Re: [OPE-L] High on Marx's Theory of Rent?

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Tue Feb 07 2006 - 12:34:00 EST

> Do the landless impoverished peasants continue to produce soy for
> the world market or can they only survive by subsistence rathern
> than export based farming?

Hi again Paul C,

Good question.  I guess soy was a bad example. So, I'll pick
two more examples of agricultural products which are produced
for local consumption and export by both capitalist enterprises,
poor landowning peasants, and landless peasants:

-- marijuana

-- coca

You might object and say these are special commodities.  So
they are, but the market for these agricultural products has
an impact on what agricultural producers produce and whether
they continue to produce agricultural products and/or own land
at all.  I.e. these are substitute goods which can be produced
with the same land and labor.  Indeed, in the case of marijuana,
it can be successfully cultivated on even more marginal land
than that required for soy cultivation.  Recall that a popular name
for marijuana is "weed".

No one would say that the price of marijuana or coca is
determined by the conditions of production of the least
efficient marijuana or coca producers, would they?  Even assuming
that marijuana was legalized (as is the case in the more enlightened
nation of the Netherlands) there is no reason to assert that the
costs of production of  the least efficient marijuana producers
would govern the price of marijuana on world markets, is

OK, you don't like the examples of marijuana or coca. How
about a legalized drug -- coffee?  Coffee is both locally consumed
and exported.  I think it would be absurd to claim that the
conditions for the landless peasant who is the least efficient producer
of coffee governs the price of coffee on world markets.

In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Feb 08 2006 - 00:00:01 EST