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112

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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advantages involved in this arrangement, and the
movement went rapidly ahead, especially after 1910.

The Bolshevik revolution in 1917, and the order
to introduce communism in agriculture and in the
right of landownership, stopped the whole of this
useful movement, at all events for a time. It is
true that no real attempt was ever made to carry out
these communist measures in the case of the peasants,
who evinced a strong prejudice against them; but
a general confusion of ideas was brought about.

Meanwhile the peasants had driven out the
landowners and had appropriated their lands. The
land had also been taken away from some of
the large peasant-owners. The smaller peasants
were not inclined to give up this land again, either
to a communist State or to the former owners.
All through the last century the Russian peasants
had fought to take the land away from these,
who were looked upon as oppressors. At last
their dream has come true, and even if it
has not brought them the prosperity they expected,
and even if they admit that they lived in better
circumstances before, they can claim: the land
is ours!

Communist principles will never become current
among the Russian peasants. Despite the village
system, with its common ownership, he is a
thorough individualist, avoiding as far as he can
all work for the common weal. And the
experiments made in farming on communist lines by the
Bolshevik administration were altogether a failure.

Opinion in favour of resuming the division of

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