Friday, August 08, 2008

On the peasant "family labor farm," however there are no wages, only hours of labor expanded. the family uses its labor power to cultivate the soil and receives as the result of a year's work a certain amount of good," something very different from a wage....

Peasants seek subsistence, rather than accumulation. Chayanov builds his model "on the concept of the peasant farm as a family labor farm in which the family, as a result of its year's labor, receives a single labor income and weighs its efforts against the material results obtained." ...

...the work motivation of the peasant is not entrepreneurial. Rather it operates the same as the "piece-rate" system, where the artisan would be paid for each unit produced, not by the hour. This allows the peasant "alone to determine the time and intensity of his work."

From Third Ways by Allan Carlson.

The material above in quotes comes from Alexander Chayanov a Russian economist, who "though no Bolshevik, he was an active participant in the Russian Revolution of 1917". He was for a time Deputy Minister of Agriculture in the Soviet Union in the 1920's. However he fell out of favor with Joseph Stalin over his peasant economic theories, was arrested in 1929, sent to a gulag, and died there in 1939.

The previous chapter in this book was on the history of the family wage, arguing the dramatic demise occurred circa 1970 (although it had its beginnings earlier.) Unfortunately I can't go back now an re-read this chapter just for blogging purposes. You'll have to get the book and do it yourself.


On the home front: tomorrow I am going to attempt to replace the electric fuel pump on my 1987 Chevy S10 pickup. Even though I have to remove the gas tank to do it, I am told it is not too bad of a job. Maybe for some....

Oremus pro invicem!

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