Forward to the Middle Ages!

Hippie romanticism:

Despite the best efforts of Ceausescu to throw them off the land and the draw of new markets and employment opportunities since, around 30% of Romania\’s 19 million population continues to live off their subsistence and semi-subsistence farms. However, both Romanian government and policy makers in Brussels refuse to acknowledge that these are the people who prop up the Romanian economy, keep the culture alive and the environment diverse.

30% of the sodding population are still medieval peasants. And this is good, something that must be maintained.

The thing that always gets forgotten here is that incomes can only be within the boundary of labour productivity. Thus the income of a peasant must and can only be some fraction of the productivity of the peasant lifestyle. Ie, pretty much fuck all.

Which is to say that the problem with peasant style farming is that people have to live as peasants.

16 thoughts on “Forward to the Middle Ages!”

  1. Reminds me of something Michal Kalecki (reportedly) said of Poland in the 1960s: “we have abolished capitalism. Unfortunately, we have not abolished feudalism.”

  2. sackcloth and ashes

    Perhaps we should have a job swap – let Romanian peasants edit and write for the Graun, and let the Guardianistas do some subsistence farming.

    I predict the end results will be (1) a better quality newspaper and (2) death by starvation for Milne, Younge, Monbiot et al.

  3. Much the same romanticism as Moonbat’s stuff on the enclosures yesterday.

    It has since occurred to me that Tox Dadger types probably object to former commoners having been converted into smallholders, since the latter are clearly kulaks who ought to be slaughtered.

  4. Having seen a little of the Romanian peasantry, I can assure you it is nothing to be romanticised.

    I am sure that the percentage of Roma who are impoverished peasants is higher than that of the rest of the population. However, the same commentators would no doubt have a less romantic view of Roma poverty.

  5. Diamond in the rough

    “The thing that always gets forgotten here is that incomes can only be within the boundary of labour productivity.”

    The financial services industry begs to differ.

  6. Apart from anything else, the claim is simply untrue. 30% of Romanians (or thereabouts) are involved in agriculture, but relatively few of those are subsistence or semi-subsistence farmers.

  7. “incomes can only be within the boundary of labour productivity.”

    Overall, yes. But with a modern redistributive State it would be possible to tax the more productive to subsidise the subsistence farmers.

    A lot of hippie types would probably like that idea.

  8. Would voluntary collective farms be a better or worse solution to long-term unemployment than benefits?

  9. The Grauniad photo shows Romanian peasants ploughing with 1 horse – medieval peasants used teams of 8, or at a push, 6. They’re nowhere near medieval levels of farming.

  10. Richard beat me to it. Pay reflects an economy’s production frontier, not an individuals. That’s why people who work in Macca’s in India can only afford 0.4 Big Macs for every hour worked compared to 2.2 in Western Europe, despite the jobs being identical (and the Indian workers being higher skilled relative to population).

  11. Surely the article is about the inclement aspects of the CAP, and how those small holders are resultant screwed by the transition to more productive farming methods.

    Liek, if the CAP wasn’t used, but a system of subsidies NOT expressly denied to small holders was used to fund increased farming productivity then the increased labour productivity could come in tandem with a more socially just agriculture system within poland. Or something.

    Why do you always insist on taking on your opponents worst possible case (i.e. the least charitable reading possible)? It’s bloody infuriating! (Which I do say as a big fan of the blog)..

  12. Why do you always insist on taking on your opponents worst possible case (i.e. the least charitable reading possible)?

    Because he makes money from the adverts so courts controversy.

  13. Hey, lay off the medieval peasant lifestyle! What’s wrong with it – well, apart from rats, fleas, bedbugs, raw sewage running down the streets and the occasional Plague? Isn’t this what the Lib-Dums/Greens are all for? Forward into the Past, I say!

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