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(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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the land is certainly growing stronger, and no
doubt it will soon be carried on at an accelerated
pace, even though it may have to be begun again
practically from the beginning.

The Bolshevik leaders very soon recognised how
hopeless was the endeavour to impose communism
upon the Russian peasantry. Even in the spring
of 1919 Lenin very wisely and very decidedly
uttered a warning against it, and finally, at the
communist assembly in March, 1921, he declared
that the interests of the State rendered it imperative
that its economic administration should be settled
in accordance with the economic views of the
peasant middle class, “which we have not
succeeded in altering in the course of three years.” In
face of the peasants’ opposition, the Soviet
Government had to give in, as I have already said.

In general, the attitude of the peasantry towards
the present administration is doubtless strongly
influenced by the feeling that it has allowed them
to take the land of the large estate-owners, which
they had coveted so long. Otherwise they regard
every government as a necessary evil, and they do
not care much whether its colour is red or white,
so long as it lets them alone and does not take
the big estate lands away from them again. This
explains why they were against Koltchak and
Denikin, and, indeed, every general of the old
regime; they were afraid of getting back their
former overlords.

I am aware that the division of the land has
reduced agricultural production by breaking up

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