Maslov, Petr Pavlovich

Maslov, Petr Pavlovich


Born July 15 (27), 1867, in the village of Maslovka, in present-day Orenburg Oblast; died June 4, 1946, in Moscow. Russian economist, Social Democrat, academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1929).

Maslov studied at the Kharkov Veterinary Institute. He corresponded with members of N. E. Fedoseev’s Marxist circle and in 1889 was arrested and imprisoned for three years for his connection with the circle. In 1894 he went to Vienna, where he studied political economy at the University of Vienna. Returning to Russia in 1896, he edited the legal Marxist newspaper Samarskii vestnik (1896-97) and then moved to St. Petersburg, where he worked on the journals Nauchnoe obozrenie (Scientific Review), Zhizn’ (Life), and Nachalo (The Beginning). After the Second Congress of the RSDLP in 1903 he joined the Mensheviks and advanced the Menshevik program of municipalization of the land, which he defended at the Fourth Congress of the party in 1906; under this program the land was to be taken over, without compensation, and managed by the local authorities. Maslov wrote on the agrarian question. In his writings he revised a number of the principles of Marxist political economy, including the theory of land rent and the program of land nationalization that followed from it. He related differential rents to the so-called law of diminishing soil fertility. The law of value he reduced to the “biological law of conservation of energy.” An extensive criticism of Maslov’s views is found in the works of V. I. Lenin (see Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., reference volume, part 2, p. 454). After the October Revolution of 1917 he withdrew from political activity; he worked as a teacher and researcher and studied problems of the political economy of socialism.


Kritika agrarnykh programm i proekt programmy. Moscow, 1905.
Agrarnyi vopros v Rossii, vols. 1-2. St. Petersburg, 1905-08.
Teoriia razvitiia narodnogo khoziaistva. St. Petersburg, 1910.
Kapitalizm, part 1. St. Petersburg, 1914.
Mirovaia sotsial’naia problema. Chita, 1921.
Nauka o narodnom khoziaistve, 2nd ed. Moscow-Petrograd, 1923.