[OPE-L:5819] Re: Re: socialism and the small farmer

From: Paul (clyder@gn.apc.org)
Date: Thu Jun 07 2001 - 08:10:30 EDT

On Wed, 06 Jun 2001, you wrote:
> It is essential to show the farmer that he is like any other worker, and not somehow  potentialy 'better off' because has some temporary land right.  
To save his skin he must agree to a general working class programme, since no
one else can realyy help him. > 
> Nationalise all the large estates so that the small farmer can be protected from extortionate rents, 
then promote cooperative farming with sales to State 'Marketing' Boards. This
would guarantee 'prices' that allowed decent rights of purchase. This however
requires compelling the large retail corporations to accept these cost prices
without altering retail prices . This would reduce their accounting rates of
profit.  The investors would rebel, this would precipitate a political crisis.
If investors refused to invest in such chains you could nationalise them...
this would deepen the political crisis, and so on . Reform is not an option. > 

This is rougly along the lines of the reply that I gave him. I further said
that food policy should be based on a plan to meed the dietar needs of
the population, wth state marketing boards purchasing the amounts
needed for this purpose. I invoked the example of Boyd Orr to support

Problem with this of course is that with current labour productivity in
the large farms it may be that the socially necessary part of the 
small farmers working day is only a couple of hours. In that case
it may be unrealistic to suppose that the small farms can continue
even under socialism.

> 'Protecting' the small farmer, is like 'protecting'  any worker that  not
only produces surplus labour as surplus value (here rent) and also receives
less than the value of their own labour.... (which also 'produces' confused
indignation on the part of the liberal, political consternation on the part of
the social democrat and  contempt from the large capitalist).. it can only be
done either by directly attacking capitalism's chain of interelated activities,
or 'stealing from various other employees 'Peters'  to pay farmer 'Paul' in
order not to attack capital. The latter of course is a 'satisfactory' State 
farm subsidy system paid from other workers taxes, evening out exploitation
amongst the workers, managing their 'discomfort'. The old 'happy' days of pre
Common Market Britain!! In fact of course this 'evening out' is more likely to
be done by more intensely exploiting labour in the oppressed states. In this
case the 'domestic Peters'  would be much happier !! So actually, in the end, 
it means a consistent anti imperialist position. >  >  > Regards >  > Paul
Bullock >  > -----Original Message----- > From: Paul Cockshott
<paul@cockshott.com> > To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
<ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu> > Date: 06 June 2001 13:29 > Subject: [OPE-L:5801]
socialism and the small farmer >  >  > >At an election meeting in Lanark
yesterday, after speaking on > >the labour theory of value, exploitation of the
worker and > >the economic advantages of socialism I was questioned by > >a
small farmer, who claimed that they were the most exploited > >class in the
country, and that they got on average about > >1.85 pounds an hour for their
labour. He wanted to know > >what was the socialist response to the problems
faced by > >the small farmer today. > > > >I must admit it was not a question
that I had anticipated  > >having to answer, and if he is right in his figures,
then > >farmer's labour is only being valued at about 1/9 th of the > >social
norm in the UK, (the MELT  is between 15 and 16  > >pounds per hour). > > >
>What would participants response to this be? > > > >What do you think is the
cause of this unequal exchange > >and what is the remedy for their condition. >
>--  > >Paul Cockshott, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
> >0141 330 3125  mobile:07946 476966
> >paul@cockshott.com
> >http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/people/personal/wpc/
> >http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~wpc/reports/index.html
> >
> >

Paul Cockshott

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