M. P. KIM, Corresponding Member of the U. S. S. R. Academy of Sciences, and S. L. SENIAVSKY. Numerical Growth of the Soviet Working Class. 1953 - 1961.
Drawing on extensive statistical material, the authors of this article illustrate the progressive changes in the development of the Soviet Union's industrial labour force in the period 1953 - 1961. Parallel with analyzing the changes in the old sources and forms of replenishing the working class and in the methods of training skilled industrial personnel, the authors trace the emergence of new sources and methods.
Their comprehensive analysis of the distinctive features and peculiarities attending the numerical growth of the working class brings the authors to the following conclusion: despite the restraining influence exerted by technical progress on the rate of this growth, the immense scope of industrial construction made for a steady increase in the absolute size of industrial labour force compared with the preceding periods.
The article shows the changes in the composition of industrial cadres and working people generally resulting from the faster rates of numerical and proportional growth of the working class.
Much attention is devoted in the article to the basic trends in the territorial distribution of the Soviet working class, which are most saliently reflected in the rapid numerical growth of factory and office workers in the Eastern and Northern parts of the country. The article shows the role of technical and social progress in increasing the proportion of female labour and the share of national industrial cadres in the aggregate labour force.
Considerable attention is devoted by the authors to illustrating the changes in the professional, qualification, and general education level of the Soviet working class. The intensively developing process of the gradual obliteration of essential distinctions between mental and physical labour, the authors point out, is vividly manifested in the vastly increased number of workers engaged in highly-mechanized and automated branches of production, in the growing skill and much broader professional scope of industrial workers, in the bigger and steadily increasing proportion of workers with secondary and higher education, etc.
The article graphically illustrates the growing creative and political activity of the rank-and-file workers, which is reflected, among other things, in the ever-increasing number and greater effectiveness of their rationalization proposals and inventions, in the bigger proportion of working people represented in the legislative and executive bodies of the Soviet state, in the bigger role they have come to play in all spheres of social life.
L. A. DERBOV, N. P. KALISTRATOV and A. G. BESPALOVA. The Basic Content of the University Course in Historiography of the History of the U. S. S. R.
The article has been written in response to A. M. Sakharov's article "The Basic Content of the University Course in Historiography of the History of the U. S. S. R." published in the August (N 8) 1962 issue of the journal "Problems of History." While sharing the basic opinions expressed by A. M. Sakharov, the authors of this article-Docents L. A. Derbov, N. P. Kalistratov and A. G. Bespalova of the History of the U. S. S. R. Departments at Saratov, Kazan and Rostov state universities - substantially amplify his point of view.
The authors expound their views on the basic principles of the historiography course, the periodization of the history of historical science, the arrangement and treatment of the material, the role and significance of the personal, biographical element in the historiography course, the problematical and chronological exposition of the material, the achievements of Soviet historiography and the contribution made by Soviet scientists to the elaboration of diverse problems of general history, the organization of the students' independent research in the field of historiography, etc.
The authors deem it advisable to continue this broad scientific discussion and exchange of views on the problems involved both in the press and at special historiographical conferences.
P. P. YEPIFANOV. The "Scholars' Team" and 18th-Century Enlightenment
The article is devoted to one of the little-studied questions in the history of Russian social thought-the birth of the ideology of "enlightenment" in 18th-century Russia. This new trend was represented by the "scholars' team," whose three members - F. Prokopovich, V. N. Tatishchev and A. F. Kantemir - were distinguished scientists widely known for their historical, publicistic and literary works. The author's analysis brings him to the conclusion that they manifested features characteristic of the ideology of enlightenment in the early period of its development, when it was taking definite shape and form. The article shows how by defending and popularizing the discoveries of natural science the members of the "scholars' team" objectively dealt a telling blow to the church and its religious dogmas, thereby paving the way for the further development of natural science. Recognizing the principle of cognizability of the world and stressing the important part played by scientific experiment in the process of cognition, they made a step forward from deism to 18th-century materialism. Exposing the moral debasement, ignorance and obscurantism of the clergy and the nobility, the members of the "scholars' team" condemned the persecution of science and education by the clergy. The author emphasizes that by rationalistically interpreting the origin of serf dependence in Russia and proclaiming the principle of equality of all men, the "scholars' team" objectively paved the way for criticizing the pseudo-scientific conceptions of the immutable nature of serfdom, for making the oppressed classes aware of their right to self-defence.
The article shows that, just as Voltaire and Montesquieu in France, the early enlighteners in Russia adhered to the views of "enlightened absolutism," regarding the latter as the motive force of historical progress. However, it would be wrong to describe them as apologists of absolutism, for their ideals of a just state system were far more progressive than those of the crowned monarchs, who shunned any progressive measures and whose policy was aimed at protecting their reactionary regimes and the interests of the propertied classes. P. P. Yepifanov graphically shows how in the gradual process of renouncing their political illusions, 18th-century enlighteners inevitably adopted a critical attitude towards the feudal-absolutist regime and became its confirmed opponents. His analysis of the literary and ideological heritage of the "scholars' team" enables the author to draw the conclusion that already in the first decades of the 18th century Russia was becoming an important ideological centre of enlightenment.
I. S. KASHKIN, N. D. KOROBOV, Y. M. MAYOFIS and A. F. OSTALTSEVA. Certain Aspects of Research in Contemporary History
The article sums up the results of research into certain major problems of contemporary history carried out by Soviet scientists after the Twentieth CPSU Congress. The Congress decisions exerted a beneficent influence on the development of historical science and greatly stimulated its progress.
The attention of Soviet historians is now focussed on problems connected with the emergence and development of the world socialist system. The basic laws governing the onward movement of the world socialist system, the building of socialism and communism in all the countries belonging to this system, the new type of economic and political relations within the framework of the socialist system - these are some of the cardinal aspects of Soviet historical research in this field. The creative cooperation of Soviet scientists with their colleagues in fraternal Slavonic countries has resulted in the appearance of many-volume publications on the history of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. The history of the development of the popular-democratic revolutions and of the progress of socialist construction in the European and Asian People's Democracies is reflected in a number of research monographs produced in recent years.
Research in the history of the international working-class and Communist movement is one of the urgent tasks confronting Soviet scientists today. The article comprehensively analyzes the progress of historical research in this field.
The attention of Soviet historians is now concentrated on the elaboration of such problems as the polarization process in the working-class and Socialist movement after the first world war and under the impact of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the emergence and consolidation of the Communist Parties and the establishment of the Comintern, the working-class and revolutionary movement in the period of the world economic crisis (1929 - 1933) and the emergence of the anti-fascist popular front in a number of countries, the working-class and Communist movement in the second and third stages of the general crisis of capitalism, the world trade union movement, the history of the Communist Parties in the postwar period, united action by the proletariat in the struggle for peace, democracy and socialism.
The authors of the article also examine the progress of research in contemporary history made by Afro-Asian and Latin-American countries, pointing out that the attention of historians in these countries is centred on such problems as the collapse of the colonial system of imperialism, the rise and development of the young national states. The article analyzes a number of researches in this field.
Another important problem facing Soviet historians is research in the economy and policy of the capitalist countries. The article enumerates a number of research works devoted to an analysis of the general crisis of capitalism, monopoly capital, general history of the U. S. A., Britain, France and other countries.
The authors of the article make a point of stressing the fruitful results yielded by research in the causes, character and progress of the second world war. A graphic illustration of this is provided by the rapid headway now being made in the compilation, by the joint efforts of many scientists, of such major works as "A History of the Great Patriotic War" and in the publication of a number of monographs.
The intensification of scientific research after the Twentieth CPSU Congress, the appearance of new research monographs, popular science publications, essays on the history of individual countries enabled historians to turn their attention to such comprehensive collective works as "World History" and to produce new textbooks and aids for higher educational establishments.
M. A. BARG. Concerning the Decay of Feudalism in Western Europe
The article examines certain methodological problems connected with the evolution of feudal money rent in Western Europe in the 14th - 15th centuries. Some historians maintain, the author writes, that there is no essential qualitative difference between feudal money rent and capitalist ground rent, while others believe that the transition to feudal money rent marked the beginning of the decay of feudalism as a mode of production. Hence, in the opinion of these historians, the culminating point of feudalism was passed together with the domination of the labour rent (the corvee) and the manorial system that was based on it.
The article interprets the significance of the money rent in the late Middle Ages in a different way. The author takes Chapter 47 of the third volume of Marx's "Capital" as the starting point of his historico-theoretical analysis of the problem. Marxist historians have made an important contribution to elucidating and substantiating the thesis that the money form was the last form of feudal rent, a form which ultimately led to its disintegration. However, there remains another aspect of the thesis, which requires additional investigation, namely, that at a definite stage of historical development the money rent constituted the highest form of feudal rent, which was largely responsible for the fact that feudalism exhausted the potentialities of social progress latent in it. The author believes that in the long process of development of this form of rent there appeared the necessary conditions for the disintegration of feudal relations and for the emergence of a new, capitalist mode of production.
Parallel with the periodization of feudalism according to the forms of rent, of great scientific significance is the periodization of this society according to the place where the feudal rent was chiefly produced. Proceeding from this principle, the author divides the history of fully-developed feudal society into the following two periods:
1. Seignorial (domanial) period embracing 9th-13th centuries;
2. Peasant-parcelling period (to the end of the Middle Ages).
The main feature of the second period, the author points out, was the dissolution of the old seigniory (with the feudal lord's chief manor place serving as its centre) and the territorial expansion and economic victory of the peasant mode of husbandry. The progressive significance of this transformation consisted in creating the conditions contributing to the growth of productive forces in agriculture and certain other branches. The desire of the feudal lords to increase their profits was one of the most important factors responsible for the political centralization of the feudal state, because the need for a political system capable of exercising control over the economic activity not only in agriculture but in all other spheres of labour to further the interests of the feudal class was an essential prerequisite of the system of absolutism.
Analyzing the evolution of the money rent, the author divides the period of its development into two stages: 1. When seignorial rent played a leading role and the centralized forms of rent supplemented it; 2. When this correlation changed in favour of the centralized form of feudal rent, i. e., when the seignorial rent of the preceding period was pushed into the background by the centralized forms of feudal rent. The latter was based on the principle of political sovereignty, including the sovereign's title of supreme landownership on the country's territory. It was precisely at this stage that the total amount of rent imposed on the peasants reached a level, which undermined the very foundations of the peasant economy. That explains why the peasant revolts in the late Middle Ages were directed, first and foremost, against the tax collectors. The crisis of the feudal system, in the author's opinion, set in precisely at a time when the peasants
were deprived of the possibility to reproduce the bare means of subsistence as independent husbandmen.
G. G. DILIGENSKY. The Marxist-Leninist Theory and Concrete Historical Research (Comment on A. Momigliano and P. Rossi's Articles)
The author enters into polemic with two Italian scientists, A. Momigliano (historian) and P. Rossi (philosopher), whose articles; published in the journal "Rivista storica italiana" (1962, 74, No. 1), touch on certain problems of contemporary Soviet historiography. Since the two Italian authors try to allege that the Marxist-Leninist theory by which Soviet historians are guided runs counter to the tasks of concrete historical research, the article devotes special attention to the role of theory and method in Marxist-Leninist historical research.
A. Momigliano endeavours, first and foremost, to trace the influence exerted on Soviet historiography of the ancient world by the elimination of the Stalin personality cult. Completely ignoring the actual results of eliminating the harmful consequences of the personality "cult, A. Momigliano makes strenuous efforts to "prove" that Soviet historians have in recent years been more and more departing from historical materialism and "assimilating" the ideas and methods of Western historiography. G. G. Diligensky clearly shows that these conclusions are absolutely unfounded. Thus, Soviet historians broader polemic with the concepts of bourgeois historiography, the thematical coincidence of Soviet and Western research, even the application of similar techniques in research work are interpreted by the Italian historian as "assimilation." A. Momigliano's erroneous assertions, which are completely at variance with the generally known facts, are explained not only by his insufficient knowledge of Soviet historical literature, but also by his incorrect understanding of the subject and method of Marxist-Leninist historical science. The actual difference between Marxist and non-Marxist historiography lies not in differing research techniques but in methodology, i. e., in the method of cognizing historical reality, in a clear realization of the interconnection and interdependence of historical events, in recognition of the unity and objective laws of the entire world-historic process. Drawing on his analysis of a number of Soviet source researches, as well as of works by Lurie and Dovatour, which are cited by Momigliano as instances of "assimilation," G. G. Diligensky shows that Marxist-Leninist methodology enables Soviet historians to work out a fundamentally new conception of problems investigated by bourgeois historiography. The actual result of eliminating the personality cult and its influence on historical research, the article says, has been the development of creative Marxist-Leninist thought in all departments of human knowledge.
Analyzing P. Rossi's article, G. G. Diligensky points out that it contains the quintessence of "those arguments against the theoretical principles of Marxist-Leninist historical science which are characteristic of a certain group of present-day critics of historical materialism. The laws of historical development established by historical materialism, according to Rossi, do not follow from historical research. G. G. Diligensky emphasizes that Rossi simply by-passes the commonly known fact that the theoretical conclusions of Marxism-Leninism rest on a firm foundation of comprehensive research in the economic, social and political activity, that such classical Marxist works as, for instance, Karl Marx's "Capital" and V. I. Lenin's "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism," were based on a profound analysis of innumerable concrete facts.
Rossi contradicts his own views in the appraisal of Marxist-Leninist historiography. While admitting the "important results" achieved by Soviet historians, he at the same time refuses to recognize the theoretical foundation that made these results possible. This contradiction is explained by the fact that Rossi unjustifiably opposes the theoretical, conceptual aspect of historical materialism to its methodological aspect, whose value and fruitfulness he does not deny. Actually, however, these two aspects appear in historical research as a single and organic whole, in which method entirely follows from theory, while theory finds its concrete manifestation and confirmation in the application of method.
The article convincingly shows the utter groundlessness and futility of Rossi s attempts to deny the idealistic character of contemporary bourgeois philosophy of history.
In conclusion G. G. Diligensky expresses himself in favour of discussions between representatives of the Marxist and" other forms of historism, at the same time stressing that to make these discussions really fruitful it is necessary that each side acquaint itself thoroughly both with the conclusions and arguments of its opponent.
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