Skaldin, Fedor Pavlovich
(real surname Elenev). Born Apr. 17 (29), 1827, in Smolensk Province; died Feb. 10 (23), 1902, in Tsarskoe Selo, now the city of Pushkin. Russian publicist.
Skaldin came from a family of dvoriane (nobility or gentry) and graduated from Moscow University. From 1859 to 1861 he was secretary of the Editing Commissions that were preparing the peasant reforms of 1861. Between 1868 and 1896 he was a member of the Council on Press Affairs; in 1890 he became a member of the Council of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Skaldin first appeared in print in 1860. He published his chief work, In the Hinterland and in the Capital (serialized in Otechestvennye zapiski [Notes of the Fatherland], 1867-69; separate edition, 1870), under his pen name, Skaldin. In this study, from a standpoint of bourgeois liberalism, Skaldin defended the interests of the peasants and criticized the vestiges of serfdom that were hindering Russia’s economic development. The book attracted the attention of K. Marx, F. Engels, A. I. Herzen, and N. P. Ogarev. V. I. Lenin utilized material from Skal-din’s book in his article “The Heritage We Renounce” to illustrate theoretical propositions about enlightenment.
In the 1870’s, Skaldin evolved toward reaction of the Black Hundreds type. In pamphlets published during the 1880’s and 1890’s on student disturbances, Gymnasium instruction, the censorship, and the Finnish question, he attacked materialism, socialism, and the revolutionary and democratic movement.
REFERENCEIsloriia russkoi ekonomicheskoi mysli, vol. 2, part 1. Moscow, 1959. (Contains bibliography.)
I. N. SABOVA