Mikhail Ivanovich Tugan-Baranovskii

Tugan-Baranovskii, Mikhail Ivanovich


Born Jan. 8, 1865, in Kharkov Province; died Jan. 21, 1919, near Odessa. Russian economist and historian; exponent of legal Marxism. Joined the Constitutional Democrats during the Revolution of 1905–07. Minister of finance of the counterrevolutionary Central Rada from late 1917 to January 1918.

Tugan-Baranovskii graduated from the University of Kharkov in 1888. From 1895 to 1899 he was a privatdocent associated with the chair in political economy at the University of St. Petersburg. In 1913 he became a professor at St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute. Turgan-Baranovskii received his master’s degree in political economy for his work Industrial Crises in Modern England: Their Causes and Influence on the Life of the People (1894). He considered the primary cause of the crises to be not the contradiction between the social nature of production and the private capitalist form of appropriation, but the special nature of the movement of loan capital and the limitedness of bank resources. Tugan-Baranovskii’s study of the history of Russian industry resulted in the book The Russian Factory, Past and Present (vol. 1, 1898). The factual material contained in this study, as well as some of its deductions and observations, is still significant today.

In the 1890’s, Tugan-Baranovskii studied the works of K. Marx, but he adopted the position of legal Marxism; he debated liberal Narodniki (Populists), arguing that capitalism in Russia was progressive and historically determined. Beginning in the 1900’s, he openly defended capitalism and subjected the fundamental tenets of Marxism to a revisionist critique. Tugan-Baranovskii published The Theoretical Foundations of Marxism (1905), which declared Marx’ theory to be “partly correct, ” and The Foundations of Political Economy (1909). V. I. Lenin included Tugan-Baranovskii among the bourgeois democrats, “for whom the break with Narodnichestvo signified transition from petit bourgeois (or peasant) socialism to bourgeois liberalism, and not to proletarian socialism, as was the case with us” (Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 16, p. 96). Tugan-Baranovskii took part in the cooperative movement, about which he wrote a number of works, the most important being The Social Bases of Cooperation (1916).


Lenin, V. I. Razvitie kapitalizma v Rossii. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 3.
Lenin, V. I. “Zametka k voprosu o teorii rynkov (Po povodu polemiki gg. Tugan-Baranovskogo i Bulgakova).” Ibid., vol. 4.
Lenin, V. I. “Kadetskii professor.” Ibid., vol. 22.
Lenin, V. I. “Kriticheskie zametki po natsional’nomu voprosu.” Ibid., vol. 24.
Lenin, V. I. “Liberal’nyi professor o ravenstve.” Ibid.
Istoriia russkoi ekonomicheskoi mysli, vol. 3, part 1. Moscow, 1966.
Mytsiuk, O. K. Naukova diial’nist’ polityko-ekonomista M. Tuhan-Baranovs’koho. L’vov, 1931. (Contains Bibliography.)
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