- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: bill on November 15, 1999 at 12:13:46:

In Reply to: The Small Peasant---better version posted by Barry Stoller on November 14, 1999 at 14:38:54:

:[W]hen we are in possession of state power, we shall not even think of
forcibly expropriating the small peasants (regardless of whether with or without compensation), as we shall have to do in the case of the big


Yeah... but I still have problems with the tone. Sounds like a command structure.

From my limited reading, peasant labor has been expropriated long before the industrial revolution. Ever since the formation of cities, the resource power of the agricultural outlaying districts was gradually transfered via taxes, regulation, etc. to the cities.

The exploitation of the individual farmer has reached absurd levels here in the U.S. Recently a cereal manufacturer (Kellogs?) placed a cash redeemable coupon worth 8 cents in their box of Corn Flakes. The customer received the 8 cents from the market, the market was then reimbursed by the manufacturer. That 8 cents was more than the farmer got for the cereal in the box!

The accumulation of small holdings into large estates with a landless peasantry doing the work has become the norm. It is natural that the landless should desire that the self-sufficiency offered by their entire life-experience - a plot of land with which to provide for their sustainance - should be granted them.

You are now asking that they see The Big Picture - that they should become the Producers of the World's food, complete with modern mechanization. It is Not on Their behalf that we argue this case - But Our World View! I'm not against collectives - but I would rather see ithem evolve in the way it was done in Spain - from the bottom. If it comes from the bottom, the use determination of the collectivized surplus labor will be a democratic (and less alienating) process.

Marx covers a lot of ground. There's "Scientific Socialism" and there's the Marx of 1844.

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