Historically speaking, the first documented forms of populism, the Russian Narodnik
movement and the American Farmers, are characterized by the absence of a strong leadership.
In contrast to the Narodnik
economists who considered the size of the proletariat exclusively as current factory employment, Lenin was forced to remind militants that the working class must be considered only in its relation to capital and in its ability to struggle against capital, regardless of the forms in which capital organizes it within particular productive settings.
Born in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1887, De Bogory was the only daughter of Vladimir Karpovich DebogoriiMokrievich, a Russian officer and nobleman who joined the revolutionary Narodnik
movement in the 1870s and fled abroad after escaping Siberian exile; De Bogory thus grew up in a milieu of anti-tsarist radicalism.
While on the topic, it bears noting that Tolstoy also had an impact on Narodnik
thought (Nikolai Mikhailovsky, Piotr Lavrov), especially his agnostic anti-Hegel and anti-Marx interpretation of history, his call for a return to the village, and the heightening sense of guilt that he sought to instill in the nobility.
movement in Tsarist Russia in the 1860s and 1870s adhered to this populist stance.
Basing his case mainly on the research of the Japanese historian Wada Haruki, Shanin has argued that in his last years Marx was persuaded by the Narodnik
position that it could be possible for Russian revolutionaries to build their new society on the basis of the "primitive communism" that existed in the village communities, and thus avoid going through the horrors of industrialization under the violent state.
Sent in 1896 to Nikolayev to complete his secondary schooling and study mathematics at the university, Bronstein first encountered socialist ideas and soon became enamored of the fading Narodnik
socialism that romanticized the peasantry and endorsed acts of terrorism by intellectuals.
To have become a peasant or farmer might have been in the narodnik
of Tolstoyan tradition and tolerable as such.
The Beauteous Terrorist' was composed by Parkes after he read an account of the death of the Russian narodnik
Sophia Perovskaia, executed for attempting to blow up the czar at a time when such activity was, as a pastime of Russian aristocrat youth, second only to hunting reindeer.
Lenin's essay was one of the many polemics that Russian Marxists and Narodniks
directed at one another in these years, and it was a response to Narodnik
articles expounding upon and praising the theories of Swiss historian and economist Jean-Charles-Leonard Simonde de Sismondi, a pioneering critic of laissez faire capitalism.
The congress' socialism was almost everywhere transmuted into a narodnik
hybrid which was frequently called `Africa Socialism'; this formulation was reviled by many African intellectuals who pointed out that it was in reality neither African, nor socialist.
For a time he worked among the peasants and contributed articles to the Narodnik