Obshchee Veche

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Obshchee Veche


a revolutionary newspaper for the people. Published in London from 1862 to 1864, Obshchee veche was a supplement to Kolokol. The editors and publishers were A. I. Herzen and N. P. Ogarev. Twenty-nine issues of the newspaper were published.

Obshchee veche interpreted “the present situation in Russia and the people’s needs”; it propagandized the ideas of Russian communal socialism and the program of the secret society Land and Liberty. It also devoted considerable space to questions of religious tolerance.

The principal author and editor was Ogarev; his article “What the People Must Do” (1862) called upon the peasants to fight for a chernyi peredel (redistribution of land). The article was simultaneously published as a leaflet and was widely disseminated. V. I. Kel’siev helped prepare the first issue. Herzen’s article “The Executions in Kazan” was printed in the 29th issue. Obshchee veche printed articles by correspondents from Russia, primarily Old Believers. The text of the newspaper was reprinted in a facsimile edition of Kolokol (issue 10, Moscow, 1964).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Petersburg in May 1862, he and Ogarev opened Obshchee veche as a supplement to Kolokol.
In the editorial statement for Obshchee veche's first edition, Ogarev explained that its purpose was to give "voice" to Russia's "lower estates," including peasants, soldiers, raznochintsy, and low-ranking clergymen oppressed by the prelates of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Ogarev tirelessly argued in his articles for Obshchee veche that political freedom and freedom of confession (he referred to it as svoboda very) were integrally connected: one could not be achieved without the other.
The following section of an article he published in the November 1863 edition of Obshchee veche is particularly poignant:
He was operating according to a double standard: Old Believers might express their views in print; Obshchee veche explicitly invited them to do so.
In March-April 1864, Cyril, metropolitan of Priestist Old Believers in Belokrinitsa (then in Austria Hungary), pronounced an anathema against the "insidious atheists who nestle in London," by which he clearly meant the editors of Kolokol and Obshchee veche. Not only were they "sowing the weedy teachings of the thrice-cursed Voltaire," but these "'freethinkers' were the apostles of Satan, for the sum of the word vol'nodum, he claimed, was the apocalyptic, beastly figure 666." Cyril's followers were forbidden to have anything to do with them.
Ogarev, in the November 1863 edition of Obshchee veche had suggested obliquely that a "person can be wrong" and "needs to talk his way through to the truth." We may surmise that for Ogarev, the truth was that faith in God was nothing but a "vague self-reassurance" and resulted from "faintness of heart." The masses, however, must come to this conclusion by themselves.
In Obshchee veche, he would publish "grievances of the lower clergy against members of the higher orders, against theological censorship, grievances against the persecution of Old Believers, and so on." In a letter to a different friend, he described Obshchee veche as a "purely civil journal" (zhurnal chisto grazhdanskii), in which "nothing theological" could be published.
Ogarev, "Staroobriadtsu i ego obshchestvu," Obshchee veche, no.