Vladimir Alekseevich Miliutin
Miliutin, Vladimir Alekseevich
Born Dec. 4 (16), 1826, in St. Petersburg; died Aug. 5 (17), 1855, in Ems (present-day Bad Ems), Germany. Russian publicist and economist. Representative of Russian socialist thought of the 1840’s. Brother of D. A. Miliutin and N. A. Miliutin.
Miliutin graduated from the law department of the University of St. Petersburg in 1847. and was a member of the Petrashevskii circle. In 1850 he was named an assistant professor and from 1853 was a professor at the University of St. Petersburg. Miliutin was a prominent member of the Russian Geographical Society (1849–52), of which he became secretary (1853–55).
Miliutin, whose ideas were influenced by A. I. Herzen and V. G. Belinskii, was familiar with works written by K. Marx and F. Engels during the 1840’s. Among his most original works were Proletarians and Pauperism in England and France (1847) and Malthus and His Opponents (1847), which criticized the bourgeois order and Malthusianism and described the hardships suffered by Western European workers. Miliutin attempted to provide a coherent outline of the history of economic teachings. He was the first Russian scholar to try to penetrate the “physiology” of bourgeois society, but he did not completely understand its contradictions and did not arrive at any revolutionary conclusions. In his definition of the ideal society, Miliutin revealed a predilection for the philosophical and sociological teachings of A. Comte. From a sociopolitical standpoint, he tended toward a Utopian hope for the gradual, peaceful conversion of all the land into a unified and undivided means of labor and for the preservation of the peasantry as a class of small proprietors united in production associations.
Miliutin wrote several works on history, including Sketches of Russian Journalism, Primarily of the Old School (1851) and A Survey of the Diplomatic Relations of Old Russia With the Holy Roman Empire (1851).