XVI

Rent of Land

Profit of Capital

[XVI. 1.]
Ground rent disappears entirely for the small landowner; at the most, there remains to him the interest on his capital and the wages of his labour, for ground rent can be forced so low by competition that it becomes nothing more than the interest on capital not invested by the owner himself.
....(b) Furthermore, we have already seen that given equal fertility and equally effective exploitation of lands, mines, and fisheries, the produce is in proportion to the extent of capital employed. Hence, the victory of the large landowner. Similarly, where equal amounts of capital are invested, the produce is in proportion to the degree of fertility. That is to say, where capitals are equal, victory goes to the owner of the more fertile land.

...."(c) A mine of any kind may be said to be either fertile or barren, according as the quantity of mineral which can be brought from it by a certain quantity of labour is greater or less than what can be brought by an equal quantity from the greater part of other mines of the same kind." [Smith, I, p. 151 ]
...."The most fertile coalmine, too, regulates the price of coals at all the other mines in its neighborhood. Both the proprietor and the undertaker of the work find, the one that he can get a greater rent, the other that he can get a greater profit by somewhat underselling all their neighbors. Their neighbors are soon obliged to sell at the same price, though they cannot so well afford it, and though it always diminishes, and sometimes takes away altogether both their rent and their profit. Some works are abandoned altogether; others can afford no rent, and can be wrought only by the proprietor." [Smith, I, pp. 152-3 ]
...."After the discover of the mines of Peru, the silver-mines of Europe were, the greater part of them, abandoned.... This was the case, too, with the ancient mines of Peru, after the discovery of those of Potosi." [Smith, I, p. 154 ]
....What Smith says here of mines is more-or-less true of landed property in general.
...."(d) The ordinary market price of land, it is to be observed, depends everywhere upon the ordinary market rate of interest... if the rent of land should fall short of the interest of money by a greater difference, nobody would buy the land, which would soon reduce its ordinary price. On the contrary, if the advantages should much more than compensate the difference, everybody would buy the land, which would soon raise its ordinary price." [Smith, I, p. 320 ]
....It follows from this relation between ground rent and interest on money that ground rent must continue to fall until eventually only the wealthiest people can afford to live from it. This means an increase in competition between those landowners who do not lease out their land. Some of them are ruined. There is once again an accumulation of large landed property.

[I. 1.]
[XVII. 1.]

[XVI. 2.]
and the conflict between agricultural, industrial, and commercial interests begins to fade away. But the greater ease with which capital can be employed fruitfully in the most varied fields inevitably increases the conflict between the propertied and the propertyless classes." [Schulz, pp. 241-2]
....The enormous profit which the landlords make out of misery. The greater the misery caused by industry, the higher the rent.
....It is the same with the rate of interest on the vices of the proletariat. (Prostitution, drinking, the pawnbroker.)
....The accumulation of capitals increases and the competition between them diminishes, as capital and landed property are united together in one hand and capital is enabled, because of its size, to combine different branches of production.
....Indifference towards men. Smith's 20 lottery tickets. [Smith, I, p. 94]
....Say's net and gross revenue.

[I. 2.]
[XVII. 2.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Send comments to: Lemmaesthetics@freeuk.com The Hypertext Manuscripts of Karl Marx, Paris 1844. Copyright Gary Tedman 2001-3.