affects other components of the general economic system. Below, we try to show the general economic consequences that follow from the nature of the family farm's internal organization. It is in these parts of our work, and only in these, that our conclusions on the theory of the national economy may agree with or differ from those of the marginal utility school, the orthodox Marxists, Marxist-revisionists, neo-classicists, Anglo-Americans, and others.
Essentially speaking, for any of these theories to be universal its constructs should deal with all those peculiar features of family farm economic behavior we have shown empirically, and perhaps even with our conception of on-farm organization. In any event, our view on the family farm machine structure does not of itself contradict a single theory of national economy; it merely requires them to make some active effort in order to perceive it.
Thus, our farm, with all its peculiar features—and perhaps precisely because of these features—becomes subject to the most unrestrained capitalist exploitation and becomes an inseparable part of the capitalist system, so far as the family farm exists within an economy dominated by capitalist relations; so far as it is drawn into commodity production and is a petty commodity producer, selling and buying at prices laid down by commodity capitalism; and so far as its circulating capital is, in the end, bank loan capital. A Marxist author, for example, in order to explain the peculiar features of this form of exploitation, will have to take into account the peasant farm peculiarities we have established, the more so since Karl Marx himself had noted many of our propositions when he spoke of rent on the peasant parcellated farm.1 Our digression from the direct development of our theme has gone on too long; we will end it and return again to the question of capital circulation on the peasant farm.
It seems to us that our analysis of the on-farm equilibrium's influence on capital circulation on the family farm enables us to formulate the following propositions.
1. At any particular level of technology and in a particular market situation, any labor family able to control the amount of land for use can increase its labor productivity by increasing the farm capital intensity to a certain level optimal for this family. Any forcing up of capital intensity
i K. Marx, "Sharecropping and peasant parcellated property," Capital, Vol. Ill, part 2, chap. 47, section v., pp. 339-50. On p. 347, for example, we read the following:
. . with parcellated farming and small scale landed property . . . production to a very great extent satisfies own needs and is carried out independently of control by the general rate of profit." [Translated from Russian. The Kerr ed. (1909), p. 943, differs.]
Capital on the Labor Farm 223
beyond the optimum increases labor drudgery and even reduces its payment, since, on the one hand, increased expenditure to replace exhausted capital will counteract the useful effect of further capital intensification, while on the other, the economic realization of this capital requires the farm family to intensify its labor more than is permitted by the equilibrium of on-farm factors.
2. Far from all family farms work at optimal capital intensity. Many of them run their farms without adequate capital and receive a reduced payment for their labor. Often, these farms, despite every effort to bring farm capital to optimal size, cannot do this, since capital renewal, linked through our equilibrium with the satisfaction of personal demands, cannot reach an amount that would insure expanded capital reproduction.
3. In general, the processes of capital formation and renewal are tied into a certain equilibrium with other family farm processes (labor intensity, satisfaction of personal demands, and so on), and their force depends on these others. In poor farming years, capital renewal dies down, together with the fall in the personal budget and the rise in self-exploitation of the family labor force. In good years, it results in expanded capital reproduction, together with a rise in personal consumption and a fall in labor intensity.
Such are the fundamentals of capital structure and circulation on the family farm. In view of the exceptional significance of capital formation in peasant agrarian countries for the economy as a whole, we have no doubt that further study of these processes is the next thing and should start with the collection of empirical material.
In concluding the chapter on capital on the labor farm, we are also concluding the first part of our study, which has been devoted to the composition of the individual agricultural labor farm. All that has been said is the result of almost twenty years of work by a number of Russian economists who had before them the exceptionally rich material collected by Russian zemstvo statistics over half a century. In its present systematic form, this gives a more or less finished outline of peasant farm theory. In evaluating what has already been done, however, we again repeat that we have merely laid the basis for further, more detailed work; we have put forward ideas for a whole series of empirical studies. We must hope that the next generation of economists will succeed in developing the study of individual peasant farm organization fully and on the basis of a much greater quantity of material.
Consequences for the Economy Following from the Family Farm's Organizational Features
In the course of the preceding five chapters, we have very carefully —and perhaps even somewhat wearisomely for the reader—tried to stress that we are making our analysis at the private economic level, i.e., at the level of studying the internal workings of the peasant family economic machine. It is obvious that our theoretical construct of the labor farm machine cannot be conceived as hanging in a vacuum. We took our farm to be a commodity one and, consequently, one entering into a certain system of the economy which coexists with it, through credit and commodity circulation.
Dr. Kurt Ritter,1 one of the critics of the German edition of this book, recognized the family undertaking's internal organizational features, which we have noted. But, at the same time, he considered it essential to retain for it the term "capitalist farm," because as it enters into the capitalist system of the present-day national economy, the family farm forms but a part of it. Selling and buying commodities at capitalist market prices, paying for its loan capital at the usual bank rate, and shaken by every crisis and depression of the capitalist system, it is thus merely a variant or phase of contemporary capitalism from the viewpoint of the economy as a whole.
The Kiel professor, A. Skalweit,2 adopts almost the same attitude. We have nothing against such a conception, and, in substance, the whole content of the five preceding chapters could be fully accommodated within it, with certain terminological corrections. If, with par-
1 Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, Vol. 122 (June, 1924), p. 681.
2 August Skalweit, "Die Familienwirtschaft, als Grundlage für ein System der Sozialökonomie," Weltswirtschaftliches Archiv, Vol. 20, part 2 (1924), pp. 231—46.
Family Farm's Organizational Features 225
ticular insistence, we have counterposed, and continue to counter-pose, the family to the capitalist farm, we have done so at the organization and production level—the labor farm contrasted to the farm based on hired labor. In this respect, these are two completely different economic machines which react differently to the same economic factors.
However, as regards the national economy, at the present time they are both elements in the same economic system whose pulse is felt, though differently, by both. The whole question consists simply in how this single economic system is formed—this system which we agree to call capitalist in view of the hegemony of capitalist relations. Or, more accurately, is there a difference in structure and functioning of the national economy's machine when machines of family type are only units in it, and when the overwhelming proportion of agricultural output is produced by such machines?
To avoid the accusation of being static, I am even prepared to rephrase this question. In the composition and functioning of the national economy's machine (as regards pricing, income distribution, location of production, etc.), is there a difference between the phase of capitalist development in which the number of family undertakings comprise a substantial part of production and the phase in which they have lost any significance?
In our opinion, there are such differences. Great family farm sectors of the national economy, in general always passive, are drawn into the capitalist system of the economy and subordinated to the organizing centers of capitalism. They themselves then begin to influence these centers with the peculiar features of their economic behavior, and immediately in some sectors this influence starts to act as a determinant. In other words, the present-day phase of capitalism, in which most industry and commerce is based on machines that exploit hired labor and a considerable part of agriculture is based on the family farm machine, should inevitably reflect the influence of both types of economic activity.
In theory, studies of the national economy from Ricardo to our day have been constructed deductively on the motivation and economic estimates of homo economicus, who works as a capitalist entrepreneur and builds his undertaking on the basis of hired labor. It turns out, in reality, that this classical homo economicus often does not sit in the entrepreneur's chair, but is the organizer of family production. Therefore, the system of theoretical economics constructed on the entrepreneurial activity of homo economicus as a capitalist is clearly
226 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
one-sided and is inadequate for learning about economic reality in all its actual complexity.
What refinements can the partial transfer of homo economicus from one category to another introduce into the theory of the national economy? To answer this question and clearly detail possible deviations, it would be best to repeat the theoretical mistake of present-day economists, but in reverse. That is, we would assume that every homo economicus without exception is an organizer of a family economic unit, that hired labor and employers do not naturally exist, and that the national economy is formed from the interrelationships of these family units. In present conditions, such a hypothesis seems a little strange, but for a whole series of past epochs prior to the birth and development of capitalism such a construction might be closer to reality than the conception of, let us say, Adam Smith.3 For us, such a system would be of great analytic interest. It would have the same relation to present-day theoretical economics as Lobachevskii's geometry has to that of Euclid. Lobachevskii forewent parallel lines; we have dropped wages.
However, we do not think we are able or have the right to occupy the reader by expounding the economics of a pure labor unit culture.4 We will only analyze some general economic consequences which follow from family farm organizational features and are very significant at this moment in real life.
Thus, merely having an understanding of the general economic categories of the family labor farm, which in theory have been fully and clearly established, we can begin to throw light on such confused and complex problems as land prices, formation of the agricultural produce market, development of industrial crises in agrarian countries, and, finally, location of agriculture. The inability of the usual capitalist interpretation to deal with these has already been shown by Kossinskii, Chelintsev, Pervushin, Makarov, and other recent economists.
The problem of rent in the economic sense on the labor farm is the first of these questions. This was posed by A. N. Chelintsev in his economic study answering the question of his title, Does economic
3 It is no chance that we encounter the first formulation of labor-consumer balance in Proverbs, chap. 16, v. 26: "He that laboreth, laboreth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him."
4 We made some attempt to do so in an article, "Zur Frage einer Theorie der nichtkapitalistischen Wirtschaftssysteme," Archiv für Socialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, Book 3, Vol. 51 (1924). [Editors' note.—An English translation of this article is given above, pp. 1-28.]
Family Farm's Organizational Features 227
5 Fr. Aereboe, Die Beurteilung von Landgütern und Grundstücken, Berlin, 1921.
rent exist in the labor farm? and still earlier by Professor Bulgakov and the Marxist-revisionists, and partly even by Marx himself. It is well known that A. N. Chelintsev's work concludes that the peasant farm receives no rent in the economic sense, and the degree of rent due to a particular location or the quality of its land has the effect only of raising or lowering the farm family's consumption level.
In our opinion, full understanding of the rent factor, which according to A. N. Chelintsev is expressed on the peasant farm only by a rise in consumption level, requires a much deeper theoretical explanation than a simple reference to increased consumption. According to our earlier analysis, the very fact of increasing the consumption level is also a lowering of labor intensity and an increase in the farm's power to form capital; i.e., it is a much more complex phenomenon.
First, what is rent as a general economic phenomenon? According to the usual school definition, "rent is the part of income which the entrepreneur pays to the landowner for using the land." In other words, we have before us a real social and economic phenomenon that exists in a specific setting of social relations, arising on the basis of agricultural production and controlled by these relations. Precisely this phenomenon and nothing more was the subject of analysis by Ricardo and other Englishmen.
This notion was frequently carried over into the analysis of farm income on the entrepreneur's land in the sense that part of the net income was separated out on the books, always by extremely notional methods. This part was what the farm might or ought to pay for the land if it were owned by someone else. In this sense, the "rent" was an accounting, "valuation" concept, depending on the bookkeeper's arithmetic, and not at all a real social and economic phenomenon dependent on the movement of social relationships. Professor Fr. Aere-boe has given the most brilliant demonstration of this in his latest work on land valuation, in which he proved that it is impossible to value plots of land from bookkeepers' calculations of net profit and "rent."5 Only the net income of the undertaking, as expressed in the annual increment of values on the farm, is the sole reality of such a unit.
The calculation of "rent," which is often very necessary and useful, bears to the social and economic phenomenon of rent as much relation as the valuation of produce circulating in kind on the farm bears to the phenomenon of market price. In exactly the same fashion for
228 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
the family farm, the rents the peasant farm pays for hired land are the only complete social and economic reality. However, as many empirical studies have shown, neither the origin of these prices nor their level will correspond to the rent paid by farms organized on hired labor.6 This we shall see below. But since the family farm in its pure form has no wage category as something objectively given, it is absolutely impossible to deduce this "rent payment," even by calculation from the family farm income.
The sole general economic realities in the family farm system are: (1) the farm's gross income, (2) sums spent from it on capital renewal, (3) the family personal budget, and (4) savings not invested in own farm. All these four figures are quite real, and in that they are in value terms, they are social and economic phenomena, dependent on a complex system of social relations and frequently determined to a great extent by quotations on the London stock exchange rather than by the local rainfall.
In making a general economic analysis of the peasant farm, our task should be to study the influence of various general economic factors on these processes of capital renewal and accumulation and the level of the farm's well-being. Since the subject of our analysis is not its rent payments, the question of economic rent on the peasant farm should not amount to calculating some rate per desyatina of "unearned income" called the economic rent of the land. It should be a careful study of the influence that rent-forming factors on the peasant farm have on the three real categories noted above—capital formation, level of labor intensity, and peasant family personal budget. In other words, if we have any plot of land that because of its fertility and proximity to the market is in a favorable rent situation, we will have before us the following four approaches to analyzing its economic rent.
Social and Economic Analysis
Valuation and Bookkeeping Analysis
1. An entrepre- Explanation of mecha-
neur capitalist nism with the help of
works the land, which market prices,
renting it from land fertility, and other
a landowner. rent-forming factors in-
fluence the level of rents paid.
6 Noting this, K. Marx wrote ". . . this is rent only nominally, not rent as an independent category opposed to wages and profits."
Family Farm's Organizational Features 229
2. An entrepreneur capitalist works the land he owns.
3. A family farm works the land, renting it from a landowner.
4. A family farm works the land it owns.
Social and Economic Analysis
Explanation of the influence of rent-forming factors on net income size.
Explanation of the mechanism with the help of which, on the one hand, the rent-forming factors listed above and, on the other, population density and income structure influence the levels of rents paid. In this case, the level of rents may not coincide with those paid in the first case.
Explanation of the influence of rent-forming factors on capital formation, labor intensity, and increasing the well-being of family farms with differing family composition and amounts of land available. The difference between the incomes of two farms in different situations as regards economic rent per desyatina will not necessarily coincide with high payment of rents for these lands by family and capitalist farms, and with the calculated valuation rent of a capitalist farm.
Valuation and Bookkeeping Analysis
Calculation of economic rent is made by deducting capital interest from net income; the remainder is taken as economic rent and, as a rule, rarely coincides with the real rents paid and the bank rate on land price.
From the materials of type 4 farms, it is impossible to put forward any valuation methods to calculate payment of rents which in analogous circumstances would be paid by farms of type 3. By means of a series of conventional methods, pricing family labor at wage rates and so on, you can, of course, calculate "capitalist rent" in the economic sense, as is done for type 2. But these exercises, often very useful, for example, to allocate taxes, etc.— purposes for which you can work with relatively inaccurate figures—will have no social and economic content.
230 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
To construct a theory of economic rent elements on the labor farm, it seems to us necessary to trace the effect on it of the usual rent-forming factors that create and quantitatively determine the differential rent of capitalist agriculture. It is clear that for the peasant farm both better quality of fields and more favorable situation of the farm as regards the market leads either to a fall in material expenditure and labor effort to obtain the same gross income, or to a rise in this income given the same expenditure and labor effect.
In both cases, this will mean for the labor farm an increased payment per labor unit in more favorable conditions as regards economic rent. It will lead to establishing a new equilibrium between drudgery of labor and demand satisfaction, as is shown on a graph of the type we already know (Figure 6-1), where A1B1 indicates the drudgery of labor in a situation of more favorable economic rent.
0 K Ky
We have before us the picture usual for a labor farm with rising productivity per labor unit, in this case due to a transfer from a plot of land with a low economic rent to one with higher rent. It is the same picture as that we noted in cases of the use of new machines, a more favorable market situation, and other examples in Chapter 2. In other words, transferring our family to work on land where expenditures of labor and capital have greater rentability does not bring it any new unearned source of income, but simply creates better conditions for labor use. In similar fashion, a transfer to lands that, given capitalist exploitation, have a negative economic rent does not mean a
Family Farm's Organizational Features 231
Payment per Working Day on Own Farm (francs)
0-2 2-3 3-4 4-5 5 and over
Expenditure on personal
consumption per consumer . , 610 699 804 839 886
Same, as percentage of
group 1 .................. , 100 114 132 137 145
Increase in payment,
as percentage of group 1 .. . 100 166 233 300 366
Therefore, if we even purely arithmetically and in bookkeeping fashion deduct the old from the new income and divide the remainder by the number of desyatinas, the answer will not correspond to the difference in the capitalist economic rent of these lands. Furthermore, if, completely contrary to the labor farm's organizational principles, we withdraw one desyatina from the whole farm, value the farm's labor according to wage rates, and check the balance of this isolated desyatina according to capitalist bookkeeping methods, the increase in the bookkeeping "net income" from it will be different from that on the capitalist farm. This is because in the majority of
loss for the labor farm in the capitalist sense of the word—i.e., a reduction in the values circulating on the farm—but will only make the conditions for labor use worse and may correspondingly change the equilibrium of the farm's basic on-farm factors.
Moreover, according to what has been said in Chapter 2, the increment in consumption and in overall family income that accompanies transfer to lands with high economic rent will not correspond even quantitatively to the increment of capitalist economic rent with the same transfer. We know (p. 80) that with a rise in labor productivity the new on-farm equilibrium is established at an output level which in its rate of increase lags behind that of productivity. The farm, having met its demands by increased receipts from a high rent use of labor, will be able to reduce the total amount of labor effort and reject from its organizational plan occupations which give comparatively low labor payments.
As we know, a good example of this is the increase in worker's output on Swiss peasant farms under the influence of increasing renta-bility for labor use. Table 6-1 gives these figures again in a somewhat changed form.
Increasing Returns and Well-being of Peasant Families
232 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
cases the labor farm will, in accord with its estimate of advantage, take the intensity of its cultivation to a level other than that of the capitalist farm.
The accounts of Swiss farms made by Professor E. Laur by all the rules of capitalist bookeeping, which we know well, are a particularly interesting example of this. In his summary table, we find the figures in Table 6-2.
Intensity and Economic Land Rent on Swiss Peasant Farms, According to E. Laur's Study. 1910
Intensity per Hectare
Land for Use Working Gross
(Hectares) Days Income
30 and over..... 56
Economic Land Rent
per Hectare Hectare per (francs) Consumer
902.04 68.0 1.21
777.70 77.2 2.06
728.10 85.4 3.21
610.03 85.4 4.82
500.99 86.9 7.86
We see that rent based on hired labor in each of the three classes sowing much land is almost the same amount—about 85 francs a hectare. Farms of labor type with little land cannot achieve a balance at the optimal level of intensity and are obliged to force up their intensity, thus increasing their gross income but losing their economic "rent" calculated in bookkeeping terms. Their technical weakness also has some effect on reducing rent in small parcellated farms.
Thus, rent-forming factors have quite different quantitative effects on the labor and the capitalist farm. For our theoretical analysis, however, it is not this lack of quantitative coincidence but the very deep differences in the nature of the two phenomena springing from the rent-forming factors which are much more important. These are capitalist rent on the one hand, and increasing labor productivity on the other.
We must not forget, as we have already noted, that David Ricardo, in working out his theory of rent, had as the subject of his analysis a quite specific social and economic phenomenon, that is, the share of unearned income which the farmer-entrepreneur, working with hired labor, paid to the landowner. This phenomenon was quite clearly determined by general economic categories (wages, interest on capital, and market prices) and was completely unthinkable outside that econ
Family Farm's Organizational Features 233
omy, as any capitalist economic unit is, in general, inconceivable in isolation.
However, apart from the technical conditions of production, raising labor productivity on the peasant farm and the resulting consequences, such as raising the consumption level and the ability to form capital, depend on one general economic category alone-market prices. These consequences do not and cannot react to other factors—wages, interest on capital, and so on. Other than this, we may consider labor farms as being perfectly natural economic units. Then, all the same, a difference in quality of fields retains its power as a rent-forming factor. This leads to the fact that aside from the influence of any general economic categories farms in favorable situations as regards economic rent will have, according to their particular on-farm labor composition, a higher consumption level, greater ability to form capital, and less labor intensity.
In other words, the rent element in the labor farm may be thought of outside any general economic categories that are conditio sine qua non to understand capitalist rent and for the very existence of the capitalist farm.
Thus, summarizing all that has been said, we may recognize that those rent-forming factors which on the capitalist farm give rise to economic land rent phenomena as a particular form of unearned income cause on family and labor farms a rise in consumption level, an increase in the ability to form capital, and a slackening of labor intensity. Moreover, the amount of increased consumption and capital accumulation will not coincide with the size of capitalist economic rent of these lands, and will depend to a considerable extent on subjective peculiarities in the composition of each farm and the total population density of the area.
The problem of land price is directly connected with the problem of economic rent, which on the capitalist farm is linked to it. This problem is particularly important for us. Where there is a land market, the general economic category of land price that is characteristic of the labor farm clashes on a single land market with the corresponding category of the capitalist farm. Here, for the first time we will see a collision between two systems of national economy, and we will be able to analyze the mechanism for establishing the resultant.
For the capitalist farm, the question of land price is resolved with great clarity by a formula, according to which the land price is the rent of the land capitalized at the usual market interest rate on capital. For the labor farm, this sort of construction is quite impossible
234 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
We shall use a graph, the same as those we used to establish the profitability of a particular use for capital. In Figure 6-2, AB and CD and point x indicate the equilibrium established without rent payment. AMBx indicates the change in labor productivity brought about by the introduction of the rent. C1D1 and C2D2 indicate the subjective evaluation of the marginal ruble of income, the first deducting 20 rubles for the rent, the second deducting 40 rubles for the rent of the same land. As the graph shows, the rent of 20 rubles for this plot will be worthwhile, since this equilibrium point is reached
due to the absence of economic rent as a particularized income which really exists. Therefore, as regards the peasant farm we may pose the problem only in its primary form as a question: What is the price the peasant family can and will pay for land?
To answer this question, we will start our analysis by explaining the mechanism for the formation of rents. We will try to use the same process we used in the preceding chapter in studying the part played by capital in family production.
It is clear that the peasant labor farm will consider worthwhile the rent paid for any plot of land that enables it to achieve its internal balance at a more favorable point of equilibrium between drudgery of labor and demand satisfaction than it would have without it. To do this, it is necessary that other than the deduction for rent the labor used on the rented land should receive from income a payment higher than the marginal payment obtainable if the equilibrium of on-farm factors were established without the rent payment.
Family Farm's Organizational Features 235
1 K. Marx, Capital, trans. V. Bazarov and I. Stepanov (2d ed.; M., 1908), Vol. Ill, part 2, p. 339f.
at a higher level of demand satisfaction (x^ <xk); but 40 rubles of rent will be unacceptable to the family, since in this case the balance is achieved at a more unfavorable equilibrium point (x2k2 > xk). In other words, our farm will be able to pay 20 rubles rent, but there will be no sense in its paying 40.
In accordance with this, in areas where there is a vast amount of land, where net labor payment on peasant farms is no lower than wages, and where farms operate at optimal intensity, the peasant farm will, if it has to pay rent, pay no more than capitalist farms, and more probably will take land only at lower amounts. In overpopulated areas, however, in order to establish its internal equilibrium the peasant farm is obliged to force up intensification far above the optimum. Where payment per labor unit in the peasant farm's usual sectors is lower than the capitalist farm's wages, the peasant farm will consider it worthwhile to pay a much higher rent than the capitalist rent. This will leave it a labor payment below capitalist farm wages. Nevertheless, given a severe pressure on the land, these "hunger rents," as P. P. Maslov has called them, can improve the peasant farm's internal equilibrium point.
Numerous studies of Russian rents and land prices have illustrated for a great many areas the case we have theoretically explained. They have indicated clearly and without doubt that the Russian peasant in overpopulated guberniyas before the war paid rents higher than the agricultural undertaking's total net income. Table 6-3 shows figures for Voronezh guberniya (Sel'skokhozyaistvennyi obzor po Voronezh-skoi gubernii za 1903-04g. [Agricultural survey of Voronezh guberniya for 1903-4], vyp. Ill, s.77) (rubles).
In a completely analogous way, the evaluation process also determines the amount the peasant farm can pay for purchased land. The only difference is that in view of the considerable sums involved payment extends over several years and is often accompanied by a conscious reduction in the consumption level.
The nature of evaluation of hired and purchased lands which we have established for the peasant farm is based on the marginal labor payment and its increase from the new equilibrium of on-farm factors resulting from these new lands. This brings us to a paradoxical conclusion: in overpopulated areas, the poorest peasant families will pay the highest prices for land and in rent. Incidentally, this entirely agrees with reality and was noted in his time by K. Marx7 in Volume
236 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
Average net Income
Uezds Average Rent Paid per Desyantina of Winter Sown per Desyatina of Winter Sown with Economical Sowing Difference
Voronezh ....... 19.97 8.26 11.71
Trans-Don ..... 16.20 5.03 11.17
Zemlyanka ..... 20.59 8.27 12.32
Nizhnedevitsk ... 20.75 6.32 14.43
Korotoyak ...... 19.41 2.72 16.63
Bobrov ......... 18.87 7.67 11.20
Novokhopersk .. 19.25 6.51 12.74
Boguchar ...... 8.88 3.85 5.03
Pavlovsk ....... 13.20 6.27 6.93
Ostrogozhsk ____ 14.70 2.49 12.21
Biryuchevo ..... 17.72 2.54 15.18
Valuiki ........ 12.79 3.74 9.05
Average .. 16.80 5.30 11.30
Farm Intensity Capitalized Purchase Prices per
(per Hectare) "Rent" per Hectare of Land
Land Use _ Hectare According to
(Hectares) Workdays Gross Income (francs) Valuation Lists
~L <5 ...... 147 902.0 1,697 2,988
IL 5-10 ...... 115 777.7 1,930 2,458
III. 10-15 ...... 89 728.1 2,134 2,216
IV. 15-30 ...... 76 610.0 2,144 2,145
V. >30 ...... 56 500.1 2,171 1,541
III of Capital. His views on land rent in the parcellated peasant farm and on the rents it pays are very close to our theories.
Professor E. Laur's table on Swiss farms (Table 6-4) is a good illustration of this proposition. As is seen from these figures, labor farms of classes I and II are obliged, due to the relative shortage of land, to intensify their activity above the optimum and thus considerably to reduce the "rent" in bookkeeping terms. At the same time, in complete accord with our theory, they also pay the highest prices for land. Such is the nature of land valuation characteristic of the labor farm.
We will try to establish the character and results of the collision that takes place on the unified land market between this valuation principle and the usual capitalist land price which arises on the basis of capitalized rent.
In areas where there is an absolute surplus of land, and even where population density corresponds to optimal intensity for agriculture,
Family Farm's Organizational Features 237
there is and can be essentially no basis for a collision. But in areas of overpopulation, as farms increase and there is a relative shortage of land, ever-growing numbers of buyers and hirers appear able to pay prices higher than capitalist ones. At first, this has no effect on the single price of the capitalist market, and labor farm purchases take place as chance, sporadic deals. But gradually they become more and more significant, and finally the labor farm valuation becomes decisive for the market and puts aside the capitalist-based price. Moreover, the labor farms, of course, are victorious not only in establishing the market price but also in the struggle for land; a clearly marked transfer of lands from capitalist to labor farming takes place.
The sale of private landowners' holdings to peasants in Russia at the end of the nineteenth and start of the twentieth centuries is a fine illustration of this transfer. This has been brilliantly analyzed by V. Kossinskii in his study, The Agrarian Question. Of the lands obtained by private owners in 1861, in 1877 they owned 87 percent; in 1887, 76 percent; in 1897, 65 percent; in 1905, 52 percent; and in 1916, 41 percent. Moreover, of this amount two-thirds was rented by peasants.
Conversely, the economic history of Britain gives us examples of times when the large-scale capitalist farm, by making use of movements in the market situation, was able to pay excessive rents. It could pay more for its land than could the labor farm, and it broke down and destroyed the labor farm. The spread of wool farming in eighteenth-century Britain is a good example of this.
In completing the description of how the labor farm's nature influences the general economic category of land prices and the land market, we can notice the very interesting instance when the farm's peculiar features are shown estimating the advantage of any sort of land improvement. For the agricultural undertaking organized on capitalist lines, adoption of a particular possible land improvement measure depends on whether the increase in economic rent, resulting from the improvement of the plot, is greater than, or at least equal to, the capital interest rate usual in the country in relation to the capital involved. Obviously, the capitalist farm will never carry out improvements that give an increase of rent in the economic sense less than the usual capitalist income on the capital required for the improvement. It is equally obvious that all these considerations are quite inapplicable to improvement on the labor farm, if only because it has no category of capitalist economic rent.
Exactly as with rents and land purchase, the family farm's decision on the question of the advantage from improvement will depend on
238 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
8 In countries where there is a land market.
the effect this improvement will have on the on-farm equilibrium between drudgery of labor and demand satisfaction. In a situation of relative land shortage, the family, needing to expand its economic activity, will carry out many improvements disadvantageous and not available to the capitalist farm, just as it pays land rents and prices considerably exceeding the capitalist economic rent of these lands.
In other words, on labor farms in overpopulated areas the limits to improvement are much broader than those on capitalistically organized farms. It would, of course, be exceedingly difficult to quantitatively express these broader limits characteristic of the labor farm. We are inclined to suppose that, in general, it is impossible to establish this, like much else in the labor farm, a priori by any objective estimate. It depends on the degree to which the farm family is supplied with means of existence, on the amount of surplus labor, on the possibility or impossibility of other means of extending the use of its labor, and on other conditions which are, difficult or impossible to record a priori.
The sole objective figure on which our estimates may be based, in our opinion, is local land price,8 and, in particular, prices of lands formed by improvements that are carried out. For carrying out fundamental improvements, like the acquisition of new land, is an extension of the sphere available to labor by increasing the area of suitable land. Undoubtedly, for example, the labor farm will not drain a marshy meadow if the cost is higher than the purchase price of meadows in the locality. On the other hand, if the labor farm, seeking to increase uses for its labor, buys new land at prices higher than the capitalized economic rent, it is also undoubted that any expansion of workable area by fundamentally improving its own land is an advantage to it. This is so once the cost of the improvements is less than the selling price of the land, even though the expected increase in economic rent calculated in bookkeeping terms might be less than the normal interest rate on the capital laid out.
Moreover, as we have already noted in Chapter 5, the peasant farm pays little heed to the market interest rate on capital, not only as regards capital for improvements but also in general for all capital uses. Therefore, you may frequently meet much greater capital intensification on peasant farms than on optimally arranged capitalist undertakings. At the same time, however, this capital intensification is usually accompanied by and causes an even greater labor intensification in agriculture.
Family Farm's Organizational Features 239
Another feature of the peasant farm which follows from the nature of its capital circulation is its ability to pay very high interest on sums borrowed. However, unlike the land market, this has no consequences for the economy as a whole and does not affect the world discount rate, since the volume of peasant farm credit in circulation is microscopically small compared with bank and other credits. Therefore, the sole general economic consequence of this pitiful capacity is rural usury, which once ran wild in all peasant countries and is still far from extinct.
The student of market prices for raw material and foodstuffs of agricultural origin should pay more attention to the peasant labor farm than does the financier. In volume, a considerable part of this produce comes from labor farms, and, what is more important, so do the price-determining marginal units of many forms of produce. This appears most clearly with specific produce from overpopulated areas (flax, hemp, sunflower, tobacco, etc.) in which, as we know from what has gone before, the labor intensity and high gross income so attract peasant farms that they agree to very low payment per labor unit for these crops. As a result, such a low-price market situation is created for this produce that it becomes completely disadvantageous for the capitalist farm and disappears from its organization plan. Fiber flax cultivation is particularly characteristic in this respect; before the war more than 90 percent was sown on peasant fields.
Apart from the produce of labor-intensive crops which has been mentioned, many others reflect the peculiar nature of the labor farm. We have already mentioned that Siberian squirrel prices are inversely proportional to grain prices. Equally peculiar, as A. N. Chelintsev succeeded in showing in his work on trends in cattle farming, are meat prices, which in many areas are often inversely proportional to their cost. Professor Chelintsev succeeded in showing that in good feed harvest years the peasants put a very large number of livestock for overwintering. Because of this, the supply of livestock, especially of young, for slaughter falls; this causes a rise in meat prices. Conversely, in years when there is lack of fodder and hay is expensive, the peasants, with no chance of feeding their livestock, try to get rid of it at any price. As a result, meat prices sometimes fall below bread prices, as we were able to note in Russian famine districts in 1921.
Speaking generally, the influence of peasant labor farm peculiarities on the process of price formation and commodity market structure, as well as on the nature and course of general economic crises, as they are called, is an exceptionally interesting theme for independent study. In this entirely unstudied field there may be unexpected
240 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
discoveries awaiting the student, which may force a revision of the fundamentals of existing theory. Such, as far as one can say from the present state of our young science, are the general economic consequences of the peculiar notion of advantage and of other features of the private economic basis in the peasant labor farm.
At the end of the nineteenth century, when analyzing the origins of capitalist land rent, K. Marx noted the considerable differences between parcellated peasant farming and capitalist agriculture. He asserted that in this parcellated farming "production ... to a very great extent satisfies own needs and is completely independent of control by the general rate of profit."9 He came to a number of conclusions close to our observations; however, neither he nor subsequent economists have developed these observations adequately.
As we have seen from the content of this chapter, these general economic consequences involve considerable theoretical conclusions. As regards the peasant labor farm, they make it necessary to review such theoretical fundamentals as the theory of rent, views on land prices, calculations for land improvements, and views on capital interest and the forms its circulation takes. With further and deeper investigation, they promise a considerable refinement in the study of rent-forming factors.
Yet, it is also necessary to note that in real life where the labor farm system coexists with the general economic system of capitalism it also has an immense effect on the wage category of the capitalist system. In peasant agrarian countries, where the complete crystallizing of a professionally pure proletariat has not fully developed, the peasantry is an inexhaustible source from which urban industry draws its labor force.
The supply of labor from the countryside, however, as we have seen from N. P. Nikitin's work, directly depends on how well peasant families are able to establish their internal balances from agricultural income alone. In years of high agricultural income, the countryside has no stimulus to cast its labor onto the market; conversely, it loads the market in years of agricultural depression. It reduces and raises wages according to the peasant farm's internal processes. In other words, in this case the labor farm system is not only free of control by wages, but, on the contrary, precisely through this category it also subordinates the whole system of the capitalist economy to its internal equilibrium between demand satisfaction and the drudgery of labor.
Family Farm's Organizational Features 241
To a still greater extent, of course, the peculiar features of the family farm are evident in determining the economic content of peasant farms themselves, and thus the location of farming. The question of the location of agriculture is such a big theme in itself that we refrain from dealing with it here. We merely observe that in areas of agrarian overpopulation, as may be seen from the preceding chapters, we must inevitably come up against labor intensive crops, the labor intensification of farms, high prices for land and rents, low wages, and the development of crafts and trades outside agriculture.
As we have already indicated, all the general economic observations we have made are static in content and fragmentary. It is undoubted, however, that every student of the peasant farm as a general economic and historical phenomenon ought to pay them the most serious attention and use them frequently to understand the dynamic phenomena he is studying.
The Family Farm as a Component of the National Economy and Its Possible Forms of Development
Our study approaches its end. We have reviewed in great detail the economic activity of the individual peasant family; we have analyzed the mechanism of the internal equilibrium of on-farm factors which gives a "teleological unity" to its activity. Finally, we have explained those features in the composition of rent, capital interest, and price formation which follow from the particular economic behavior of the peasant labor family.
Now we must review the last question—the question of the family farm's place in the present-day national economy, its features as a social and economic whole, its links with the capitalist economy, and the forms of their relationship to one another. Finally, we must try to make clear to ourselves possible forms of the peasant farm's further development.
This group of questions, as might be expected today, always evokes the keenest interest and the sharpest polemics. Therefore, in this concluding chapter we have allowed ourselves to cast our net much more widely than we did in the German edition; and we have focused particular attention on possible future forms—something we did not do at all in the German edition.
The usual accusation is that all our constructs are static, and that we are inclined to idealize the petty bourgeois spirit of the present-day peasantry and to consider it in its present form almost an ideal agricultural economic organization. I must hope that this chapter will be able to rout both these accusations. Our analysis in all six preceding chapters was static because they were dealing with static problems. Now, after we describe the place of the family farm in the general eco-
The Family Farm 243
nomic system—also, if you like, statically—we will try to show the forms of its dynamic development in all the complexity of their contemporary economic setting.
Further, the conclusions in our analysis of the labor farms' great resistance and their historical stability have been taken as idealized. When we were speaking of what existed, they took us to be speaking of what should be. This requires us to pay particular attention to analyzing possible forms of future peasant farm development which, in our opinion, should be considered progressive and in the direction of which we ought to develop our economic policy. Yet, here again, we will start by describing what exists, again with a static analysis.
We must begin with a review of how a peasant farm social sector is formed from individual farms at different ages of family development, and also a review of what social links unite the individual farms into a certain social whole. In other words, we start with a study of peasant farm morphology as a social sector.
Statistical studies of Russian peasant farms, started more than half a century ago, at their first steps stumbled on the very great heterogeneity in peasant farm composition. Everywhere, they noted the presence not only of small but also of medium and even comparatively large peasant agricultural undertakings. In B. N. Knipovich's consolidated work, which we have already had occasion to quote, the results of a considerable number of relevant zemstvo statistical censuses are summarized. Table 7-1 may acquaint us, in fairly detailed fashion, with the distribution of peasant farm composition by sown area classes, a variable which may be taken as an indicator of farm size.1
We can very clearly see from the table that in the mass the peasant farm is a quite variegated mixture of small-, medium-, and large-scale agricultural undertakings. Comparing different areas, we should note that this heterogeneity is more marked in some than in others. Nevertheless, whatever group of peasant farms we take, their distribution curve will, in general, be similar.
When we compare our figures with handed-down estimates of peasant farms in the eighteenth and seventeenth centuries, we are convinced that the heterogeneity we have found is not a characteristic merely of the current historical period; it was just as clearly seen in very distant periods. Thus, in Table 7-2 we have compared data from
244 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
Percentage Percentage Percentage
of Farms of Farms of Farms
Fkaterinoslav Uezd Samara Uezd Poltava Guberniya
Landless....... .... 4.9 Without sown .. ____ 11.8 Without sown .... .. 3.1
Desyatinas: Desyatinas: Desyatinas:
<1........ ..... 3.2 <1........ ..... 17.9 <1.......... .. 8.5
1-3........ ..... 11.2 3-6........ _____ 21.1 1-2.......... .. 13.1
3-5........ ..... 19.5 6-9........ _____ 14.6 2-3.......... .. 12.3
5-10........ ..... 35.2 9-12........ _____ 10.2 3-6.......... .. 29.4
10-15 ........ ..... 15.3 12-15 ........ _____ 6.8 6-9.......... .. 15.7
15-20 ........ ..... 5.1 15-20 ........ _____ 6.8 9-15.......... .. 11.6
20-25 ........ ..... 1.5 20-30 ........ ..... 6.0 15-25 .......... .. 4.4
25 and over . ..... 4.1 30-40 ........ ..... 2.2 25-50 .......... .. 1.6
40 and over .. ..... 2.6 50 and over .... .. 0.3
100.0 100.0 100.0
Voronezh Guberniya Tula Guberniya Kaluga Guberniya
Without sown . ..... 7.60 Without sown ., ..... 15.7 Without sown .... .. 4.5
Desyatinas: Desyatinas: Desyatinas:
<1....... ..... 2.27 <1....... ..... 9.1 <3.......... .. 27.6
1-5....... ..... 43.33 1-2....... ..... 15.5 3-6.......... .. 42.1
5-10....... ..... 30.98 2-5....... ..... 32.4 6-9.......... .. 16.8
10-20 ........ ..... 13.58 5-10....... ..... 21.4 9-12.......... .. 5.6
20-40 ....... ..... 1.92 10-15 ....... ..... 4.4 12 and over .... .. 3.4
40 and over . ..... 0.32 15-25 ....... ..... 1.3
25 and over . ..... 0.2
100.00 100.0 100.0
Vladimir Guberniya Vologda Guberniya Perm' Guberniya
Without sown . ..... 26.6 Without sown . ..... 6.2 Without sown .... .. 2.6
Desyatinas: Desyatinas: Desyatinas:
<3....... ..... 27.5 <2....... ..... 36.9 <5.......... .. 75.7
3-6....... ..... 36.2 2-3....... ..... 28.4 5-10.......... .. 17.7
6-9....... ..... 8.0 3-6....... ..... 26.9 10-15 .......... .. 3.3
9 and over . ..... 1.7 6 and over . ..... 1.6 15 and over .... .. 0.7
100.0 100.0 100.0
the 1767 Rumyantsev census of Chernigov guberniya and the 1883 zemstvo statistical census.
No so long ago, the inclination was to ascribe the heterogeneity we have noted in peasant farm size entirely to dynamic social disintegra-
Percentage of Peasant Farms with Given Number of Workers (Family Members)
Number of Workers Total
0 1 2 3 4 Families
The Family Farm 245
tion among the peasantry, i.e., to the gradual concentration of production in the hands of large peasant farms, which prepared the soil for a further, purely capitalist concentration taking place in parallel with the proletarianization of small and medium peasants. There is no doubt that some such social differentiation does take place in the countryside, but more careful analysis of peasant farm composition shows that the heterogeneity cannot be fully explained by social differentiation. It depends not only on dynamic development but also considerably on the effect of demographic factors which follow from the nature of the peasant farm.
In short, we are right in supposing that the heterogeneity we have shown in peasant farm composition is not a phenomenon of the recent historical process but, in many respects, is a derivative from the very nature of the peasant farm. It is easy to illustrate this theoretically. In Chapter 1, we looked in great detail at individual peasant family development. Now let us take as our basis the theoretical scheme of family development that we gave. Let us accept that due to increase in population and to deaths the number of families of each older age group will differ from the number in the preceding group, and that the family, maturing after twenty-five years, remains undivided for eight years, having two young families within it. Given all this, we obtain the following theoretical composition for a mass classification of peasant families by size:
Family size (persons) ......... 0-3 4-6 7-9 10 and over
Families in group ............ 20.5% 35.5% 29.8% 14.2%
According to our preceding chapters, such demographic composition is quite enough to cause considerable differentiation in sizes of agricultural undertakings, even with other things being equal. To compare our theoretical composition with family composition found in reality, we can quote the figures of a Starobel'sk study.
Family size .................. 0-3 4-6 7-9 10 and over
Families in group ............ 16.8% 22.8% 32.7% 27.7%
Some differences occur between our theoretical curve for farm distribution by sown areas and those observed in reality because, first, as we know, farm sown areas are not determined by demographic factors alone, and, second, apart from social differentiation caused by differences in family age, there are some elements of economic differentiation. In addition, the demographic process of family growth itself, which we have taken as the basis for our calculation, in reality takes
246 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
Sown Area Farms that
(Desyatinas) Died out Migrated Divided Undivided Disappeared
0-3 ......... 32~5 104 6\2 4L9 5L9
3- 6 ......... 10.4 22.2 15.4 52.0 32.6
6- 9 ......... 4.2 19.9 26.1 49.8 24.1
9-12 ......... 3.5 15.6 35.1 45.8 19.1
12 and over .... 1.7 7.1 57.6 33.6 8.8
place in a much more complex way than that adopted in our simplified scheme.
Fortunately for us, several outstanding Russian statisticians, headed by N. N. Chernenkov, A. I. Khryashcheva, and P. A. Vikh-lyaev, have exhaustively studied, in a number of areas in European Russia, the phenomenon in which we are interested. We can study the problem posed not merely by means of a priori constructs, but also by means of a posteriori analysis of empirical material.
The works of N. N. Chernenkov, P. A. Vikhlyaev, A. I. Khryashcheva, and G. I. Kushchenko, which we have quoted several times, compare the data of repeated peasant farm censuses. Methodologically, they differ from all analogous comparisons in Russian and West European statistics. This is because in comparing two different years they did not work on the totals for each year taken wholesale, but traced the fate of each category of farms individually and, in recent work, even of each farm for the period between the censuses. The results of this sort of comparison have shown that in the depths of the peasantry there primarily takes place a series of very complex and tangled demographic processes.
Returning to the site of their first study after 15-30 years, the statisticians first had to state that a certain part of the farms had simply ceased to exist; they died out. Another section had migrated from the area being studied. Finally, a considerable part had, through the dividing of families, broken down into two or three independent farms, and only a part remained complete from the preceding census. These processes may be very clearly traced in Table 7-3, taken from Kushchenko's work on Surazh uezd, Chernigov guberniya. We will also make use of this material in our subsequent analysis, since, though it coincides with other work, Kushchenko's study gives more salient results as it compares censuses separated by 30 years.
We see from the table that during 30 years the farms studied suffered the most diverse fates; only three quarters of them retained
Surazh Uezd 1911 Farms as Percentage of Those of 1882
The Family Farm 247
their individual existence within the area. To a considerable extent, small farms migrated, broke down, and in part left agriculture. Large and older farms appeared to be more settled, but, on the other hand, more than half of them reached full maturity and broke down into a number of new farms.
Aside from farms that migrated and ceased to exist, we should note in making a deeper analysis that farms which in whole or in part lived through a 30-year period underwent many economic changes. Some predominantly young ones strengthened their economic position and expanded; others, mainly the large old farms, declined and passed into lower economic classes. For example, Table 7-4 shows percentages for farms that did not divide for all the 30 years from 1882 to 1911. In the table, "increasing their sown area" means farms passing during the period into higher sown area classes; "reducing their sown area" means farms falling during the 30 years into lower sown area classes.
Table 7-5 is a still more characteristic picture of the fate of farms
TABLE 7-4 Surazh Uezd Farms 1911 as Percentage of Those Undivided since 1882*
Retaining Increasing Reducing Sown Area Same Their Their
(Desyatinas) Sown Area Sown Area Sown Area Total
0-3 ...... 28.4 71.6 - 100.0
3- 6 ...... 50.0 39.0 11.0 100.0
6- 9 ...... 33.4 30.7 36.9 100.0
9-12 ...... 22.0 34.0 44.9 100.0
12 and over. 41.4 - 58.0 100.0
* Editors' note.—The figures are as given in the Russian text. They do not in all cases sum to 100.0.
FIGURE 7-5 Surazh Uezd Farms 1911 as Percentage of Those Divided since 1882*
Retaining Increasing Reducing Sown Area Same Their Their
(Desyatinas) Sown Area Sown Area Sown Area Total
0- 3 ...... 27.8 72.8 - 100.0
3- 6 ...... 43.6 18.0 38.4 100.0
6- 9 ...... 21.5 11.2 67.3 100.0
9-12 ...... 7.0 5.7 87.3 100.0
12 and over . 17.4 - 84.6 100.0
248 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
that divided. It shows into what class farms go as a result of family division.
Looking at both tables, we first see sharply marked economic growth in the farms with small sown areas, especially among the undivided farms. Conversely, among farms that in 1882 were large we see still more clearly a breakdown and economic decline, particularly among farms that divided. We see both currents, the rising and the falling, quite clearly from the summary table from G. A. Kushchen-ko's study (Table 7-6).
Sown Areas 1911 as Percentage of Farms in 1882*
1882 0-3 3-6 6-9 9-12 12- Total
0-3 ....... 28.2 47.0 20.0 2.4 2.4 100.0
3- 6 ....... 21.8 47J 20.4 8.2 2.4 100.0
6- 9 ....... 16.2 37.0 26.8 11.3 8.7 100.0
9-12 ....... 9.3 35.8 26.1 12.4 16.1 100.0
12 and over . 3.5 30.5 28.5 15.6 21.9 100.0
* Editors' note.—The figures are as given in the Russian text. They do not in all cases sum to 100.0.
We have before us a complex picture of the dynamics of peasant farm composition. The class with small sown area shows great growing power, and almost three-fourths of its farms in the 30 years pass into higher sown area classes. On the other hand, both classes with large sown area in 1882 give a clear picture of decline and breakdown.
Before us are two powerful currents. One, in which the young, undivided farms with small sown area mainly participate, is rising, expanding the volume of its farms under pressure of family growth. The other is declining, largely due to the dividing of old, complex families.
What we have shown for Surazh uezd is not chance, as may be confirmed by analogous summary tables for other areas where the fate of individual farms has been traced by repeated censuses. Thus, we have the following works by P. A. Vikhlyaev on Moscow guberniya and A. I. Khrashcheva on Tula guberniya.
P. A. Vikhlyaev, Vliyanie travoseyaniya na nekotorye storony krest'yan-skogo khozyaistva [The effect of leys on certain aspects of the peasant farm], M., 1913, s. 15.
A. I. Khryashcheva, Sbornik statistiko-ekonomicheskikh svedenii po Epifanskomu uezdu, TuVskoi gubernii [Collection of statistical and economic information on Epifan' uezd, Tula guberniya], Tula, 1913.
The Family Farm 249
In the tables for both Moscow and Tula guberniya, we see the same two social currents, one rising and the other declining. They are expressed more weakly than in Surazh uezd, since the interval between censuses in Moscow and Tula was much shorter.
In thinking about these processes, of course, we ought to acknowledge that these currents are determined not only by the demographic processes of family growth and division. Farms may increase and decline with unchanged family composition due to purely economic causes. Apart from this, favorable and unfavorable market situations as regards the general economy can make it considerably easier or more difficult for the family to develop its activity in accordance with its own growth. There is, nevertheless, no doubt at all that demographic causes play the leading part in these movements.
As a result of the interrelationship of these two counterposed social currents, present peasant farm composition is established at any particular moment and gives a distribution by sown area classes which we have already looked at from B. N. Knipovich's materials. If both currents are mutually balanced, despite the fact that individual farms will pass in great numbers from class to class, the numerical relationship of the classes will remain unchanged. If we merely make a wholesale comparison of the totals of the two censuses separated by a long time interval, we get a picture of complete static calm. Even though completely different farms form them, the classes as such remain the same, and their heterogeneity or, as was formerly said, peasant farm differentiation, will be the same with a repeated as with the initial registration.
However, more frequently an area's general economic market situation, its price levels, land pressure, and so on make the social currents we have studied depart from a state of mutual equilibrium. Then, one of them begins to temporarily predominate over the other, and after a few years a noticeable change occurs in the relationship between the classes. For example, if due to adverse economic circumstances the growth of young family farms is restrained and their breakdown increased we see, as shown in Figure 7—1, the increase in farms in the lower classes. This is the "general downward movement," according to N. P. Oganovskii's definition, i.e., a reduction of the general level of well-being. The results of Kushchenko's study of the distribution of Surazh farms by sown area may serve as an example of this (Table 7-7).
Conversely, while a favorable economic market situation helps the rapid growth of young, developing farms and permits this process to
250 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
FIGURE 7-1 Downward Movement
I t i t i i_I_I_I_I_
TABLE 7-7 Percentage of Surazh Farms by Sown Area
0-3 3.1-6.0 6.1-9.0 9.1-12.0 >12 Total
1882 .......... 10.8 34.5 25.9 13.5 15.3 100.0
1911 .......... 13.2 38.6 25.0 11.2 11.0 100.0
Change, as percentage of 1882 ...... +31.5 + 12.0 - 3.5 -17.0 -28.0
predominate over decay, after a short period the growth of higher classes at the expense of the medium ones will be clearly noticed. In this case, expressed graphically, we will have a "general upward movement,,, to use N. P. Oganovskii's term (Figure 7-2).
From time to time, comparison of two registrations discloses a cycle of phenomena more complex than a simple predominance of one social current over another. For example, growth may predominate among young families passing from lower economic to medium classes, but at the same time this may be accompanied by intensive division and decline of large, old families. Then, comparing the two registrations, we will have a reduction of the extreme classes and a considerable increase in medium ones, as seen in the "leveling" graph and Kushchenko's table on horses on the same Surazh farms (Figure 7-3 and Table 7-8).
FIGURE 7-2 Upward Movement
The Family Farm 251
FIGURE 7-3 Leveling
I-1-1_I_I_I_I_I_' i 1
Conversely, an intense economic crisis may greatly weaken the growth of young, developing farms and at the same time show the great stability of old households with many workers and large sown area. As a result, we have, by comparing the two censuses, a development of the highest and lowest classes at the expense of the middle ones. This is shown in Figure 7-4, and there are many examples of it
252 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY
vitnout mth Workstock (Head) Work- _ 7
stock 1 2 3 4 5
1882 ........... 10.6 27.7 29.8 14.2 9.1 8.6
1911........... 9.6 24.6 40.1 15.9 6.6 3.2
of 1882 ...... -9.5 -11.0 +34.6 +12.0 -27.9 -62.8
FIGURE 7-4 Differentiation
I i i i i i i i i i I AREA WORKED
from the pitiful memory of the Russian peasantry's history at the end of the nineteenth century. N. P. Oganovskii calls this process "differentiation." Table 7-9, for Ekaterinoslav guberniya, gives a good example of this type of movement in peasant farm composition.
Finally, we can have still more complicated systems of development in social composition, and as a result of the interrelationship of both
Ekaterinoslav Guberniya (Percentage of Households)
Without Sown Area Sown Area (Desyatinas)
<5 5-10 10-20 20-50 >50
1886 ...... 4.6 19.3 28.7 35.1 11.6 0.7
1901...... 6.8 15.7 28.0 29.8 17.6 2.1
+ or - ... +47.8 -18.7 - 2.5 -15.2 +51.7 +200.0
TABLE 7-8 Surazh Uezd (Percentage of Farms)
The Family Farm 253
currents we can, as shown in Figure 7-5, have an upward movement accompanied by leveling and a downward movement together with differentiation, and others.
FIGURE 7-5 Upward Movement with Leveling
I i I I 1 I I i I I I AREA WORKED
According to A. I. Khryashcheva's study, the development of the Russian peasant farm during the period of the war and the revolution, which we have now lived through, is a good example of sharply expressed leveling accompanied by a general downward movement
Peasant Farms in 25 Guberniyas of Russia by Sown Area (%)
Without Sown Area <1 1-2 2-4 4-6 6-8 8-10 10-15 15-22 >22 Total
1917 ... ..... 11.5 10.3 18.4 28.9 14.7 7A 3.8 3.9 0.8 0.3 100.0
1919 ... ..... 6.6 18.0 24.9 29.3 12.4 5.2 2.1 1.4 0.1 0.0 100.0
(Table 7-10). As the table shows, we have before us a picture of the disappearance of the well-to-do and poorest groups in the countryside against a background of general impoverishment.
What has been said establishes clearly enough the mechanism of movement in the peasantry's social composition, and we urgently counsel our readers to study the quoted works by N. N. Chernenkov, P. A. Vikhlyaev, A. I. Khryashcheva, and G. A. Kushchenko. These
254 THE THEORY OF PEASANT ECONOMY