Marx-Engels Correspondence 1880
Source: Marx Engels On Britain, Progress Publishers 1953;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.
As to the agricultural crisis, it will gather strength, develop itself, and, by the bye, come to a head, carrying with it quite a revolution in the relations of landed property, — quite independent of the cycles of the commercial-industrial crises. Even such optimists as Mr. Caird have commenced “to smell a rat.” Most characteristic of English blockheadedness is this: since two years there have been published letters of farmers — in the Times — as well as in agricultural papers — giving the items of their expenses in cultivating their farms, comparing them with their returns at present prices, and winding up with a positive deficit. Would you believe that not one of the specialists — expatiating upon these accounts — has thought of considering how these accounts would stand if the item of rent was struck out in many cases or reduced “most feelingly” in many other cases? But this is a delicate point which must not be touched. The farmers themselves, though become unbelievers in the nostrums proposed by their landlords or the “plumitifs” of the latter, dare not yet assume attitudes of bold virility, considering that they, on their part, are denounced by the rustic “labouring class.” A nice pickle it is altogether.