Land Reform or Red Revolution

Economic Surplus and the Dynamics of Political Violence

Fred Harrison

[1980 / Part 2]


NINETEENTH century agrarian socialists advocated that land -- but not the capital created by identifiable individuals -- should be distributed equally among all, so that any ensuing inequalities of income would be a function of differences in the toil of labourers rather than as a result of the control over natural resources. Attempts had been made to apply the agrarian principle to modern societies, but "The secret of achieving it in practice has not been found," according to Bertrand de Jouvenel in a lecture delivered at the University of Oxford in 1949.[67] The "secret" of how to accomplish this ideal had in fact been energetically promoted by Henry George in the 188Os; he took his solution from San Francisco to New York, across the ocean to London, up to Scotland and down to Australia.

George knew that crude schemes to redistribute land could not work,[68] and he proposed a fiscal solution: a tax on the value of all land.[69] Present owners need not be dispossessed: they could continue to possess the land so long as they paid the tax, which was levied on the annual rental value which is determined by the market. The virtues of a charge on the economic surplus (rent), in relation to our present problem, can be summarised as follows:

  1. Data on the quality of land is generally poor or non-existent. This creates an obvious difficulty for the proposal to physically allocate land: how can two peasants be treated equitably if the tracts assigned to them were not comparable in terms of their income-generating potential? And how can those charged with assigning land know, accurately, the quality and quantity of land available for an equitable distribution? Countries like Brazil have terrain ranging from lush grasslands to Amazon forests and arid deserts, a mixture which poses problems when it comes to deciding who should have what. The land value approach, however, avoids this problem. It levies a charge on the value of the land, which is determined by fertility, location and the demand arising for the products and services of the land. Everyone associated with the agricultural sector benefits through the public expenditure financed by taxes on land values and from a more prosperous agriculture. All this is achieved, then, through the mechanism of redistributing values, not land per se.
  2. Variations in the man:land ratio do not present an obstacle. A market free of monopolistic encumbrances, in conjunction with the enterprise of the land users, would determine the optimum sizes of farms and the number of people employed upon them. A charge on land values forces possessors to make optimum use of the land; failure to do so results in their inability to meet their fiscal obligations, and so compels them to relinquish holdings to more competent farmers. This encourages the division of inefficiently farmed latifundia. in Latin America, and encourages the amalgamation (rather than further fragmentation) of farms in Asia.
  3. The process outlined in (2) pressurises the rural sector towards efficient commercialisation of farms. One consequence of this modernisation process would be the displacement of landworkers who were, in productivity terms -- redundant. This would create an even larger pool of "landless" workers, a serious effect only if they could not be absorbed in the urban-industrial sector. But land-value taxation accelerates the general rate of economic growth:

    • By placing the fiscal burden on land values -- which cannot be passed onto consumers through higher prices -- taxes can be reduced on wages and on the interest received on capital. This would expand the domestic consumer market, which is a crucial limitation on the development of industry in Third World countries; and encourages fresh fixed capital formation -- all of which amounts to a rise in living standards and the creation of new jobs.
    • Land-value taxation removes the deleterious effects of speculation. The growth of industrial economies has been seriously hindered by the shortage of funds which have been attracted into land speculation. The dislocations arising from speculation have been serious: land in desirable locations has been held idle by owners in the confident expectation of higher capital values in the future; this has pushed up the rents of land in use, forced the sub-optimum use of land arising from urban sprawl, and generated higher costs (such as in transportation). A 1OO per cent tax on land values smites the dead hand of the speculator and removes these obstacles to development.
    • One of the major problems to industrialisation in Third World countries is the inadequate infrastructural services -- roads, water, power, and so on. These "lumpy" capital investments have been undertaken by the public sector, because they often prove to be unattractive to private investors; returns tend to be low and spread over a very long period. Rent is an attractive source of revenue for such investments.[70] The land tax is suitable for financing such developments, for, unlike taxes on wages and interest, it complements -- rather than deters -- capital formation in the private sector.
    • Social justice is an integral part of a cohesive socio-political system. Without it, the economic side of life suffers. We have seen how latent discontent can explode into revolutionary turmoil. Land-value taxation is an instrument for justice as well as economic progress. It shares out, through the exchequer, the value created not by individual effort but by the presence and activities of the whole community. The highest values are concentrated in the urban centres; through land-value taxation, these can be enjoyed by farmhands on the poorest of soil on the margins of the economy. The mineral wealth in far-flung places can be shared by the small entrepreneurs and workers in the urban connurbations. As economic growth accelerates, so land values rise: everyone shares in the spoils. As children are born, so they stake their claims to the resources of nature irrespective of whether their parents work as office clerks or possess 10,000-acre farms.

The implications of all this for uniting class-divided societies into symbiotic systems are patently clear. But it may be objected that, given the rich variety of traditional land tenure systems which have been developed to equip human societies to deal with specific local conditions, it is wrong to propose just one alternative model. Most of these systems, however, have already been destroyed during the colonial era. Nonetheless, it is true that there are indigenous societies which, left alone, would prefer to continue to exist according to tribal customs. Most societies, however, have consciously adopted a programme of modernisation, wishing to be integrated into the world economy. The land-tax model is without exception suitable for these societies. In advocating it, I do not deny the right of surviving tribal systems -- the sort still found deep in the heart of Latin America and in Oceania -- to continue outside the cash economy, free from market influence if this is their choice.

But the failure to incorporate land-value taxation into the initial agrarian reforms of developing Third World countries can have serious developmental consequences. A crude programme based solely on the physical re-allocation of land creates self-centred acquisitiveness among the new landowners who consequently join the reactionary class which opposes social justice and the economic growth generated by the implementation of land-value taxation.

In Bolivia, for example, immediately after the revolution in 1952, over 324,OOO peasants received nearly one million hectares of land which they had formerly worked in exchange for unpaid labour. In 1968 the Government decided that a land tax would be a good idea: the peasants, however, thought otherwise. They succeeded in thwarting the plan.[71] As new landowners with a vested interest, they rejected the idea of sharing with others the surplus production (rent) over and above the returns to their labour and capital. They had joined the privileged class and insisted on exercising monopoly power without recognition of any social obligations arising from their control over land.


BY using economic theory to analyse the problems associated with the distribution of the economic rent of land, we have deepened our understanding of the political processes, including the conditions which lead to the resort to violence. Some conclusions can now be reached which should enlighten policy formation.

Industrial economies have been able to maintain relative stability and avoid revolutionary ruptures. Nevertheless, it is now apparent to all that a heavy and growing price has had to be paid. For in order to finance the economic and social welfare programmes necessary to maintain relative harmony, the public sector of the western economies "has had to be enlarged in a seemingly inexorable process. Even Marx, who was fond of perceiving historical inevitabilities, noted this tendency:

"Modern fiscality, whose pivot is formed by taxes on the necessary means of subsistence (thereby increasing their price), thus contains within itself the germ of automatic progression. Over-taxation is not an incident, but rather a principle."[72]

From the public debts incurred in the UK in the early 1800s, there has indeed developed this "automatic progression." Both debasement of the currency (which is a concealed form of taxation operating through rising prices) and increased public borrowing have been necessary to re-finance state spending. Marx, on the basis of this observation, ought to have drawn the logical conclusion in terms of the potential resilence of the industrial system. For, provided technological developments continued to offset, in part at least, the impact of the increasing tax burden, there was no reason why the proletariat -- as a class -- should take to the barricades.[73]

Yet Marx may have the proverbial last laugh. The demands of pressure groups, representing those in need, which succeed in penetrating the defences of the state system (through, for example, public demonstrations or direct access to the influential decision-makers in the corridors of power) have to be met by extra enabling laws, bureaucratic machinery and the kind of centralised power which is necessary for the system to balance conflicting demands in a reasonably efficient way. As a result, the character of society is inexorably changing in a direction at variance with that envisaged by 19th century liberals who proposed the initial state-financed schemes for humanitarian reasons. Individual freedom and self-esteem are necessarily eroded when people apply for a share in someone else's wealth, as monitored by state agencies.[74]

In addition, the structural development of the economy itself can leave us in no doubt that the system is heading towards the centralised control of the means of production eulogised by Marx and Engels in The Communist Manifesto. Weak firms and industries seek state protection against foreign competitors and even cash subsidies to fill the balance sheet hiatus created by their own inefficiences or by cyclical depressions not of their making. So the public grows increasingly infatuated with a philosophy which requires centralized political solutions to their every problem, thereby necessitating the creation of extra layers of bureaucracy, inflexibility in the system and a narrowing of individual liberties. And the cyclical crises which disrupt progress of trade has led to a consensus view that the economy has to be "managed" (a term familiar to socialist economists as "central planning") and jobs and firms absorbed into the public sector.[75]

Those who defend the direction of change in capitalist society do so sincerely on the grounds that many people are receiving a better standard of health, housing and education than would have been the case without the institutional modifications to 19th century capitalist society. In general, this cannot be controverted. But the defence is a superficial one. It assumes that there is no alternative model available, one which would match or improve upon - these distributive gains by the masses while enlarging individual liberty at the same time.


WE have seen that equal rights to land, not capital, are the crucial factor in determining social harmony and the general level of income for the majority of people. Thus, property rights is at the centre of the issue of policy-formation.

The world is polarized into two great blocs. The West, dominated by the USA, fails to perceive the economic and ethical distinctions between the private ownership of land and capital. The East is suffused with the Marxist ideology that the means of production -- land and capital -- should be collectively owned.* This crude conceptual division arises from, on the one hand, greed (the West), and on the other, an unsophisticated reaction to that greed and its consequences. The policies arising from these two extreme positions are, I contend, in the end doomed to failure.

Washington, for example, seeks to maintain stability in the global regions under its influence by "buying peace": namely, by the transfer of wealth created on the North American continent to those who will bolster an ideological system compatible with Western values. This foreign "aid" takes the form of military equipment (to reinforce the power of the controlling elites), cash, equipment and technical know-how to shape the economy in the favoured direction. This policy may defer change, by temporarily suppressing discontent, but it has demonstrably failed to stop the dominoes falling in Asia and Africa. Ultimately, by side-stepping the need for qualitative reforms, the scale of the problems (and the ensuing reactions) are magnified into violent reaction which the West has failed to contain to its advantage.

Of equal importance is the impact of US foreign policy on its own destiny. Foreign aid has to be financed through increased taxes, which diminish domestic consumption (and therefore economic growth) and deter fresh capital formation. All of this contributes towards the cyclical bouts of unemployment which cause the discontent which finds violent expression in crimes by individuals and riots by groups.

Even the size and growth of the US armaments industry has a destabilizing effect. On the face of it, the manufacturers of weapons provide people with jobs, and therefore incomes with which to buy goods, but this is dangerous reasoning for at least two reasons.

First, the goods produced by this large group of workers cannot be sold on the domestic market. To that extent, a significant proportion of national income is earned out of producing goods which are not fed back through the supply side of the system. As a result, the aggregate demand is larger than the supply of products. This threatens to increase prices for goods except insofar as the government sucks out of the system an equivalent amount in taxation in order to maintain equilibrium between supply and demand. Either way, discontent is artificially created. People resent rising prices, and are encouraged to lodge pay claims unmatched by increasing productivity. Equally, they object to paying taxes -- a psychological cost to the system.

The second problem impinges directly on world peace. To maintain full employment in the economy, the armaments industry has to be supplied with fresh orders, which means that new users for the weapons of death have to be found a process of escalating friction between wary neighbours which can only generate the number and scale of conflicts (thereby apparently justifying the manufacture and sale of an increasing volume of arms technology). The implications for the quality of life of people in the Third World have been dramatised by Ruth Leger Sivard,[77] At the beginning of 1979 -- the International Year of the Child -- the average family paid more in taxes to support the world arms race than to educate its children. Only one government in three spent as much on health services as on defence, and developing nations spent more on their armed forces than on education and health combined! There is now one soldier for every 25O inhabitants in the Third World, compared with one doctor for 3,700. And despite food shortages, developing countries spend five times as much foreign exchange on imported arms as on agricultural machinery.

If the Washington-led axis is reactionary, however, Moscow and Peking ill-serve mankind by advocating a system which over-simplifies the ideological alternatives. While there are obvious differences in the detail of the Russian and Chinese models (the former is an industrial society, while the latter is still predominantly composed of peasants working on the land), the main thrust -- the centralisation of political power at the expense of individual liberty -- is unambiguous.

Yet there are several reasons for believing that, ultimately, there will be a shift away from the Marxist model. There are limitations to the efficiency of the bureaucratic method of controlling a complex industrial economy, and the system itself -- if it is not to break down -- will force a loosening of the constraints. In addition, the creative spirit of man requires for its full expression the conditions of individual freedom: this freedom can be curtailed for a determinate time, but cannot be snuffed out altogether.

Russia violently repressed the changes in Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968), but the internal pressure for reform is still at work. Poland has a large agricultural sector successfully operating on the basis of the individual rather than the collectivised farm. Hungary, in the late 1970s, developed a profit-and-risk taking ethos which was justified on the basis of its compatibility with the socialist system.[78] How long these experiments will be allowed to continue highlighting the shortcomings of the socialist mode of production remains to be seen.[79]

Eventually, however, there will be practical concessions by the Marxist-Leninists which will significantly alter the way in which the Eastern bloc evolves. The detail of how this internal change might manifest itself cannot be elaborated upon here. We can be confident, however, that people reject the extreme forms of collective ownership and behaviour. There are a variety of signals indicating a stepping back from extreme left-wing forms of social organisation. The peasants, dissatisfied with their economic condition, appear to be in the vanguard of protest. Even in Peking, for example, where the doctrinal roots of Mao Tse-tung had sunk deeply, several hundred peasants participated in an unprecedented banner-waving protest demanding "Down with starvation; down with oppression; we want democracy."[80] The Chinese detente with the USA in 1979 appears to signify an important shift in the ideological orientation of post-Mao China. How far this will develop in the future will depend on the outcome of the power struggle within the Chinese leadership (for an analysis of the factions straining for supremacy in Peking, see the report by Victor Zorza[81]). In any event, there emerged in 1973, a more realistic awareness of the shortcomings of the Chinese model.[82] After thirty years of socialism, a speaker told a meeting of the Communist Party's committee in Amhwei province: "Many people in the rural areas still do not have enough to eat and are poorly clothed."[83]

The fall of Pol Pot's communist regime in Cambodia demonstrates that communist societies are not immune from the crucial role played by land tenure in the dynamics of society. Cambodia fell to communist forces (the Khmer Rouge) in 1975, and the state was renamed Kampuchea. The new leaders emptied the cities of "unproductive" people, and so began a massive programme aimed at forcibly resettling the town dwellers in the countryside.[84] They were organised into agricultural cooperatives. The human suffering and economic dislocation generated by this "Revolution" resulted in internal opposition. Anti-government guerrillas, supported by Vietnam, succeeded in waging a war which resulted, in January 1979, in the collapse of the Pol Pot government and the creation of a new power structure committed to a reversal of the previous regime's agricultural policy.


TOWARDS the ideal system Henry George's model of the ideal society has yet to be found theoretically defective. It offers the best set of conditions for an economically prosperous and politically free society. It rests on the fact that people are most productive when their latent energies are freed, and when they know that they can enjoy the fruits of their labours.

George's vision of the desirable society incorporated an ethical dimension: that nature was "given", and ought to belong to the whole community. He derived his ethical convictions from a profound belief in Christianity. But the model of a society based on land value taxation commends itself on purely economic and political criteria, as the most efficient of all available systems.

Without a lasting solution to the land issue, there can be no long-run stability in the industrialised economies. And we have seen that, in the Third World, political conflicts over the possession of land, and starvation among untold numbers of people, can be resolved only by instituting the right land reform.

The emphasis we place on the logic of the reform would presumably not now be contested by the Shah of Iran. In the early 1960s the Shah used his power to force through land reform, guided by an awareness of the fate which had befallen one of his predecessors, the "vacillating Ahmad Shah", who in 1923 had "departed for an indefinite stay in Europe". The Shah implied in his autobiography, that this could never happen to him, for he had observed the dictum of an earlier king that "there can be no power without an army, no army without money, no money without agriculture, and no agriculture without justice".

But the agricultural system which the Shah favoured was land monopoly. The benefits of that monopoly were shared out among a larger number of people (by the mid-1960s over 500,000 acres had been divided among 25,000 farmers), but there was no bridge between those who acquired land, and the rest -- the landless peasants and urban workers - who could not possibly have been allocated tracts for their personal use. The distribution of land in the 1960s was over-shadowed by a rise in unemployment in both the rural and urban sectors; and whereas in every other Third World country rural unemployment was lower than the urban rate, the reverse was true in the case of Iran.[85]

The oil price boom in the 1970s telescoped the political life of the Shah, for it speeded up the process of raising people's expectations while exposing them to an acute awareness of their economically dependent condition. As Martin Woollacott reported:

"In Mohammed Reza's Iran, however, oil replaced agriculture as the source of wealth, and justice was reduced to a process of handing out benefits which, while not contemptible, was vitiated by manipulation and condescension".[86]

The agricultural base was relatively neglected (Iran had to rely increasingly on imported food), trade unions were suppressed,[87] and conditions were created which encouraged critics of the Shah to flirt with comnmunism.[88] In 1975-76 the Shah spent $l0,405m. (one-quarter of the nation's GNP) on the military, with the result that Iran could not balance its books: subsequent deals were on an arms-for-oil basis.[89] By 1977-78 the value of oil revenue in real terms began to fall, and in the end the black gold beneath the desert was not sufficient to buy the peace desired by the Shah.

Ayatolla Khomeini, the religious leader of Iran's Islamic population, had opposed the form taken by the Shah's land distribution programme, which had been shaped by US influence. The Ayatollah's opposition resulted in his imprisonment between 1962-64, and his departure into exile in Paris, from where he continued his opposition until he proved instrumental in the Shah's downfall and departure into exile in January 1979, a king rejected by the majority of Iranians as the man of anything but justice.

But were the Iranians in for anything better? On February 8, 1979, shortly after Khomeini's triumphant return to Teheran, one of this associates, Nasser Meenachi, announced that the first concern of the new Islamic Government would be land reform; land would be redistributed, ending absentee ownership.[90] Five days later Khomeini's appointees assumed the reigns of power. The Ayatollah's policies, however, were fundamentalist. The Koran banned the use of land as an instrument for exploiting those who tilled the soil, but the religious principles of an earlier economic era need to be administered in a modern context. The tax on land values would have served perfectly. The Ayatollah's wisdom, however, seemed to stop at the idea that more people should quit their modern living conditions in the cities, and their office and factory jobs, and return to work on the land in the countryside.[91]

The call for enlightened land reform will not commend itself to those with power and money to lose: they will resist for as long as they can, using every device to postpone the day when they are forced to recognise the basic rights of all men to share the resources of nature and therefore become citizens with full political rights in civil society.[92] We do not however, have to sit back and wait for the landlord class to be struck as if from heaven by a crisis of conscience. The opportunity exists for all of us to create a favourable climate for change through moral suasion and continuing research and education in an attempt to solve the problem rationally. As Gunnar Myrdal observed:

"And any thorough study of the agricultural problem -- the under-utilization of its labour force and the threat that this will increase still more as a result of the population development and recent trends in agricultural technology --will, of course, uncover again the problem of land reform which has recently been swept under the rug in both developed and under-developed countries."[93]


  1. These are reviewed by P. Lupsha, 'On Theories of Urban Violence', in Murray Steward (editor), The City, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972.
  2. Originally published in 1879: hereafter referred to as PP. In the preface to the 1905 edition (New York: Doubleday, Page & Co.), George's son, Henry George Jnr., conservatively estimated that over 25m. copies had been printed within the first 25 years.
  3. The first-past-the-post method, i.e. a non-proportional system which ensures that the candidate with the numerically largest vote in each constituency is elected, even if he failed to get an absolute majority. Minority parties are thus effectively frozen out of the political process.
  4. See D.O. Sears, Los Angeles Riot Study: Political Attitudes of Los Angeles Negroes, 1967, UCLA Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and D. Boesel and P.H. Rossi, Cities Under Siege, New York: Basic Books, 1971, Chapters 3 and 18.
  5. There were even charges that the Communist Party in France betrayed the rioters and the workers by failing to push the.case for change at the moment when the established political system was most vulnerable.
  6. PP, Bk. Ill, Ch. VI
  7. Fred Harrison, "On Wages", in R.V. Andelson (editor), Critics of Henry George, Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 1979.
  8. Supplementary Benefits Commission Annual Report, 1977, p. 129, Table H.5.
  9. The Guardian, London, 8.12.78.
  10. Charles Issawi, Egypt in Revolution, London: Oxford University Press, 1963, p. 155.
  11. Poverty and Landlessness in Rural Asia, Geneva: ILO, 1977, p.23.
  12. Ibid., p.32; and Keith Griffin, Land Concentration and Rural Poverty, London: Macmillan, 1976.
  13. See, e.g., Jeffery M. Paige, Agrarian Revolution, New York: The Free Press, 1975, p.49, and Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968, p.298.
  14. Op.cit., George goes so far as to argue that land monopoly has the effect of pushing wages down to "the wages of slavery -- just enough to keep the labourer in working condition" (Bk. VII, Ch.II). This may reveal his failure to anticipate the institutional protection accorded to many workers in the industrialized world (to be discussed below), which has raised income above the level which would be accorded to slaves. At the same time this understates the effect of landlordism in the agrarian Third World countries -- witness the many thousands who die annually from malnutrition, for want of work, unable to obtain sufficient income to keep them "in working condition."
  15. Poverty and Landlessness, op. cit., p.25.
  16. A.R. Prest, 'What is Wrong with the UK Tax System', The State of Taxation, London: IEA, 1977, p.4.
  17. Ibid., and Maurice Preston, 'On the Nature and Extent of the Public Sector', Three Banks Review, Sept. 1965.
  18. Ivor F. Pearce, 'Taxing the Dole', in The State of Taxation, p.96.
  19. C.G. Hanson, 'Welfare Before the Welfare State', in The Long Debate on Poverty, London: IEA, 1972, p.117.
  20. James E. ThoroId Rogers, The Economic Interpretation of History, London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1888, p. 181.
  21. If farmers qua owners of capital had to pay part of their interest as wages, it follows that they would sooner or later decide to get higher yields by transferring their capital to other uses.
  22. Jane McLoughlin, '£800m losses predicted for "job" projects', The Guardian, 28.2.79.
  23. NUAAW Press Release, 19.V.78.
  24. 'Poor Families and Fiscal Reform', Lloyds Bank Rev., Oct. 1967.
  25. The theory of violence as a necessary political weapon was developed in Russia and appeared as a systematic device in 1879, according to Feliks Gross, Violence in Politics, The Hague: Mouton, 1972, Ch.2, where he states (p.27): "The autocratic institutions maintaining their power by coercion, even violence, supported by religious orthodoxy, generated a strong response and contributed to the development of centralistic parties and tactics of violence as an effective method of change".
  26. Eric R. Wolf, Peasant Wars of the Twentieth Century, London: Faber & Faber, 1971.
  27. Op. cit., p.291.
  28. Ibid., p.292.
  29. Fred Harrison, 'Marx on Land as the Key to Revolution1, Land & Liberty, Jan.-Feb. 1977. Lenin, writing of Russia, observed: "Obviously, the state authorities, the government itself (even the Tsar's government) will always dance to the tune of these big landowners .... As long as the rural poor fail to unite, and by uniting become a formidable force, the 'state' will always remain the obedient servant of the landlord class." To the Rural Poor (1903) , Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1967, pp. 21-22.
  30. "Was not the cry of land distribution Lenin's chief slogan in Russia, though used with a view to promoting a very different revolution?" wrote Bertrand de Jouvenel, The Ethics of Redistribution, Cambridge: University Press, 1951, p.4.
  31. See, e.g., Paige, op.cit., p.26, and Huntington, op.cit., pp. 298-99.
  32. See his Peasant Rebellion in Latin America, Harmonds-worth: Penguin, 1973, p.61.
  33. Huntington, op.cit., p.388.
  34. Gabriel Baer, A. History of Landownership in Modern Egypt, 1800-1950, London: Oxford University Press, 1962.
  35. Marx had succeeded in conditioning the attitudes of his followers through his own condescending view of the peasant, who lived in what he described as "the idiocy of rural life" (The Communist Manifesto, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967, p.84). Spiritually under-developed, the peasant, when living on small landed property, "creates a class of barbarians standing halfway outside of society" (Capital, Vol. Ill, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962, pp.792-3).
  36. See R. Stavenhagen (editor), Agrarian Problems & Peasant Movements in Latin America, New York, 1970, and Ernest Feder, The Rape of the Peasantry, New York: Anchor Books, 1971, Ch.18.
  37. Rene Dumont and Bernard Rosier, The Hungry Future, London: Andre Deutsch, 1969, p.182.
  38. Op. cit., p.157.
  39. E.J. Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels, Manchester: The University Press, 1959.
  40. Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate, Washington DC, 15.1.68, doc. 86-4O6, p.8; our emphasis.
  41. George M. McBride, Chile: Land and Society, Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1971 (first published 1936), p.379.
  42. Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, Vol.1, Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1967, p.112.
  43. Ibid., p.113.
  44. Paul Bairoch, Urban Unemployment in Developing Countries, Geneva: ILO, 1973, p.15, Table 4.
  45. Source: Centre de Investigaciones Agrarias, quoted in Huizer, op. cit., p.47.
  46. See, e.g., Huntington, op.cit., pp. 298-99.
  47. Paul Friedrich traces the emergence of a revolutionary ideology appropriate to the material conditions of a particular group of exploited peasants in Agrarian Revolt in a Mexican Village, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1977. On a national scale, the ideology of the Mexican revolutionaries was influenced by the anarcho-syndicalism of Ricardo Flores Magon, whose writings have been compiled by David Poole in Land & Liberty, Sanday (Orkney): Cienfuegos Press, 1977. Lenin wrote To the Rural Poor as an appeal to the peasants to unite with urban workers, following the first peasant uprising (1902), which was crushed, he diagnosed, "because it was an uprising of an ignorant and politically unconscious mass, an uprising without clear and definite political demands, i.e. without the demand for a change in the political order" (op. cit., p.68).
  48. Kathleen Gough, 'Green Revolution in South India and North Vietnam', Monthly Review, January 1978.
  49. Ibid., p.13.
  50. Ibid., p.17
  51. Ibid., p.2O
  52. Op. cit., pp. 38O-1
  53. In his early study of the Chilean land system, McBride described the hacienda as "an agency of conquest ... with its monopolization of the land ..." Op.cit., p.375
  54. Kyle Steenland, Agrarian Reform Under Allende, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1977, pp. 7-8.
  55. Robert R. Kaufman, The Politics of Land Reform in Chile, 1950-1970, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972, Ch.V
  56. Steenland, op.cit., p.l0.
  57. Ibid., p.22.
  58. For a Trotskyist critique of Allende and his policies, see Les Evans, editor, Disaster in Chile: Allende's Strategy and Why It Failed, New York: Pathfinder Press, 1974.
  59. Steenland, op.cit., p.22.
  60. Ibid., p.26,
  61. Florencia Varas, 'General Pinochet wields unlimited power', The Times, 5.8.78.
  62. For a full analysis of the US strategy, see J.ames F. Petras and Morris M. Morley, How Allende Fell, Nottingham: Spokesman Books, 1974, Ch.V.
  63. McBride, op.cit., p.381.
  64. Immediately after the 1973 coup the junta received an $llm. military credit from Washington.
  65. McBride, op.cit., p.374. The demise of Allende has been used as propaganda by Hugo Blanco, the Trotskyist leader of the Peruvian peasant movement. (See his Land or Death,New York: Pathfinder Press, 1972). After his release from a Peruvian prison, Blanco went to Chile where he was a witness to a democratic attempt by a communist politician to effect change. The 1973 coup confirmed his prejudice - that the Marxist ideal had to be secured outside liberal democratic institutions; and so he fled to Mexico, to continue promoting his Trotskyist prescriptions for socio-economic change by revolution.
  66. Selected Works, op. cit., p.l04, n.17.
  67. Op. cit., p.7.
  68. PP, Bk. VI, Ch. I, sec. vi.
  69. Arguably not "a tax" at all but a charge or due in exchange for exclusive possession and use of land.
  70. Japan used the land tax to finance its infrastructural developments when she decided, as a matter of policy, to start the process of industrialisation in the Meiji period.
  71. Huizer, op. cit., pp. 59-60
  72. Capital, Vol. I, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1954, p.708: our emphasis.
  73. It is not just the "working class" which has to benefit from state hand-outs. A dynamic economy needs creative people, on whom there has to be what de Jouvenel called "formative expenditures". He explained (op. cit., pp. 65-66): "The clipping of the upper and middleclass incomes therefore necessitates an increase in public expenditures and in public taxation .... Thus a father is not to be spared sufficient income to cover the cost of sending his son to Paris to study painting, but the State may pay for it .... Unless, indeed, all prevailing values be discredited, it is inevitable that the redistributionigt State should assume the upkeep of these values. But with this further charge on its takings from higher incomes it has nothing left with which to swell the nether incomes".
  74. "The more one considers the matter, the clearer it becomes that redistribution is in effect less a redistribution of free income from the richer to the poorer, as we have imagined, than a redistribution of power from the individual to the State." De Jouvenel, ibid., p.73.
  75. "Insofar as the State amputates higher incomes it must assume their saving and investment functions, and we come to the centralization of investment." De Jouvenel, ibid., p.77.
  76. But, because of the logistical implications of planning, the means of production are ultimately controlled by an elite class of bureaucrats, not the people.
  77. Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social Expenditures, Leesburg, Virginia: WMSE Publications, 1977.
  78. See, e.g. Mark Prankland, 'Gather ye profits while ye may1, The Observer, 24.12.78
  79. On the Polish farming sector, see Christopher Bobinski, "Subtle pressures on private farmers', Financial Times, 14.12.78.
  80. Nigel Wade, "Protest by peasants in Peking", Daily Telegraph, 9.1.79.
  81. "Secrets Behind China's Smile", The Guardian, 27.1.79.
  82. The Economist, 21.10.78, p.76.
  83. John Gittings, 'Plain living on wealth", The Guardian, 2.2.19.
  84. For an analysis of the influence of Marxism-Leninism on the future leaders of the Khmer Rouge, who were educated in Paris, see Lek Hor Tan, "The land that abolished money", The Guardian, 8.1.79.
  85. Bairoch, op.cit., p.49, Table 15.
  86. "How the imperial Meccano set fell apart", The Guardian, 9.1.79.
  87. The Iranian Working Class, London: CARI, 1977
  88. See, e.g., Massoud Ahmadzadeh, Iran: The Struggle Within, New York, SCIPS, 1977.
  89. Bombs for Breakfast, London: COPAT, 1978, pp. 34-5. The concentrated purchase of US weapons which skewed public spending and led to the Shah's downfall was blamed on Dr. Henry Kissinger by a former US Under-Secretary of State, George Ball. President Richard Nixon and Kissinge] encouraged the Shah's "Obsession with elegant weapons", said Ball, in a letter to The Economist, 17.2.79, p.4. This led to a cut-back on construction and precipitated a financial squeeze which hurt the citizens, said Ball in his analysis.
  90. Bill Paul, "Possible Khomeini Minister of Finance outlines anti-western economic plans", The Wall Street Journal, 8.2.79.
  91. Martin Woollacott, 'Why the new Iranians resist the rule of ancient wisdoms', The Guardian, 24.3.79.
  92. One device is to prevent the collection of data on land-ownership and tenancy, or suppress the statistics once these have been collated. (Gunnar Myrdal, The Challenge of World Poverty, Harmondsworth: Pelican, 1971, p. 424.) This, for example, was a charge levelled by Lenin against the Russian Government in 19O3. See To the Rural Poor, p.2O, footnote.
  93. Op.cit., p.425.

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