Ziber, Nikolai

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ziber, Nikolai Ivanovich


Born Mar. 10 (22), 1844, in Sudak; died Apr. 28 (May 10), 1888, in Yalta. Russian economist and one of the first popularizers and defenders of K. Marx’ economic theories in Russia.

Ziber graduated from the law faculty of the University of Kiev in 1866 and served as a judicial mediator in the province of Volyn’. In 1871 he received a master’s degree in political economy. From 1873 to 1875 he was a professor in the sub-department of political economy and statistics at the University of Kiev. In 1875 he resigned from the university and soon went abroad, to Switzerland and England. In London he became acquainted with Marx and Engels (1881), while also maintaining close ties with progressive circles in Russia. From 1876 to 1878 he was a regular contributor to the journals Zanie and Slovo, in which he published a series of articles, entitled Marx’ Economic Theory, expounding the first volume of Das Kapital In 1885, Ziber published his principal work, David Ricardo and Karl Marx: Their Socioeconomic Research, an expansion of his dissertation of 1871. Associated with this work is his series of articles directed against lu. G. Zhukovskii and B. N. Chicherin, who had made an attempt to criticize Marx. Ziber criticized the economic concepts of the Narodniks (Populists), particularly those of V. P. Vorontsov (literary pseudonym V. V.). The revolutionary essence of Marxism, however, remained alien to him. He failed to grasp the historical role of the proletariat and the inevitability of the proletarian revolution. Notable among his works is Essays on Primitive Economic Culture (1883). His works influenced G. V. Plekhanov, D. Blagoev, and N. E. Fedoseev.


Izbrannye ekonomicheskie proizyedeniia, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1959.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.