Vladimir Sviatlovskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sviatlovskii, Vladimir Vladimirovich


Born Jan. 16, 1869, in St. Petersburg; died there Nov. 22, 1927. Russian historian and economist.

From 1890 to 1892, Sviatlovskii lived in St. Petersburg, where he joined the intellectual center of the Brusnev group and took part in the May Day rallies of 1891 and 1892. After emigrating in 1892, he studied at the University of Munich. In 1897 he defended his doctoral dissertation on the development of the Old Russian monetary system. After his return to St. Petersburg in 1898, he took part in the Social Democratic movement. At first an adherent of “economism” (an opportunist current in Marxist groups), he later joined the Mensheviks.

In November 1905, Sviatlovskii became a member of the Central Bureau of St. Petersburg Trade Unions and editor of the bureau’s journal Professional’nyi soiuz. In December 1905, after the arrest of the original staff of the executive committee of the St. Petersburg soviet of workers’ deputies, he joined the new staff of the committee as a representative of the Central Bureau. In the ensuing years he withdrew from revolutionary activity. From 1902 to 1924 he taught in various institutions. At the University of St. Petersburg (Petrograd) he was among the first to teach a course in the history of socialism. He also taught at the Psychoneurological Institute and the Naval Academy.

Sviatlovskii wrote various works on agrarian issues, public housing, the trade union movement, and the history of economic doctrines. He was the first to attempt a systematic survey of the history of Russian economic thought, which he examined as a thing apart from the class struggle. Sviatlovskii mistakenly regarded economic science in Russia primarily as a mere reflection of Western European views.


K istoriipoliticheskoi ekonomii i statistiki v Rossii: Sb. st. St. Petersburg, 1906.
Ocherkipo istorii ekonomicheskikh vozzrenii na Zapade i v Rossii, part 1. St. Petersburg, 1913.
Istoriia ekonomicheskikh idei v sviazi s istoriei ekonomicheskogo byta. Moscow, 1923.
Istoriia ekonomicheskikh idei v Rossii, vol. 1. Petrograd, 1923.


Spisoksoch. V. V. Sviatlovskogo, 1887–1911. St. Petersburg, 1911.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.