V. I.   Lenin

The Agrarian Question and the “Critics of Marx”



The Productivity of a Small And a Big Farm. An Example From East Prussia

For a change let us go from distant South Germany to East Prussia, nearer to Russia. We have before us a highly instructive and detailed investigation of which Mr. Bulgakov, who clamours so loudly for details, has been totally unable to make use. “A comparison of the data on the real   productivity of large and small farms,” writes Mr. Bulgakov, “cannot provide an answer to the question of their technical advantages, since the farms compared may be operating under different economic conditions. The most that can be obtained from such data is the factual confirmation of the negative conclusion that large-scale production possesses no technical advantages over small-scale production, not only theoretically, but, under certain conditions, also practically. Quite a few comparisons of this kind have been made in economic literature, at all events sufficient to undermine the belief of the unbiased and unprejudiced reader in the advantages of large-scale production generally” (I, 57-58). In a footnote the author cites two instances. The first is Auhagen’s work, quoted by Kautsky in his Agrarfrage (S. Ill), as well as by Hertz (S. 69, Russian translation, p. 166), in which a comparison is made only between two farms in Hanover, one of 4.6 hectares and one of 26.5 hectares. In this example, the small farm has a higher yield per hectare than the large one, and Auhagen determined the income of the small farm to be higher than that of the large farm. Kautsky, however, has shown that this higher income is the result of under-consumption. Hertz attempted to refute this evidence, but with his usual success. Since Hertz’ work has now been translated into Russian, while Kautsky’s reply to Hertz is unknown in Russia, we shall, very briefly, give the substance of this reply (in the cited article in Neue Zeit). Hertz, as usual, distorted Kautsky’s arguments and alleged that he referred only to the fact that the owner of the big farm is able to send his son to the Gymnasium. In actuality, Kautsky mentioned this merely to illustrate the standard of living, and had Hertz quoted in full the budgets of the two families in question (each consisting of five persons), he would have obtained the following figures: 1,158.40 marks for the small farm and 2,739.25 marks for the large farm. If the family of the small farm lived on the same standard as that of the large farm, the small farm would prove less profitable than the large one. Auhagen estimates the income of the small farm at 1,806 marks, i.e., 5.45 per cent of the capital invested (33,651 marks), and that of the large farm at 2,720 marks, or 1.82 per cent of the capital invested (149,559 marks). If we make allowance for the under-consumption of the small   farmer, we shall find that his income is equal to 258 marks, or 0.80 per cent! And this, when the amount of labour involved is disproportionately high: on the small farm there are three workers to 4.6 hectares, that is, one worker to 1.5 hectares, while on the large farm there are eleven (see Hertz, S. 75, Russian translation, p. 179) to 26.5 hectares, that is one worker to 2.4 hectares. Furthermore, we shall not dwell on the circumstance, justly ridiculed by Kautsky, that the alleged socialist Hertz compares the labour of the children of modern peasants to Ruth’s[8] gleaning! Mr. Bulgakov confines himself merely to presenting the figures of the yield per hectare, but says not a word about the respective standards of living of the small and big farmers.

“We find another example,” continues our advocate of details, “in the latest researches of Karl Klawki (Ueber Kon kurrenzfähigkeit des landwirtschaftlichen Kleinbetriebs. Thiel’s Landwirtschaftliche Jahrbücher, 1899, Heft 3-4).[1] His examples are taken from East Prussia. The author compares large, medium, and small farms by taking four of each kind. The specific feature of his comparisons is, first, the fact that expenditure and income are expressed in money, and, secondly, the fact that the author translates the cost of labour-power on the small farms, where it is not purchased, into money and places it to the expenditure account; such a method is hardly correct for our purpose [sic! Mr. Bulgakov forgets to add that Klawki translates the cost of labour on all the farms into money and from the outset values the labour on the small farms at a lower rate!]. Nevertheless, we have...." There follows a table which for the moment we shall merely summarise: the average net profit per morgen ( = 1/4 hectare) on the large farm is ten marks, on the medium farm, eighteen marks, on the small farm, twelve marks. And Mr. Bulgakov concludes: “The highest profits are obtained on the medium farms; then come the small farms, while the large farms lag behind the others.”

We have seen fit to quote the entire passage in which Mr. Bulgakov compares the large and small farms. Now let us consider what is evidenced by Klawki’s interesting work,   120 pages of which are devoted to a description of twelve typical farms existing under equal conditions. In the first place, we shall cite the statistics pertaining to these farms, and in the interest of space and clarity we shall confine ourselves to the average figures for the large, medium, and small farms (the average size of the farms in each category being 358, 50, and 5 hectares respectively).

Category of farms Income and expenditure per morgen in marks
(1 morgen = 14 hectare)
Expend- iture per 100 marks of produce[2] Per 100 Morgan
Total Income Income from the
sale of produce
Consumption of
own produce
Agri- cul- ture Stock farm- ing Total Agri- cul- ture Stock farm- ing Total Agri- cul- ture Stock farm- ing Total In- come Ex- pen- ses Net pro- fit Marks Hired work- days Total work- days
a b
Large 17 16 33 11 14 25 6 2 8 33 23 10 65 70 887 887
Medium 18 27 45 12 17 29 6 10 16 45 27 18 35 60 744 924
Small 23 41 64 9 27 36 14 14 28 64 52 12 8 80

It would appear, therefore, that all Mr. Bulgakov’s conclusions are fully confirmed by Klawki’s work: the smaller the farm, the higher the gross income and the higher even the income from sales per morgen! We think that with the methods employed by Klawki—widely employed methods, in their main features common to all bourgeois and petty-bourgeois economists—the superiority of small-scale farming in all or nearly all cases is proved. Consequently, the essential thing in this matter, which the Voroshilovs completely fail to see, is to analyse those methods, and it is for this reason that Klawki’s partial researches are of such enormous general interest.

Let us start with the yields. It turns out that the yield of the great majority of cereals regularly and very considerably   diminishes with the diminution of the area of the farms. The yield (in centners per morgen) on the large, medium, and small farms respectively is: wheat 8.7, 7.3, 6.4; rye 9.9, 8.7, 7.7; barley 9.4, 7.1, 6.5; oats 8.5, 8.7, 8.0; peas 8.0, 7.7, 9.2; [3] potatoes 63, 55, 42; mangels 190, 156, 117. Only of flax, not grown on the large farms, do the small farms (3 out of 4) gather a bigger yield than the medium farms (2 out of 4), namely, 6.2 Stein (=18.5 pounds) as against 5.5.

To what is the higher yield on the large farms due? Klawki ascribes decisive importance to the following four causes: (1) Drainage is almost entirely absent on the small farms, and even where it exists the drain pipes are laid by the farmer himself and laid badly. (2) The small farmers do not plough their land deep enough, their horses being weak. (3) Most often the small farmers are unable to give their cattle sufficient fodder. (4) The small farmers have inferior manure, their straw is shorter, it is largely used as fodder (which also means that the feed is inferior), and less straw is used for bedding.

Thus, the small farmers’ cattle is weaker and inferior, and is kept in a worse condition. This circumstance explains the strange and glaring phenomenon that, notwithstanding the higher yield per morgen on the large farms, income from agriculture per morgen, according to Klawki’s computations, is less on the large than on the medium and small farms. The reason for this is that Klawki does not include fodder, either in disbursement or in income. In this way, things that in reality make for an essential difference between the large and small farms, a difference unfavourable to the latter, are artificially and falsely equated. By this method of computation large-scale farming appears to be less remunerative than small-scale farming, because a larger portion of the land of the large farms is devoted to the cultivation of fodder (although the large farms keep a much smaller number of cattle per unit of land), whereas the small farmers “make shift” with straw for fodder. Consequently, the “superiority"of small- scale farming lies in its wasteful exploitation of the land (by inferior fertilisation) and of the cattle (by inferior fodder).   Needless to say, such a comparison of the profitableness of different farms lacks all scientific value.[4]

Another reason for the higher yield on large farms is that a larger number of the big farmers (and apparently, even, almost they alone) marl the soil, utilise larger quantities of artificial fertilisers (the expenditure per morgen being: 0.81 marks, 0.38 marks, and 0.43 marks respectively) and Kraftfuttermittel[5] (in large farms two marks per morgen, and in the others nil). “Our peasant farms,” says Klawki, who includes the medium farms in the category of large peas ant farms, “spend nothing on Kraftfuttermittel. They are very slow to adopt progressive methods and are particularly chary of spending cash” (Klawki, op. cit., 461). The large farms are superior also in the method of cultivating the soil: we observe improved crop rotation on all four of the large farms, on three of the medium farms (on one the old three- field system is used), and only on one of the small farms (on the other three the three-field system is used). Finally, the big farmers use machinery to a far greater extent. True, Klawki himself is of the opinion that machinery is of no great consequence, but we shall not be satisfied with that “opinion”; we shall examine the statistics. The following eight kinds of machines—steam threshers, horse threshers, grain-sorting machines, sifters, seed-drills, manure spreaders, horse-drawn rakes, and rollers—are distributed among the farms described, as follows: on the four large farms, twenty nine (including one steam thresher); on the four medium farms, eleven (not a single steam-driven machine); and on the four small farms, one machine (a horse-driven thresher).   Of course, no “opinion” of any admirer of peasant farming can make us believe that grain-sorting machines, seed-drills, rollers, etc., do not affect the size of the crop. Incidentally, we have here data on machines belonging to certain definite owners, unlike the general run of German statistics, which register only cases of the use of machines, whether owned or hired. Obviously, such a registration will also have the effect of minimising the superiority of large-scale farming and of obscuring forms of “borrowing” machines, like the following described by Klawki: “The big farmer willingly lends the small farmer his roller, horse rake, and grain-sorting machine, if the latter promises to supply a man to do the mowing for him in the busy season” (443). Consequently, a certain number of the cases in which machines are employed on small farms, which, as we have shown, are rare, represent a transmuted form of acquiring labour-power.

To continue. Another case of erroneous comparison of obviously unequal quantities is Klawki’s method of computing the price of the product on the market as being equal for all categories of farms. Instead of taking actual transactions, the author takes as a basis an assumption that be himself points to as incorrect. The peasants sell most of their grain in their own locality, and merchants in small towns force down prices very considerably. “The large estates are better off in this respect, for they can send grain to the principal city in the province in considerable quantities. In doing so, they usually receive from 20 to 30 pfennigs more per centner than they could get in the small town” (373). The big farmers are better able to assess the value of their grain (451), and they sell it, not by measure, as the peasants do to their disadvantage, but by weight. Similarly, the big farmers sell their cattle by weight, whereas the price of the peasants’ cattle is fixed simply on the basis of outer appearance. The big farmers can also make better arrangements for selling their dairy products, for they can send their milk to the towns and obtain a higher price than the middle farmers, who convert their milk into butter and sell it to merchants. Moreover, the butter produced on the medium farms is superior to that produced on the small farms (use of separators, daily churning, and so forth), and the latter get from five to ten pfennigs per pound less. The small farmers have to   sell their fat stock sooner (i.e., less matured) than the middle farmers, because they have a smaller supply of fodder (444). Klawki, in his monograph, leaves out of his calculations all these advantages—in their totality by no means unimportant—which the large farms possess as sellers, just as the theoreticians who admire small-scale farming leave out this fact and refer to the possibility of improving matters by means of co-operation. We do not wish to confound the realities of capitalism with the possibilities of a petty-bourgeois co-operative paradise. Below we shall bring forward facts showing who really derives the most advantage out of co-operatives.

Let us note that Klawki “is not concerned with” the labour of the small and middle farmers themselves in draining the soil and in all kinds of repair work (“the peasants do the work themselves”), and so forth. The socialist calls this “advantage” enjoyed by the small farmer Ueberarbeit, overwork, and the bourgeois economist refers to it as one of the advantageous aspects (“for society”!) of peasant farming. Let us note that, as Klawki points out, the hired labourers get better pay and food on the medium farms than on the large farms, but they work harder: the “example” set by the farmer stimulates “greater diligence and thoroughness” (465). Which of these two capitalist masters—the landlord or his “own kind”, the peasant—squeezes more work out of the labourer for the given wages, Klawki does not attempt to determine. We shall therefore confine ourselves to stating that the expenditure of the big farmers on accident and old-age insurance for their labourers amounts to 0.29 marks per morgen and that of the middle farmer to 0.13 marks (the small farmer here, too, enjoys an advantage in that he does not insure himself at all; needless to say, to the “great advantage of the society” of capitalists and landlords). We shall also bring an example from Russian agricultural capitalism. The reader who is familiar with Shakhovskoi’s work Outside Agricultural Employment will probably remember the following characteristic observation: The Russian homestead farmers and the German colonists (in the south) “pick” their labourers, pay them from 15 to 20 per cent more than do the big employers and squeeze 50 per cent more work out of them. This was reported by Shakhovskoi in 1896; this year we read   in Torgovo-Promyshlennaya Gazeta, [Commercial and Industrial Gazette.—Tr.] for instance, the following communication from Kakhovka: "...The peasants and homestead farmers, as is the custom, paid higher wages (than those paid on the big estates), for they demand better workers and those possessing the greatest endurance” (No. 109, May 16, 1901). There are hardly grounds for assuming that this condition is characteristic of Russia alone.

In the table given above the reader saw two methods of computation—one that takes into account the money value of the farmer’s labour-power, and one that does not. Mr. Bulgakov considers that to include this money value “is hardly correct”. Of course, a precise budget of the farmers’ and labourers’ expenditure, in money and in kind, would be far more correct; but since we lack these data, we are obliged to make an approximate estimate of the family’s money expenditure. The manner in which Klawki makes this approximation is extremely interesting. The big estate-owners do not work themselves, of course; they even have special salaried managers who carry out all the work of direction and supervision (of four estates, three are supervised by managers and one is not; Klawki would consider it more correct to classify this last estate, consisting of 125 hectares, as a large peasant estate). Klawki “assigns” to the owners of two large estates 2,000 marks per annum each “for their labour” (which on the first estate, for instance, consists of leaving the principal estate once a month for a few days’ check-up on the manager’s work). To the account of the farmer of 125 hectares (the first-mentioned estate consisted of 513 hectares) he “assigns” only 1,900 marks for the work of the farmer himself and of his three sons. Is it not “natural” that a farmer with a smaller amount of land should “make shift” with a smaller budget? Klawki allows the middle farmers from 1,200 to 1,716 marks for the labour of the husband and wife, and in three cases also of the children. To the small farmers he allows from 800 to 1,000 marks for the work of four to five (sic!) persons, i.e., a little more (if more at all) than a labourer, an Instmann, gets, who with his family earns only from 800 to 900 marks. Thus, we observe here another big step forward: first, a comparison is made between figures that are obviously uncomparable; now it is declared that the standard of living must decline with the diminution in the size of the farm. But that means the a priori recognition of the fact that capitalism degrades the small peasants, a fact ostensibly to have been refuted by the computations of the “net profit”!

And if, by the author’s assumption, the money income diminishes with the diminution in the size of the farm, the drop in consumption is evident by direct data. Consumption of agricultural products on the farms amounts to the following per person (counting two children as one adult): large farm, 227 marks (average of two figures); medium farm, 218 marks (average of four figures); small farm, 135 (sic!) marks (average of four figures). And the larger the farm, the larger is the quantity of additional food products purchased (S. 453). Klawki himself observes that here it is necessary to raise the question of Unterkonsumption (under-consumption), which Mr. Bulgakov denied, and which here he preferred to ignore, thus proving to be even more of an apologist than Klawki. Klawki seeks to minimise the significance of this fact. “Whether there is any under-consumption among the small farmers or not, we cannot say,” he states, “but we think it is probable in the case of small farm IV [97 marks per head]. The fact is that the small peasants live very frugally [!] and sell much of what they, so to speak, save out of their mouths” (sick sozusagen vom Munde absparen).[6] He attempts to prove that this fact does not refute the higher “productivity” of small-scale farming. If consumption were increased to 170 marks, which is quite adequate (for the “younger brother”,[9]   but not for the capitalist. farmer, as we see), the figure for consumption per morgen would have to be increased and the income from sales reduced by six or seven marks. If this amount is subtracted (see table above), we get from 29 to 30 marks, i.e., a sum still larger than that obtained on the large. farms (S. 453). But if we increase consumption, not to this haphazardly-taken figure (and a low one at that, because “he’ll manage somehow”), but to 218 marks (equal to the actual figure on the medium farms), the income from the sale of products will drop on the small farms to 20 marks per morgen, as against 29 marks on the medium farms, and 25 marks on the large farms. That is to say, the correction of this one error (of the numerous errors indicated above) in Klawki’s computations destroys all the “advantages” of the small peasant.

But Klawki is untiring in his quest of advantages. The small peasants “combine agriculture with industrial occupations”: three small peasants (out. of four) “diligently work as day-labourers and receive board in addition to their pay” (435). But the advantages of small-scale farming are particularly marked during periods of crisis (as Russian readers have long known from the numerous exercises on this theme on the part of the Narodniks, now rehashed by the Chernovs): “During agricultural crises, as well as at other times, it is the small farms that possess the greatest stability, they are able to sell a relatively larger quantity of products than the other categories of farms by severely curtailing domestic expenses, which, it is true, must lead to a certain amount of under-consumption” (479—Klawki’s last conclusions; cf. S. 464). “Unfortunately, many small farms are reduced to this by the high rates of interest on loans. But in this way, although with great effort, they are able to keep on their feet and eke out a livelihood. Probably, it is the great diminution in consumption that chiefly explains the increase in the number of small peasant farms in our locality indicated in the statistics of the Empire.” And Klawki adduces figures for the Königsberg Regierungsbezirk, [Königsberg Administrative Area.—Ed.] where in the period between 1882 and 1895 the number of farms under two hectares increased   from 56,000 to 79,000, those from two to five hectares from 12,000 to 14,000, and those from five to twenty hectares from 16,000 to 19,000. This is in East Prussia, the very place in which the Bulgakovs claim to see the “elimination” of large-scale by small-scale production. And yet the gentlemen who give the bare statistics of the area of farms in this Suzdal[10] fashion clamour for “details”! Naturally, Klawki considers that “the most important task of modern agrarian policy for the solution of the agricultural labourer problem in the East is to encourage the most efficient labourers to settle down by affording them the opportunity of acquiring a piece of land as their own property, if not in the first, then at least in the second [sic!] generation” (476). It doesn’t matter that the Instleute who purchase a plot of land out of their savings “in the majority of cases prove to be worse off financially; they are fully aware of this themselves, but they are tempted by the greater freedom”, and the main task of bourgeois political economy (now, apparently, of the “Critics” also) is to foster this illusion among the most backward section of the proletariat.

Thus, on every point Klawki’s inquiry refutes Mr. Bulgakov, who referred to Klawki. This inquiry demonstrates the technical superiority of large-scale production in agriculture, the overwork and under-consumption of the small peasant and his transformation into a regular or day-labourer for the landlord; it proves that there is a connection be tween the increase in the number of small peasant farms and the growth of poverty and proletarisation. Two conclusions that follow from this inquiry are of exceptional significance from the point of view of principle. First, we see clearly the obstacle to the introduction of machinery in agriculture: the abysmal degradation of the small farmer, who is ready to “leave out of account” his own toil and who makes manual labour cheaper for the capitalist than machinery. Mr. Bulgakov’s assertions notwithstanding, the facts prove incontestably that under the capitalist system the position of the small peasant in agriculture is in every way analogous to that of the handicraftsman in industry. Mr. Bulgakov’s assertions notwithstanding, we see in agriculture a still further diminution in consumption and a still further intensification of labour employed as methods of competing with large-scale   production. Secondly, in regard to every manner of comparison between t.he remunerativeness of small and large farms, we must once and for all declare as absolutely useless and vulgarly apologetic any conclusion that leaves out of account the following three circumstances: (1) How does the farmer eat, live, and work? (2) How are the cattle kept and worked? (3) How is the land fertilised, and is it exploited in a rational manner? Small-scale farming manages to exist by methods of sheer waste—waste of the farmer’s labour and vital energy, waste of strength and quality of the cattle, and waste of the productive capacities of the land. Consequently, any inquiry that fails to examine these circumstances thoroughly is nothing more nor less than bourgeois sophistry.[7]

It is not surprising, therefore, that the “theory” of the overwork and under-consumption of the small peasants in modern society has been so severely attacked by Messrs. the Critics. In Nachalo (No. 1., p. 10) Mr. Bulgakov “undertook” to give any number of “citations” disproving Kautsky’s assertions.   From the studies of the League for Social and Political Questions,[11] Bäuerliche Zustände (Conditions of the Peasantry), repeats Mr. Bulgakov, “Kautsky, in his attempt to galvanise the corpse [sic!] of the obsolete dogma back to life, selected certain facts showing the depressed condition of peasant farming, which is quite understandable at the present time. Let the reader look for himself; he will find evidence there of a somewhat different character” (II, 282). Let us “look” for ourselves and verify the quotations given by this strict scientist, who, in part, merely repeats Hertz’ quotations (S. 77, Russian translation, p. 183).

“From Eisenach comes evidence of improvements in stock-breeding, in soil fertilisation, evidence of the use of machinery, and in general of progress in agricultural production.... We turn to the article on Eisenach (Bäuerliche Zustände, I. Band). The condition of the owners of less than five hectares (of which there are 887 out of the 1,116 farms in this district) “is, in general, not very favourable” (66). “Insofar as they can work for the big farmers as reapers, day-labourers, etc., their condition is relatively good...” (67). Generally speaking, important technological progress has been made in the past twenty years, but “much is left to be desired, particularly in regard to the smaller farms...” (72). “...the smaller farmers sometimes employ weak cows for field work....” Subsidiary earnings derive from tree felling and carting firewood; the latter “takes the farmers away from agriculture” and leads to “worsened conditions...” (69). “Nor does tree felling provide adequate earnings, in some districts the small landowners [Grundstücksbesitzer] engage in weaving, which is miserably [leidlich] paid. In isolated cases work is obtained at cigar-making at home. Generally speaking, there is a shortage of subsidiary earnings..." (73). And the author, Ökonomie Commissar Dittenberger, concludes with the remark that, in view of their “simple lives” and their “modest requirements”, the peasants are strong and healthy, which “is astonishing, considering the low nutritive value of the food consumed by the poorest class, among whom potatoes are the principal item of fare...” (74).

That is how the “learned” Voroshilovs refute the “obsolete Marxist prejudice that peasant farming is incapable of technological progress”!

In regard to the Kingdom of Saxony, General Secretary Langsdorff says that in whole districts, particularly in the more fertile localities, there is now hardly any difference in intensiveness of cultivation between the large and the small estates”. That is how Kautsky is refuted by the Austrian Voroshilov (Hertz, S. 77, Russian translation, pp. 182-83), followed by the Russian Voroshilov (Bulgakov, II, 282, referring to Bäuerliche Zustände, II, 222). We turn to page 222 of the book from which the Critics cite, and following the words quoted by Hertz we read: “The difference is more marked in the hilly districts, where the bigger estates operate with a relatively large working capital. But here, too, very frequently, the peasant farms realise a no lesser net profit than do the large farms, since the smaller income is compensated by greater frugality, which at the prevailing very low level of requirements [bei der vorhandenen grossen Bedürfnisslosigkeit] is carried to such lengths that the condition of the peasant is very often worse than that of the industrial worker, who has become accustomed to greater requirements” (Bäuerliche Zustände, II, 222). We read further that the prevailing system of land cultivation is crop rotation, which has become the predominant system among the middle farmers, while “the three-field system is met with almost exclusively among the small peasant-owned estates”. In regard to stock-breeding, progress is also observed everywhere. “Only in regard to the raising of horned cattle and the utilisation of dairy products does the peasant usually lag behind the big land lord” (223).

“Professor Ranke,” continues Mr. Bulgakov, “testifies to the technological advance in peasant farming in the environs of Munich, which, he says, is typical for the whole of Upper Bavaria.” We turn to Ranke’s article: Three Grossbauer communities farming with the aid of hired labourers— 69 peasants out of 119 hold more than 20 hectares each, comprising three-fourths of the land. Moreover, 38 of these “peasants” hold more than 40 hectares each, with an average of 59 hectares each; between them they hold nearly 60 per cent of the entire land....

We think this should suffice to reveal the manner in which Messrs. Bulgakov and Hertz “quote”.



[1] The Competitive Capacity of Small-Scale Production in Agriculture—Thiel’s Agricultural Yearbooks, 1899, Issue 3-4.—Ed.

[2] a=where the value of the labour-power of the farmer and his family is not expressed in terms of money; b=if it is so expressed. —Lenin

[3] These are grown only on two out of the four farms in this category; in the large and medium categories, three out of four grow peas. —Lenin

[4] It should be noted that a similarly false equation of obviously unequal quantities in small- and large-scale farming is to be found, not only in separate monographs, but in the great bulk of contemporary agrarian statistics. Both French and German statistics deal with “average” live weight and “average” price per head of cattle in all categories of farms. German statistics go so far in this method as to define the gross value of the whole of the cattle in various categories of farms (classified according to area). At the same time, however, the reservation is made that the presumed equal value per head of cattle in different categories of farms “does not correspond to the reality” (S. 35). —Lenin

[5] Concentrated feed.—Ed.

[6] It is interesting to note, for example, that the income from the sale of milk and butter on the large farms amounts to seven marks per morgen, on the medium farms three marks, and on the small farms seven marks. The point is, however, that the small peasants consume “very little butter and whole milk ... while the inhabitants of small farm IV [on which the consumption of products produced on the farm amounts to only 97 marks per head] do not consume these items at all” (450). Let the reader compare this fact (which, by the way, has long been known to all except the “Critics”) with Hertz’ grand reasoning (S. 113, Russian translation, p. 270): “But does the peasant get nothing for his milk?” “Who, in the end, eats the [milk-fed!] pig? Not the peasant?” These utterances should be recalled more often as an unexcelled example of the most vulgar embellishment of poverty. —Lenin

[7] Leo Huschke, in his work, Landwirtschaftliche Reinertrags-Berechnungen bei Klein-, Mittel- und Grossbetrieb dargelegt an typischen Beispielen Mittelthüringens [Assessment of Net Incomes of Small, Medium, and Large Farms, Based on Typical Examples from Middle Thuringia.—Ed.] (Gustav Fischer, Jena, 1902), justly points out that “it is possible by merely reducing the assessment” of the small farmer’s labour-power to obtain a computation that will prove his superiority over the middle and the big farmer, and his ability to compete with them (S. 126). Unfortunately, the author did not carry his idea to its logical conclusion, and therefore did not present systematic data showing the manner in which the cattle were kept, the method of fertilising the soil, and the cost of maintaining the farmer’s household in the various categories of farms. We hope to return to Herr Huschke’s interesting work. For the moment we shall merely note his reference to the fact that small-scale farming fetches lower prices for its products than large-scale farming (S. 146, 155), and his conclusion that: “The small and medium farms strove to overcome the crisis which set in after 1892 (the fall in the prices of agricultural produce) by cutting down cash expenditure as much as possible, while the large farms met the crisis through increasing their yields by means of increased expenditure on their farms” (S. 144). Expenditure on seeds, fodder, and fertilisers in the period from 1887-91 to 893-97 was reduced on the small and medium farms, and increased on the large farms. On the small farms, this expenditure amounted to seventeen marks per hectare, and on the large farms to. forty-four marks. (Author’s note to the 1908 edition—Ed.) —Lenin

[8] Ruth—in the biblical legend Ruth gleaned ears of corn in an alien field. The expression “Ruth’s gleaning” is here used in the sense of easy, carefree labour.

[9] The younger brother, i.e., the people— a patronising expression used in liberal literature in tsarist times.

[10] In this Suzdal fashion—in a primitive superficial fashion. The expression originates from the fact that before the Revolution, crude, gaudily painted, and cheap icons were made in Suzdal Uyezd.

[11] The League for Social and Political Questions (Verein für Sozialpolitik)–an association of German bourgeois economists, founded in 1872. The purpose of the association was to counteract the influence of Social-Democracy among the working class and to subordinate the working-class movement to the interests of the bourgeoisie.

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