Anna Karenina HTML version

Chapter I.25
"So you see," pursued Nikolay Levin, painfully wrinkling his forehead and
It was obviously difficult for him to think of what to say and do.
"Here, do you see?"... He pointed to some sort of iron bars, fastened together
with strings, lying in a corner of the room. "Do you see that? That's the beginning
of a new thing we're going into. It's a productive association..."
Konstantin scarcely heard him. He looked into his sickly, consumptive face, and
he was more and more sorry for him, and he could not force himself to listen to
what his brother was telling him about the association. He saw that this
association was a mere anchor to save him from self-contempt. Nikolay Levin
went on talking:
"You know that capital oppresses the laborer. The laborers with us, the peasants,
bear all the burden of labor, and are so placed that however much they work they
can't escape from their position of beasts of burden. All the profits of labor, on
which they might improve their position, and gain leisure for themselves, and
after that education, all the surplus values are taken from them by the capitalists.
And society's so constituted that the harder they work, the greater the profit of the
merchants and landowners, while they stay beasts of burden to the end. And that
state of things must be changed," he finished up, and he looked questioningly at
his brother.
"Yes, of course," said Konstantin, looking at the patch of red that had come out
on his brother's projecting cheek bones.
"And so we're founding a locksmiths' association, where all the production and
profit and the chief instruments of production will be in common."
"Where is the association to be?" asked Konstantin Levin.
"In the village of Vozdrem, Kazan government."
"But why in a village? In the villages, I think, there is plenty of work as it is. Why a
locksmiths' association in a village?"
"Why? Because the peasants are just as much slaves as they ever were, and
that's why you and Sergey Ivanovitch don't like people to try and get them out of
their slavery," said Nikolay Levin, exasperated by the objection.