"So you see," pursued Nikolay Levin, painfully wrinkling his
forehead and twitching.
It was obviously difficult for him to think of what to say and
"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
"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?"