Historical origins of the divide
As with many of the themes which Marx discussed - class struggle, (1) large-scale mechanisation, (2) the detail division of labor - the rift between urban and rural patterns of settlement was not an original discovery. Classical bourgeois political economists such as the French Physiocrat François Quesnay, the Jacobite James Steuart, and his Scottish Enlightenment contemporary Adam Smith identified new problems emerging in their relationship beginning in the second half of the eighteenth century. Town and countryside had by then already been estranged for some time, of course, corresponding to the rudimentary division of labor established at the dawn of settled agriculture.
But if this split between city life and country life was such a perennial feature of human habitation, why then did it become cause for concern only during the last 250 years? What changed in the course of human events to throw each side of this antinomy headlong into crisis?
Of course, the division of labor was not unknown to pre-capitalist communities. Usually in these more primitive cases, this was arranged according to handicraft specialization. Plato, (3) and Xenophon, (4) those towering intellects of antiquity, had each advanced arguments in its favor as early as 350 BCE; a fact Marx was keen to point out. (5) Both men acknowledged the expedience of limiting the number of professions to one per citizen. Involuntary forms of labor doubtless accounted for much of the productive output in the ancient Mediterranean world.
Yet early agricultural treatises written by Roman patricians like Cato the Elder, (6) or Varro, (7) indicate that slaves mostly toiled in the fields - in the rural hinterlands surrounding a town or the villa system of large private estates. Although the first-century agronomist Columella drew a passing distinction between "town slaves" and "country slaves," (8) those enthralled in urban centers were typically made to perform menial domestic chores. They served either as housekeepers, (9) or tutors, (10) if educated. Semi-skilled slaves were sometimes assigned to carry out more extensive operations in small workshops, (11) where they assembled simple articles from surplus raw materials their masters imported. (12) Free artisans were responsible for most petty commodity production taking place in the towns; slaves seldom produced anything that required a high level of expertise to execute.
One result of compulsory labor's generally unskilled character was that the role of slaves remained fairly restricted within classical economies. Consequently, the division of labor was most fully articulated wherever a significant portion of the population was free to sell its own wares. The greatest concentration of poor freemen, citizens deprived of substantial means, could be found in the cities among the plebs urbana. (13)
In Cyropaedia, or The Education of Cyrus, Xenophon himself observed that larger cities tend to develop the most complex division of labor, compared with smaller towns and villages. (14) As Marx and Engels perceived early on, the town contained in embryo the division of labor from the start - written into its very concept, as it were. 'The advent of the town implies the necessity of administration, police, taxes, etc., in short, of the municipality [des Gemeindewesens], and thus of politics in general,' they maintained in their critique of The German Ideology. 'Here first became manifest the division of the population into two great classes, which is directly based on the division of labor and the instruments of production.' (15) In other words, aside from the foundational split between town and country that first separated agriculture from artisanship, nearly all the subsequent subdivisions of the labor process occurred in the cities.
Despite its somewhat schematic function within Marx's corpus, the outline he sketched of pre-capitalist modes of production in his preparatory notes for Capital deserves mention here insofar as it touches upon the shifting dynamics of city and country over time. Without becoming too embroiled in any of the tedious controversies that often attach to discussions of these categories - concerning their descriptive accuracy, order of sequence, and speculative or normative intent - a few words might be said regarding the rough periodization that can be found in his economic manuscripts of 1857-1858. There Marx wrote:
'The history of classical antiquity is the history of cities, but cities founded on landed property and on agriculture; Asiatic history is a kind of indifferent unity of town and countryside (the really large cities must be regarded here merely as royal camps, as works of artifice [Superfötation] erected over the economic construction proper); the Middle Ages (Germanic period) begins with the land as the seat of history, whose further development then moves forward in the contradiction between town and countryside.' (16)
Marx's credentials as a scholar steeped in the history and traditions of the ancient world have been recognized even by non-Marxists, (17) his curious lack of interest in late antiquity, according to Jairus Banaji, notwithstanding. (18) But the theme of town and country also figured prominently in narratives written by noted classicists such as G.E.M. de Ste Croix, Moses Finley, and Mikhail Rostovtzeff. The interpretations provided by Croix, (19) and Finley, (20) more or less accord with the claims made by Marx in the passage excerpted above. Perhaps this should not come as a surprise, however, since both men had intellectual and political connections to Marxism. (21)
Citing the testimony of the Greek geographer Pausanias, they explained that "City" status was not determined by population alone. A certain sense of civic accomplishment was also assumed, expressed in its architecture and cultural life. In his Description of Greece (ca. 180 CE), Pausanias thus described 'Panopeus, a city of the Phocians,' snidely digressing, '... if one can give the name "city" to those who possess no government offices, no gymnasium, no theater, no marketplace, no water descending to a fountain.' (22) For his part, the bourgeois historian and committed anti-Marxist Rostovtseff similarly upheld this vision of Greco-Roman antiquity as a "civilization of cities," every major city a territorial unit encompassing a given allotment of arable land. (23)
Not by accident did Aristotle define man as a "political animal", essentially a city creature. (24) Under the Romans, the city of Rome acquired such toponymic significance that the title "citizen" no longer referred only to denizens of the imperial city, but to anyone anywhere in the empire who possessed full legal and political rights. To assert that "the history of classical antiquity is the history of cities" was not to exaggerate.
Asiatic history, as Marx termed it, may be placed for a moment to the side. This should not be taken as an indictment of his concept of the Asiatic mode of production, or the "tributary mode", as some prefer to call it. (25) It is by now customary to rehearse all of Marx's supposed shortcomings - blaming terminology such as this on his privileged "Eurocentric" education or dismissing it as mere "Orientalist accretion" - in order to render his writings more palatable for present-day consumption, offering some newfangled nomenclature in its place so as not to offend contemporary taste. (26)
The debate over the Asiatic mode of production extends well beyond the purview of a study of town and country. Suffice it to say, for the time being, that the criteria Marx used to characterize this economic modality are potentially problematic for reasons having nothing to do with its alleged continent of origin. Even then, this did not prevent the Hungarian Marxist and Sinologist Ferenc Tokei from rising to its defense against the orthodoxy of Stalin's five-part progression, (27) which eliminated the Asiatic mode from the list of "stages" through which civilization must pass. (28)
Karl Wittfogel's landmark book on Oriental Despotism, despite the renegacy of its author, advanced an argument that could prove pivotal to understanding the "indifferent unity of town and countryside" of which Marx wrote. Wittfogel discovered in large-scale waterworks and state-controlled irrigation a common basis for the economies of town and country in the East: 'As an armed and ubiquitously organized force, the hydraulic regime prevailed in the strategic seats of mobile property, the cities, as well as in the main sphere of immobile property, the countryside.' (29)
Tokei concurred with this aspect of Wittfogel's analysis, (30) especially with reference to the landlocked expanse running from Arabia to mainland China (while also explaining "Japanese exceptionalism," by way of negation). (31) Owing to this overall proximity, there arose a '... union of manufacture and agriculture, of town (in this instance the village) and country.' (32) Because urban and rural population densities never became as differentiated as in the West, the division of labor remained underdeveloped.
This recalcitrance and stagnation was only broken, according to the earlier Soviet economist David Riazanov, after a series of colonial incursions by various European powers and "youthful Japanese imperialism." With this, wrote Riazanov, '... [t]he indivisible union of agriculture and industry, the main secret of the immobility of the "Asiatic mode of production," was burst asunder.' (33) Even Marx's en passant remark about urban agglomerations in Asia being royal encampments, though borrowed from the travelogues of François Bernier, (34 and 35) seems to be confirmed by some of Ibn Khaldun's statements in the Muqaddimah of 1377. For Marx, different productive units have prevailed depending on extant social conditions: during classical antiquity, the town was the basis of production; under feudalism, the family usurped this position. (36)
In the Asiatic mode of production, the community [Gemeinschaft] as such sustained certain persistent forms of life. Normally, these precluded a complex division of labor. 'The simplicity of the productive organism in these self-sufficient communities, which constantly reproduce themselves in the same form,' asserted Marx in Capital, '... supplies the key to the riddle of the unchangeability of Asiatic societies, which is in such striking contrast with the constant dissolution and refounding of Asiatic states, and their never-ceasing changes of dynasty.' (37)
Khaldun contended that cities - though vastly more civilized than wandering desert tribes, (38) not least because of their advanced handicrafts - are logically secondary to the ruling houses and the communities over which they ruled. This is exactly the opposite of classical antiquity, where the city (of Rome, Sparta, Athens, etc.) took precedence over its particular ruler. '[D]ynasties and royal authority,' wrote Khaldun, '... are absolutely necessary for the building of cities and the planning of towns.' (39)
Medieval European history finds both Marx and Marxism on slightly more solid footing. Following a devastating cycle of foreign invasions, during which large sections of the Western Roman Empire were successively overrun (first by roving Germanic hordes, most notably the Huns, then later by the conquering Arabs and Magyars), the population of the towns fled to the countryside en masse. 'There is naught but towns emptied of their folk,' the bishops of Rheims grimly declared at Troslé, early in the tenth century. (40) An eschatological mood clearly carried the day. New settlements, those that were built at all, were meant primarily for defensive purposes. German Burgen, Flemish bourgs, Anglo-Saxon boroughs, Italian borghi, Scottish burghs - all these originally denoted fortresses or military garrisons. (41)
Only after several centuries, with the revival of trade, did they become associated with the nascent bourgeoisie. In the meantime, the political center of gravity moved from the cities, where it had resided in antiquity, to the seigneurial domain of the countryside. Here, as Marx suspected, the individual household was the most basic unit of social solidarity. The family formed the elementary bond of feudal dependence, determining all other productive and consumptive relationships; its members huddled together around the domestic hearth. (42)
Kinship networks, which conventionally exceeded immediate blood-relations to include various kinsmen, were often held jointly responsible by the lord (on whose lands they served as tenants) whenever dues went unpaid. (43) Numerous duties and obligations, religious and otherwise, were involved in the ties of family, onto which additional layers of vassalage or subordination were built. (44)
Currency, historically bound up with the existence of cities as stable commercial centers, soon became sparse amidst widespread urban depopulation. Most of the gold coinage still in circulation from this point on, down to midway through the eleventh century, had filtered in from Greek or Arab mints. (45) Around 1050 CE, money began to slowly inundate the countryside as an accepted medium of exchange, as many of the charters and book-keeping records from the period suggest.
Recent numismatic research has shown that a number of different currencies were collected at tolls during this time, as feudal authorities began to levy tariffs on merchants visiting from abroad. This growth in monetary revenues continued at a steady rate until the fourteenth century, whereafter money became pervasive. Equivalents measured in terms of cattle or other items as alternative means of payment only disappear in 1140 CE, however. (46)
But the decision to issue new coinage remained the prerogative of municipal administrations. So regardless of rising trade levels in the countryside, (47) control over the money supply stayed in the towns. It was thus in the towns that currency federations were founded, such as that established between Lübeck, Hamburg, and Wismar in 1379, or the Rappenbund of Basle, Colmar, Breisach, and Freiburg in 1403. (48)
Due to the relative dearth of precious metals at the outset of the epoch, either as bullion or minted currency, there was little that might serve as a universal and divisible equivalent to facilitate heightened commodity exchange. As Marx appreciated in Volume I of Capital, land was thus the paradigmatic form of property under feudalism, as opposed to money as the perpetuum mobile of circulation. (49)
This stationary quality is still hinted at, etymologically preserved, by the French word for real estate: immobiliers. Engels spelled this out with extreme lucidity in a popular essay written in 1884, though left unpublished during his lifetime, on The Decline of Feudalism and the Emergence of National States. There Engels asserted that '... [t]he basic relation of the whole feudal system [was] the granting of land in return for the delivery of certain personal services and dues.' (50) Most of the time, political rights to a tract of land were granted on a permanent hereditary basis to servicemen or retainers ennobled by a monarch. In return for an oath of fealty, a king would bestow a "fief" parceled out from his royal patrimony. (51) As Max Weber understood.
Political power accumulated in the hands of the clergy, with its considerable landholdings, and the aristocracy, with its new land tenure. Both estates owned their respective territories indefinitely, exempted from taxation in perpetuity. Over time, however, noblemen in the countryside grew increasingly reliant on the tools and implements produced in the cities, as well as the exotic commodities that circulated through them. (52) Cities doubled as workshops and commercial hubs. So while the townsman may have lost the status he enjoyed in antiquity as homo politicus, whose freedom consisted in his participation in public life, the medieval townsman assumed the shape of homo oeconomicus, whose freedom consisted in his private life. (53)
With this, the stage has been set for an eventual confrontation between city and country, between a landed military aristocracy and a moneyed commercial bourgeoisie. The transition from feudalism to capitalism has been the occasion of a great deal of dispute within Marxist theory, and so will require another installment to parse. In closing this discussion of historical origins, it is perhaps appropriate to pause that the modes of production described in the preceding only disclose themselves as such after the fact, by way of analogy with the political economy of capital. Or, put differently, the antagonisms and tendencies of previous forms of social organization - including the urban/rural divide - can only be recognized retroactively, from the standpoint of bourgeois society, using the very concepts that anatomize it.
As Marx put it, '... the extra-economic origin of property means nothing else than the historic origin of the bourgeois economy, of the forms of production which are theoretically or ideally expressed by the categories of political economy.' (54)
Historical materialism must grasp the necessity of its own comprehension. This is something the participants in the so-called "mode of production" debate would do well to remember (although from time to time, they have). (55) For Marxism, the crystallization of the capitalist social formation is a world-historical event. Or as Spencer Leonard observes, reviewing Banaji, there is ' in Marx a deep recognition of human prehistory precisely because of the recognition of capitalism as potentially transitional out of it.' (56)
Bearing the irreducible singularity of this development in mind, the next part will proceed as the contradiction between town and countryside finally comes into its own.
There, Smith, Steuart, and Quesnay, mentioned in the foregoing, will recur as antecedents to Marx's own appraisal.
Ross Wolfe 02.01.2014
1. Karl Marx, 'Letter to Joseph Weydemeyer (March 5, 1852)', Collected Works, Volume 39: Letters, January 1852 - December 1855, New York, International Publishers, 1983, p 62, Translated by Peter Ross and Betty Ross
'[A]s for myself, I do not claim to have discovered either the existence of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. Long before me, bourgeois historians had described the historical development of this struggle between the classes, as had bourgeois economists their economic anatomy.'
2. Karl Marx, Value, Price, and Profit, Collected Works, Volume 20: September 1864 - July 1868, New York, International Publishers, 1985, p 146, Translated by Eleanor Marx
'Ricardo has justly remarked that machinery is in constant competition with labor.'
3. Plato, Republic, Complete Works, Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing Company, 1997, p 1009, Translated by G.M.A. Grube
'[M]ore plentiful and better-quality goods are more easily produced if each person does one thing for which he is naturally suited, does it at the right time, and is released from having to do any of the others.'
4. Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2001, p 241 to 242, Translated by Wayne Ambler
'It is impossible for a human being who does many things by art to do them all nobly [B]y necessity he who passes his time engaged in a narrower work [is] compelled to do it best.'
5. Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume I, New York, Penguin Books, 1976, p 487 to 488, Translated by Ben Fowkes
6. Marcus Porcius Cato, On Agriculture, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1934, p 7 to 9, and 13, Translated by William Davis Hooper
7. Marcus Terentius Varro, On Agriculture, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1934, p 225 to 231, Translated by William Davis Hooper
8. Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella, On Agriculture, Books I-IV, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1960, p 91, Translated by Harrison Boyd Ash
9. Geoffrey Ernest Maurice de Ste Croix, The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World: From the Archaic Age to the Arab Conquests, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1981, p 234
10. Columella, On Agriculture, p 34 to 35
'[A] slave whose duty it was to guard his master's children, escort them to school, and perhaps give some elementary instruction at home.'
11. Moses Isaac Finley, Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology, Princeton, New Jersey, Markus Weiner Publishers, 1998, p 150
Finley insists that while '... free men dominated small-scale farming, as well as petty commodity production and small-scale trading in the cities; slaves dominated, and virtually monopolized, large-scale production in both the countryside and the urban sector.'
12. Max Weber, The Agrarian Sociology of Ancient Civilizations, New York, Verso Books, 2013, p 44, Translated by R.I. Frank
Weber maintains that '... the Hellenistic ergasterion was simply the servants' quarters of a wealthy man There he kept his skilled slaves who worked under the direction of an overseer in that part of his raw material which he did not sell to free artisans.'
13. Moses Isaac Finley, The Ancient Economy, Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1973, p 93 to 94
'They included the artisans of the cities, highly specialized, hard working, and mostly very poor.'
14. Xenophon, The Education of Cyrus, p 241
'In small cities, the same person makes a bed, a door, a plow, a table, and this same person is frequently a house builder too In great cities, because many people are in need of each kind of artisan, even one art suffices for supporting each - and frequently not even one whole art, but one person makes men's shoes, another women's. There are places also where one is supported merely by sewing shoes, and another by cutting them out, and another by cutting only the uppers, and another who does none of these things but puts them together.'
15. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology, Collected Works, Volume 5: April 1845 - April 1847, New York, International Publishers, 1975, p 65, Translated by Clemens Dutt
16. Karl Marx, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft), New York, Penguin Books, 1993, p 479, Translated by Martin Nicolaus
17. Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1998, p 133
'The hope that inspired Marx and the best men of the various workers' movements [was] that free time eventually will emancipate men from necessity [and] automatically nourish other, "higher," activities. The guiding model of this hope in Marx was doubtless the Athens of Pericles which, in the future would need no slaves to sustain itself but would become a reality for all.'
For a more expansive treatment of Marx's classical education, see: de Ste Croix, The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World, p 23 to 25
18. Jairus Banaji, 'Themes in Historical Materialism', in Theory as History: Essays on Modes of Production and Exploitation, Boston, Brill Publishers, 2010, p 22
'[Late Rome and Byzantium], strangely, were never discussed by Marx, who showed little interest in late antiquity.'
19. de Ste Croix, The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World, p 10
'Greco-Roman civilization was essentially urban, a civilization of cities.'
20. Finley, The Ancient Economy, p 123
'The true city in classical antiquity encompassed both the chora, the rural hinterland, and an urban center.'
21. Croix was an outspoken Marxist throughout his career, and Finley was influenced by sociologists of the Frankfurt School while teaching at Columbia University during the 1930s. Later he was named by Karl Wittfogel as a member of the Communist Party, and dismissed from his post after refusing to testify against himself in 1952. For this discussion see: Rolf Wiggershaus, The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theory, and Political Significance, Cambridge, Massachusetts, The MIT Press, 1995, p 249, Translated by Michael Robertson
Finley's Marxism, loosely construed, can be considered a more Weberian variant, stressing "status" over "class" as the primary determinant in the ancient world, which Croix criticized him for: 'That the primary and most useful kind of classification was social status was in effect the position of Max Weber and it has recently been explicitly restated in relation to the Greek and Roman world by M.I. Finley.' See: de Ste Croix, The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World, p 86
Finley's justification for this position came from History and Class Consciousness: 'Half a century ago Georg Lukács, a most orthodox Marxist, made the correct observation that in pre-capitalist societies, "status-consciousness masks class consciousness".' See: Finley, The Ancient Economy, p 50 and Georg Lukács, History and Class Consciousness, London, Merlin Press, 1967, Translated by Rodney Livingstone, posted here
22. Pausanias, Description of Greece: Books VIII-X, New York, Harvard University Press, 1975, p 383, Translated by Richard Ernest Wycherley
23. Mikhail Rostovtzeff, The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire, New York, Oxford University Press, 1957, p 192, Translated by P.M. Fraser
'[E]very city had a large "territory," that is to say, a large tract of land which together with the city itself formed a political, social, and economic unit, and as besides these city-territories there existed large regions which had no city life, it is fair to say in general that the population of the cities alike in Italy and in the provinces formed but a small minority as compared with the population of the country. Civilized life, of course, was concentrated in the cities.'
24. Aristotle, Politics: Complete Works, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1985, p 1,253, Translated by B. Jowett
'[M]an is by nature a political animal.'
25. Banaji, 'Themes in Historical Materialism', p 17 to 40
26. Richard Seymour, 'Marxism, the Bourgeoisie, and Capitalist Imperialism', Lenin's Tomb, 30 April 2006, posted here
'[Marx's] writings on India were certainly not free of the Orientalist accretions of his time (neither is his Asiatic mode of production thesis for that matter).'
27. Iosif Stalin, 'Dialectical and Historical Materialism', in History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks): Short Course, New York, International Publishers, 1963, p 123, Translated by Clemens Dutt
'Five main types of relations of production are known to history: primitive communal, slave, feudal, capitalist, and socialist.'
28. Stephen Dunn, The Fall and Rise of the Asiatic Mode of Production, New York, Routledge, 2011, p 7, and 8 to 39
'[B]etween 1929 and approximately 1934 the concept of the Asiatic mode of production was authoritatively removed from the Soviet-Marxist theoretical canon.'
29. Karl Wittfogel, Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power, New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1963, p 85
30. Ferenc Tokei, 'Contribution to the New Debate on the Asiatic Mode of Production', in Essays on the Asiatic Mode of Production, Budapest, Akadémiai Kiadó, 1979, p 13, Translated by Ferenc Tokei
'A type of irrigation which calls for an extremely well administered cooperation of labor has been in most cases of vital necessity in Oriental agriculture.'
31. Tokei, 'A Note on Japan', in Essays on the Asiatic Mode of Production, p 79
'[T]he specific natural preconditions of Japanese agriculture in contradistinction with conditions in China, was not so dependent upon large-scale irrigation and waterworks and thus upon intensive cooperation between town and country.'
32. Tokei, 'Contribution to the New Debate on the Asiatic Mode of Production', p 50
33. David Riazanov, 'Karl Marx on China', The Labour Monthly: A Magazine of International Labour, Volume 8, Number 2, February 1926, p 91, Translated by Palme Dutt
34. Karl Marx, 'Letter to Friedrich Engels (June 2, 1853)', Collected Works, Volume 39, p 332
'On the subject of the growth of eastern cities one could hardly find anything more brilliant, comprehensive, or striking than Voyages contenant la description des états du Grand Mogol, etc., by old François Bernier.'
35. Karl Marx, Theories of Surplus Value, Collected Works, Volume 33: Economic Manuscript of 1861 - 1863, Continuation, New York, International Publishers, 1991, p 357, Translated by Emile Burns, Renate Simpson, and Jack Cohen
'See Dr. Bernier, who compares the Indian towns to army camps. This is due to the form of landed property which exists in Asia.'
36. Marx, Grundrisse, p 484
'In the world of antiquity, the city with its territory is the economic totality; in the Germanic world, the totality is the family as independent unit.'
37. Marx, Capital, Volume 1, p 479
38. Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah: An Introduction to the Study of History, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1969, p 122, Translated by Franz Rosenthal
'[D]esert civilization is inferior to urban civilization, because not all of the necessities of civilization are to be found among the people of the desert. They do have some agriculture at home but do not possess the materials that belong to it, most of which depend on crafts. They do not have any carpenters, tailors, blacksmiths, or others.'
39. Khaldun, Muqaddimah, p 263
40. Marc Bloch, Feudal Society, Volume 1: The Growth of Ties of Dependence, New York, Routledge, 2004, p 3, Translated by L.A. Manyon
41. Henri Pirenne, Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade, Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1946, p 72 to 75, Translated by Frank D. Halsey
42. Georges Duby, Rural Economy and Peasant Life in the Medieval West, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998, p 28, Translated by Cynthia Postan
'The most elementary social group was the family; around it was built the organization of the village and of its lands, as well as the division of labor and the consumption of goods.
43. Bloch, Feudal Society, Volume 1, p 130 to 131
'Throughout the country districts there were numerous "brotherhoods" - groups consisting of several related households sharing the same hearth and the same board and cultivating the same common fields. The lord frequently encouraged or even enforced these arrangements, for he considered it an advantage to hold the members of the 'communal households' jointly responsible, willy-nilly, for the payment of dues.'
44. Bloch, Feudal Society, Volume 1, p 145 to 147
45. Bloch, Feudal Society, Volume 1, p 3 to 4
46. Duby, Rural Economy and Peasant Life, p 130 to 134
47. Duby maintains that '... cash was relatively abundant from the early eleventh century in Normandy and in the English countryside, even though these areas lacked towns, which admittedly prevents us from associating the growth of urban habits too closely with the use of money.' See: Duby, Rural Economy and Peasant Life, p 131
But others hold that trade's revival in the thirteenth-century "commercial revolution" owed to the discovery of silver in Thuringia around 1160, and stress the urban dimension: '[L]ong-distance flows of silver from place to place were, of course, primarily interurban flows, since the demands for goods over long distances were primarily for urban goods and from city to city, but from each urban center silver flowed out in eddies of demand into the surrounding countryside, so that a radical change in the rural as well as the urban use of coin took place between the late twelfth and the early fourteenth century.' See: Peter Spufford, Money and Its Use in Medieval Europe, New York, Cambridge University Press, 1989, p 143
48. Fritz Rörig, The Medieval Town, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1969, p 178 to 180, Translated by A. von Brandt and W. Koppe
49. Marx, Capital, Volume 1, p 227
50. Friedrich Engels, 'The Decline of Feudalism and the Emergence of National States', Collected Works, Volume 26: 1882 - 1889, New York, International Publishers, 1990, p 560, Translated by Barrie Selman.
51. Max Weber, Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1978, p 1,071, Translated by Ephraim Fischoff, Hans Gerth, A.M. Henderson, Ferdinand Kolegar, C. Wright Mills, Talcott Parsons, Max Rheinstein, Guenther Roth, Edward Shils, and Claus Wittich.
'[A] "fief" is defined as any grant of rights, especially of land use or of political territorial rights, in exchange for military or administrative service.'
52. Engels, 'The Decline of Feudalism and the Emergence of National States', p 556 to 557
'[T]he needs of the nobles increased and changed to such an extent that the towns had become indispensable even to them; after all, they procured their only instrument of production, their armor and weapons, from the towns! Native cloth, furniture and jewelry, Italian silks, Brabant lace, Nordic furs, Arabian perfumes, fruit from the Levant, Indian spices - everything apart from soap - they bought from the town dwellers.'
53. Weber, Economy and Society, p 1,354
'The political situation of the medieval townsman determined his path, which was that of a homo oeconomicus, whereas in Antiquity the polis preserved [t]he ancient townsman [as] a homo politicus.'
54. Marx, Grundrisse, p 489
55. Jairus Banaji, 'Modes of Production: A Synthesis', Chapter 12, in Theory as History: Essays on Modes of Production and Exploitation, Chicago, Haymarket Books, 2011, p 352
'Marx repeatedly reasoned in terms of the analogy with capitalism itself.'
56. Spencer A. Leonard, 'Review of Theory as History: Essays on Modes of Production and Exploitation', Marxism & Philosophy - Review of Books, 1 January 2013, posted here
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