Karl Kautsky was the foremost intellectual leader of the Marxist movement internationally at the end of the 19th century and in the early years of. Contemporary studies on the agrarian question and recent advances .. This section engages the readers with Karl Kautsky’s celebrated Die Agrarfrage. Karl Kautsky () was recognized as among the most authoritative promulgators of Orthodox Marxism after the death of Friedrich Engels and was called.

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The peasants now work for large farms.

Soviet films, of course, did not show this. This does not of course suggest that prices would necessarily reflect the value of the commodity or labour embodied. Kautsky wrote it to get to grips with the politics of the peasantry and farmers at a time when most of the countries of Europe still had significant rural populations. According to her theory the exhaustion of the pre-capitalist modes of production serves as a limit for economic growth Luxembourg, Even bourgeois economists right from Adam Smith and Sismondi have expressed their approval of small farms over hitherto existing latifundiums where tenants farmers precariously existed under duress.

Instead, it is transformed from a seller into a buyer of the products of large-scale farming produced in abundance. They certainly call for need for further research.

The Agrarian Question

This has important ramifications for revolutionaries – if the farms become larger, there is an increasing tendency towards proletarianisation amongst the peasants and it makes question of collectivism flows then from the actual experience of the farmers See Tony Cliff article at end of this review for more on this discussion.

One being the installation of capitalism from qgrarian in which landlords transformed themselves into capitalists. Hence, rent simply accrues to the landlord due to the property right alone rather than for any contribution.

This contradictory statistics indeed suggests there is no necessary link between size th the farm and capitalist relations in agriculture.

He envisaged that this will generated conditions for capital accumulation from below which will create competition amongst the peasants leading to polarization of the class structure into the proletariat and bourgeoisie. So necessary labour time takes wage-form and surplus value takes a monetary form. Kautsky shows that the tenant farmer system and the mortgage system are merely two sides of one and the same process, noted by Marx, of separating the agricultural producers from the landowners.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Of course, this does not mean capitalist competition between monopolies ceases to take place. According to Lenin, the Narodniks indentified three constrains that made capitalism impossible in Russia. When Bernstein attacked the traditional Marxist position of the necessity for revolution in the late s, Kautsky denounced him, arguing that Bernstein’s emphasis on the ethical foundations of Socialism opened the road to a call for an alliance with the “progressive” bourgeoisie and a non-class approach.


Peasants had economic resources such as land to produce for themselves. Workers, who were erstwhile producers, are now alienated from means kagl production, and become available for surplus value to be expropriated.

Karl Kautsky

Remember me on this computer. The commodities of urban industry that reached the village also sowed the seeds of dissolution of the traditional peasant family.

Here the sphere of production is still controlled by direct producers. Only seldom does the thought occur to them what enslavement, what lowering of human self-esteem was connected with the construction of those gigantic establishments. October 1, at 1: As Wolpe pointed out, between to the s, the rate of surplus value in South Africa depended on maintenance of the pre-capitalist modes of production in the reserves, which provided a portion of the means of consumption reproduction of the migrant labour force as earlier mentioned.

The Agrarian Question | Territorial Masquerades

That is to say, they contend that the peasant production had been structured and conditioned by the needs of capitalist economic growth. Number of large farms increased only in the USA, which had a different history. The existence of drudgery also brings its own kautzky So here, we agraeian a vision of linear proleterianisation of the peasants in which: For this reason, it is worthwhile undertaking a research project to probe into the political conditions, particularly the balance of power, that made it possible for the dominant fraction s colonial capital to impose its will on the African peasantry.

Thirdly, peasant households are units for production and consumption.

Firstly, the dispossession of peasantry releases labour to industries since peasants will not have any source of livelihood except selling their ability to work for capitalists. Kautsky effectively demonstrates this thesis and explains in detail how the stability of petty production in agriculture does not depend in any way on its technical rationality but on the fact that the small peasants work far harder than hired labourers and reduce their vital necessities to a level lower than that of the latter.

It also keeps the wages in check, small farmers who get part of substance from their farms tend to accept lower wages.

The dispossession of the peasants also means that they are also transformed into consumers of commodities. Attempts to check this process would be reactionary and harmful: But the biggest changes in the condition of European agriculture have been brought about by the competition of cheap grain imported from America, the Argentine, India, Russia, and other countries. Wolpe argued that the South African colonial states slowed the process of proleterianisation of the peasantry through the reproduction of pre-capitalist modes to set conditions for super- exploitation of labour.


Mere credit cooperatives have limited benefits. And peasants in state land were given large plots of land. There are crops that require close and compact monitoring which are better managed by small farmers p Most importantly, Kautsky finds that small-scale agriculture is not an aberration within capitalist agricultural development or something destined to die; peasant agriculture is, in fact, functional to the dynamics of capitalist accumulation.

ResoluteReader: Karl Kautsky – The Agrarian Question – Volume 1

MillJoseph Dietzgen. It is not clear in Bundy why industrial business became victorious in the intra-business rivalries. Kautsky gives every recognition to the important role played by pre-capitalist and non-capitalist forms of agriculture in modern society and to the necessity of examining the relationship of these forms to the purely capitalist forms; he begins his investigation with an extremely brilliant and precise characterisation of the patriarchal peasant economy and of agriculture in the feudal epoch.

Though the book follows along a pretty much standard, orthodox, teleological conception of capitalist development, Kautsky does upset some of the standard narratives and analyses that the classical Marxism of his day professed about agriculture and the peasantry. Flowing from his functionalist logic, the decline in peasant productivity Wolpe argues, posed a dilemma for capitalist economic growth.

Segregation enforced through the state provided a political form functional and relevant to declining conditions of the peasant economies. Capitalist Character of Agriculture This modern agriculture cannot exist without money, capital and the generalized character of commodity production. On the hand, merchant capital extracted surplus through unequal exchange. How has the disappearance of the peasantry affected the class structure in the countryside?

Wolpe extended the articulation of modes of production theory based on cheap-labour thesis to explain the non-disappearance of the African peasant production. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link.

The most efficient capitalist outcompete the less efficient who plunge into bankruptcy and taken over by the competent ones, thus leading to centralization and concentration of capital in few business owners.

This includes intensification of exploitation of the tenants.