Rectification of names
Usury is a term that tends to be bandied about by politicians and ideologues of all stripes, though it has markedly declined in usage after Jewry gained power post-WWII, because, for better or worse, "usurer" has come to be a synonym for "Jew." When I claimed that "Reserve banking system" is worse than usury on Jim’s blog, it caused an interesting discussion that revealed to me that we were not actually using the same concepts when we mentioned "usury." The following is my understanding of the term and related concepts. I will attempt to derive the relationships from first concepts. In this way I will also achieve clarity in my mind.
Land: the original Capital
If Ram holds a piece of land, he is entitled to anything he may grow on it, and is entitled to the gains made by selling such produce. These gains account for three components, each essential to production, viz:
- Resources used, such as seeds, tools, fertiliser, etc.
- Effort spent on tilling, sowing, watering, fertilising, and harvesting
- Land itself.
The first of these is easy to account for, as resources have to be acquired for cost. The second and third are harder. What’s to separate the intrinsic value of land itself from the labour of tilling it? As obviously as no crop can be produced without land, equally no crop can be produced without the effort of tilling it. This question becomes moot if Ram owns the land and tills it himself.
Farming: much more than tilling
There are a lot of crucial decisions to be made about farming, starting from which seeds to sow and when, when and how to irrigate, when and how to apply which pesticides/insecticides/weedicides, best method to ensure high yield, most efficient harvesting techniques, etc. Ram is a good farmer, and he assiduously studies the conditions of his farm, weather patterns, and accounts for uncertainty in product and sale. Over time, he is blessed with high yields and a surplus income. He invests his surplus into increasing yields of his farm by using the most modern tools and capital-intensive farming, that greatly amplifies his yields still. Ultimately he builds a large surplus.
On the other hand are other farmers Shyam, Mohan, and Rajesh. They work hard, but they don’t grasp the nuances of farming quite as well, and as a result live on subsistence-level yields for long periods. When crisis strikes, whether flood or disease, they teeter on the brink of starvation. Farming is clearly not the right vocation for them. They go to Ram, and request him for guidance on how to farm so that they may also get high yields. Ram knows that one technique isn’t enough, and land must be managed and improved continuously. So Ram asks them for control over the entire land, to be used and disposed as he alone sees fit, and the others to become tenants, working as directed by Ram. In this way, Ram’s efficient farming now spreads to four times the earlier area, and the total yields are now much, much higher than before. The tenants receive their share of the yield, which is much more than they could grow by themselves, while Ram receives the remainder.
The shares of Shyam, Mohan and Rajesh are dubbed wages while the share of Ram, is rent. Ram thus becomes the first zamindar, or landlord. The system as described is efficient, fair, and moral.
AgriMarxists posit that Ram is, of course, an evil
kulak zamindar who deserves death (or at least dispossession) and land should be distributed to the tillers. This fails to take into account that Ram’s superior land-holdings are a result of his superior farming ability; Shyam, Mohan, and Rajesh also earn more in wages than they would by themselves; and that total food supply is greatly increased by Ram’s most efficient management of the whole land. Unfortunately, this obvious truth is invisible to our Marxist overlords and their incompetent clients who currently pose as "farmers." Actually it is not invisible at all, but pretending otherwise is essential for their politics of weaponised envy. This is also why AgriMarxism inevitably results in famine, whether in USSR or Cambodia.
India is somewhat unique because AgriMarxism (under the Orwellian term "land-reform"), while started in earnest by Nehru in 1947 (with the resultant food shortages), was halted by Lal Bahadur Shastri, a gem of a man, by 1964. The latter also emphasised the use of modern technological agriculture, and brought M.S. Swaminathan’s Green Revolution back home. These measures halted destruction and have served India well till now, but the fundamental AgriMarxist problem remains: land remains trapped in inefficient production, the "landowners" become more and more impoverished, while efficient farmers are prevented from increasing their landholdings or obtaining capital to bring more overall production. Village economy is completely destroyed as a result. The "self-sufficient village" of Gandhian dreams has become a nightmare dependent upon Govt dole for existence, and the largest vote-bank in the country. Which is par for the course of any "democracy."