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#14527423
Hey guys

I'm currently in the process of writing an essay on stalinism and marxism, and I would appreciate a bit of help-

Was Marx in favour of collective farming/collectivisation?

If anyone has any ideas on this, or even better, quotes of Marx to suggest that he would or wouldn't have supported the collective farming, I would be most appreciative.

Thank you
#14527425
You should probably try and do your own homework, your university should have database subscriptions you can peruse for articles on the subject. A librarian can help you access them.
#14527497
[youtube]EMzq6OklulY[/youtube]

It is clear that Marx supported the small peasants’ struggle for the distribution of large feudal properties, while he always rejected the support of small property in opposition to large capitalist property and gave priority to collective production, wherever he believed that it could be established in place of individual production. Collective ownership was to be supported against small private ownership.

The Communist League of Germany’s programme of 1848 stated:

The royal and other feudal estates, all mines, pits, etc, shall be transformed into state property. On these estates agriculture is to be conducted on a large scale and with the most modem scientific means for the benefit of all society. [8]

The Address of the Central Council to the Communist League of Germany, written by Marx in 1850, warned the German comrades against allowing the landed estates to be handed over to the peasants as had been done in the French revolution:

The first point on which the bourgeois democrats will come into conflict with the workers will be the abolition of feudalism. As in the first French Revolution, the petty bourgeois will give the feudal lands to the peasants as free property. That is to say, try to leave the rural proletariat in existence and form a petty bourgeois peasant class which will go through the same cycle of impoverishment and indebtedness which the French peasant is now going through.

The workers must oppose this plan in the interests of the rural proletariat and in their own interests. They must demand that the confiscated feudal property remains state property and be converted into labour colonies cultivated by the associated rural proletariat with all the advantages of large-scale agriculture through which the principle of common property immediately obtains a firm basis in the midst of the tottering bourgeois property relations. [9]

The same idea reappeared in 1869 in the resolution of the Basle Congress of the International Workingmen’s Association on agrarian policy. It called upon the agricultural workers to form a “labourers’ union” which would take possession of state, church, and large estate lands. [10]

Again Engels, in a letter to Bebel on 11 December, 1884, wrote:

The demand should be made that the great demesnes which are not yet broken up should be let out to co-operative societies of agricultural labourers for joint farming. [11]

Thus, while Marx and Engels supported bourgeois peasant property in the struggle against feudalism, they argued that in the socialist revolution, distribution of the large estates among private owners should be opposed, and instead these estates should be transformed into co-operatively run large farms.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/cliff/works/1964/xx/collect1.htm
#14527717
ThirdTerm wrote:[youtube]EMzq6OklulY[/youtube]

It is clear that Marx supported the small peasants’ struggle for the distribution of large feudal properties, while he always rejected the support of small property in opposition to large capitalist property and gave priority to collective production, wherever he believed that it could be established in place of individual production. Collective ownership was to be supported against small private ownership.

The Communist League of Germany’s programme of 1848 stated:

The royal and other feudal estates, all mines, pits, etc, shall be transformed into state property. On these estates agriculture is to be conducted on a large scale and with the most modem scientific means for the benefit of all society. [8]

The Address of the Central Council to the Communist League of Germany, written by Marx in 1850, warned the German comrades against allowing the landed estates to be handed over to the peasants as had been done in the French revolution:

The first point on which the bourgeois democrats will come into conflict with the workers will be the abolition of feudalism. As in the first French Revolution, the petty bourgeois will give the feudal lands to the peasants as free property. That is to say, try to leave the rural proletariat in existence and form a petty bourgeois peasant class which will go through the same cycle of impoverishment and indebtedness which the French peasant is now going through.

The workers must oppose this plan in the interests of the rural proletariat and in their own interests. They must demand that the confiscated feudal property remains state property and be converted into labour colonies cultivated by the associated rural proletariat with all the advantages of large-scale agriculture through which the principle of common property immediately obtains a firm basis in the midst of the tottering bourgeois property relations. [9]

The same idea reappeared in 1869 in the resolution of the Basle Congress of the International Workingmen’s Association on agrarian policy. It called upon the agricultural workers to form a “labourers’ union” which would take possession of state, church, and large estate lands. [10]

Again Engels, in a letter to Bebel on 11 December, 1884, wrote:

The demand should be made that the great demesnes which are not yet broken up should be let out to co-operative societies of agricultural labourers for joint farming. [11]

Thus, while Marx and Engels supported bourgeois peasant property in the struggle against feudalism, they argued that in the socialist revolution, distribution of the large estates among private owners should be opposed, and instead these estates should be transformed into co-operatively run large farms.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/cliff/works/1964/xx/collect1.htm



Excellent! That was all really useful

Thanks for your help and time.

And a particular thank you for the sources.
#14527772
The critical point is the idea that these agricultural lands should be owned and managed by collectives of rural proletariat. This is not the same thing at all as their being owned and managed by the state.

What would Marx's view be on the proper size of these collectives, and how independent should they be allowed to be? If your collective is supposed to be running something, then should it not be actually be running it?
#14527872
quetzalcoatl wrote:What would Marx's view be on the proper size of these collectives, and how independent should they be allowed to be?

If I wanted to run a farm that would be the very last thing I would worry about. Marx wasn't a farmer. The thing is collective farms never work unless you have a very strong ideology, like Zionism or some new-age guru, that convinces the members to sacrifice their material well being for an ideology.
#14528022
Prudentially, there must be a critical mass of willing participants in any economic system. The neoliberal paradigm works in the US, to the extent that it does work, based on its intersection with cultural factors (such as the New Albion tenets of self-reliance). It works much less well in societies with a strong resistance to this worldview.

Some aspects of Communism have been historically demonstrated to work. The best known are the worker run collectives of the CNT in Catalonia:

In Spain during almost three years, despite a civil war that took a million lives, despite the opposition of the political parties (republicans, left and right Catalan separatists, socialists, Communists, Basque and Valencian regionalists, petty bourgeoisie, etc.), this idea of libertarian communism was put into effect. Very quickly more than 60% of the land was collectively cultivated by the peasants themselves, without landlords, without bosses, and without instituting capitalist competition to spur production. In almost all the industries, factories, mills, workshops, transportation services, public services, and utilities, the rank and file workers, their revolutionary committees, and their syndicates reorganized and administered production, distribution, and public services without capitalists, high salaried managers, or the authority of the state.

Even more: the various agrarian and industrial collectives immediately instituted economic equality in accordance with the essential principle of communism, 'From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.' They coordinated their efforts through free association in whole regions, created new wealth, increased production (especially in agriculture), built more schools, and bettered public services. They instituted not bourgeois formal democracy but genuine grass roots functional libertarian democracy, where each individual participated directly in the revolutionary reorganization of social life.


One criticism of the Soviet model is that worker collectives were shells - the did not actually organize, direct, or run anything. I'm interested in hearing the responses of committed Communists. Are these legitimate criticisms? Is the libertarian-anarchist model of CNT replicable, and what are the actual legitimate functions of workers' collectives? (I'm somewhat hijacking this thread, but the questions should also be applicable to collective farms)
#14533983
Legitimate concerns, but the soviet model certainly wasn't based upon a worker collective being a, "shell."

"Soviet" literally means worker's committee.

The way it was structured had similarities to the collectives you describe.

But the soviets were invaded by the Germans, French, Americans, British, and Japanese. At the same time, they encouraged and armed the White Armies to rise up and destroy the soviet state.

The Soviets, the vast majority of the population, held off the rest of the world but things had to be tightened up in doing so. While the dust was clearing, Lenin died and things changed in a way he didn't like. Collectivization under Stalin was far different than the original conceptions of NEPs and electrification based incentives.

This being said, nobody thought it was the greatest possible system. It was what they had to work with.
#14643075
Marx was in favour of collectivizing the peasants. Proof? Read the Communist Manifesto which called for nationalization of all industries including land. Stalin applied them. Mao applied them. Fidel Castro applied them with complete success. Look at the life expectancy in Cuba nowadays. 81 years old.

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