners, of whom 55 dispatched over 5,000 wagon-loads each, making 925,400 wagon-loads out of 1,178,000, i.e., over 8/10 of the total number.[15]

The foregoing data on the development of the mining industry are particularly important in two respects: firstly, they reveal with exceptional clarity the essence of the change in social-economic relations that is taking place in Russia in all spheres of the national economy; secondly, they illustrate the theoretical proposition that in a developing capitalist society there is a particularly rapid growth of those branches of industry which produce means of production, i.e., articles not of personal, but of productive, consumption. The replacement of one form of social economy by another is particularly clear in the mining industry, because here the typical representatives of the two forms are distinct areas. In one area there is the old pre-capitalist world, with its primitive, routine technique, personal dependence of a population tied to place of residence, firmly established social-estate traditions, monopolies, etc.; while in the other area one finds a complete break with all tradition, a technical revolution, and the rapid growth of purely capitalist machine industry.[16] This example brings out in bold relief the mistake of the Narodnik economists. They deny the progressive nature of capitalism in Russia, pointing to the fact that in agriculture our entrepreneurs readily resort to labour-service and in industry to the distribution of home work and that in mining they seek to secure the tying down of the worker, legislative prohibition of competition by small establishments, etc., etc. The illogicality of such arguments and their flagrant distortion of historical perspective are glaring. Whence, indeed, does it follow that the efforts of our entrepreneurs to utilise the advantages of pre-capitalist methods of production should be charged to our capitalism, and not to those survivals of the past which retard the development of capitalism and which in many cases are preserved by force of law? Can one be surprised, for instance, at the southern mine owners being eager to tie the workers down and to secure the legislative prohibition of competition by small establishments, when in the other mining area such tying down and such prohibitions have existed for ages, and exist to this day, and when in another area the ironmasters, by using more primitive methods and employing cheaper and more docile labour, get a profit on their pig-iron, without effort, of “kopek per kopek and sometimes even one and a half kopeks per kopek”?[17] Should we not, on the contrary, be surprised at the fact that, under these circumstances, there are people who are capable of idealising the pre-capitalist economic order in Russia, and who shut their eyes to the most urgent and pressing necessity of abolishing all obsolete institutions that hinder the development of capitalism?[18]

On the other hand, the data on the growth of the mining industry are important because they clearly reveal a more rapid growth of capitalism and of the home market on account of articles of productive consumption than on account of articles of personal consumption. This circumstance is ignored by Mr. N.–on, for instance, who argues that the satisfaction of the entire home demand for the products of the mining industry “will probably take place very soon” (Sketches, 123). The fact is that the consumption of metals, coal, etc. (per inhabitant), does not and cannot remain stationary in capitalist society, but necessarily increases. Every new mile of railway, every new workshop, every iron plough acquired by a rural bourgeois increases the demand for the products of ore-mining. Although from 1851 to 1897 the consumption of pig-iron, for example, in Russia increased from 14 pounds per head to 1 1/3 poods, even this latter amount will have to increase very considerably before it approaches the size of the demand for pig-iron in the advanced countries (in Belgium and England it is over 6 poods per inhabitant).


[1] Sources: Semyonov, A Study of Historical Data on Russian Trade and Industry, Vol. III, St. Petersburg, 1859, pp. 323-339. Military Statistical Abstract, section on mining industry. The Ministry of Finance Yearbook, Vol. I, St. Petersburg, 1869. Statistical Returns for Mining, for 1864-186i, St. Petersburg, 1864 1867 (published by the Scientific Committee of the Corps of Mining Engineers). I. Bogolyubsky, Essay in Mining Statistics for the Russian Empire, St. Petersburg, 1878. Historico-Statistical Survey of Russian Industry, St. Petersburg, 1883, Vol. I (article by Keppen). Statistical Returns for the Mining and Metallurgical Industries of Russia in 1890, St. Petersburg, 1892. Ditto for 1901 (St. Petersburg, 1904) and for 1902 (St. Petersburg, 1905). K. Skalkovsky, Mining and Metallurgical Productivity of Russia in 1877, St. Petersburg, 1879. The Mining and Metallurgical Industry of Russia, published by the Department of Mines for the Chicago Exhibition, St. Petersburg, 1893 (compiled by Keppen). Returns for Russia for 1890, published by the Central Statistical Committee, St. Petersburg, 1890. Ditto for 1896, St. Petersburg, 1897. Productive Forces of Russia, St. Petersburg, 1896, Section VII. Vestnik Finansov for 1896-1897. Zemstvo Statistical Returns for Ekaterinburg and Krasnoufimsk uyezds of Perm Gubernia, and others.—Lenin

[2] When the peasants were emancipated, the Ural ironmasters particularly insisted on, and secured the retention of, a law prohibiting the opening of any coal- and wood-burning establishments within the area of their undertakings. For some details, see Studies, pp. 193-194. (See present edition Vol. 2, The Handicraft Census of 1894-95 in Perm Gubernia. –Ed.)—Lenin

[3] The Ural worker “is . . . partly a cultivator, so that work in the mines is of good assistance to him on his farm, although the pay is lower than in the other mining-and-metal districts” (Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 8). As we know, the terms on which the Ural peasants were emancipated from serf dependence were made to correspond to their position in the mining industry. The mining and works population was divided into workmen having no land, who had to work in the industry all year round, and agricultural labourers, having allotments, who had to do auxiliary jobs. Highly characteristic is the term that has survived to this day, namely, of Ural workers being “debtbound.” When, for example, one reads in the Zemstvo statistics “information about a team of workers bound by debt to their jobs in the shops of the Arta works” one involuntarily turns to the title-page to see the date: Is it really ninety-four, and not, say, forty-four?[21]Lenin

[4] Transactions of the Commission of Inquiry into Handicraft Industry, Vol. XVI, St. Petersburg, 1887, pp. 8-9 and foll. The same author later goes on to talk about “healthy people’s” industry!—Lenin

[5] For a description of this floating see Crags by Mr. Mamin Sibiryak. In his writings this author vividly portrays the specific life of the Urals, which differs very little from that of the pre-Reform period, with the lack of rights, ignorance and degradation of a population tied down to the factories, with the “earnest, childish dissipations” of the “gentry,” and the absence of that middle stratum of society (middle class and other intellectuals) which is so characteristic of capitalist development in all countries, not excluding Russia.—Lenin

[6] In mining statistics the term “South and South-West Russian” means the Volhynia, Don, Ekaterinoslav, Kiev, Astrakhan, Bessarabia, Podolsk, Taurida, Kharkov, Kherson and Chernigov gubernias. It is to these that the quoted figures apply. All that is said further on about the South could also be said (with slight modifications) of Poland, which forms another mining area of outstanding significance in the post-Reform period.—Lenin

[7] Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 16: The Nikopol-Mariupol Co. ordered a pipe-rolling mill in America and had it brought to Russia.—Lenin

[8] Where it is well, there is my country.—Ed.

[9] It goes without saying that the Ural ironmasters depict the situation somewhat differently. Here is a sample of their eloquent complaints at last year’s congresses: “The historical services rendered by the Urals are common knowledge. For two hundred years all Russia ploughed and reaped, hammered, dug and hewed with the products of Ural factories. The Russian people wore on their breasts crosses made of Ural copper, rode on Ural axles, used fire-arms made of Ural steel, cooked pancakes on Ural frying-pans, and rattled Ural pennies in their pockets The Urals satisfied the requirements of the entire Russian people. . .” (who used scarcely any iron. In 1851 the consumption of pig-iron in Russia was estimated at about 14 pounds per inhabitant, in 1895—1.13 poods, and in 1897—1.33 poods) “. . . producing articles to suit their needs and tastes. The Urals generously (?) squandered their natural wealth, without chasing after fashion, or being carried away by the making of rails, fire grates and monuments. And in return for their centuries of service—they found themselves one fine day forgotten and neglected” (Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 32; Results of Mining Congresses in the Urals ). Indeed, what neglect of “time-hallowed” institutions. And it is all the fault of insidious capitalism, which has introduced such “instability” into our national economy. How much nicer it would be to live in the old way, without “being carried away by the making of rails,” and to cook oneself pancakes on Ural frying-pans!—Lenin

[10] Mr. Bogolyubsky estimates the number of steam-engines used in mining in 1868 at 526 with a total of 13,575 h.p.—Lenin

[11] The number of workers in iron production in the Urals in 1886 was 145,910, and in 1893—164,126, in the South 5,956 and 16,467. The increases are 1/3, (approx.) and 2 3/4-fold. For 1902 there are no data on the number of steam-engines and horse-power. The number however, of mine workers employed (not including saltminers) in 1902 in the whole of Russia was 604,972, including 249,805 in the Urals and 145,280 in the South.—Lenin

[12] Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 21. In 1863 the population of Baku was 14,000 and in 1885—45,700.—Lenin

[13] In 1882, over 62% of the locomotives were fueled with wood; in 1895-96, however, wood fueled 28.3%, oil 30% and coal 40.9% of the locomotives (Productive Forces, XVII, 62). After capturing the home market, the oil industry went in quest of foreign markets, and the export of oil to Asia is growing very rapidly (Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 32) in spite of the a priori predictions of certain Russian economists who love to talk about the absence of foreign markets for Russian capitalism.—Lenin

[14] Data taken from list of mines in Returns for the Mining and Metallurgical Industries in 1890.—Lenin

[15] From data of N. S. Avdakov: Brief Statistical Survey of the Donets Coal Industry, Kharkov, 1896.—Lenin

[16] Latterly the Urals, too, have begun to change under the influence of the new conditions of life; and this change will be still more rapid when the Urals are tied closer to “Russia” by railway lines. Of particular importance in this respect will be the proposed connection by rail of the Urals and the South with a view to the exchange of Ural iron-ore for Donets coal. Till now the Urals and the South have scarcely competed with each other, having worked for different markets and existed mainly on government contracts. But the abundant rain of government contracts will not go on for ever.—Lenin

[17] Article by Yegunov in Reports and Investigations of Handicraft Industry, Vol. III, p. 130.—Lenin

[18] For example, Mr. N.–on levelled all his complaints solely against capitalism (cf., in particular, his observations on the southern mine owners, Sketches, pp. 211 and 296) and thus utterly distorted the relation between Russian capitalism and the pre-capitalist structure of our mining industry.—Lenin

[21] Lenin refers to Material for the Statistics of Krasnoufimsk Uyezd, Perm Gubernia, Vol. V, Pt. 1 (Zavodsky district), Kazan, 1894, on p. 65 of which there is a table headed “Information on a team of workers bound by debt to their jobs in the shops of the Arta works in 1892.” [p. 486]

[19] Lenin quotes here The Mining and Metallurgical Industry of Russia. Published by the Department of Mines. International Columbia Exhibition, 1893, in Chicago, St. Petersburg, 1893, p. 52. [p. 488]

[20] In the first edition of The Development of Capitalism in Russia the table contained the figures for the years 1890 and 1896. In the second edition these figures were omitted. Furthermore, the figures for 1897 differed somewhat from those for the same year cited in the second edition. The corresponding part of the table as it appeared in the first edition was as follows:Table as it appeared in the first edition.

The figures for 1897 given in the first edition had a footnote, also omitted in the second edition, stating:—“In 1898 the pig iron output in the Empire is estimated at 133 million poods, of which 60 million poods were produced in the South and 43 million poods in the Urals (Russkiye Vedomosti [Russian Gazette ], 1899, No. 1).” [p. 489]

V. Is the Number of Workers in Large Capitalist Enterprises Growing?

Having examined the statistics of the factory and mining industries, we can now attempt to answer this question, one which has so much engaged the attention of the Narodnik economists, and which they have answered in the negative (Messrs. V. V., N.–on, Karyshev and Kablukov have asserted that the number of factory workers in Russia is increasing—if it is increasing—more slowly than the population). Let us observe first of all that the question must be whether an increase is taking place in the commercial and industrial population at the expense of the agricultural population (of this below), or whether an increase is taking place in the number of workers employed in large-scale machine industry. It cannot be asserted that the number of workers in small industrial establishments or in manufactories must increase in a developing capitalist society, for the factory constantly eliminates the more primitive forms of industry. Our factory statistics, however, as was shown in detail above, do not always refer to the factory in the scientific sense of the term.

To examine the data on the question that interests us, we must take, firstly, the returns for all branches, and, secondly, the returns for a long period. Only if we do that is there a guarantee that the data will be more or less comparable. We take the years 1865 and 1890, a stretch of twenty-five years in the post-Reform period. Let us sum up the available statistics. The factory statistics give the fullest data for 1865; for European Russia they showed 380,638 factory workers in all trades except distilling, brewing, beet-sugar and tobacco.[1] To determine the number of workers in these trades, we have to take the only data available, those of the Military Statistical Abstract, which, as has been shown above, must be corrected. By adding the 127,935 workers in the trades mentioned,[2] we get the total number of factory workers in European Russia in 1865 (in excise-paying and non-excise-paying trades) as 508,573.[3] For 1890 the corresponding figure will be 839,730.[4] The increase is 65%, much greater than the increase in population. It must, however, be borne in mind that actually the increase was undoubtedly bigger than these figures show : above it was demonstrated in detail that the factory statistics for the 1860s are exaggerated due to their inclusion of small handicraft, artisan and agricultural establishments, as well as home workers. Unfortunately, we are unable, for lack of material, to correct all these exaggerations in full, and prefer not to correct them in part, especially as more exact data will be given below regarding the number of workers in large factories.

Let us pass to the mining and metallurgical statistics. For 1865 the number of mine workers was given only for the copper and iron trades, as well as the gold and platinum fields; for European Russia it was 133,176.[5] In 1890, there were in the same trades 274,748 workers,[6] i.e., more than twice as many. The latter figure represents 80.6% of the total number of mine workers in European Russia in 1890; if we assume that in 1865 the trades mentioned also covered 80.6% of the total mine workers,[7] we get the total number of mine workers for 1865 as 165,230 and for 1890 as 340,912. An increase of 107%.

Further, railway workers also belong to the category of workers in big capitalist enterprises. In 1890, in European Russia, together with Poland and the Caucasus, they numbered 252,415.[8] The figure for 1865 is unknown, but it can be determined with a sufficient degree of approximation, since the number of railway workers employed per verst of railway fluctuates very slightly. Counting 9 workers per verst, we get the total number of railway workers in 1865 as 32,076.[9]

Let us sum up our calculations.Number of workers in large capitalist enterprises.

Thus, in 25 years the number of workers in large capitalist enterprises more than doubled, i.e., it increased not only much faster than the population in general, but even faster than the urban population.[10] The steadily increasing diversion of workers from agriculture and from the small industries to big industrial enterprises is consequently beyond doubt.[11] This is indicated by the very statistics that are so often resorted to and abused by our Narodniks. But the culminating point of their abuse of the statistics is the following truly phenomenal device: they work out the proportion of factory workers to the total population (!) and on the basis of the figure arrived at (about 1%) expatiate on how insignificant this “handful”[12] of workers is! Mr. Kablukov, for example, after repeating the calculation of the proportion of “factory workers in Russia”[13] to the population, goes on to say: “In the West, however (!!), the number of workers engaged in manufacturing industry . . .” (is it not obvious to every schoolboy that “factory workers” and “workers engaged in manufacturing industry” are not one and the same thing at all?) . . . “constitute quite a different proportion of the population,” namely, from 53% in Britain to 23% in France. “It is not difficult to see that the difference in the proportion of the class of factory workers (!!) there and here is so great that it is out of the question to identify the course of our development with that of Western Europe.” And this is written by a professor and specialist in statistics! With extraordinary valour he perpetrates two misrepresentations at one blow: 1) factory workers are replaced by workers engaged in manufacturing industry, and 2) the latter are replaced by the population engaged in manufacturing industry. Let us explain the meaning of these categories to our learned statisticians. In France, according to the census of 1891, the workers engaged in manufacturing industry numbered 3.3 million—less than one-tenth of the population (36.8 million classified according to occupation; and 1.3 million not classified according to occupation). These are workers employed in all industrial establishments and enterprises, and not only factory workers. The population, however, that is engaged in manufacturing industry numbered 9.5 million (about 26% of the total population). Added here to the number of workers are employers, etc. (1 million); then office employees, clerks, etc., 0.2 million; dependents in household, 4.8 million; and domestic servants, 0.2 million.[14] To illustrate the corresponding proportions in Russia, we must take particular centres as our examples, for we have no statistics showing the occupations of the whole population. Let us take one urban and one rural centre. In Petersburg the factory statistics for 1890 gave the number of factory workers as 51,760 (according to the Directory ), whereas according to the St. Petersburg census of December 15, 1890, the number of persons of both sexes engaged in manufacturing industry was 341,991, distributed as follows:[15]Distribution of persons of both sexes.

Another example: In Bogorodskoye village, Gorbatov Uyezd, Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia (which, as we have seen, does not engage in agriculture, but constitutes “a single tannery as it were”), there are, according to the Directory for 1890, 392 factory workers, whereas the population engaging in industries, according to the Zemstvo census of 1889, numbers nearly 8,000 (the total population equals 9,241; more than 9/10 of the families engage in industries). Let these figures give food for thought to Messrs. N.—on, Kablukov and Co.!

Addendum to second edition. We now have the returns of the national census of 1897, giving statistics on the occupations of the entire population. Here are the data, summarised by us, for the whole of the Russian Empire[16] (in millions):Occupation by sex.

Needless to say, these data fully confirm what has been said above regarding the absurdity of the Narodnik device of comparing the number of factory workers with the whole population.

It will be interesting, first of all, to group the data on the occupational distribution of the whole population of Russia, in a way that will illustrate the division of social labour as the basis of the whole of commodity production and capitalism in Russia. From this point of view, the entire population should be distributed into three large subdivisions: I. Agricultural. II. Commercial and industrial. III. Unproductive (more precisely, not participating in economic activity). Of the nine groups given (a to ), only one cannot be directly and entirely assigned to any one of these three main subdivisions. That is group : private service, domestic servants and day labourers. This group has to be distributed approximately between the commercial-and-industrial and the agricultural population. We have assigned to the former the section of this group which is shown as residing in towns (2.5 million), and to the latter those residing in rural areas (3.3 million). We then get the following picture of the distribution of the total population of Russia:Distribution of total population of Russia.

This picture clearly shows, on the one hand, that commodity circulation and, hence, commodity production are firmly implanted in Russia. Russia is a capitalist country. On the other hand, it follows from this that Russia is still very backward, as compared with other capitalist countries, in her economic development.

To proceed. After the analysis we have made in the present work, the statistics of the occupations of the whole population of Russia can and should be used to determine approximately the main categories into which the entire population of Russia is divided according to class status, i.e., according to their status in the social system of production.

It is possible to determine these categories—only approximately, of course—because we know the main economic groups into which the peasantry are divided. And the entire mass of the agricultural population of Russia may safely be regarded as peasants, for the number of landlords in the sum-total is quite negligible. Quite a considerable section of landlords, moreover, are included in the category of rentiers, government officials, high dignitaries, etc. In the peasant mass of 97 millions, however, one must distinguish three main groups: the bottom group—the proletarian and semi-proletarian strata of the population; the middle group—the poor small peasant farmers; and the top group—the well-to-do small peasant farmers. We have analysed above the main economic features of these groups as distinct class elements. The bottom group is the propertyless population, which earns its livelihood mainly, or half of it, by the sale of labour-power. The middle group comprises the poor small peasant farmers, for the middle peasant in the best of years just barely manages to make ends meet, but the principal means of livelihood of this group is “independent” (supposedly independent, of course) small-scale farming. Finally, the top group consists of the well-to-do small peasant farmers, who exploit more or less considerable numbers of allotment-holding farm labourers and day labourers and all sorts of wage-labourers in general.

These groups constitute approximately 50%, 30% and 20% respectively of the total. Above we invariably took the share of each group in the total number of households or farms. Now we shall take them as a proportion of the population. This change effects an increase in the bottom group and a decrease in the top one. But this, undoubtedly, is precisely the change that has taken place in Russia in the past decade, as is proved incontrovertibly by the decline in horse-ownership and by the ruin of the peasantry, the growth of poverty and unemployment in the rural districts, etc.

That is to say, among the agricultural population we have about 48.5 million proletarians and semi-proletarians about 29.1 million poor small peasant farmers and their families, and about 19.4 million of the population on the well-to-do small farms.

Now the question is how to distribute the commercial and industrial and the unproductive population. The latter group contains sections of the population who obviously belong to the big bourgeoisie: all the rentiers (“living on income from capital and real estate”—first subdivision of group 14 in our statistics: 900,000), then part of the bourgeois intelligentsia, the high military and civil officials, etc. Altogether, these will number about 1 1/2 million. At the opposite pole of this group of unproductive population are the lower ranks of the army, navy, gendarmerie and police (about 1.3 million), domestics and numerous servants (about 1/2 million altogether), nearly 1/2 million beggars, tramps, etc., etc. Here we can only roughly distribute the groups that most closely approximate to the main economic types: about 2 million will go to the proletarian and semi-proletarian population (partly lumpen-proletarians), about 1.9 million to the poor small proprietors, and about 1.5 million to the well-to-do small proprietors, including the bulk of the clerks, managerial personnel, bourgeois intellectuals, etc.

Lastly, among the commercial and industrial population the largest section is undoubtedly the proletariat, and the gulf is widest between the proletariat and the big bourgeoisie. But the census returns supply no data as to the distribution of this section of the population into employers, one-man producers, workers, etc. We have no alternative but to take as a model the above-quoted data on the industrial population of St. Petersburg, classified according to position in production. On the basis of these data we may roughly assign about 7% to the big bourgeoisie, 10% to the well-to-do petty bourgeoisie, 22% to the poor small proprietors and 61% to the proletariat. In Russia as a whole, small production in industry is, of course, much more tenacious than it is in St. Petersburg, but then we do not assign to the semi-proletarian population the mass of one-man producers and handicraftsmen who work in their homes for masters. Hence, on the whole, the proportions taken will in all probability not differ very much from what they actually are. For the commercial and industrial population we shall then get about 1.5 million big bourgeoisie, about 2.2 million well-to-do, about 4.8 million needy small producers, and about 13.2 million belonging to the proletarian and semi-proletarian strata of the population.

By combining the agricultural, commercial and industrial, and unproductive sections of the population, we shall get the following approximate distribution of the entire population of Russia according to class status:Distribution of population by class status.


We have no doubt that our Cadet and quasi-Cadet economists and politicians will raise their voices in indignation against this “over-simplified” concept of the economy of Russia. After all, it is so convenient, so advantageous to gloss over the profundity of economic contradictions in a detailed analysis and at the same time to complain of the “crudity” of socialist views on these contradictions as a whole. Such criticism of the conclusion we have reached is, of course, without scientific value.

Differences of opinion are, of course, possible about the degree of approximation of various figures. It is of interest to note, from this point of view, the work of Mr. Lositsky, Studies of the Population of Russia Based on the Census of 1897 (Mir Bozhy,[18] 1905, No. 8). The author took the bare census figures of the number of workers and servants, and from these estimated the proletarian population in Russia at 22 million; the peasant and land-owning population at 80 million, employers and clerks in commerce and industry at about 12 million, and the population not engaged in industry at about 12 million.

The number of proletarians according to these figures comes quite close to the figure we have arrived at.[19] To deny the existence of a vast mass of semi-proletarians among the poor peasants who are dependent upon “employments,” among the handicraftsmen, etc., would be to scoff at all the data on the Russian economy. One need but recall the 3 1/4 million horseless households in European Russia alone, the 3.4 million one-horse households, the sum-total of Zemstvo statistics on rented land, “employments,” budgets, etc., to abandon all doubt about the huge size of the semi-proletarian population. To agree that the proletarian and semi-proletarian population taken together comprises one-half of the peasantry is probably no understatement and no exaggeration of its numbers. And outside of the agricultural population, the proletarians and semi-proletarians undoubtedly constitute a still higher percentage.

Further, if we are not to replace the complete economic picture by petty details, we should include among the well-to-do small proprietors a considerable section of the commercial and industrial managerial personnel, clerks, bourgeois intellectuals, government officials, and so on. Here we have perhaps been too cautious and fixed the number of this group of the population too high: it is quite possible that we-should have put the poor small proprietors at a higher figure and the well-to-do at a lower. But, of course, in making such divisions one does not lay claim to absolute statistical accuracy.

Statistics should illustrate the socio-economic relations established by an all-round analysis, and not be made an end in themselves, as too often happens in our country. To gloss over the large numbers of the petty-bourgeois strata in the population of Russia would be simply to falsify the picture of our real economic situation.


[1] Returns and Material of the Ministry of Finance, 1867, No 6. It has been shown above that for comparison with contemporary data one can only take data from the same source, i.e., those of the Ministry of Finance.—Lenin

[2] The number of workers in brewing is 6,825, this figure is also exaggerated, but it cannot be corrected for lack of data; in beet sugar making—68,334 (according to The Ministry of Finance Yearbook ); tobacco-making—6,116 (corrected) and distilling— 46,660 (corrected).—Lenin

[3] Mr. Tugan-Baranovsky quotes for 1866 the figure given by Mr. Veshnyakov—493,371 (The Factory, p. 339). We do not know how this figure was arrived at; it differs very slightly from the one we give.—Lenin

[4] According to the Directory for 1890. From the total of 875,764 we have to subtract the number of workers duplicated in mining statistics, viz., 291 in asphalt, 3,468 in salt, and 32,275 in rails production.—Lenin

[5] For the number of mine workers in the 60s, see Statistical Chronicle, I, 1866; The Ministry of Finance Yearbook, I; Statistical Returns for Mining, for 1864-1867, St. Petersburg, 1864-1867, published by the Mining Scientific Committee.—Lenin

[6] Statistical Returns for the Mining and Metallurgical Industries in 1890, St. Petersburg, 1892. According to this source the total for European Russia is 342,166, and if we subtract the number of workers at the kerosene refineries (included in the Directory ) and correct certain minor errors, the total will be 340,912.—Lenin

[7] Among the other branches of mining industries there are some in which the number of workers has probably increased slightly (salt mining), there are some in which the number must have increased very considerably (coal-mining, stone-quarrying), and some which did not exist at all in the 1860s (such as quicksilver-mining).—Lenin

[8] Statistical Survey of Railways and Inland Waterways, St. Petersburg, 1893, p. 22. Published by Ministry of Communications. Unfortunately, we lack the data to separate European Russia. Under railway workers we include, not only permanent, but temporary (10,447) and day labourers (74,504). The average annual pay of a temporary worker is 192 rubles, and of a day labourer 235 rubles. The average daily pay is 78 kopeks. Consequently, both the temporary and the day workers are engaged for the greater part of the year, so that to disregard them, as Mr. N.–on does (Sketches, p. 124), is wrong.—Lenin

[9] The number of workers per verst employed on the railways in 1886 was 9.0, in 1890 —9.5; in 1893—10.2 in 1894—10.6; in 1895—10.9; thus the number obviously tends to grow. See Returns for Russia for 1890 and 1896, and Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 39.—Let us make the reservation that in this section we are concerned exclusively with comparing the data for 1865 and 1890, it is therefore absolutely immaterial whether we take the number of railway workers for the whole of the Empire or only for European Russia; whether we take 9 workers per verst or fewer, or whether we take all branches of mining or only those for which data exist for 1865.—Lenin

[10] In European Russia the urban population in 1863 was 6.1 million, and in 1897, 12.0 million.—Lenin

[11] The latest data on the number of workers in large capitalist enterprises are as follows for 1900 data exist regarding the number of factory workers in non-excise-paying enterprises; for 1903, data are available for excise-paying enterprises. On workers in the mining and metallurgical industries data exist for 1902. The number of railway workers may be determined by reckoning 11 men per verst (information as of January 1, 1904). See Yearbook of Russia, 1906, and Returns for the Mining and Metallurgical Industries, for 1902. Summing up these data, we get the following: in the 50 gubernias of European Russia in 1900-1903 there were 1,261,571 factory workers 477,025 mining workers; 468,941 railway workers. Total, 2,207,537. In the entire Russian Empire there were 1,509,516 factory workers 626,929 mining workers, 655,929 railway workers. Total, 2,792,374. These figures, too, fully bear out what is said in the text. (Note to 2nd edition.)—Lenin

[12] N.–on, loccit., 326 and others.—Lenin

[13] Lectures on Agricultural Economics, Moscow, 1897, p. 14.—Lenin

[14] The Statesman’s Yearbook, 1897, p. 472.—Lenin

[15] St. Petersburg According to the Census of 1890. St. Petersburg, 1893. We have taken the total of groups II to XV. The total number of persons engaged in industrial occupations is 551,700, of whom 200,748 are engaged in commerce, carting and innkeeping.—“One man producers” refers to small producers who employ no workers.—Lenin

[16] General Summary for the Empire of the Results of the Examination of the First General Population CensusJanuary 281897. Published by the Central Statistical Committee, Vol. II, Table XXI, p. 296. I have arranged the groups of occupations as follows: a) 1, 2 and 4; b) 3 and 5-12; c) 14 and 15; d) 16 and 63-65; e) 46-62; f) 41-45; g) 13; h) 17-21; i) 22-40.—Lenin

[17] These number not less than 22 million. See further on.—Lenin

[18] Wide World.—Ed.

[19] This is not the place to go into details concerning the statistics on workers and servants used by Mr. Lositsky. These statistics evidently err in very considerably understating the number of workers.—Lenin

VI. Steam-Engine Statistics

The employment of steam-engines in production is one of the most characteristic features of large-scale machine industry. It will be interesting therefore to examine the data available on this subject. For the years 1875-1878 the number of steam-engines is supplied by Material for the Statistics of Steam-Engines in the Russian Empire (St. Petersburg, 1882. Published by the Central Statistical Committee).[1] For 1892 we have the figures of Collection of Data on Factory Industry, which cover all factory and mining trades.

Here are these data compared:Number of steam engines in industry.

In 16 years the total h.p. capacity of steam-engines in Russia increased threefold and in European Russia 2 1/2 times. The number of steam-engines increased to a lesser degree, so that the average capacity per steam-engine rose considerably: in European Russia from 18 h.p. to 24 h.p., and in the Kingdom of Poland from 18 h.p. to 41 h.p. Large scale machine industry, consequently, developed very rapidly during this period. As regards steam-power capacity, the following gubernias, in 1875-1878, were in the lead: St. Petersburg (17,808 h.p.), Moscow (13,668), Kiev (8,363), Perm (7,348) and Vladimir (5,684)—the total for these five gubernias being 52,871 h.p. or about 3/5 of the total for European Russia. Then follow the Podolsk (5,480), Petrokov (5,071) and Warsaw (4,760) gubernias. In 1892 the order changed: Petrokov (59,063), St. Petersburg (43,961), Ekaterinoslav (27,839), Moscow (24,704), Vladimir (15,857) and Kiev (14,211)—the total for the last five gubernias being 126,572 h.p., or nearly 1/2 the total for European Russia. Then follow the gubernias of Warsaw (11,310) and Perm (11,245). These figures clearly indicate the formation of two new industrial centres: in Poland and in the South. In Petrokov Gubernia, the total capacity increased 11.6-fold, and in the Ekaterinoslav and Don gubernias taken together,[2] from 2,834 to 30,932 h.p. or 10.9-fold. These industrial centres, which have grown so rapidly, have moved up from the bottom to the top places and have supplanted the old industrial centres. Let us observe that these data, too, reveal the particularly rapid growth of the industries producing articles of productive consumption, namely, the mining and metallurgical industries. In 1875-78 these industries employed 1,040 steam-engines with a total of 22,966 h.p. (in European Russia) and in 1890 1,960 steam engines with a total of 74,204 h.p., i.e., an increase in 14 years that exceeds the increase in the total number of steam-engines in industry as a whole in 16 years. The industries producing means of production constitute an ever-growing part of industry as a whole.[3]


[1] Of the 13 groups of trades we omit, for purposes of comparison with 1892, the following groups: I (agriculture), XII (printing and lithography) and XIII (“plumbing,” etc.). Locomobiles are counted with steam-engines.—Lenin

[2] We combine these gubernias because their boundaries have changed since 1878.—Lenin

[3] The progress made in the employment of steam-engines in Russia since 1892 may be seen from the fact that in 1904, according to the factory inspectors’ reports, there were in 64 gubernias 27,579 factory steam-boilers; the total, not including those employed in agriculture, was 31,887. (Note to 2nd edition.—Ed.)—Lenin

VII. The Growth of Large Factories

The unsatisfactory nature of our factory statistics, as demonstrated above, has compelled us to resort to more complex calculations in order to determine the development of large-scale machine industry in Russia since the Reform. We have selected data for 1866, 1879, 1890 and 1894-95 on the largest factories, namely, those with 100 and more workers per establishment.[1] Outside workers are strictly separated only in the data of the List for 1894-95; hence, the data for previous years (particularly 1866 and 1879) may still be somewhat exaggerated, notwithstanding the corrections referred to in the footnote.

We give the returns on these largest factories (p. 510).Largest factories in European Russia in the years...

Let us commence our analysis of this table with the data for the years 1866, 1879 and 1890. The total number of large factories changed during these years as follows: 644, 852, 951, or in percentages: 100, 132, 147. In the course of 24 years the number of large factories increased, consequently, by nearly fifty per cent. Moreover, if we take the data for the different categories of large factories, we shall see that the larger the factories, the faster their number grows (A: 512, 641, 712 factories; B: 90, 130, 140; C: 42, 81, 99). This indicates a growing concentration of production.

The number of mechanised establishments grows more rapidly than the total number of factories; in percentages as follows: 100, 178, 226. An increasing number of large factories introduce steam-engines. The larger the factories, the greater the number of mechanised establishments among them; if we calculate the percentage of these establishments to the total number of factories in the given category, we obtain the following: A) 39%, 53%, 63%; B) 75%, 91%, 100%; C) 83%, 94%, 100%. The employment of steam-engines is closely bound up with the expansion of the volume of output, with the expansion of co-operation in production.

The number of workers in all large factories changed in percentages as follows: 100, 168, 200. During the 24 years the number of workers doubled, i.e., exceeded the increase in the total number of “factory workers.” The average number of workers per large factory was by years: 359, 458, 488, and by categories: A) 213, 221, 220; B) 665, 706, 673; C) 1,495, 1,935, 2,154. An increasing number of workers are thus being concentrated in the largest factories. In 1866, factories with 1,000 workers and over employed 27% of the total number of workers in large factories; in 1879, 40%; in 1890, 46%.

The change in the output of all large factories expressed in percentages will be: 100, 243, 292; and by categories: A) 100, 201, 187; B) 100, 245, 308; C) 100, 323, 479. Hence, the volume of output of all large factories increased almost threefold, and the larger the factory, the more rapid the increase. But if we compare the productivity of labour for each separate year according to the different categories, we shall get a somewhat different picture. The average output per worker in all large factories will be: 866 rubles, 1,250, 1,260; and by categories: A) 901, 1,410, 1,191; B) 800, 1,282, 1,574; C) 841, 1,082, 1,188. Thus, for each separate year we observe no increase in output (per worker) as we pass from the bottom category to the top. This is because the various categories include, in unequal proportions, factories in industries using raw materials of different value and obtaining, therefore, an annual output per worker of different value.[2]

We do not think it worth while to examine in equal detail the data for the years 1879-1890 and for the years 1879-1890-1894-1895, since this would mean repeating all that has been said above for somewhat different percentages.

Latterly, the Collection of Factory Inspectors’ Reports has supplied data on the distribution of factories and works into groups according to the number of workers employed. Here are the data for 1903:Distribution of factories and works by number of workers employed.


A comparison of these with the afore-cited data will involve a certain inaccuracy, a slight one, it is true. At all events, they show that the number of large factories (those with over 99 or over 100 workers) and the number of workers employed in them are rapidly increasing. The concentration of workers and, consequently, of production, also increases in the largest of these large factories.Page 405 of The Development of Capitalism in Russia, 1908.

Comparing the data on the large factories with those on all “factories and works” given in our of official statistics, we see that in 1879 the large factories, constituting 4.4% of all “factories and works” concentrated 66.8% of the total number of factory workers and 54.8% of the total output. In 1890 they constituted 6.7% of the total number of “factories and works,” and concentrated 71.1% of all factory workers and 57.2% of the total output. In 1894-95 they constituted 10.1% of all “factories and works,” and concentrated 74% of all factory workers and 70.8% of the total output. In 1903, the large factories in European Russia, those with over 100 workers, constituted 17% of the total number of factories and works and concentrated 76.6% of the total number of factory workers.[3] Thus, the large, mostly steam-powered, factories, despite their small numbers, concentrate an overwhelming and ever-growing proportion of the workers and output of all “factories and works.” The tremendous rapidity with which these large factories have been growing in the post-Reform period has already been noted. Let us now cite data on the equally large enterprises in the mining industry.[4]Largest industrial enterprises in European Russia in 1890.

In the mining industry the concentration of workers in large enterprises is still greater (although the percentage of enterprises employing steam-engines is smaller); 258,000 workers out of 305,000, i.e., 84.5%, are concentrated in enterprises with 100 and more workers; almost half of the mine workers (145,000 out of 305,000) are employed in a few very large establishments each employing 1,000 and more workers. And of the total number of factory and mining workers in European Russia (1,180,000 in 1890), three-fourths (74.6%) are concentrated in enterprises employing 100 workers and over; nearly half (570,000 out of 1,180,000) are concentrated in enterprises each employing 500 and more workers.[5]

We think it worth while to deal here with the question raised by Mr. N.–on concerning a “slowing down” of the development of capitalism and of the growth of the “factory population” in the period of 1880-1890, as compared with that of 1865-1880.[6] From this remarkable discovery Mr. N.–on contrived, thanks to the original logic that distinguishes him, to draw the conclusion that “the facts fully confirm” the assertion made in Sketches that “capitalism, after reaching certain limits of its development, effects a shrinkage of its own home market.”—Firstly, it is absurd to argue that a “slowing down in the rate of increase” indicates a shrinkage of the home market. If the number of factory workers is growing faster than the population (and this is precisely the case according to Mr. N.–on’s own data; an increase between 1880 and 1890 of 25%), this shows that the population is being diverted from agriculture and that the home market is growing even for articles of personal consumption. (We say nothing of the market for means of production.) Secondly, a “decline in the growth,” expressed in percentages always has to take place in a capitalist country at a certain stage of development, for small magnitudes always grow faster, in percentages, than big ones. The only deduction one can draw from the fact that the initial steps in the development of capitalism are particularly rapid is that the young country is striving to overtake the older ones. It is wrong, however, to take the percentage increase in the initial period as a standard for subsequent periods. Thirdly, the fact itself of a “decline in the growth” is not proved at all by comparing the periods taken by Mr. N.–on. The development of capitalist industry cannot proceed except in cycles; therefore, to compare different periods, one must take data for a whole number of years,[7] so that the particularly prosperous, boom years and the slump years may stand out distinctly. Mr. N.–on did not do this and slipped into profound error, for he overlooked the fact that the year 1880 was a high boom year. Moreover, Mr. N.–on did not even hesitate to “concoct” the opposite assertion. “We must also note,” he argues, “that the intervening year (between 1865 and 1890) of 1880 was a year of crop failure, so that the number of workers registered in that year was below the normal”!! (ibid., pp. 103-104). Mr. N.–on had only to glance at the text of the very publication from which he plucked the figures for 1880 (Directory, 3rd edition), to read there that 1880 was marked by a “spurt” in industry, particularly in leather and machine building (p. IV), and that this was due to the enhanced demand for goods after the war and to increased government orders. It is sufficient to look through the Directory for 1879 to get a clear idea of the extent of this spurt.[8] But Mr. N.–on does not hesitate completely to distort the facts to suit his romantic theory.


[1] Sources: The Ministry of Finance Yearbook, I (data only for 71 trades)- Directories, first and third editions—data for all trades, as well as those in the List ; but for a comparison of the data in the List and in the Directory, the manufacture of rails must be omitted from the trades given in the latter establishments for which home workers were included among the factory workers are omitted. In some cases the inclusion of home workers is specifically indicated in footnotes in the publications mentioned; in others the fact emerges from a comparison of the data for different years: cf., for instance, the data on cotton weaving in Saratov Gubernia for 1879, 1890, and 1894-95. (Cf. Chapter VI, § II, 1.)—Sinzheimer (Ueber die Grenzen der Weiterbildung des fabrikm\”assigen Grossbetriebes in Deutschland, Stuttgart, 1893) [On the Limits of Extension of Large-Scale Factory Production in Germany, Stuttgart, 1893. –Ed.] classifies under large factories enterprises with 50 and more workers. We do not think this standard low, but owing to the difficulties involved in calculating Russian data, we have had to limit ourselves to the largest factories.—Lenin

[2] Thus, in 1866, category A included 17 sugar-refineries, where the average annual output per worker was about 6,000 rubles, whereas in the textile factories (included in the top categories) the average annual output per worker ranged from 500 to 1,500 rubles.—Lenin

[3] The total figures for our factory industry as given by the Directory and the List were quoted above, in § II [Cf. Studies, p. 276 (See present edition, Vol. 4 “On the Question of Our Factory Statistics.” –Ed.)]. We would point out that the rise in the percentage of large factories in the total number of “factories and works” indicates above all that this latter term is gradually acquiring a more restricted meaning in our statistics.—Lenin

[4] These data have been compiled from Statistical Returns for the Mining and Metallurgical Industries. In 1890, enterprises enumerated in the Directory having been excluded. By this exclusion, the total number of mining workers in European Russia is reduced by 35,000 (340,000-35,000 = 305,000).—Lenin

[5] The industrial census for 1895 for the whole of German industry, including mine development, which is not registered in Russia, recorded a total of 248 establishments with 1,000 and more workers; the aggregate number of workers in these establishments was 430,286. Hence, the largest factories in Russia are larger than those in Germany.—Lenin

[6] Russkoye Bogatstvo, 1894, No. 6, p. 101 and foll. The data for large factories which we have given above also indicate a lower percentage of growth in 1879-1890 as compared with 1866-1879.—Lenin

[7] As Mr. Tugan-Baranovsky, for example, did in his Factory, p. 307 and chart. The chart clearly shows that 1879, and especially 1880 and 1881, were years of particular boom.—Lenin

[8] See, for instance, felt cloth production— increased output of army cloth; tanning—enormous activity, leather goods— a large factory produces goods to the amount of 2.5 million rubles “for the War Department” (p. 288). The Izhevsk and the Sestroretsk works turn out artillery supplies to the value of 7 1/2 million rubles, as against 1 1/4 million rubles in 1890. In copper-working one notes the production of supplies for the troops and of military instruments pp. 388-389); explosive factories work at full capacity, etc.—Lenin

[9] 154: Lenin supplemented this table later with the corresponding figures for 1908 (see illustration on p. 513). The data entered by Lenin were taken from Collection of Factory Inspectors’ Reports for 1908 (no. 50-51), published in 1910. Consequently. Lenin’s entries were made either in 1910 or in 1911. [p. 512]

VIII. The Distribution of Large-Scale Industry

Besides the concentration of production in very large establishments, the concentration of production in separate factory industrial centres and the different types of factory centres are also important in characterising large-scale machine industry. Unfortunately, our factory statistics not only supply unsatisfactory and incomparable material, but arrange it in a far from adequate manner. For example, in contemporary publications the distribution of industry is shown only by gubernias (and not by towns and uyezds as was done in the best publications of the 60s, which, in addition, illustrated the distribution of factory industry with maps). But in order to present an accurate picture of the distribution of large-scale industry, the data must be taken for separate centres, i.e., for separate towns, industrial settlements, or groups of industrial settlements situated close together; gubernias or uyezds are too big as territorial units.[1] In view of this, we thought it advisable to compute from the Directory for 1879 and 1890 data on the concentration of our factory industry in the most important centres. The table given in the appendix (Appendix III) contains data for 103 factory centres in European Russia, centres in which about half the total number of factory workers are concentrated.[2]

The table shows three main types of factory centres in Russia. 1) The towns. These take first place, being distinguished for the greatest concentration of both workers and establishments. Particularly outstanding in this respect are the large towns. In each of the metropolitan cities (including the suburbs) about 70,000 factory workers are concentrated; Riga has 16,000, Ivanovo-Voznesensk 15,000 and Bogorodsk had 10,000 in 1890; the other towns have fewer than 10,000 each. It is sufficient to take a cursory glance at the official figures on factory workers in several large cities (Odessa—8,600 in 1890, Kiev—6,000, Rostov on-Don—5,700, etc.) to be convinced that these figures are ridiculously low. The instance of St. Petersburg given above shows how many times these figures would have to be multiplied for the correct number of industrial workers in these centres to be obtained. In addition to the towns, the suburbs must also be indicated. The suburbs of large towns are very often big industrial centres, but from the data we possess we have been able to separate only one such centre, the suburbs of St. Petersburg, where in 1890 the number of workers was 18,900. Several of the settlements in the Moscow Uyezd included in our table are also actually suburbs.[3]

The second type of centre is the factory villages, which are particularly numerous in the Moscow, Vladimir and Kostroma gubernias (of the 63 most important rural centres included in our table, 42 are in these gubernias). These centres are headed by the township of Orekhovo-Zuyevo (in the table, Orekhovo and Zuyevo are given separately, but they are actually one centre); as to the number of workers, it comes second only to the capitals (26,800 in 1890).[4] In the three gubernias indicated, as also in the Yaroslavl and Tver gubernias, the majority of the rural factory centres are formed by huge textile mills (cotton-spinning and weaving, linen, wool-weaving, etc.). Formerly, there were almost always work-distributing offices in such villages, i.e., centres of capitalist manufacture, which held sway over masses of neighbouring hand weavers. In those cases where the statistics do not confuse home workers with factory workers, the data on the development of such centres clearly reveal the growth of large-scale machine industry which attracts thousands of peasants from the surrounding areas and transforms them into factory workers. Further, a considerable number of rural factory centres are formed by large mining and metallurgical plants (Kolomna Works in the village of Bobrovo, Yuzovka Works, Bryansk Works, and others); the majority of these are classified under mining, and for that reason were not included in our table. The beet sugar refineries situated in the villages and townships of the south-western gubernias also form quite a number of village factory centres; for our example we have taken one of the largest, the township of Smela, in Kiev Gubernia.

The third type of factory centre is the “handicraft” villages, the largest establishments in which are often classified as “factories and works.” In our table, the villages of Pavlovo, Vorsma, Bogorodskoye and Dubovka serve as examples of such centres. A comparison between the number of factory workers in such centres and the total of their industrial population was made above in the case of Bogorodskoye village.

If we group the centres given in our table according to number of workers in each centre and according to the type of centre (town or village), we get the following data (see next page).Leading centres of factory industry in European Russia.

The table shows that in 1879 there were 356,000 workers (out of a total of 752,000) concentrated in these 103 centres, while in 1890 there were 451,000 (out of 876,000). Accordingly, the number of workers increased by 26.8%, whereas in the large factories in general (of 100 and more workers) the increase was only 22.2%, while the total number of workers increased over this period by only 16.5%. Thus the workers are being concentrated in the largest centres. In 1879, only 11 centres had over 5,000 workers; in 1890 there were 21. Particularly striking is the increase in the number of centres with from 5,000 to 10,000 workers. This occurred for two reasons: 1) because of the exceptional growth of factory industry in the South (Odessa, Rostov-on-Don, etc.); and 2) because of the growth of the factory villages in the central gubernias.

A comparison between the urban and the rural centres shows that in 1890 the latter embraced about one-third of the total number of workers in the leading centres (152,000 out of 451,000). For the whole of Russia this proportion should be higher, i.e., more than one-third of the factory workers must be outside of the towns. Indeed, all the outstanding urban centres are included in our table, whereas rural centres with several hundred workers each, apart from those we have mentioned, exist in exceedingly large numbers (settlements with glass-works, brickworks, distilleries, beet-sugar refineries, etc.). Mining workers are also to be found mainly outside of towns. One may consider, therefore, that of the total number of factory and mining workers in European Russia not less (and maybe more) than half are to be found outside of towns. This conclusion is very important, for it shows that the industrial population in Russia greatly exceeds the urban population.[5]

If we now turn to the pace at which factory industry develops in urban and in rural centres, we see that it is undoubtedly faster in the latter. The number of urban centres with 1,000 workers and over in the period taken grew very slightly (from 32 to 33), while the number of rural centres in this category grew very considerably (from 38 to 53). The number of workers in the 40 urban centres grew by only 16.1 % (from 257,000 to 299,000), while in the 63 rural centres it grew by 54.7% (from 98,500 to 152,500). The average number of workers per urban centre rose only from 6,400 to 7,500, whereas the average number per rural centre rose from 1,500 to 2,400. Thus, factory industry evidently tends to spread with particular rapidity outside the towns, to create new factory centres and to push them forward faster than the urban centres, and to penetrate deep into remote rural areas that would seem to be isolated from the world of big capitalist enterprises. This supremely important circumstance shows us, firstly, the rapidity with which large-scale machine industry transforms social and economic relationships. What formerly took ages to take shape now springs up in a decade or so. We have only to compare, for instance, the formation of such non-agricultural centres as the “handicraft villages” indicated in the previous chapter—Bogorodskoye, Pavlovo, Kimry, Khoteichi, Velikoye and others—with the process of the establishment of new centres by the modern factory, which at once draws the rural population by the thousands into industrial settlements.[6] Social division of labour receives a tremendous impetus. Mobility of the population replaces the former immobility and isolation as a necessary condition of economic life. Secondly, the transfer of factories into the rural districts shows that capitalism is surmounting the obstacles which the social-estate seclusion of the peasant community creates for it, and is even deriving benefit from this seclusion. While the erection of factories in the countryside involves quite a few inconveniences, it does, however, guarantee a supply of cheap labour. The muzhik is not allowed to go to the factory, so the factory goes to the muzhik.[7] The muzhik lacks complete freedom (thanks to the collective-responsibility system and the obstacles to his leaving the community) to seek the employer who gives the greatest advantage; but the employer has a perfect way of seeking out the cheapest worker. Thirdly, the large number of rural factory centres and their rapid growth proves groundless the opinion that the Russian factory is isolated from the mass of the peasantry, that it exercises little influence over them. The specific character of the distribution of our factory industry shows, on the contrary, that its influence is very widespread, and that it is far from being confined to the walls of the factory.[8] On the other hand, however, this specific character of the distribution of our factory industry cannot but result in a temporary retardation of the transforming influence of large-scale machine industry on the population it employs. By converting the backwoodsman-muzhik into a factory worker at one stroke, the factory may for a time ensure for itself a supply of the cheapest, least developed and least exacting “hands.” It is obvious, however, that such retardation cannot go on for long, and that it is purchased at the price of a still greater expansion of the area subjected to the influence of large-scale machine industry.


[1] “. . . In the uyezds (of Moscow Gubernia) the factories and works are far from evenly distributed: in highly industrialised uyezds side by side with localities which, because of the more or less considerable concentration there of factory establishments, can be called real factory centres, one comes across entire volosts almost wholly devoid of factory industry; and, on the contrary, in uyezds generally poor in factories and works, there are districts with a more or less considerable development of one industry or another; side by side with handicraft cottages and workrooms larger establishments have arisen possessing all the attributes of large-scale production.” (Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia, Section of sanitation Statistics, vol. IV, Sec.1, Moscow, 1890, p. 141.) This publication, the best in contemporary factory statistical literature, illustrates the distribution of large-scale industry with the aid of a detailed map. The only thing lacking for a complete picture of the distribution of factory industry is a classification of centres according to the number of factories, workers and total output.—Lenin

[2] The table includes only establishments with a minimum output of 2,000 rubles, and of the flour-mills only the steam-powered ones. Outside workers are excluded wherever it has been stated that they are included among factory workers; such exclusions are indicated by an asterisk (*). The industrial boom of 1879 could not but affect these data, too.—Lenin

[3] “. . . The large village of Cherkizovo in the vicinity of Moscow is, according to the local inhabitants, one large factory, and is a continuation of Moscow in the literal sense of the word. . . . Nearby, beyond the Semyonovskaya Tollgate . . . again a large number of diverse factories are clustered. . . . At no great distance from here we see the village of Izmailovo, with its weaving sheds, and the enormous Izmailovo Textile Mill.” That is to the north of Moscow. To the south, “beyond the Serpukhov Tollgate, what we meet first is the immense Danilov Textile Mill, in itself a whole township. . . . Further on, at no great distance from each other, are a whole ring of large brick works,” etc. (Statistical Returns, IV, Sec. I, pp. 143-144). Thus, the concentration of factory industry is actually more considerable than we were able to indicate in our table.—Lenin

[4] In 1879, only 10,900 were recorded here. Evidently, different methods of registration were employed.—Lenin

[5] The population census of January 28, 1897, fully confirmed this conclusion. The urban population throughout the Empire was given as 16,828,395 persons of both sexes. The commercial and industrial population, as we showed above, is 21.7 millions. (Note to 2nd edition.—Ed.)—Lenin

[6] “In the township of Krivoi Rog the population grew between 1887 and 1896 from 6,000 to 17,000, at the Kamenka Works of the Dnieper Company—from 2,000 to 18,000; near Druzhkovka station, where as late as 1892 there was nothing but station buildings, there is now a settlement of 6,000 people; at the Gdantsevka Works there are nearly 3,500 people; near Konstantinovka station, where a number of works have been erected, a new settlement is being formed; Yuzovka is now a town with a population of 29,000. . . . On the sandy wasteland at Nizhne-Dnieprovsk, near Ekaterinoslav, where a number of factories are now situated, a new settlement has sprung up with a population of 6,000. The works at Mariupol has attracted a new population of 10,000, etc. Populated centres are springing up around the coal mines” (Vestnik Finansov, 1897, No. 50). According to the Russkiye Vedomosti (November 21, 1897, No. 322), the Bakhmut Uyezd Zemstvo Assembly has filed an application for the status of townships to be granted to commercial settlements with a population of 1,000 and the status of towns to those with a population of 5,000. . . . “There is to be observed here . . . an unparalleled growth of commercial and factory settlements. . . . Altogether, there are by now as many as thirty settlements, which have been springing up and growing at a truly American pace. . . . In Volyntsevo, where a huge metallurgical works with 2 blast furnaces, a foundry and a rolling mill is nearing completion and will be started in the beginning of November, there is a population of from 5,000 to 6,000, which has settled on what only recently was almost uninhabited steppe. With the influx of a factory population we also observe an influx of traders, handicraftsmen and small industrialists in general, who anticipate an easy and rapid sale to the working population of all kinds of goods.”—Lenin

[7] “The factory seeks cheap weavers, and finds them in their native villages. . . . The factory must follow the weaver. . . .” (Industries of Vladimir Gubernia, III, 63.)—Lenin

[8] Let us recall the fact cited above (Chapter III, § IV, p. 208, footnote) of the influence exerted by the mining industry in Bakhmut Uyezd, Ekaterinoslav Gubernia, on the local agricultural system.—Characteristic also are the common complaints of landowners about the factories “spoiling” the population.—Lenin

IX. The Development of the Lumber and Building

One of the necessary conditions for the growth of large-scale machine industry (and a highly characteristic concomitant of its advance) is the development of the industry for the supply of fuel and building materials, as well as of the building industry. Let us begin with the lumber industry.

The felling and preliminary dressing of trees for their own needs has been an occupation of the peasantry from time immemorial, one that nearly everywhere forms part of the tiller’s round of work. By the lumber industry, however, we mean exclusively the preparation of lumber for sale. Characteristic of the post-Reform period is a particularly rapid growth of this industry, the demand for timber having grown rapidly both for personal consumption (the growth of towns, the increase of the non-agricultural population in the villages, and the loss of woodland by the peasants upon their emancipation) and, particularly, for productive consumption. The development of commerce, industry, urban life, military requirements, railroads, etc., etc., has led to an enormous increase in the demand for timber to be used, not by human beings, but by capital. In the industrial gubernias, for instance, the price of wood fuel has risen “by leaps and bounds”: “in the last five years (up to 1881) the price of wood fuel has more than doubled”.[1] “The price of timber has begun to rise enormously.”[2] In Kostroma Gubernia “with the huge consumption of wood fuel by the factories the price has doubled in the past seven years,”[3] etc. Timber exports rose from 5,947,000 rubles in 1856 to 30,153,000 rubles in 1881 and 39,200,000 rubles in 1894, i.e., in the ratio 100 : 507 : 659.[4] The amount of building timber and wood fuel transported along 1he inland waterways of European Russia in 1866-1868 averaged 156 million poods per year[5] and in 1888-1890, 701 million poods per year,[6] i.e., there was a more than fourfold increase. The amount transported by railway in 1888-1890 averaged 290 million poods,[7] whereas in 1866-1868 it was probably no more than 70 million poods.[8] That is to say, total timber freights in the 60s amounted to about 226 million poods, and in 1888-1890 to 991 million poods—a more than fourfold increase. The vast growth of the lumber industry in precisely the post Reform period is thus beyond doubt.

How is this industry organised? On purely capitalist lines. Forestland is bought from landowners by entrepreneurs—“lumber industrialists,” who hire workers to fell and saw the timber, to float it, etc. In Moscow Gubernia, for example, the Zemstvo statisticians listed only 337 lumber industrialists out of 24,000 peasants engaged in lumber industries.[9] In Slobodskoi Uyezd, Vyatka Gubernia, 123 lumber industrialists were listed (“the small ones are mostly subcontractors of the big ones,” of whom there were only 10), while the number of workers engaged in lumbering was 18,865, with average earnings of 19 1/2 rubles per worker.[10] Mr. S. Korolenko calculated that in the whole of European Russia as many as 2 million peasants were engaged in lumbering,[11] and this figure is hardly an exaggeration if, for instance, in 9 uyezds of Vyatka Gubernia (out of 11) about 56,430 lumber workers were listed, and in the whole of Kostroma Gubernia, about 47,000.[12] Lumbering is one of the worst paid occupations; the sanitary conditions are atrocious, and the workers’ health is severely affected. Left to toil in the remote forest depths, these workers are in a totally defenceless position, and in this branch of industry bondage, the truck system, and such-like concomitants of the “patriarchal” peasant industries prevail. In confirmation of this description, let us quote some opinions of local investigators. Moscow statisticians mention the “compulsory purchase of provisions,” which usually reduces to a marked degree the lumber workers’ earnings. The Kostroma lumbermen “live in teams in the forests, in hastily and badly erected shanties, where there are no stoves, and which are heated by open hearths. Bad food, consisting of bad soup and of bread which is like stone by the end of the week, fetid air . . . constantly damp clothes . . . all this is bound to have a disastrous effect upon the health of the lumber industrialists.” The people live in “much dirtier” conditions in the “lumber” volosts than in the industrial volosts (i.e., the volosts in which outside employment predominates).[13] Regarding Tikhvin Uyezd, Novgorod Gubernia, we read: “Agriculture . . . constitutes an auxiliary source of income, although in all official statistics you will find that the people engage in farming. . . . All that the peasant gets to meet his essential needs is earned in felling and floating lumber for the lumber industrialists. But a crisis will set in soon: in some five or ten years, no forests will be left. . . .” “The men who work in the lumber camps are more like boatmen[28]; they spend the winter in the forest-encircled lumber camps . . . and in the spring, having lost the habit of working at home, are drawn to the work of lumber floating; harvesting and haymaking alone make them return to their homes. . . .” The peasants are in “perpetual bondage” to the lumber industrialists.[14] Vyatka investigators note that the hiring season for lumbering is usually arranged to coincide with tax-paying time, and that the purchase of provisions from the employer greatly reduces earnings. . . . “Both the tree fellers and the wood-choppers receive about 17 kopeks per summer day, and about 33 kopeks per day when they work with their own horses. . . . This paltry pay is an inadequate remuneration for labour, if we bear in mind the extremely insanitary conditions under which it is done,”[15] etc., etc.

Thus, the lumber workers constitute one of the big sections of the rural proletariat; they have tiny plots of land and are compelled to sell their labour-power on the most disadvantageous terms. The occupation is extremely irregular and casual. The lumbermen, therefore, represent that form of the reserve army (or relative surplus-population in capitalist society) which theory describes as latent[16]; a certain (and, as we have seen, quite large) section of the rural population must always be ready to undertake such work, must always be in need of it. That is a condition for the existence and development of capitalism. To the extent that the forests are destroyed by the rapacious methods of the lumber industrialists (which proceeds with tremendous rapidity), an ever-growing need is felt for replacing wood by coal, and the coal industry, which alone is capable of serving as a firm basis for large-scale machine industry, develops at an ever faster rate. Cheap fuel, obtainable at any time and in any quantity, at a definite and little fluctuating price—such is the demand of the modern factory. The lumber industry is not in a position to meet this demand.[17] That is why its predominance over the coal industry as a source of fuel supply corresponds to a low level of capitalist development. As for the social relations of production, in this respect the lumber industry is to the coal industry approximately what capitalist manufacture is to large-scale machine industry. The lumber industry means a technique of the most elementary kind, the exploitation of natural resources by primitive methods; the coal industry leads to a complete technical revolution and to the extensive use of machinery. The lumber industry leaves the producer a peasant; the coal industry transforms him into a factory hand. The lumber industry leaves all the old, patriarchal way of life practically intact, enmeshing in the worst forms of bondage the workers left to toil in the remote forest depths and taking advantage of their ignorance, defencelessness and isolation. The coal industry creates mobility of the population, establishes large industrial centres and inevitably leads to the introduction of public control over production. In a word, the change-over described is of the same progressive significance as the replacement of the manufactory by the factory.[18]

Building was originally also part of the peasant’s round of domestic occupations, and it continues to be so to this day wherever semi-natural peasant economy is preserved. Subsequent development leads to the building workers’ turning into specialist artisans, who work to customers’ orders. In the villages and small towns the building industry is largely organised on these lines even today; the artisan usually maintains his connection with the land and works for a very narrow circle of small clients. With the development of capitalism, the retention of this system of industry becomes impossible. The growth of trade, factories, towns and railways creates a demand for types of buildings that are architecturally and dimensionally different from the old buildings of the patriarchal epoch. The new buildings require very diverse and costly materials, the co-operation of masses of workers of the most varied specialities and a considerable length of time for their completion; the distribution of these new buildings does not correspond at all to the traditional distribution of the population; they are erected in large towns or suburbs, in uninhabited places, along railways in process of construction, etc. The local artisan turns into a migratory worker and is hired by an entrepreneur contractor, who gradually thrusts himself in between the consumer and the producer and becomes a real capitalist. The spasmodic development of capitalist economy, the alternation of prolonged periods of bad business with periods of “building booms” (like the one we are experiencing now, in 1898) tremendously accelerate the expansion and deepening of capitalist relationships in the building industry.

Such, according to the material of Russian economic literature, has been the post-Reform evolution of the industry under review.[19] This evolution finds particularly striking expression in the territorial division of labour, in the formation of large areas in which the working population specialises in some particular branch of building.[20] This specialisation of areas presupposes the formation of large markets for building work and, in this connection, the rise of capitalist relationships. To illustrate this point let us quote data for one such area. Pokrov Uyezd, Vladimir Gubernia, has long been celebrated for its carpenters, who already at the beginning of the century constituted more than half the total population. After the Reform carpentry continued to spread.[21] In “the carpenters’ area the contractors are an element analogous to the subcontractors and factory owners”; they are usually drawn from among the most enterprising members of carpenters’ artels. “Cases are not rare of contractors in ten years accumulating from 50,000 to 60,000 rubles and more of clear profit. Some of the contractors employ from 300 to 500 carpenters and have become real capitalists. . . . It is not surprising that the local peasants say that ‘nothing pays so well as trading in carpenters.’”[22] It would be hard to give a more striking characterisation of the quintessence of the present organisation of the industry! “Carpentry has left a deep impress upon the whole of peasant life in this locality. . . . The peasant carpenter devotes less and less time to agriculture, and eventually gives it up altogether.” Life in the cities has laid the impress of culture on the carpenter: he lives a much cleaner life than do the surrounding peasants, and is conspicuous for his “cultured appearance,” for “his relatively high mental development.”[23]

The total number of building workers in European Russia must be very considerable, judging from the fragmentary data available. In Kaluga Gubernia the number of building workers in 1896 was estimated at 39,860, both local and migratory. In Yaroslavl Gubernia there were in 1894-95—according to official data—20,170 migratory. In Kostroma Gubernia there were about 39,500 migratory. In 9 uyezds of Vyatka Gubernia (out of 11), there were about 30,500 migratory (in the 80s). In 4 uyezds in Tyer Gubernia (out of 12), there were 15,585, both local and migratory. In Gorbatov Uyezd, Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia, there were 2,221, both local and migratory. The number of carpenters alone who left Ryazan Gubernia every year to work in other districts was, according to official figures for 1875 and 1876, not less than 20,000. In Orel Uyezd, Orel Gubernia, there are 2,000 building workers. In 3 uyezds of Poltava Gubernia (out of 15), there are 1,440. In Nikolayevsk Uyezd, Samara Gubernia, there are 1,339.[24] Judging by these figures, the number of building workers in European Russia must be not less than one million.[25] This figure must rather be considered a minimum, for all the sources show that the number of building workers has grown rapidly in the post-Reform period.[26] The building workers are industrial proletarians in the making, whose connection with the land—already very slight today[27] —is becoming slighter every year. The conditions of building workers are very different from those of lumber workers and are more like those of factory workers. They work in large urban and industrial centres, which, as we have seen, considerably raise their cultural standards. While the declining lumber industry typifies weakly developed forms of a capitalism that still tolerates the patriarchal way of life, the developing building industry typifies a higher stage of capitalism, leads to the formation of a new class of industrial workers, and marks a deep-going differentiation of the old peasantry.


[1] Industries of Vladimir Gubernia, I, 61.—Lenin

[2] Ibid., IV, 80.—Lenin

[3] Zhbankov, The Influence of Industries Employing Migratory Workers on the Movement of the Population, Kostroma, 1887, p. 25.—Lenin

[4] Productive Forces. Russia’s Foreign Trade, p. 39. Timber exports in 1902—55.7 million rubles; in 1903—66.3 million rubles. (Note to 2nd edition.—Ed)—Lenin

[5] Military Statistical Abstract, pp. 486-487.—Lenin

[6] Statistical Survey of Railways and Inland Waterways, St. Petersburg, 1893 (published by Ministry of Communications), p. 40.—Lenin

[7] Ibid., p. 26.—Lenin

[8] Assuming that it amounted approximately to 1/5, of total railway freights (Military Statistical Abstract, p. 511; cf. 518-519).—Lenin

[9] Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia, Vol. VII, Pt. I, Sec. 2. Frequently in this country no distinction is made in lumbering between masters and workers, the latter also being described as lumber industrialists.—Lenin

[10] Transactions of the Handicraft Commission, XI, 397.—Lenin

[11] Hired Labour.Lenin

[12] Calculated from Transactions of the Handicraft Commission.—Lenin

[13] Loccit., pp. 19-20 and 39. Cf. a quite analogous opinion in Transactions of the Handicraft Commission, XII, 265.—Lenin

[14] Transactions of the Handicraft Commission, VIII, pp. 1372-1373, 1474. “Thanks to the requirements of the lumber industry there have developed in Tikhvin Uyezd the blacksmith, tanning, fur and partly the boot trades; the first makes boat-hooks, and the others boots, sheepskin coats and mittens.” Incidentally, we see here an example of how the making of means of production (i.e., the growth of Department I in capitalist economy) gives an impetus to the making of articles of consumption (i.e., Department II). It is not production that follows consumption, but consumption that follows production.—Lenin

[15] Transactions of the Handicraft Commission, XI, pp. 399-400, 405, 147. Cf. the numerous references in the Zemstvo Returns for Trubchevsk Uyezd, Orel Gubernia, to the fact that “agriculture is of secondary importance,” and that the principal part is played by industries, particularly lumbering (Statistical Returns for Trubchevsk Uyezd, Orel, 1887, particularly remarks on villages).—Lenin

[16] Das Kapital, I2, S. 668.[29]Lenin

[17] Here is an illustration of this taken from the Report of the Members of the Commission of Inquiry into Factory Industry in the Kingdom of Poland (St. Petersburg, 1888, Pt. I). Coal in Poland costs half the Moscow price. The average expense of fuel per pood of yarn in Poland is 16 to 37 kopeks, and in the Moscow area—50 to 73 kopeks. In the Moscow area fuel is stocked for 12 to 20 months, in Poland for not more than 3 months, and in most cases for 1 to 4 weeks.—Lenin

[18] Mr. N.–on, in dealing with the replacement of the lumber by the coal industry (Sketches, 211, 243), confined himself, as usual, to mere lamentations. Our romanticist tries not to notice the trifling fact that behind the capitalist coal industry stands the equally capitalist lumber industry, which is marked by incomparably worse forms of exploitation. But he dwells at length on the “number of workers”! What are some 600,000 British miners compared to the millions of unemployed peasants? —he asks (211). To this we reply: that capitalism creates a relative surplus-population is beyond doubt, but Mr. N.–on has absolutely failed to see the connection between this and the requirements of large-scale machine industry. To compare the number of peasants engaged in various occupations even casually and irregularly with the number of specialist miners engaged exclusively in coal extraction, is absolutely senseless. Mr. N.–on resorts to such devices only in order to hide the fact of the rapid growth in Russia of both the number of factory and mine workers, and of the commercial and industrial population in general, since that mars his theory.—Lenin

[19] As we have had occasion to state above, it is difficult to establish this evolution because in our literature building workers in general are often called “artisans,” wage-workers being quite incorrectly classified in this category.—Regarding the analogous development of the organisation of the building industry in the West see, for instance Webb, Die Geschichte des britischen Trade Unionismus, Stuttgart, 1895, S. 7.[30]Lenin

[20] In Yaroslavl Gubernia, for instance, Danilov Uyezd is particularly famous for its stove builders, plasterers and bricklayers its different volosts mainly supplying specialists in one or other of these trades. Quite a large number of painters come from the Trans-volga part of Yaroslavl Uyezd; carpenters come from the central part of Mologa Uyezd, etc. (Survey of Yaroslavl Gubernia, Vol II, Yaroslavl, 1896, p. 135 and others.)—Lenin

[21] At the end of the 50s, about 10,000 carpenters used to leave the Argunovo district (Argunovo Volost is the centre of the industry). In the 60s, out of 548 villages in the Pokrov Uyezd, 503 were engaged in carpentry (Industries of Vladimir Gubernia, IV, p. 161, and foll.).—Lenin

[22] Ibid., pp. 164-165. Our italics.—Lenin

[23] Ibid., 165-166. Similar descriptions may be found in other sources. See Zhbankov: The Influence of Industries Employing Migratory Workers on the Movement of the Population of Kostroma Gubernia in 1866-1883, Kostroma, 1887.—Urban Peasant Employments in Soligalich Uyezd, Kostroma Gubernia, in Yuridichesky Vestnik, 1890, No.9.—Women’s Country, Kostroma, 1891.—Essay in Drafting a General Programme for the Investigation of Peasant Outside Employments.— Industries Employing Migratory Workers in Smolensk Gubernia in 1892-1895, Smolensk, 1896.—The Influence of Industries Employing Migratory Workers on the Movement of the Population, in Vrach (Physician ), 1895, No. 25.—See also above-mentioned Survey of Yaroslavl GuberniaTransactions of the Handicraft CommissionStatistical Survey of Kaluga Gubernia for 1896, Kaluga, 1897; Agricultural Survey of Nizhni-Novgorod Gubernia for 1896, Nizhni-Novgorod, 1897, and other Zemstvo statistical publications.—Lenin

[24] Sources, apart from those mentioned in the preceding foot note, are Zemstvo returns. Mr. V. V. (Essays on Handicraft Industry, 61) cites data for 13 uyezds in Poltava, Kursk and Tambov gubernias. The total number of building workers (Mr. V. V. classifies them all; and wrongly so, as “small industrialists”) is 28,644, ranging from 2.7% to 22.1% of the total adult male population of the uyezds. If we take the average percentage (8.8%) as the standard, the number of building workers in European Russia would be 1 1/3 million (counting 15 million adult male workers). The gubernias mentioned occupy a position midway between those where the building industries are most developed and those where they are least developed.—Lenin

[25] The census of January 28, 1897 (General Summary, 1905), gives the number of the independent population (those earning their own livelihood) engaged in the building industry throughout the Empire as 717,000, plus 469,000 cultivators occupied in this industry as a side line. (Note to 2nd edition.—Ed.)—Lenin

[26] Fire insurance figures may, to some extent, help us to gauge the dimensions of the building industry. The value of buildings covered by fire insurance amounted to 5,968 million rubles in 1884, and to 7,854 million rubles in 1893. (Productive Forces, XII, 65.) This shows an annual increase of 188 million rubles.—Lenin

[27] In Yaroslavl Gubernia, for example, 11 to 20% of the total population, or 30 to 56%, of the male workers, leave their homes in search of work- 68.7% of those who leave are away all the year round (Survey of Yaroslavl Gubernia ). Obviously, all these are “peasants only by official designation ” (p. 117).—Lenin

[28] Boatmen—workers who towed river craft by rope, or rowed them. [p. 528]

[29] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, p. 642. [p. 529]

[30] While in exile in the village of Shushenskoye, Lenin, assisted by Krupskaya, translated volume one and edited the translation of volume two of The History of Trade Unionism, by Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Volume one of the Webbs’ book “translated from the English by Vladimir Ilyin” (i.e., Lenin) was published in St. Petersburg in 1900 by O. N. Popova. Volume two appeared in 1901. [p. 531]

X. The Appendage to the Factory

By the appendage to the factory we mean those forms of wage-labour and small industry whose existence is directly connected with the factory. These include, first of all (in part), the lumber and building workers, of whom we have spoken and who in some cases directly form part of the industrial population of factory centres, and in others belong to the population of surrounding villages.[1] Further, they include workers employed on peat bogs—which are sometimes worked by factory owners themselves[2]; carters, loaders, packers, and so-called labourers generally, who always constitute a fairly considerable part of the population of industrial centres. In St. Petersburg, for instance, the census of December 15, 1890, registered 44,814 persons (of both sexes) in the group of “day labourers and labourers”; then 51,000 persons (of both sexes) in the carting industry, of whom 9,500 are specially engaged in carting heavy and miscellaneous loads. Further, certain auxiliary work is done for factories by small “independent” industrialists; in factory centres or their environs such industries spring up as barrel-making for oil-mills and distilleries,[3] basket-making for packing glassware,[4] packing-case making for hardware, the making of wooden handles for joiners’ and fitters’ tools,[5] the making of brads for footwear factories, and of “tanning” for leather works, etc.,[6] the weaving of bast-matting for the packing of factory wares (in the Kostroma and other gubernias), the making of “sticks” for matches (in the Ryazan, Kaluga and other gubernias), cardboard-box making for tobacco factories (in the environs of St. Petersburg),[7] the making of wood-dust for vinegar factories,[8] the spinning of waste yarn in small spinning sheds (in Lodz), which has developed owing to the demand created by the big mills,[9] etc., etc. All these small industrialists, like the wage-workers referred to above, belong either to the industrial population of factory centres, or to the semi-agricultural population of the surrounding villages. Furthermore, when a factory’s work is limited to the production of a semi-manufactured article, small industries are sometimes called into existence which engage in treating it further; for example, machine spinning has given an impetus to handicraft weaving, and “handicraft” producers of metal goods cluster around ironworks, etc. Finally, capitalist domestic industry is often an appendage to the factory.[10] The epoch of large-scale machine industry is marked in all countries by the extensive development of capitalist domestic industry in such branches as, for example, ready-made clothing. We have spoken above of the wide extent of such industry in Russia, of the conditions peculiar to it and of the reason for considering it more correct to describe it in the chapter on manufacture.

In order to give anything like a full description of the appendage to the factory one needs complete statistics on the occupations of the population, or monographic descriptions of the entire economic life of factory centres and their environs. But even the fragmentary data with which we have had to content ourselves show the incorrectness of the opinion widespread here that factory industry is isolated from other forms of industry, that the factory population is isolated from the population not employed in factories. The development of forms of industry, like that of all social relationships in general, cannot but proceed very gradually, among a mass of interlocking, transitional forms and seeming reversions to the past. Thus, the growth of small industries may express (as we have seen) the progress of capitalist manufacture; now we see that the factory, too, may sometimes develop small industries. Work for the “buyer-up,” is also an appendage to both the manufactory and the factory. To give a proper assessment of the significance of such phenomena, we must consider them in conjunction with the whole structure of industry at the given stage of its development and with the main trends of this development.


[1] For instance, in Ryazan Gubernia “at the Khludov factory alone” (1894-95—4,849 workers, output 6 million rubles), “as many as 7,000 horses are engaged in the winter in wood-carting, most of them belonging to peasants of the Yegoryevsk Uyezd”[11] (Transactions of the Handicraft Commission, VII, pp. 1109-1110).—Lenin

[2] Chaos also reigns in the statistics for the peat industry. As a rule this industry is not classified among the “factory” trades (cf. Kobelyatsky, Handbook, p. 15), although at times it is. For instance, the List gives 12 peat fields employing 2,201 workers in Vladimir Gubernia and in that gubernia alone, although peat is extracted in other gubernias as well. According to Svirsky (Factories and Works of Vladimir Gubernia ), in 1890 there were 6,038 persons employed in extracting peat in Vladimir Gubernia. The total number of workers in Russia employed in the extraction of peat must be many times greater.—Lenin

[3] Transactions of the Handicraft Commission, Vol. VI.—Lenin

[4] Ibid., Vol. VIII, in Novgorod Gubernia.—Lenin

[5] Ibid., Vol. IX, in the suburban volosts of Tula Uyezd.—Lenin

[6] In Perm Gubernia, near the town of Kungur, in Tver Gubernia in the village of Kimry, etc.—Lenin

[7] See Report of the Zemstvo Board of the St. Petersburg Uyezd for 1889. Mr. Voinov’s report on Medical District V.—Lenin

[8] Reports and Investigations, I, p. 360.—Lenin

[9] Reports of Inquiry into Factory Industry in the Kingdom of Poland, St. Petersburg, 1888, p. 24.—Lenin

[10] In the List we counted 16 factories, each employing 1,000 and more workers on their premises, which had additionally a total of 7,857 outside workers. Fourteen factories, each with from 50.0 to 999 workers, employed 1,352 outside workers. The registration of outside work by the List is quite haphazard and full of gaps. The Collection of Factory Inspectors’ Reports estimates for 1903 a total of 632 work-distributing offices, giving work to 65,115 workers. These data are very incomplete, of course; nevertheless, it is characteristic that the overwhelming majority of these offices, and the workers they employ, relate to centres of factory industry (Moscow area: 503 offices 49,345 workers; Saratov Gubernia—Sarpinka fabrics—33 offices, 10,000 workers). (Note to 2nd edition.)—Lenin

[11] The “Khludov Factory,” the property of the brothers A. and G. Khludov was situated in the town of Yegoryovsk Ryazan Gubernia. The firm’s full title was: “Yegoryevsk Cotton-Spinning Factory Co., A. and G. Khludov.” The bracketed data (showing the number of workers and the value of output) given in Lenin’s footnote were taken from the List of Factories, St. Petersburg, 1897, Issue No. 763. [p. 534]

XI. The Complete Separation of Industry
From Agriculture

The complete separation of industry from agriculture is effected only by large-scale machine industry. The Russian facts fully confirm this thesis, which was established by the author of Capital for other countries,[1] but which is usually ignored by the Narodnik economists. Mr. N.–on in his Sketches talks in and out of season about “the separation of industry from agriculture,” without, however, taking the trouble to examine, on the basis of precise data, how this process is actually taking place and what different forms it assumes. Mr. V. V. points to the connection of our industrial worker with the land (in manufacture ; our author does not think it necessary to distinguish the various stages of capitalism, although he pretends he is following the theory of the author of Capital !) and declaims in this regard about the “shameful (sic !) dependence” “of our (author’s italics) capitalist industry” upon the worker farmer, etc. (Destiny of Capitalism, p. 114 and others). Mr. V. V. has apparently not heard, or has forgotten if he has beard, that not only in “our country” but everywhere in the West, capitalism failed to bring about the complete separation of the workers from the land before large-scale machine industry was established. Finally, Mr. Kablukov has quite recently presented his students with the following amazing distortion of the facts: “Whereas in the West work in the factory is the sole means of livelihood for the worker, in our country, with relatively few exceptions (sic !!!), the worker regards work in the factory as a subsidiary occupation, he is more attracted to the land.”[2]

A factual analysis of this question has been made in Mr. Dementyev’s essay on the “factory workers’ connection with agriculture” in the Moscow sanitary statistics.[3] Systematically collated statistics embracing about 20,000 workers have shown that only 14.1% of the factory workers leave for agricultural employment. But far more important is the fact, proved in the greatest detail in the work mentioned, that it is precisely machine production that divorces the workers from the land. Of a whole series of figures quoted in proof of this fact we select the following most striking ones.[4]Per cent leaving for work in fields.

We have supplemented the author’s table by dividing 8 of the trades into those carried on by hand and those by machinery. As regards the ninth, felt cloth production, let us note that it is conducted partly by hand and partly by machinery. Of the weavers in hand-loom factories about 63% leave for field-work, while of those working on power-looms not one leaves; of the workers in departments of cloth mills that are mechanised 3.3% leave. “Thus, the most important reason for factory workers breaking their ties with the land is the transition from hand to machine production. Despite the still relatively considerable number of factories with hand production, the number of workers employed in them, as compared with the number in factories with machine production, is quite negligible, that is why, of those who leave for field-work, we get proportions as small as 14.1% of adult workers in general and 15.4% of adult workers belonging exclusively to the peasant social estate.”[5] Let us recall that the returns of the sanitary inspection of factories in Moscow Gubernia gave the following figures: mechanical factories, 22.6% of the total (including 18.4% using steam-engines); in these, 80.7% of the total number of workers are concentrated. Hand-labour factories constitute 69.2%, employing only 16.2% of the total number of workers. At the 244 mechanised factories there are 92,302 workers (378 workers per factory), while at the 747 hand labour factories there are 18,520 workers (25 workers per factory).[6] We have shown above the considerable concentration of all Russian factory workers in the largest enterprises, mostly mechanised, which have an average of 488 and more workers per establishment. Mr. Dementyev has studied in detail the influence of the workers’ place of birth on their separation from the land, differences between local-born and migrant workers, differences in social estate (burgher or peasant), etc., and it turned out that all these differences are eclipsed by the influence of the main factor: the transition from hand to machine production.[7] “Whatever causes may have helped to turn the former cultivator into a factory worker, these special workers already exist. They are merely counted as peasants, but their only connection with the village is by way of the taxes they pay when renewing their passports, for actually they have no farm in the village, and very often not even a house, which has usually been sold. Even their right to land they retain only juridically, so to speak, and the disorders that took place in 1885-1886 at many factories showed that these workers themselves feel totally alien to the village, just as the peasants in their turn regard them, offspring of their fellow-villagers, as strangers. We are consequently faced with an already crystallised class of workers, possessing no homes of their own and virtually no property, a class bound by no ties and living from hand to mouth. And its origin does not date from yesterday. It has its factory genealogy, and a fairly large section of it is already in its third generation.”[8] Lastly, interesting material on the separation of the factory from agriculture is provided by the latest factory statistics. The List of Factories and Works (data for 1894-95) gives information on the number of days in the year during which each factory operates. Mr. Kasperov hastened to use these data in support of the Narodnik theories when he calculated that “on the average, the Russian factory works 165 days a year,” that “35% of the factories in this country work less than 200 days a year.”[9] It goes without saying that in view of the vagueness of the term “factory,” such overall figures are practically valueless, since they do not indicate how many workers are employed for specific numbers of days in the year. We have computed the appropriate figures of the List for those large factories (with 100 and more workers) which, as we have seen above (§ VII), employ about 3/4 of the total number of factory workers. It turns out that the average number of working days per year in the different categories was as follows: A) 242; B) 235; C) 273,[10] and for all the large factories, 244. If we calculate the average number of working days per worker we will get 253 working days per year as the average number per worker of a large factory. Of the 12 sections into which the various trades are divided in the List, only in one is the average number of working days, for the bottom categories, below 200, namely in section XI (food products): A) 189; B) 148; C) 280. Factories in categories A and B in this section employ 110,588 workers, which is 16.2% of the total number of workers in the large factories (655,670). We would point out that this section combines quite diverse trades, e.g., beet-sugar and tobacco, distilling and flour-milling, etc. For the remaining sections the average number of working days per factory is as follows: A) 259; B) 271; C) 272. Thus, the larger the factories the greater the number of days they operate in the course of the year. The general data for all the biggest factories in European Russia, therefore, confirm the conclusions of the Moscow sanitary statistical returns and prove that the factory creates a class of permanent factory workers.

So then, the data on Russian factory workers fully confirm the theory of Capital that it is large-scale machine industry that brings about a complete and definite revolution in the conditions of life of the industrial population, separating it once and for all from agriculture and from the century-old traditions of patriarchal life connected with it. But, by destroying patriarchal and petty-bourgeois relationships, large-scale machine industry creates, on the other hand, conditions which draw wage-workers in agriculture and industry closer together: firstly, it introduces into the rural districts generally the commercial and industrial way of life which has first arisen in the non-agricultural centres; secondly, it creates mobility of the population and large markets for the hiring of both agricultural and industrial workers; thirdly, by introducing machinery into agriculture, large-scale machine industry brings into the rural districts skilled industrial workers, distinguished for their higher standard of living.


[1] Das Kapital, I2, S. 779-780.[11]Lenin

[2] Lectures on Agricultural (sic !) Economics, edition for students, Moscow, 1897, p, 13. Perhaps our learned statistician thinks that we may regard as “relatively few exceptions” 85% of all cases (see further in text)?—Lenin

[3] Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia, Section of Sanitation Statistics, Vol. IV, Sec. II, Moscow, 1893. Reprinted in Mr. Dementyev’s well-known work: The Factoryetc.—Lenin

[4] Statistical Returnsloccit., p. 292. The Factory, 2nd ed., p. 36.—Lenin

[5] Returns, p. 280. The Factory, p. 26.—Lenin

[6] Returns, Vol. IV, Sec. I, pp. 167, 170, 177.—Lenin

[7] Mr, Zhbankov, in his Sanitary Investigation of Factories and Works of Smolensk Gubernia (Smolensk, 1894-1896), estimates the number of workers who leave for field-work at approximately a mere 10 to 15% at the Yartsevo Textile Mill only (Vol II, pp. 307, 445, in 1893-1894 the Yartsevo Mill employed 3,106 out of the 8,810 factory workers in Smolensk Gubernia). Of the men 28% (average for all factories, 29%) and of the women 18.6% (average for all factories, 21%) employed in this factory were casual workers, (See Vol. II, p. 469.) It should be noted that the casual workers include 1) those employed at the factory for less than a year; 2) those who leave for summer work in the fields, 3) those “who for various reasons ceased work at the factory for several years” (II, 445).—Lenin

[8] Returns, p. 296. The Factory, pp. 44-46.—Lenin

[9] Statistical Summary of Russia’s Industrial Development. A paper read by M. 1. Tugan-Baranovsky, member of the Free Economic Society, and the debate on this paper at the sessions of section III. St. Petersburg, 1898, p. 41.—Lenin

[10] Let us recall that category A includes factories with 100 to 499 workers, B, with 500 to 999, and C, with 1,000 and more.—Lenin

[11] Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1958, pp. 747-749. [p. 536]

XII. Three Stages in the Development of Capitalism
in Russian Industry

Let us now sum up the main conclusions to be drawn from the data on the development of capitalism in our industry.[1]

There are three main stages in this development: small commodity-production (small, mainly peasant industries); capitalist manufacture; and the factory (large-scale machine industry). The facts utterly refute the view widespread here in Russia that “factory” and “handicraft” industry are isolated from each other. On the contrary, such a division is purely artificial. The connection and continuity between the forms of industry mentioned is of the most direct and intimate kind. The facts quite clearly show that the main trend of small commodity-production is towards the development of capitalism, in particular, towards the rise of manufacture; and manufacture is growing with enormous rapidity before our very eyes into large-scale machine industry. Perhaps one of the most striking manifestations of the intimate and direct connection between the consecutive forms of industry is the fact that many of the big and even the biggest factory owners were at one time the smallest of small industrialists and passed through all the stages from “popular production” to “capitalism.” Savva Morozov was a peasant serf (he purchased his freedom in 1820), a cowherd, a carter, a worker weaver, a handicraft weaver who used to journey to Moscow on foot in order to sell his goods to buyers-up; then he became the owner of a small establishment, a work-distributing office, a factory. When he died in 1862, he and his numerous sons owned two large factories. In 1890, the 4 factories belonging to his descendants employed 39,000 workers, producing goods to the value of 35 million rubles.[2] In the silk industry of Vladimir Gubernia, a number of big factory owners were formerly worker weavers or “handicraft” weavers.[3] The biggest factory owners in Ivanovo-Voznesensk (the Kuvayevs, Fokins, Zubkovs, Kokushkins, Bobrovs and many others) were formerly handicraftsmen.[4] The brocade factories in Moscow Gubernia all grew out of handicraft workrooms.[5] The factory owner Zavyalov, of Pavlovo district, still had in 1864 “a vivid recollection of the time when he was a plain employee of craftsman Khabarov.”[6] Factory owner Varypayev used to be a small handicrafts man.[7] Kondratov was a handicraftsman who used to walk to Pavlovo carrying his wares in a bag.[8] Millowner Asmolov used to be a pedlars’ horse-driver, then a small trader, then proprietor of a small tobacco workshop, and finally owner of a factory with a turnover of many millions.[9] And so on and so forth. It would be interesting to see how, in these and similar cases, the Narodnik economists would determine where “artificial” capitalism begins and “people’s” industry ends.

The three main forms of industry enumerated above differ first of all in their systems of technique. Small commodity-production is characterised by its totally primitive, hand technique that remained unchanged almost from time immemorial. The small producer in industry remains a peasant who follows tradition in his methods of processing raw material. Manufacture introduces division of labour, which effects a substantial change in technique and transforms the peasant into a factory-hand, a “labourer performing one detailed operation.” But production by hand remains, and, on its basis, progress in methods of production is inevitably very slow. Division of labour springs up spontaneously and is passed on by tradition just as peasant labour is. Large-scale machine industry alone introduces a radical change, throws manual skill overboard, transforms production on new, rational principles, and systematically applies science to production. So long as capitalism in Russia did not organise large-scale machine industry, and in those industries in which it has not done so yet, we see almost complete stagnation in technique, we see the employment of the same hand-loom and the same watermill or windmill that were used in production centuries ago. On the other hand, in industries subordinated to the factory we observe a complete technical revolution and extremely rapid progress in the methods of machine production.

We see that the different stages of the development of capitalism are connected with different systems of technique. Small commodity-production and manufacture are characterised by the prevalence of small establishments, from among which only a few large ones emerge. Large-scale machine industry completely eliminates the small establishments. Capitalist relationships arise in the small industries too (in the form of workshops employing wage-workers and of merchant’s capital), but these are still poorly developed and are not crystallised in sharp oppositions between the groups participating in production. Neither big capital nor extensive proletarian strata as yet exist. In manufacture we see the rise of both. The gulf between the one who owns the means of production and the one who works now becomes very wide. “Wealthy” industrial settlements spring up, the bulk of whose inhabitants are poor working people. A small number of merchants, who do an enormous business buying raw materials and selling finished goods, and a mass of detail workers living from hand to mouth—such is the general picture of manufacture. But the multitude of small establishments, the retention of the tie with the land, the adherence to tradition in production and in the whole manner of living— all this creates a mass of intermediary elements between the extremes of manufacture and retards the development of these extremes. In large-scale machine industry all these retarding factors disappear; the acuteness of social contradictions reaches the highest point. All the dark sides of capitalism become concentrated, as it were: the machine, as we know, gives a tremendous impulse to the greatest possible prolongation of the working day; women and children are drawn into industry; a reserve army of unemployed is formed (and must be formed by virtue of the conditions of factory production), etc. However, the socialisation of labour effected on a vast scale by the factory, and the transformation of the sentiments and conceptions of the people it employs (in particular, the destruction of patriarchal and petty-bourgeois traditions) cause a reaction: large-scale machine industry, unlike the preceding stages, imperatively calls for the planned regulation of production and public control over it (a manifestation of the latter tendency is factory legislation).[10]

The very character of the development of production changes at the various stages of capitalism. In the small industries this development follows in the wake of the development of peasant economy; the market is extremely narrow, the distance between the producer and the consumer is short, and the insignificant scale of production easily adapts itself to the slightly fluctuating local demand. That is why industry at this stage is characterised by the greatest stability, but this stability is tantamount to stagnation in technique and the preservation of patriarchal social relationships tangled up with all sorts of survivals of medieval traditions. The manufactories work for a big market— sometimes for the whole country—and, accordingly, production acquires the instability characteristic of capitalism, an instability which attains the greatest intensity under factory production. Large-scale machine industry can only develop in spurts, in alternating periods of prosperity and of crisis. The ruin of small producers is tremendously accelerated by this spasmodic growth of the factory; the workers are drawn into the factory in masses during a boom period, and are then thrown out. The formation of a vast reserve army of unemployed, ready to undertake any kind of work, becomes a condition for the existence and development of large-scale machine industry. In Chapter II we showed from which strata of the peasantry this army is recruited, and in subsequent chapters we indicated the main types of occupations for which capital keeps these reserves ready. The “instability” of large-scale machine industry has always evoked, and continues to evoke, reactionary complaints from individuals who continue to look at things through the eyes of the small producer and who forget that it is this “instability” alone that replaced the former stagnation by the rapid transformation of methods of production and of all social relationships.

One of the manifestations of this transformation is the separation of industry from agriculture, the liberation of social relations in industry from the traditions of the feudal and patriarchal system that weigh down on agriculture. In small commodity-production the industrialist has not yet emerged at all from his peasant shell; in the majority of cases he remains a farmer, and this connection between small industry and small agriculture is so profound that we observe the interesting law of the parallel differentiation of the small producers in industry and in agriculture. The formation of a petty bourgeoisie and of wage-workers proceeds simultaneously in both spheres of the national economy, thereby preparing the way, at both poles of differentiation, for the industrialist to break with agriculture. Under manufacture this break is already very considerable. A whole number of industrial centres arise that do not engage in agriculture. The chief representative of industry is no longer the peasant, but the merchant and the manufactory owner on the one hand, and the “artisan” on the other. Industry and the relatively developed commercial intercourse with the rest of the world raise the standard of living and the culture of the population; the peasant is now regarded with disdain by the manufactory workman. Large-scale machine industry completes this transformation, separates industry from agriculture once and for all, and, as we have seen, creates a special class of the population totally alien to the old peasantry and differing from the latter in its manner of living, its family relationships and its higher standard of requirements, both material and spiritual.[11] In the small industries and in manufacture we always find survivals of patriarchal relations and of diverse forms of personal dependence, which, in the general conditions of capitalist economy, exceedingly worsen the condition of the working people, and degrade and corrupt them. Large-scale machine industry, which concentrates masses of workers who often come from various parts of the country, absolutely refuses to tolerate survivals of patriarchalism and personal dependence, and is marked by a truly “contemptuous attitude to the past.” It is this break with obsolete tradition that is one of the substantial conditions which have created the possibility and evoked the necessity of regulating production and of public control over it. In particular, speaking of the transformation brought about by the factory in the conditions of life of the population, it must be stated that the drawing of women and juveniles into production[12] is, at bottom, progressive. It is indisputable that the capitalist factory places these categories of the working population in particularly hard conditions, and that for them it is particularly necessary to regulate and shorten the working day, to guarantee hygienic conditions of labour, etc.; but endeavours completely to ban the work of women and juveniles in industry, or to maintain the patriarchal manner of life that ruled out such work, would be reactionary and utopian. By destroying the patriarchal isolation of these categories of the population who formerly never emerged from the narrow circle of domestic, family relationships, by drawing them into direct participation in social production, large-scale machine industry stimulates their development and increases their independence, in other words, creates conditions of life that are incomparably superior to the patriarchal immobility of pre-capitalist relations.[13]

The settled character of the population is typical of the first two stages of industrial development. The small industrialist, remaining a peasant, is bound to his village by his farm. The artisan under manufacture is usually tied to the small, isolated industrial area which is created by manufacture. In the very system of industry at the first and second stages of its development there is nothing to disturb this settled and isolated condition of the producer. Intercourse between the various industrial areas is rare. The transfer of industry to other areas is due only to the migration of individual small producers, who establish new small industries in the outlying parts of the country. Large-scale machine industry, on the other hand, necessarily creates mobility of the population; commercial intercourse between the various districts grows enormously; railways facilitate travel. The demand for labour increases on the whole—rising in periods of boom and falling in periods of crisis, so that it becomes a necessity for workers to go from one factory to another, from one part of the country to another. Large-scale machine industry creates a number of new industrial centres, which grow up with unprecedented rapidity, sometimes in unpopulated places, a thing that would be impossible without the mass migration of workers. Further on we shall speak of the dimensions and the significance of the so-called outside non-agricultural industries. At the moment we shall limit ourselves to a brief presentation of Zemstvo sanitation statistics for Moscow Gubernia. An inquiry among 103,175 factory workers showed that 53,238, or 51.6% of the total, were born in the uyezd in which they worked. Hence, nearly half the workers had migrated from one uyezd to another. The number of workers who were born in Moscow Gubernia was 66,038, or 64%.[14] More than a third of the workers came from other gubernias (chiefly from gubernias of the central industrial zone adjacent to Moscow Gubernia). A comparison of the different uyezds shows the most highly industrialised ones to be marked by the lowest percentage of locally-born workers. For example, in the poor]y industrialised Mozhaisk and Volokolamsk uyezds from 92 to 93% of the factory workers are natives of the uyezd where they work. In the very highly industrialised Moscow, Kolomna and Bogorodsk uyezds the percentage of locally born workers drops to 24%, 40% and 50%. From this the investigators draw the conclusion that “the considerable development of factory production in an uyezd encourages the influx of outside elements.”[15] These facts show also (let us add) that the movement of industrial workers bears the same features that we observed in the movement of agricultural workers. That is to say, industrial workers, too, migrate not only from localities where there is a surplus of labour, but also from those where there is a shortage. For example, the Bronnitsi Uyezd attracts 1,125 workers from other uyezds of Moscow Gubernia and from other gubernias, while at the same time providing 1,246 workers for the more highly industrialised Moscow and Bogorodsk uyezds. Hence, workers leave not only because they do not find “local occupations at hand,” but also because they make for the places where conditions are better. Elementary as this fact is, it is worth while giving the Narodnik economists a further reminder of it, for they idealise local occupations and condemn migration to industrial districts, ignoring the progressive significance of the mobility of the population created by capitalism.

The above-described characteristic features which distinguish large-scale machine industry from the preceding forms of industry may be summed up in the words—socialisation of labour. Indeed, production for an enormous national and international market, development of close commercialties with various parts of the country and with different countries for the purchase of raw and auxiliary materials, enormous technical progress, concentration of production and of the population in colossal enterprises, demolition of the worn-out traditions of patriarchal life, creation of mobility of the population, and improvement of the worker’s standard of requirements and his development—all these are elements of the capitalist process which is increasingly socialising production in the country, and with it those who participate in production.[16]

On the problem of the relation of large-scale machine industry in Russia to the home market for capitalism, the data given above lead to the following conclusion. The rapid development of factory industry in Russia is creating an enormous and ever-growing market for means of production (building materials, fuel, metals, etc.) and is increasing with particular rapidity the part of the population engaged in making articles of productive and not personal consumption. But the market for articles of personal consumption is also growing rapidly, owning to the growth of large-scale machine industry, which is diverting an increasingly large part of the population from agriculture into commercial and industrial occupations. As for the home market for factory-made products, the process of the formation of that market was examined in detail in the early chapters of this book.


[1] Confining ourselves, as stated in the preface, to the post-Reform period, we leave aside the forms of industry that were based on the labour of the serf population.—Lenin

[2] Industries of Vladimir Gubernia, IV, 5-7. —Directory for 1890.—Shishmaryov: A Brief Sketch of Industry in the Region of the Nizhni-Novgorod and Shuya-Ivanow Railways, St. Petersburg, 1892, pp. 28-32.—Lenin

[3] Industries of Vladimir Gubernia, III, p. 7 and foll.—Lenin

[4] Shishmaryov, 56-62.—Lenin

[5] Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia, Vol. VII, Pt. III, Moscow, 1883, pp. 27-28.—Lenin

[6] A. Smirnov, Pavlovo and Vorsma, p. 14.—Lenin

[7] Labzin, loccit., p. 66.—Lenin

[8] Grigoryev, loccit., p. 36.—Lenin

[9] Historico-Statistical Survey, Vol. II, p. 27.—Lenin

[10] On the connection between factory legislation and the conditions and relationships brought into being by large-scale machine industry, see Mr. Tugan-Baranovsky’s book, The Russian Factory, Chapter II, Part 2, and especially the article in Novoye Slovo of July 1897.—Lenin

[11] Regarding the “factory hand” type cf. above, Chapter VI, § II, 5, pp. 404-405.— Also Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia, Vol VII, Pt. III, Moscow, 1883, p. 58 (the factory hand is a moralist, a “smart alec”).— Nizhni-Novgorod Handbook, I, pp. 42-43- Vol. IV, p. 335.— Industries of Vladimir Gubernia, III, 113-114 and elsewhere.— Novoye Slovo, Oct. 1897, p. 63.—Cf. also the above-mentioned works of Mr. Zhbankov which describe the workers who go off to the towns to commercial and industrial occupations.—Lenin

[12] According to the Directory, the factories and works of European Russia in 1890 employed a total of 875,764 workers of whom 210,207 (24%) were women, 17,793 (2%) boys, and 8,216 (1%) girls.—Lenin

[13] “The poor woman-weaver follows her father and husband to the factory and works alongside of them and independently of them. She is as much a breadwinner as the man is.” “In the factory . . . the woman is quite an independent producer, apart from her husband.” Literacy spreads among the women factory workers with remarkable rapidity. (Industries of Vladimir Gubernia, III, 113, 118, 112 and elsewhere.) Mr. Kharizomenov is perfectly right in drawing the following conclusion: industry destroys “the economic dependence of the woman on the family . . . and on the husband. . . . At the factory, the woman is the equal of the man; this is the equality of the proletarian. . . . The capitalisation of industry is an important factor in woman’s struggle for her independence in the family.” “Industry creates a new position for the woman in which she is completely independent of her family and husband.” (Yuridichesky Vestnik, 1883, No. 12, pp. 582, 596.) In the Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia (Vol. VII, Pt. II, Moscow, 1882, pp. 152, 138-139), the investigators compare the position of women engaged in making stockings by hand and by machine. The daily earnings of hand workers are about 8 kopeks, and of machine workers, 14 to 30 kopeks. The working woman’s conditions under machine production are described as follows: “. . . Before us is a free young woman, hampered by no obstacles, emancipated from the family and from all that constitutes the peasant woman’s conditions of life, a young woman who at any moment may leave one place for another, one employer for another, and may at any moment find herself without a job . . . without a crust of bread. . . . Under hand production, the knitter’s earnings are very meagre, insufficient to cover the cost of her food, earnings only acceptable if she, as a member of an allotment-holding and farming family, enjoys in part the product of that land; under machine production the working woman, in addition to food and tea, gets earnings which enable . . . her to live away from the family and to do without the family’s income from the land. . . . Moreover, the woman worker’s earnings in machine industry, under present conditions, are more secure.”—Lenin

[14] In the less industrialised Smolensk Gubernia, an inquiry among 5,000 factory workers showed that 80% of them were natives of that gubernia (Zhbankov, loccit., II, 442).—Lenin

[15] Statistical Returns for Moscow Gubernia, Sanitary Statistical Section, Vol. IV, Sec. I (Moscow, 1890), p. 240.—Lenin

[16] The data quoted in the last three chapters show, in our opinion, that the classification of the capitalist forms and stages of industry given by Marx is more correct and sound than the now current classification which confuses the manufactory with the factory and regards working for a buyer-up as a special form of industry (Held, B\”ucher). To confuse the manufactory with the factory is to make purely superficial features the basis for classification and to ignore the essential features of technique, economy and social life which distinguish manufacture from the machine period of capitalism. As to capitalist domestic industry, it undoubtedly plays a very important part in the mechanism of capitalist industry. Just as undoubtedly, work for the buyer-up is particularly characteristic of pre-machine capitalism; but it is also to be met with (and on no small scale) in the most diverse periods of capitalist development. The significance of work for the buyer-up is not to be understood unless studied in connection with the whole structure of industry in the given period, or at the given stage of capitalist development. The peasant who weaves baskets to the order of the village shopkeeper, the Pavlovo artisan who makes knife-handles in his home to the order of Zavyalov, the woman worker who makes clothes, footwear, gloves or boxes to the order of big mill owners or merchants—all work for buyers-up, but in all these instances capitalist domestic industry bears a different character and has a different significance. We do not, of course, in the least deny the merits of B\”ucher, for example, in studying pre-capitalist forms of industry, but we think his classification of capitalist forms of industry is wrong.—We cannot agree with the views of Mr. Struve (see Mir Bozhy, 1898, No. 4) inasmuch as he adopts B\”ucher’s theory (in the part mentioned) and applies it to Russian “handicraftism.” (Since these lines were written, in 1899, Mr. Struve has managed to complete the cycle of his scientific and political development. From a person oscillating between B\”ucher and Marx, between liberal and socialist economics, he has become a liberal bourgeois of the purest water. The writer of these lines is proud of having helped, as far as has been in his power, to purge Social-Democracy of such elements. (Note to 2nd edition.—Ed.)—Lenin