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110

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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CHAPTER VIII
AGRICULTURAL RECONSTRUCTION



The true strength of the Russian Government,
the secret which has kept it in power, although
the really communistic party is only a small
minority in Russia, is in my opinion the fact that
it has allowed the peasants to retain possession
of the land, and especially to occupy the large
estate-owners’ lands.

It is true that, according to the Land Law,
which has just been made public, the land is the
property of the State, and the peasants have neither
the right to seil it or to mortgage it. But the
Russian peasant is no lawyer, and provided he is
sure that he can keep his “isba” (farm-house)
and his fields until his death, that his children will
have the prior right to the family property, and
that he can sell his harvest as he likes, after
paying the tax in kind, he does not worry much
about whether he has only the use of the land
or really owns it. This holds good as long as
he remains where he is. But it is difficult for
him to move, as in such case he does not have
any rights in, or compensation for, the land he
leaves. Thus he becomes more or less tied to

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