The Fundamental Law Of Land Socialization

[Decree of the Central Executive Committee, February 19, 1918]


Article 1. All private ownership of land, minerals, waters, forests, and natural resources within the boundaries of the Russian Federated Soviet Republic is abolished forever.

Article 2. Henceforth all the land is handed over without compensation (open or secret) to the toiling masses for their use.

Article 3. With the exceptions indicated in this decree the right to the use of the land belongs to him who cultivates it with his own labor.

Article 4. The right to the use of the land cannot be limited on account of sex, religion, nationality, or citizenship.

Article 5. All minerals, forests, water, and other live forces of nature (depending on their importance) are placed at the disposition of the uezd, gubernia, regional, or federal Soviets to be controlled by them. The methods of utilizing and managing the above resources will be determined by special decree.

Article 6. All privately owned live stock, agricultural implements, and buildings of estates that are worked by hired labor shall be taken over by the land departments of the uezd, gubernia, regional, and federal Soviets without compensation.

Article 7. All buildings referred to in Article 6 and others that are of economic value, together with the agricultural enterprises attached [to these buildings. pass without compensation to the uezd, gubernia, regional, and federal Soviets.

Article 8. All persons unable to work and who are deprived of the means of livelihood in consequence of this decree may, on presenting a certificate from the local courts and land departments of the Soviet Government, receive a pension (as long as they live or until they are of age) equivalent to that of a soldier. This will obtain until a general decree is promulgated concerning the insurance of citizens unable to work.

Article 9. The distribution of agricultural land among the toilers is in the hands of the land departments of the village, volost, uezd, gubernia, regional, and federal Soviets.

Article 10. Tile administration of the land reserve in each republic is in the hands of the main land departments [of the republics] and the federal Soviet.

Article 11. In addition to effecting an equitable distribution of the agricultural land among the toiling agricultural population and a more efficient utilization of the national resources, the local and federal land departments have also the following duties: (a) to create conditions favorable to the development of the productive forces of the country by increasing the productivity of the soil, to develop scientific farming, and to raise the general level of agricultural knowledge among the land toilers; (b) to create a reserve of agricultural land; (c) to develop agricultural enterprises sail as horticulture, apiculture, market-gardening, stock raising, dairying, etc.; (d) to hasten in certain areas the transition from a less productive to a more productive system of land cultivation by effecting a better distribution of the agricultural population ; (e) to encourage the collective system of agriculture at the expense of individual farming, the former being more economical and leading to socialistic economy.

Article 12. The distribution of land among the toilers should be made on an equal basis and in accordance with the ability to work it: local standards and traditions should also be taken into consideration. Care should he exercised that no one should have more than he can work or less than he needs for a comfortable existence.

.Article 13. The basic right to the use of agricultural land is individual labor. The organs of the Soviet Government may, in addition, make use of a portion of the land reserve (formerly belonging to monasteries, the state, udel, the cabinet, and pomeshchiks) for .... model farms and experiment stations. In such cases hired labor may be employed under the general regulations of labor control.

Article 14. All citizens engaged in agriculture are to be insured at the expense of the state against loss of life, old age. sickness, accident, and disability.

Article 15. All incapacitated agriculturists and members of their families who are unable to work are to be taken care of by the Soviet government.

Article 16. Every farm is to be insured against fire, live-stock epidemics, poor crops, drought, hail, and other such misfortunes through

Soviet mutual insurance arrangements.

Article 17. Surplus income derived from the natural fertility of the soil or from nearness to market is to be turned over to the organs of the Soviet Government, which will use it for the good of society.

Article 18. The Soviet Government has a monopoly of the trade in agricultural machinery and seeds.

Article 19. The grain trade, both foreign and domestic, is to be a state monopoly.