“The economic attitudes of the intelligentsia of the seventies were derived primarily from Chernyshevskii and Marx, particularly the former. But Chernyshevskii’s notes to Mill’s ‘Principles of Political Economy’, his most influential work on economics, were little more than an abstract proof of the economic and moral superiority of collectivist to capitalist production, and offered no help in fathoming the meaning of the complex economic changes taking place. Of the writers the ‘intelligenty’ read, only Marx presented both a theory that appealed to them and a method of analysing and comprehending the functioning of the existing economy. The writings of Karl Marx had always enjoyed an enormous popularity among the Russian intelligentsia. ‘The Poverty of Philosophy’ and ‘The Critique of Political Economy’, received indifferently in Europe, were acclaimed in Russia. Nikolai Daniel’son’s translation of ‘Das Kapital’, appearing in 1872, was the first rendering of the work into any foreign language. But the intelligentsia admired Marx’s teachings without assimilating their meaning. (…) The two members of the intelligentsia who first attempted to apply Marxian analysis directly to actual Russian conditions were, significantly, sons of merchants. Nikolai Sergeevich Rusanov and Nikolai Frantsevich Daniel’son (known by his pseudonym, Nikolai-on) grew up close to the problems of commerce and economics and developed an unusual awareness of the economic dimension of social phenomena. Both became familiar with Marx’s economic teachings early in their lives and acquired a point of view somewhat different from that of the other radical ‘intelligenty’ of their era. Deeply attached to the peasantry and to the notion of an agrarian socialist society, they endeavoured to use Marxian concepts to illuminate the meaning of the ominous and inscrutable developments in the countryside. In 1880, both published articles analysing the recently gathered data on the basis of Marx’s theories” [Richard Wortman, The Crisis of Russian Populism, 1967]