Rector of Saint-Petersburg State Agrarian University Professor, Ph. D. in Economics, candidate of engineering sciences
Marxism and methodological problems of agriculture development at a modern stage
Russia possesses abundant and various land resources. There are "zones of risky farming" including 60% of arable lands where high harvest can't be guaranteed because of unpredictable weather conditions; along with this Russia takes first place in rich black soil ("chernozem" - in Russian), its sample was taken in Voronezh, Russia for international exhibition of 1990 in Paris. It was a monolithic cube with its side of about 2 meters. Vasiliy Dokuchaev1 described the importance of black soil for us like this: ""chernozem"... it is more valuable than oil, coal, golden and iron for Russia, it is everlasting inexhaustible Russian wealth2". Of course, he is right. Land reserves of Russia comprise 1 billion 710 million hectares, each person can get 12 hectares. There are 23% of arable lands, 63% of forest resources, 9% of reserve lands and deer's pastures, 3% of transportation and industrial lands, 1% of lands for settlements. Agro-industrial complex of Russia produces approximately 4. 4% of GDP, 4.1 million people (9% of working population) work in agriculture. Russian Federation has the greatest agricultural potential around the world. There are 8. 9% of world arable lands, 2.6% of world pastures and 40-52 % of worldwide area of the black earth in Russia.
Besides ecosystems of the majority of Russian regions are in much better condition and have a greater biodiversity than states succeeding in scientific-technical progress, also due to the fact that genetically modified organisms were not a basis for food industrial production in the USSRandPost-SovietRussia.
Following this fact if social problems are solved, agricultural potential of Russia will allow the country to be the leader in importing ecologically friendly healthy products on the international market. It can bring high profits, for instance, in California milk from the pasture-fed cows costs 5.49$ a liter, milk from cows kept in stalls and raised on a grain-fed or mixed diet costs only 2$ a liter3.
This wide difference between prices is related not only to milk, as during the second part of the XXth century mass agricultural production and agrifood processing were commercially oriented in developed countries, the first priority was directed at keeping saleable condition of a product and cutting down storage expenses with the help of methods that are dangerous for a human's health. As a result food products made on the basis of highly-qualified strains of plants and breeds of livestock, poultry and kinds of fish etc. were forced out mass production and became luxury products for the majority of people even in the most developed countries. Many mass products have become "relatively safe" for a human being, it means that food additives and stabilizers don't cause the immediate death. When you eat them regularly, it caused the deterioration of your offsprings' and your health. This is the violation of principle "our food should be our medicine" expressed by Hippocrates in the Vth century ВС. This is one of the most crucial modern problems.
However breakthrough technologies and tools of modern civilization allow us to come back to the mass production of not "hunger-satisfiers" but healthy products. In Russia this evaluation of food production perspectives is proved in practice.
According to the data of Statistics Committee by the end of the last year the amount of foreign capital in Russian economy has reached 362.4 billion $ that is 4.4% more than in 2011. In 2012 154.6 $ billon were invested in Russian economy, agriculture received 624 million of foreign investment. Most of foreign investments came from Cyprus (399 million) and Denmark (46 million).
Referring to the fact that foreign corporations are actively buying the stakes of Russian enterprises we have to think of keeping government control over certain areas of agro -industrial complex. International companies are very glad to penetrate into trading and food processing fields. Traditional spheres of agricultural production are less attractive for such companies as there are high risks of murrain and the dependence on weather conditions.
Investors from different countries are interested in Russian agro-industrial complex. China is ready to invest in Russian agriculture. In Harbin Agroindustry Union was created to cooperate with Russia in agriculture.
It includes 66 agro-industrial enterprises. The chairman of Agroindustry Union stated that China obtains huge currency reserves that can be invested in Russian agro-industrial complex4.
However an investment in a complete cycle of many years' agricultural production has its own specific character. In contrast with investments in industry and science, investing in agriculture you should take into consideration not only national psychology, legislation and political peculiarities of a country but also physiographic factors that can influence the fulfillment of investment with equipment, technologies, personnel's professional training.
Referring to Russia there is a good structure because the system of training high-skilled specialists for agriculture and adjacent areas has existed for many years in all regions of the country. It includes all educational levels: from workers to scientists and researchers.
What does prevent Russian agro-industrial complex from proper functioning? First of all there are too many liberal managers who have been formed since the times of Gorbachev and the process is going on. Regardless of its adherents' beliefs the liberal-market economic model is characterizedbyfollowingunavoidabledefects:
Activities of all market agents are subordinated to the maximization of their private revenues and costs reduction by all means including ways which are harmful for society and biosphere.
The market is unable to define the purposes for a country's way of life and its economic development.
The market hasn't got a mechanism of a state economy's adjustment to fulfill political purposes or people's life ideals (it is confirmed by the experience of ex-colonies and post-Soviet Russia).
There are socially needed activities but they can't be realized on the basis of market profits-and-loss principles.
In a liberal-market economy the scientific and technological progress is accompanied with the "production" of "economically excessive population" that is worthless in relation to the formed employment structure and has not enough money to be "effective customers", therefore such population should be killed.
The different epochs are different from each other only in the methods of destroying people: there was a death penalty for "a vagrancy" in Great Britain in the days of the first industrial revolution or nowadays this is alcohol and other drugs, wars between criminals and government.
In course of globalization spread across the globe by means of WTO and liberal market principles a lot of people and even whole states can be included in the category "economically excessive population", (for instance, Greece, Spain).
There are analysts who consider Russia to be such a state where the majority of people became insolvent, without any economical perspectives and that is why these people are
"excessive" (Russian experts sometimes declare this point ofviewin the mass media).
This leads to the question "Can Russia being disappointed in bourgeois liberalism turn to Marxism?" The answer to this question is negative. It is derived from forgotten but still actual work by I.V. Stalin "Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR" (1952). Stalin wrote the following:
"... I think that we must also discard certain other concepts taken from Marx's Capital ... artificially applied to our socialist relations. I am referring to such concepts, among others, as "necessary" and "surplus" labour, "necessary" and "surplus" product, "necessary" and "surplus" time.(...)
I think that our economists should put an end to this incongruity between the old concepts and the new state of affairs in our socialist country, by replacing the old concepts with new ones that correspond to the new situation.
We could tolerate this incongruity for a certain period, but the time has come to put an end to it5."
J. Stalin enumerated such categories of Marxist political economy which are immeasurable in the course of economic activities. That is why these categories cannot be taken into account in the bookkeeping practice which is the basis for a micro-level management and statistics determining macroeconomic processes.
J. Stalin was the first who pointed out in public a metrological inconsistency of Marxist political economy. This economy explains plausibly many things, but in reality it does not allow to build a self-sufficient management system of national economy. In Russia it is known that the leader of the PRC (People's Re-public of China) comrade Mao Zedong characterized post-Stalin leadership of CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) as the revisionists promoting capitalism's restoration. He was right in his assessment, as revisionists did not follow Stalin's direction and therefore there wasn't created a metrological theory needed for further socialistic development of the USSR. It has become one of methodological causes that there weren't any forces being able to put an end to the policy of Gorbachev and that led the country to the collapse.
Besides, a monetary system was not considered to be an instrument of macroeconomic management in Marxist political economy. As a consequence, Marxism has not direct instructions concerning the fact if there is an interest rate in a financial system, owners of such a system are money lenders and they can be foreign (transnational) even if there is a socialist ownership of the means of production and banking system includes a central bank (an emissive center). As a result natural resources and productive potential of the country are de facto owned (managed) by money-lenders despite people interests and a juridical national sovereignty.
On the basis of Kirchhoff's rules the model of money circulation can be constructed and it will show that an interest rate boosts inflation and decreases purchasing power. When the gap between permanently increasing prices and falling purchasing power of people, transactors and the state has reached the critical value, the stagnation of economic and scientific technical development starts, following a total collapse of economic relations as it was in Russia in the 1990s.
In Marxism the concealment of monetary system's function and interest rate's role as an instrument of macroeconomic management resulted in the conflict between workers of the real sector of economy (enterprises' owners and hired personal). And it was withheld that both sides of this conflict are really in a position of slaves exploited by a banking sector. Besides, it was withheld that magnates are politically dependent as above them there is a certain ideological superstructure consisting of the Bible and its expositors for fulfillment of global political goals. The global politics aimed at controlling the whole mankind is not captured by Marxist theory, though Karl Marx worked indisputably for a destruction of Empires which were geopolitical competitors of British Empire (Russian, Germanic, Turkish, Austria-Hungary Empires and
China), as he did not point out global financial instruments operating practically monopolistically under British jurisdiction at that time.
But the main reason is that several principal philosophical (generally world-outlook's) issues leave much to be desired in Marxism, and in some cases they can't correlate with a man's psyche if the psyche is considered to be an informational-algorithmic system, but that could be a theme for another report.
As a consequence in Russia it is impossible to come back to Marxism though the need arises to analyze its role in the history to ensure national sovereignty in the course of globalization and to embody an alternative way of globalization which is different from a bourgeois-liberal suicidal way of globalization.
Actually it means that Russia has to elaborate:
• New way of life that can ensure 1) the stability of biocoenosis all over the country 2) biological health of the population for next generation and its sociocultural adequacy for further development of mankind 3) economic support for solving listed above and other problems of national, global and local politics;
• Qualitatively different sociological science including economics and management's philosophy aimed at ensuring scientifically and methodologically a conversion to a new life-style instead of inherited one.
To begin the elaboration of solutions to these strategic problems it was created the Sufficiently General Control Theory (Russian acronym - DOTU) by group of scientists of the USSR first published in 1992 in the book "Dead Water". It was presented to officials of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Russia. At present the scientific school of Saint-Petersburg State Agrarian University keeps developing the solutions to global issues.
The developing conception how to create a better future considers farming to be the base of any civilization or any state as the development of regions depends on the agricultural production, and it is impossible to involve more professionals in different areas of society than agricultural sector is able to feed. At the same time, the principle of an interdependence of biocoenosis' life and a society's life works: In the beginning we should shape a life space (landscape, architecture) and then the life space forms new generations, i.e. it creates us. Therefore we think that the majority of people should live in their own houses with enough space and conveniences that are necessary for a comfortable life of several generations. The size and the place where a settlement (the place for rest and the harmonization of psyche) is located should be like it takes you half an hour to reach natural environment by bike or on foot. The concentration of settlements in a region should ensure biocoenosis' stability. It is unnecessary to create giant enterprises for modern industry (with several exceptions) therefore that allows us to disperse industries by separate technological components in such small settlements and ensuring full employment of the population.
This conception can't be realized on the basis of liberal market economy but it can be implemented in the super consortium - state where the market instrument is subordinated to the state plan of ecological, social and cultural development by means of tax and subsidy policies. Modern communication facilities, processing means, available power allow a state to turn to such a way of life within around 50 years, if there is a political will, it is possible to ensure high quality of life for the population that is ready for conscientious work.
The views of the scientific school of Saint-Petersburg State Agrarian University are expressed in the following publications:
• EfimovV. A. Global transformation: Russian project6
• Articles on different issues of sociology, culturology, religious sciences, economy published in the almanac "Kluch7", № 1-6 of Pushkin's Center of analytical studies and prognosis at Saint-Petersburg State Agrarian University
• Solonko I. V. The phenomenon of conceptual power: socio - cultural analysis: Monograph. - Third Edition. - M. 2011.304 pp8.
• Velichko M. V., Efimov V. A., Imanov G. M. Economics and noosphere. Scientific and methodological bases of national management of socioeconomic development in the course of globalization (noospheric and ethic ecological approach.) - Saint-Petersburg: NGO of higher education "Smolnii institute of Russian professional education, department of ("Psychology, achmeology, noospherologyandpedagogy""20129.
• Justification methods of programs on sustainable development of rural territories: Monograph. / Edited by V. I. Frolova, Saint-Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil engineering. Spb.2011, - 464 pp10.
1 V. I. Vernadskiy was one of his students
2 N. Rostova http://shkolazhizni.ru/archive/0/n-16898/
4 R u s s i a n a g r o - i n d u s t r i a l c omp l e x i s a t i d b i t f o r f o r e i g n i n v e s t o r s , S o u r c e : http://www.agropages.ru/page/8581.shtml
5 "Economic Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R.,"pp.18-19 1952
6 Au d i o b o o k - h t t p : / /me d i a-me r a . r u / k o b / e / imo v / g l o b a l n a i a _ t r a n s f o rma t c i i a _ -
7 Link: http://real/il.ru/?page_id=49