Small Deeds Theory

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Small Deeds Theory

 

Abramovshchina, a doctrine proposed in Russia in the liberal-populist newspaper Nedelia (The Week) during the period of reaction of the 1880’s by the liberal-populist publicist Ia. V. Abramov. The advocates of the small deeds theory (I. I. Kablits, S. N. Iuzhakov, and S. N. Krivenko) called on the intelligentsia to enter zemstvo (local self-government) institutions and to work as teachers and doctors to serve the popular welfare. They advocated a program of improving the economic situation of the people through organizing people’s credit and insurance, aiding the purchase of land by the peasants, and disseminating improved agricultural implements. Rejecting “all violent improvement of social forms,” preaching “quiet cultural work,” the advocates of the small deeds theory strove to divert the progressive forces of society away from revolutionary activity. The theory was one of the symptoms of the ideological crisis of populism, its liberal degeneration.

REFERENCE

Lenin, V. I. “Perly narodnicheskogo prozhekterstva.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 2.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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