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people. He knows how to calculate the highest mathematical arch of a
bridge, how to calculate the force and transfer of the motive power, and
so on; but he is confounded by the simplest questions of a peasant: how
to improve a plough or a cart, or how to make irrigating canals. All
this in the conditions of life in which the laboring man finds himself.
Of this, he neither knows nor understands any thing, - less, indeed, than
the very stupidest peasant. Give him workshops, all sorts of workmen at
his desire, an order for a machine from abroad, and he will get along.
But how to devise means of lightening toil, under the conditions of labor
of millions of men, - this is what he does not and can not know; and
because of his knowledge, his habits, and his demands on life, he is
unfitted for this business.

In a still worse predicament is the physician. His fancied science is
all so arranged, that he only knows how to heal those persons who do
nothing. He requires an incalculable quantity of expensive preparations,
instruments, drugs, and hygienic apparatus.

He has studied with celebrities in the capitals, who only retain patients
who can be cured in the hospital, or who, in the course of their cure,
can purchase the appliances requisite for healing, and even go at once
from the North to the South, to some baths or other. Science is of such
a nature, that every rural physic-man laments because there are no means
of curing working-men, because he is so poor that he has not the means to
place the sick man in the proper hygienic conditions; and at the same
time this physician complains that there are no hospitals, and that he
cannot get through with his work, that he needs assistants, more doctors
and practitioners.

What is the inference? This: that the people's principal lack, from
which diseases arise, and spread abroad, and refuse to be healed, is the
lack of means of subsistence. And here Science, under the banner of the
division of labor, summons her warriors to the aid of the people. Science
is entirely arranged for the wealthy classes, and it has adopted for its
task the healing of the people who can obtain every thing for themselves;
and it attempts to heal those who possess no superfluity, by the same

But there are no means, and therefore it is necessary to take them from
the people who are ailing, and pest-stricken, and who cannot recover for
lack of means. And now the defenders of medicine for the people say that
this matter has been, as yet, but little developed. Evidently it has
been but little developed, because if (which God forbid!) it had been
developed, and that through oppressing the people, - instead of two
doctors, midwives, and practitioners in a district, twenty would have
settled down, since they desire this, and half the people would have died
through the difficulty of supporting this medical staff, and soon there
would be no one to heal.

Scientific co-operation with the people, of which the defenders of
science talk, must be something quite different. And this co-operation
which should exist has not yet begun. It will begin when the man of
science, technologist or physician, will not consider it legal to take
from people - I will not say a hundred thousand, but even a modest ten
thousand, or five hundred rubles for assisting them; but when he will
live among the toiling people, under the same conditions, and exactly as
they do, then he will be able to apply his knowledge to the questions of
mechanics, technics, hygiene, and the healing of the laboring people. But
now science, supporting itself at the expense of the working-people, has
entirely forgotten the conditions of life among these people, ignores (as
it puts it) these conditions, and takes very grave offence because its
fancied knowledge finds no adherents among the people.

The domain of medicine, like the domain of technical science, still lies
untouched. All questions as to how the time of labor is best divided,
what is the best method of nourishment, with what, in what shape, and
when it is best to clothe one's self, to shoe one's self, to counteract
dampness and cold, how best to wash one's self, to feed the children, to
swaddle them, and so on, in just those conditions in which the working-
people find themselves, - all these questions have not yet been

The same is the case with the activity of the teachers of
science, - pedagogical teachers. Exactly in the same manner science has
so arranged this matter, that only wealthy people are able to study
science, and teachers, like technologists and physicians, cling to money.

And this cannot be otherwise, because a school built on a model plan (as
a general rule, the more scientifically built the school, the more costly
it is), with pivot chains, and globes, and maps, and library, and petty
text-books for teachers and scholars and pedagogues, is a sort of thing
for which it would be necessary to double the taxes in every village.
This science demands. The people need money for their work; and the more
there is needed, the poorer they are.

Defenders of science say: "Pedagogy is even now proving of advantage to
the people, but give it a chance to develop, and then it will do still
better." Yes, if it does develop, and instead of twenty schools in a
district there are a hundred, and all scientific, and if the people
support these schools, they will grow poorer than ever, and they will
more than ever need work for their children's sake. "What is to be
done?" they say to this. The government will build the schools, and will
make education obligatory, as it is in Europe; but again, surely, the
money is taken from the people just the same, and it will be harder to
work, and they will have less leisure for work, and there will be no
education even by compulsion. Again the sole salvation is this: that the
teacher should live under the conditions of the working-men, and should
teach for that compensation which they give him freely and voluntarily.

Such is the false course of science, which deprives it of the power of
fulfilling its obligation, which is, to serve the people.

But in nothing is this false course of science so obviously apparent, as
in the vocation of art, which, from its very significance, ought to be
accessible to the people. Science may fall back on its stupid excuse,
that science acts for science, and that when it turns out learned men it
is laboring for the people; but art, if it is art, should be accessible
to all the people, and in particular to those in whose name it is
executed. And our definition of art, in a striking manner, convicts
those who busy themselves with art, of their lack of desire, lack of
knowledge, and lack of power, to be useful to the people.

The painter, for the production of his great works, must have a studio of
at least such dimensions that a whole association of carpenters (forty in
number) or shoemakers, now sickening or stifling in lairs, would be able
to work in it. But this is not all; he must have a model, costumes,
travels. Millions are expended on the encouragement of art, and the
products of this art are both incomprehensible and useless to the people.
Musicians, in order to express their grand ideas, must assemble two
hundred men in white neckties, or in costumes, and spend hundreds of
thousands of rubles for the equipment of an opera. And the products of
this art cannot evoke from the people - even if the latter could at any
time enjoy it - any thing except amazement and _ennui_.

Writers - authors - it appears, do not require surroundings, studios,
models, orchestras, and actors; but it then appears that the author needs
(not to mention comfort in his quarters) all the dainties of life for the
preparation of his great works, travels, palaces, cabinets, libraries,
the pleasures of art, visits to theatres, concerts, the baths, and so on.
If he does not earn a fortune for himself, he is granted a pension, in
order that he may compose the better. And again, these compositions, so
prized by us, remain useless lumber for the people, and utterly
unserviceable to them.

And if still more of these dealers in spiritual nourishment are developed
further, as men of science desire, and a studio is erected in every
village; if an orchestra is set up, and authors are supported in those
conditions which artistic people regard as indispensable for
themselves, - I imagine that the working-classes will sooner take an oath
never to look at any pictures, never to listen to a symphony, never to
read poetry or novels, than to feed all these persons.

And why, apparently, should art not be of service to the people? In
every cottage there are images and pictures; every peasant man and woman
sings; many own harmonicas; and all recite stories and verses, and many
read. It is as if those two things which are made for each other - the
lock and the key - had parted company; they have sprung so far apart, that
not even the possibility of uniting them presents itself. Tell the
artist that he should paint without a studio, model, or costumes, and
that he should paint five-kopek pictures, and he will say that that is
tantamount to abandoning his art, as he understands it. Tell the
musician that he should play on the harmonica, and teach the women to
sing songs; say to the poet, to the author, that he ought to cast aside
his poems and romances, and compose song-books, tales, and stories,
comprehensible to the uneducated people, - they will say that you are mad.

The service of the people by science and art will only be performed when
people, dwelling in the midst of the common folk, and, like the common
folk, putting forward no demands, claiming no rights, shall offer to the
common folk their scientific and artistic services; the acceptance or
rejection of which shall depend wholly on the will of the common folk.

It is said that the activity of science and art has aided in the forward
march of mankind, - meaning by this activity, that which is now called by
that name; which is the same as saying that an unskilled banging of oars
on a vessel that is floating with the tide, which merely hinders the
progress of the vessel, is assisting the movement of the ship. It only
retards it. The so-called division of labor, which has become in our day
the condition of activity of men of science and art, was, and has
remained, the chief cause of the tardy forward movement of mankind.

The proofs of this lie in that confession of all men of science, that the
gains of science and art are inaccessible to the laboring masses, in
consequence of the faulty distribution of riches. The irregularity of
this distribution does not decrease in proportion to the progress of
science and art, but only increases. Men of art and science assume an
air of deep pity for this unfortunate circumstance which does not depend
upon them. But this unfortunate circumstance is produced by themselves;
for this irregular distribution of wealth flows solely from the theory of
the division of labor.

Science maintains the division of labor as a unalterable law; it sees
that the distribution of wealth, founded on the division of labor, is
wrong and ruinous; and it affirms that its activity, which recognizes the
division of labor, will lead people to bliss. The result is, that some
people make use of the labor of others; but that, if they shall make use
of the labor of others for a very long period of time, and in still
larger measure, then this wrongful distribution of wealth, i.e., the use
of the labor of others, will come to an end.

Men stand beside a constantly swelling spring of water, and are occupied
with the problem of diverting it to one side, away from the thirsty
people, and they assert that they are producing this water, and that soon
enough will be collected for all. But this water which has flowed, and
which still flows unceasingly, and nourishes all mankind, not only is not
the result of the activity of the men who, standing at its source, turn
it aside, but this water flows and gushes out, in spite of the efforts of
these men to obstruct its flow.

There have always existed a true science, and a true art; but true
science and art are not such because they called themselves by that name.
It always seems to those who claim at any given period to be the
representatives of science and art, that they have performed, and are
performing, and - most of all - that they will presently perform, the most
amazing marvels, and that beside them there never has been and there is
not any science or any art. Thus it seemed to the sophists, the
scholastics, the alchemists, the cabalists, the talmudists; and thus it
seems to our own scientific science, and to our art for the sake of art.


"But art, - science! You repudiate art and science; that is, you
repudiate that by which mankind lives!" People are constantly making
this - it is not a reply - to me, and they employ this mode of reception in
order to reject my deductions without examining into them. "He
repudiates science and art, he wants to send people back again into a
savage state; so what is the use of listening to him and of talking to
him?" But this is unjust. I not only do not repudiate art and science,
but, in the name of that which is true art and true science, I say that
which I do say; merely in order that mankind may emerge from that savage
state into which it will speedily fall, thanks to the erroneous teaching
of our time, - only for this purpose do I say that which I say.

Art and science are as indispensable as food and drink and clothing, - more
indispensable even; but they become so, not because we decide that what
we designate as art and science are indispensable, but simply because
they really are indispensable to people.

Surely, if hay is prepared for the bodily nourishment of men, the fact
that we are convinced that hay is the proper food for man will not make
hay the food of man. Surely I cannot say, "Why do not you eat hay, when
it is the indispensable food?" Food is indispensable, but it may happen
that that which I offer is not food at all. This same thing has occurred
with our art and science. It seems to us, that if we add to a Greek word
the word "logy," and call that a science, it will be a science; and, if
we call any abominable thing - like the dancing of nude females - by a
Greek word, choreography, that that is art, and that it will be art. But
no matter how much we may say this, the business with which we occupy
ourselves when we count beetles, and investigate the chemical
constituents of the stars in the Milky Way, when we paint nymphs and
compose novels and symphonies, - our business will not become either art
or science until such time as it is accepted by those people for whom it
is wrought.

If it were decided that only certain people should produce food, and if
all the rest were forbidden to do this, or if they were rendered
incapable of producing food, I suppose that the quality of food would be
lowered. If the people who enjoyed the monopoly of producing food were
Russian peasants, there would be no other food than black bread and
cabbage-soup, and so on, and kvas, - nothing except what they like, and
what is agreeable to them. The same thing would happen in the case of
that loftiest human pursuit, of arts and sciences, if one caste were to
arrogate to itself a monopoly of them: but with this sole difference,
that, in the matter of bodily food, there can be no great departure from
nature, and bread and cabbage-soup, although not very savory viands, are
fit for consumption; but in spiritual food, there may exist the very
greatest departures from nature, and some people may feed themselves for
a long time on poisonous spiritual nourishment, which is directly
unsuitable for, or injurious to, them; they may slowly kill themselves
with spiritual opium or liquors, and they may offer this same food to the

It is this very thing that is going on among us. And it has come about
because the position of men of science and art is a privileged one,
because art and science (in our day), in our world, are not at all a
rational occupation of all mankind without exception, exerting their best
powers for the service of art and science, but an occupation of a
restricted circle of people holding a monopoly of these industries, and
entitling themselves men of art and science, and who have, therefore,
perverted the very idea of art and science, and have lost all the meaning
of their vocation, and who are only concerned in amusing and rescuing
from crushing _ennui_ their tiny circle of idle mouths.

Ever since men have existed, they have always had science and art in the
simplest and broadest sense of the term. Science, in the sense of the
whole of knowledge acquired by mankind, exists and always has existed,
and life without it is not conceivable; and there is no possibility of
either attacking or defending science, taken in this sense.

But the point lies here, - that the scope of the knowledge of all mankind
as a whole is so multifarious, ranging from the knowledge of how to
extract iron to the knowledge of the movements of the planets, that man
loses himself in this multitude of existing knowledge, - knowledge capable
of _endless_ possibilities, if he have no guiding thread, by the aid of
which he can classify this knowledge, and arrange the branches according
to the degrees of their significance and importance.

Before a man undertakes to learn any thing whatever, he must make up his
mind that that branch of knowledge is of weight to him, and of more
weight and importance than the countless other objects of study with
which he is surrounded. Before undertaking the study of any thing, a man
decides for what purpose he is studying this subject, and not the others.
But to study every thing, as the men of scientific science in our day
preach, without any idea of what is to come out of such study, is
downright impossible, because the number of subjects of study is
_endless_; and hence, no matter how many branches we may acquire, their
acquisition can possess no significance or reason. And, therefore, in
ancient times, down to even a very recent date, until the appearance of
scientific science, man's highest wisdom consisted in finding that
guiding thread, according to which the knowledge of men should be
classified as being of primary or of secondary importance. And this
knowledge, which forms the guide to all other branches of knowledge, men
have always called science in the strictest acceptation of the word. And
such science there has always been, even down to our own day, in all
human communities which have emerged from their primal state of savagery.

Ever since mankind has existed, teachers have always arisen among
peoples, who have enunciated science in this restricted sense, - the
science of what it is most useful for man to know. This science has
always had for its object the knowledge of what is the true ground of the
well-being of each individual man, and of all men, and why. Such was the
science of Confucius, of Buddha, of Socrates, of Mahomet, and of others;
such is this science as they understood it, and as all men - with the
exception of our little circle of so-called cultured people - understand
it. This science has not only always occupied the highest place, but has
been the only and sole science, from which the standing of the rest has
been determined. And this was the case, not in the least because, as the
so-called scientific people of our day think, cunning priestly teachers
of this science attributed to it such significance, but because in
reality, as every one knows, both by personal experience and by
reflection, there can be no science except the science of that in which
the destiny and welfare of man consist. For the objects of science are
_incalculable_ in number, - I undermine the word "incalculable" in the
exact sense in which I understand it, - and without the knowledge of that
in which the destiny and welfare of all men consist, there is no
possibility of making a choice amid this interminable multitude of
subjects; and therefore, without this knowledge, all other arts and
branches of learning will become, as they have become among us, an idle
and hurtful diversion.

Mankind has existed and existed, and never has it existed without the
science of that in which the destiny and the welfare of men consist. It
is true that the science of the welfare of men appears different on
superficial observation, among the Buddhists, the Brahmins, the Hebrews,
the Confucians, the Tauists; but nevertheless, wherever we hear of men
who have emerged from a state of savagery, we find this science. And all
of a sudden it appears that the men of our day have decided that this
same science, which has hitherto served as the guiding thread of all
human knowledge, is the very thing which hinders every thing. Men erect
buildings; and one architect has made one estimate of cost, a second has
made another, and a third yet another. The estimates differ somewhat;
but they are correct, so that any one can see, that, if the whole is
carried out in accordance with the calculations, the building will be
erected. Along come people, and assert that the chief point lies in
having no estimates, and that it should be built thus - by the eye. And
this "thus," men call the most accurate of scientific science. Men
repudiate every science, the very substance of science, - the definition
of the destiny and the welfare of men, - and this repudiation they
designate as science.

Ever since men have existed, great minds have been born into their midst,
which, in the conflict with reason and conscience, have put to themselves
questions as to "what constitutes welfare, - the destiny and welfare, not
of myself alone, but of every man?" What does that power which has
created and which leads me, demand of me and of every man? And what is
it necessary for me to do, in order to comply with the requirements
imposed upon me by the demands of individual and universal welfare? They
have asked themselves: "I am a whole, and also a part of something
infinite, eternal; what, then, are my relations to other parts similar to
myself, to men and to the whole - to the world?"

And from the voices of conscience and of reason, and from a comparison of
what their contemporaries and men who had lived before them, and who had
propounded to themselves the same questions, had said, these great
teachers have deduced their doctrines, which were simple, clear,
intelligible to all men, and always such as were susceptible of
fulfilment. Such men have existed of the first, second, third, and
lowest ranks. The world is full of such men. Every living man propounds
the question to himself, how to reconcile the demands of welfare, and of
his personal existence, with conscience and reason; and from this
universal labor, slowly but uninterruptedly, new forms of life, which are
more in accord with the requirements of reason and of conscience, are
worked out.

All at once, a new caste of people makes its appearance, and they say,
"All this is nonsense; all this must be abandoned." This is the
deductive method of ratiocination (wherein lies the difference between
the deductive and the inductive method, no one can understand); these are
the dogmas of the technological and metaphysical period. Every thing
that these men discover by inward experience, and which they communicate
to one another, concerning their knowledge of the law of their existence
(of their functional activity, according to their own jargon), every
thing that the grandest minds of mankind have accomplished in this
direction, since the beginning of the world, - all this is nonsense, and
has no weight whatever. According to this new doctrine, it appears that
you are cells: and that you, as a cell, have a very definite functional
activity, which you not only fulfil, but which you infallibly feel within
you; and that you are a thinking, talking, understanding cell, and that
you, for this reason, can ask another similar talking cell whether it is
just the same, and in this way verify your own experience; that you can
take advantage of the fact that speaking cells, which have lived before
you, have written on the same subject, and that you have millions of
cells which confirm your observations by their agreement with the cells
which have written down their thoughts, - all this signifies nothing; all
this is an evil and an erroneous method.

The true scientific method is this: If you wish to know in what the

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