Babst, Ivan Kondrat’evich
Born Oct. 20, 1823; died July 6, 1881. Russian historian and economist. Professor at the University of Kazan (1851–57) and Moscow University (1857–74).
In his early scholarly work Babst was concerned with problems of world history; from the 1850’s on, his scholarly interests shifted to economic research. His doctoral dissertation (1852) was entitled John Law, or the Financial Crisis in France in the First Years of the Regency. In his economic research he combined the ideas of the classical bourgeois political economy with the view of the vulgar historical school. His main works were on political economy and statistics (Course of Political Economy, 1859; Thoughts on Current Needs of Our National Economy, 1860; and others). Until 1861 he criticized serfdom and advocated the necessity of bourgeois transformation and the limitation of the role of foreign capital in Russia. Babst’s speech at the University of Kazan (1856), On Several Conditions Contributing to a Multiplication of National Capital, was approved by N. G. Chernyshevskii for its critical accusatory character. After 1861, Babst idealized postreform conditions, underplayed the vestiges of serfdom, and completely accepted the views of the vulgar political economic school. He also became an enemy of A. I. Herzen and N. G. Chernyshevskii. His political ideal was a monarchy based on the bourgeoisie and the landowners.
REFERENCESChernyshevskii, N. G. Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 16. Moscow, 1953.
Istoriia russkoi ekonomicheskoi mysli, vol. 1, part 2. Moscow, 1958. Chapter 25 (contains a bibliography).