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New conceptual approach to studying pre-revolutionary cooperation in a modern historiography

 © 2006 A.V. Ivanov


- began with an important factor in formation of the historiographic concept of the 90th of XX HH1 of century the turn of historians to studying the main problems of development of cooperation in Russia till 1917 because only it gives the chance to comprehend its essence as the socioeconomic phenomenon, to critically estimate Soviet "experiment" and to approach formation of the objective scientific concept of this phenomenon of world history of more than one and a half centuries was.

In the course of study the belief was overcome that pre-revolutionary cooperation served only as construction material for creation allegedly real - socialist. The authors putting plots about pre-revolutionary cooperation into the general operation on its history and also authors of the special works devoted to the pre-October period [1] held such opinion.

Researchers of the 90th removed from cooperation such labels as "bourgeois", "kulak and usurious", "counterrevolutionary", etc. They gradually realized that in modern conditions the experience of pre-revolutionary cooperation which though was also under pressure of the authorities and the large capital, at the heart of the accumulated diverse and instructive experience of service of the population is most suitable.

The particularly important becomes studying classical theories of the past. It is necessary to introduce for scientific use and to use the valuable scientific ideas and provisions proved by theorists the principles of functioning of cooperatives and the organizational structure of a cooperative system in practice of the cooperative movement (that becomes for a long time in many countries of the world). At the same time it is impossible to approach the theories and the ideas formulated 80 - 100 years ago mechanically. It must be kept in mind that many theorists and in Russia, and abroad were influenced by the socialist ideas.

In recent years study is begun with scientific positions of classical theories of the past and a contribution of domestic researchers to development of these theories though is made very little for the present. Work began to be developed only in the late eighties of the 20th century in connection with the rehabilitation of many earlier repressed authors which coincided besides with the 100 anniversary since the birth of A.V. Chayanov. During 1988 - 1990 the considerable number of publications, the majority of which had anniversary character [2], was devoted to it.

Works of the rehabilitated thinkers were transferred from "spetskhran" to the general book-depositories and some became available to a wide range of readers, and, in particular A.V. Chayanov, M.I. Tugan-Baranovskogo, N.D. Kondratyev's works, were even republished.

Unfortunately, the opened opportunities still are almost not used. Researches generally focused on A.V. Chayanov's identity, and that they were limited to the end 80 - the beginning of the 90th when essentially new approaches to studying theoretical problems of cooperation began to develop only. Several publications, generally at a boundary 80 - the 90th, appeared about M.I. Tugan-Baranovskom [3]. As for other representatives of a huge group of domestic thinkers in the field of cooperation, business was limited to the brief curriculum vitae about some of them published in a series "Cooperation: pages of history". The exception is made by only research article about S.L. Maslov [4].

However business not only in number of publications and number of the mentioned names, and that begun at a boundary 80 - the 90th development of these problems gradually decayed, having stopped at primary level of their consideration, in most cases superficial.

Will not subject to the analysis "a socialist reflection" of views of most of theorists of cooperation of the past, its reasons and sources are not explained. The theorists formed in Russia borrowed to some extent views not only R. Owen, Che. Fourier, Che. Gide, but also domestic thinkers - from Herzen and Chernyshevsky to Kropotkin and Mikhaylovsky. Most of authors of theoretical works of the beginning of the 20th century in Russia were members of socialist parties: V.F. Toto-miants and M.L. Heysin - Menshevist, A.V. Chayanov and S.L. Maslov - eserovsky or proeserovsky, is known to S.N. Pro-kopovich as the social democrat - "economist", M.I. Tugan-Baranovsky began the activity with "legal Marxism" (subsequently Prokopovich and Tougan-Baranovsky were drawn towards cadet party more), etc. However it should be noted that "socialist coloring" (at everyone - various intensity) at anybody did not make the main thing, an essence of their doctrine; main and invaluable at them consisted in justification of the principles of functioning of cooperation and identification of its role in satisfaction of real inquiries of small producers and consumers of material benefits, i.e. most of the population of Russia.

It is also necessary to note that in the published works about theorists and historians of cooperation of the old schools which are especially devoted to those who by misfortune had to create in Soviet period dynamics of their views under the influence of the developed new socio-political conditions did not reveal. So, for example, A.V. Chayanov in works of the middle of the 20th on a number of important positions departed from views of 1918 - 1919 and spoke in favor for the Soviet power and so-called "cooperative collectivization". Whether it resulted from internal evolution of his views or owing to forced prisposoble-

the niya, remains not investigated. Demands permissions and a question of reasons for refusal of S.L. Maslov of the theory of "multigradualness" of cooperation which top he considered full production to earlier - a perirovaniye and on which categoriality under the influence of negative experience of the Soviet collectivization ceased to insist.

Development of concrete historical development of cooperation in pre-revolutionary Russia is much more successfully conducted what the number of publications, the defended doctoral and master's dissertations on this period confirms. Nevertheless and here the situation is far not so safely because there is no work on the history of pre-revolutionary cooperation so far in general, equal on the considered period, types of cooperation and the directions it the activities published in 1918 and the book by M.L. Hey-sin republished in 1926 (already posthumously) or for depth of the analysis though S.N. Prokopovich's research which is not covering all types of cooperation and all pre-revolutionary period for the first time published in 1903 republished in the finished and complemented look in 1913, and then and without changes - in 1918 [5]. There are no publications yet and in separate types of cooperation, equal on completeness of statement to the same M.L. Heysin's work on the history of credit cooperation, A.V. Merkulov and V.F. Totomiants - on the history of consumer cooperation, repeatedly republished S.L. Maslov's work - in agricultural cooperation [6].

Nevertheless it is pleasant that the editions close on extent of generalization to above-mentioned works, begin to appear. It is necessary to carry to their number first of all the monograph and the doctoral dissertation of I.N. Konovalov devoted to the subjects which are a little differing among themselves. In the first country cooperation of Russia in 1900 - 1917, in the second - only agricultural during the period from the middle of the 90th of the 19th century prior to World War I is analyzed. Works and a regional framework are limited: the first - four regions (Northern, Volga region, Cisural and Central Chernozem), the second - three (without Central Chernozem). In total in the first case 23 provinces, in the second - 17 are covered. Though these works in general remain regional, attraction of materials of such large number of provinces allows to reveal a number of the all-Russian lines of development of cooperation.

It is also necessary to note the width of istochnikovy base of works of I.N. Konovalov. For the first time in a historiography he attracted pre-revolutionary archival funds (earlier there was an opinion that those were not or they did not remain). Except materials from funds of provincial archives the author for the first time revealed valuable materials in cooperation in many central archive depositories. From the Russian state historical archive (in St. Petersburg) materials of funds of Council of ministers and State Duma, department of the industry, science and trade, the Central statistical committee, Fellow countrymen - are attracted with CGIA

sky department, department of common causes and economic department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Finance, etc. From funds of the State archive of the Russian Federation, materials about cooperation are extracted from office-work of department of police, its special department and the headquarters of the certain building of gendarmes. Also materials of hand-written departments of the largest Russian libraries, research institutes and archives are attracted.

On new material from local archives I.N. Konovalov confirms the conclusions which are earlier drawn in a historiography that as a part of agricultural cooperation, the organization mainly serednyatsky, with development of the movement the share of needy layers of the village gradually increased and also that "the material benefit from cooperation of various social groups is directly proportional to their contribution".

Such little-known and revealed by the author form of cooperative activity as the hlebozalogovy operations widespread in the Volga region provinces is very interesting: cooperatives gave to peasants the credit on the security of their bread, giving them an opportunity to redeem it during those periods when the prices of it were the highest; often cooperatives undertook and is sold and at the expense of it repaid the loans taken by peasants. More than 400 credit associations were engaged in similar operations in the Volga region. Restriction of usury in the region was a consequence of it, the capital for production expansion came to country farms, their income increased.

On the basis of systematization of concrete actual material the author drew a number of new conclusions, confirmed or specified formulated earlier. In particular, the attempt of complex historical reconstruction of the internal processes happening within cooperation as the socioeconomic organization including in financial and economic and cultural and educational activity is for the first time made.

Conclusions and that the greatest number of agricultural cooperatives was in those areas where commodity agriculture where the population differed in enterprise and independence developed are confirmed; that in cooperatives mainly average labor peasantry and to a lesser extent - prosperous and poor consisted.

I.N. Konovalov claims that Stolypin agrarian reform had noticeable impact on development of agricultural cooperation. He believes that "an important condition of successful cooperative activity was existence of the commodity-money relations and lack of the political, social and economic conflicts in society". Such "rather quiet" for years the researcher considers the period of 1907 - 1914

An attempt to give the general assessment to the pre-revolutionary period of development of cooperation in Russia was made in 1988 by A.P. Korelin [7]. In the late nineties issued from its pen two generalizing articles. In the first of them

it gives essentially new assessment to this phenomenon of XIX - the beginnings of the 20th century: "Having gradually captured the huge mass of the population, cooperation not only promoted their retraction in the market commodity-money relations, but also was means of economic modernization and social structuring civil society". A.P. Korelin for the first time in the latest literature offers the periodization to the history of the cooperative movement. He allocates three stages, characterizing them as follows: the 1st - "emergence and development of the cooperative idea"; the 2nd - "the idea begins to yield fruits in the form of accruing to - the operational movement, the state begins to interfere with this process... which publishes precepts of law"; the 3rd - "is characterized by the grass-roots cooperative movement which gains the organic lines and has the increasing impact on government policy and the legislation". In Russia, according to A.P. Korelin, the 1st stage covers the 60th of the 19th century - 1904; the 2nd - 1905 - February, 1917; the 3rd - since February, 1917. Agreeing with basic need of allocation of stages, we consider at the same time disputable the chronology offered them for Russia where the movement gained mass character long before February, 1917

The second article of A.P. Korelin is also devoted to a common problem of development of pre-revolutionary cooperation [8]. He believes that in the theoretical plan and in practice of the cooperative movement Russia went in the footsteps of the West, adopting the western experience of cooperation, applying it taking into account the features. The principles which are been the basis for charters of the western cooperatives "were a little changed in relation to the Russian specifics". As for use of "historical national traditions of an artelnost and communities-nosti", the author, apparently, does not attach it some importance in difference, for example, from V.B. Shepeleva who believes that factors of the Russian mentality were defining in easy perception in Russia cooperative ideology and the fast, overtaken soon the western countries growth of the cooperative movement.

For the present historiographic stage the aspiration of historians to investigate sources of origin of the cooperative movement in Russia is significant. However, so far this task is carried out at the level of master's theses or separate articles most of which of authors chooses very wide chronological and very narrow territorial framework (sometimes even one province). As a rule, a chronological framework is defined in the range of end of XIX - the beginnings of the 20th century (T.N. Solodovnikova, A.O. Chernikov), is more rare - the second half of XIX - the beginning of the 20th century. (T.A. Shebzukhova). However authors do not designate an exact initial chronological framework, and the most important - the period of origin of the cooperative movement in Russia - the 2nd half of the 60th - - remains the 80th indistinct in these works, or absolutely this period is not mentioned in some of them, or only separate fractional information is supplied.

The first attempts to analyze the initial stage of the cooperative movement in Russia belong to 1993 when A.Yu. Davydov and B.I. Podkolzin's small publications appeared. However they contain only small informative material about formation of the cooperative credit and do not differ in depth of the analysis [9].

The beginning to serious studying the early period of formation in Russia cooperation, in particular credit, was necessary A.V. Sokolovsky's works which are completely devoted to this stage [10]. In one of its articles the ideology of the public figures standing at the origins of agricultural cooperation is considered, three main directions them are allocated to ideological orientation. Most deeply and thoroughly views of pioneers of the Russian cooperation A.I. Vasilchikova, A.V. Yakovleva, V.N. Hitrovo, Fang der Flita are considered, brothers S. and V. Lugini-nykh, N.P. Kolyupanov, E.V. de Roberti and many other figures forgotten in a historiography which, according to the author, despite fluctuations and even miscalculations, laid the foundation for the cooperative credit in Russia, at the same time acted not only as ideologists and propagandists of the ideas, but also as direct organizers of cooperative business.

The second article of Sokolovsky is devoted to the concrete historical analysis of process of origin of cooperation in 70 - the 80th of the 19th century. Features of the organization and activity of the Russian loan-and-savings associations in comparison with the similar organizations in Germany - cooperatives of shultse-delichsky type are detected. The dependence of success of their activity on authorized type of association (they were under construction on slightly types of charters differing among themselves) and also the region of their functioning is investigated. To the reader it is submitted unique in the cop - a rativny historiography the analysis of these associations in the form of 13 tables and 5 schedules schemes made on the basis of systematization of the reporting data published, but still not introduced for scientific use about 80% of all associations existing in the corresponding years; the research is conducted in such important parameters as the number of the opened associations by years and areas, distribution on types of charters on which cooperatives were under construction, on stability of associations depending on charter type, distribution of cooperatives for the sizes of initial and subsequent loans, characteristic of areas on degree of stability of associations in each of them, on time of their opening, a general characteristic of a condition of loan-and-savings associations on provinces by the beginning of the 90th of the 19th century [11].

If we managed to receive such picture on all pre-revolutionary period and in all types of cooperation, it would be possible to consider a problem of its study generally solved.

An attempt to deeply investigate single private questions of folding in Russia of the system of credit cooperation was made by M.I. Dudarev [11]. The first congress of representatives of loan-and-savings associations of 1898 accepted a row basic praktiche-

of sky decisions, played an important role in the fate of the Russian credit cooperation. The recommendations of a congress of creation of the unions of credit cooperatives and the principles of their functioning, and further - and the general All-Russian union and also about creation of the central bank of the small credit were of particular importance (the project of creation of similar bank and its charter was developed).

Other works on the initial stages of development of cooperation in Russia have sketchy character and do not give integral idea of an object of research unlike A.V. Sokolovsky's works, though make a certain contribution to development of a problem. So, T.N. Solodovnikova on materials of rural cooperatives of Central Black Earth provinces shows that lag in their development in comparison with the West, and then, at the beginning of a new century, their rapid development and excess of growth rates of the Western European countries is characteristic of Russia; also leading role of the state in creation of the national credit, mainly country list of participants, development of two forms of credit cooperation - loan-and-savings and credit associations are characteristic.

T.A. Shebzukhova applies for illumination of history of the cooperative movement from the middle of the 60th of the 19th century till 1917 on materials of Stavropol Territory. However all its materials and conclusions are limited to the period of a boundary of the XIX-XX centuries and the beginnings of the 20th century. On earlier period it mentions only one cooperative society "Caucasus" which arose in 1869. - the 80th it is told about cooperative movement 70 only in the general words though, according to A.V. Sokolovsky mentioned already, then cooperation, especially credit, developed quickly enough.

O.N. Shmakov in work on Central Ural Mountains considers that here in 60 - the 80th mainly working cooperatives developed. The movement becomes country only since the beginning of the 20th century. According to more thorough researcher A.V. Sokolovsky, in the Urals in 1870 - the 1880th 112 credit cooperatives were open, from them 75 - in the 1870th [11].

The aspiration of a number of researchers to address the history of development of cooperation in the cities causes satisfaction. But, unfortunately, it is only curious exceptions. It is necessary to carry the master's thesis of O.A. Chernikov to those about city to - perativa of the Central Black Earth at the end of XIX - the beginning of the 20th century (without indication of an exact initial chronological side). In this work the new attempt in a cooperation historiography to investigate activity of credit cooperatives in the cities is valuable. Traditionally credit cooperation was considered as rural or agricultural though admitted that a part from the total number of 10.5 million members was in the cities, at the same time exact data were not called (V.V. Kabanov considers that 88% of credit cooperatives were rural, therefore, on city 12% of societies how many in them was percent of members fall already - he does not call). In this regard the research city deserves attention

associations at least on materials of one region. Unfortunately, O.A. Chernikov does not give any concrete figure about the number of such cooperatives and their ratio with rural associations, being limited to the statement that only since the beginning of the 20th century a large number of city societies was created. The author notes that the social composition of credit cooperatives of city settlements was non-uniform, representatives of city population groups, first of all peasants farmers prevailed "... In some cases considerable part of their structure, - he writes, - handicraftsmen and small traders represented. Participation of other population groups was minimum". It is unlikely such general statement completely clears up a question. The fact that city associations were on structure mixed in comparison with "purely rural" and also that the sums of loans and deposits in city associations were higher, than in rural is only established to them.

Also the doctoral dissertation of K.E. Baldin about the labor cooperative movement in the second half of XIX - the beginning of the 20th century is devoted to city subject. In it the author managed to systematize practically all quantitative indices about development of one of components of consumer cooperation - working cooperation - during the period from the middle of the 60th of the 19th century till February, 1917. Besides the author made and published "The list of working cooperatives in Russia from 1861 to February, 1917", containing short data honor about all existing cooperative organizations: time of opening and the termination of activity (if it happened), numerical structure, share and working capital, etc.

K.E. Baldin for the first time in literature in consumer cooperation gives a positive assessment to a contribution of old cooperators to development of this form of the cooperative movement, at the same time emphasizes their socialist orientation. Especially highly he speaks of S.N. Prokopovich who considered that consumer societies at the same time are cells of future socialist society, most distinctly it is shown in working cooperatives. Criticizing works of the predecessors which focused attention on activity in working cooperatives of political parties, and first of all Bolsheviks, Baldin fairly notes that objectively it was not the most important in work of these organizations. The main thing was that working cooperatives conducted not stopping fight against the private trade capital and managed to survive in the conditions of the fierce market competition, and purchase of goods in public cooperative benches allowed workers to save from 10 to 20% of the budget.

From the second half of the 90th of the 20th century, in connection with determination of prospects of formation in Russia of civil society, researches of cooperation are given new sounding. Speaking about a possibility of creation of effectively operating national model of civil society, researchers pay attention that "an archetype of civil society zalo-

wives in the cultural code of the Russian civilization" that already at the end of XIX - the beginning of the 20th centuries formation trends in Russia of civil society were obvious [13]. Theorists, as a rule, give the organizations of local government, charity organizations as an example, without paying attention, however, in this context to the cooperative movement. In this regard works Kim Chan Chzhina and A.V. Lubkova in whom for the first time cooperation is considered in terms of creation of conditions for formation of civil society are of interest. The cooperative ideas and their practical embodiment were "a peculiar attempt of formation of the civil society based on socialization of personal economic interests of broad masses" [14]. A.V. Lubkov, analyzing process of cooperative construction in the Central Russia and the different directions of cooperative activity, comes to a conclusion that real cooperative experience at all its ambiguity gave hope for successful advance from traditional society to civil.

In general for modern researches characteristic is a statement of a view of cooperation of the beginning of the 20th century as on the sociocultural phenomenon of the Russian life, the influence beyond the cooperative organizations. Cooperation is represented as "a peculiar embodiment of synergetic theories in practice, the carrier of economic and social functions" [15].


1. V.V. Kabanov. Cooperation as channel of interaction of various social and economic structures//Questions of history of capitalist Russia: Multiformity problems. Sverdlovsk, 1972.
2. N.K. Figurovskaya. To the 100 anniversary since the birth of A.V. Chayanov//economy Questions. 1988. No. 1.
3. S. Tatarnikova. Theorist of cooperation: to the 125 anniversary since the birth of M.I. Tugan-Baranovskogo//Sowing. consumer. cooperation. 1989. No. 12.
4. A.E. Vinogradov. Theoretical problems of cooperation in S.L. Maslov's works//Cooperation as a component of the market relations: problems of the theory and history. Ivanovo, 1997. Issue 2.
5. M.L. Heysin. A historical essay of cooperation in Russia. M, 1918.
6. M.L. Heysin. Credit cooperation in Russia. Pg., 1919.
7. A.P. Korelin. The agricultural credit in Russia at the end of XIX - the beginning of the 20th century of M., 1988.
8. A.P. Korelin. To a problem of adaptation of the western cooperative experience in pre-revolutionary Russia. M, 1989. Page 113, 114.
9. A.Yu. Davydov. Prince-cooperator A.I. Vasilchikov//history Questions. 1993. No. 8.
10. A.V. Sokolovsky. Beginning of the Russian agricultural cooperation: ideology of founders//Cooperation as component of the market relations. Ivanovo, 1997. Issue 1.
11. A.V. Sokolovsky. Rural credit cooperatives 70 - the 80th of the 19th century//Cooperation as a component of the market relations. Ivanovo, 1997. Page 91.
12. DudarevM.I. Moscow society of agriculture and preparation of the 1st All-Russian congress of representatives of loan-and-savings associations (1898)//Cooperation: pages of history. M, 1994. Issue 7.
13. MironovB.H. The social history of Russia of the period of the empire (XVIII - the beginning of the 20th centuries). T. 2. SPb., 1999. Chapter 10.
14. Kim Chan Jin. The government and the cooperative movement in Russia - the USSR (1905 - 1930). M, 1996. Page 7, 223.
15. V.L. Telitsyn. "The first and only": the facts and reflections (The Russian institute of agricultural cooperation in Prague)//Cooperation. Pages of history. Issue 4. M, 1994. Page 180-203.

Blagoveshchensk state pedagogical university On November 24, 2006

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