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50

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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of administration, and they were compelled to
return, more or less, to capitalist methods.

It was, above all, under pressure of the great
mass of the peasantry that the rigid and artificial
economic mould, into which the orthodox
Communists tried to squeeze the life of Russia, finally
burst.

It was the just demands of the agricultural
labourers (and not the efforts of the old
bourgeoisie) which occasioned the mighty movement
for denationalisation and for a normal economic
structure, which will be the salvation of Russia.

In reality, it was the peasant who suffered most
under the regime which was suffocating the Russian
nation. Forced to give up to the State his whole
crop, except what was considered strictly necessary
to support himself and his family, he had a right,
according to Communist principles, to obtain the
articles of clothing he required, and to enjoy gratis
all the advantages and services of the State.

But as he really got nothing, or hardly anything,
he demanded more and more loudly that he should
have the right to dispose of the produce of his
labour himself, after paying the taxes and other dues.

To give the peasant the right to seil, though it
be only part of his produce—would not that open
a dangerous breach in the Communistic edifice?
I am convinced that it is not so much the
socialising of production, as the turning of the whole
machinery of distribution into a State institution,
that is the hall-mark of true Communism.

The end of it was that requisitioning of the

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