This article published in the mid-1920s in the Peasant International was written by an outstanding Russian agrarian scientist and a prominent representative of the organization-production school Nikolai Pavlovich Makarov (1887–1980). It is quite strange that this article was not listed in the bibliographies of Makarov’s works although it is absolutely important for the understanding of the evolution of world agriculture in the 20th century. Moreover, the reader will see that in the second half of the 1920s the ideas of this article were developed in the works of other representatives of the organization-production school — A.V. Chayanov, G.S. Studensky, A.A. Rybnikov. As the title and the foreword of the article show, the author seeks to provide an analytical description of the main directions of the world agrarian evolution of the 1920s and its possible alternatives on the example of four main macro-regions of world agriculture: the USA, China, Western Europe and Russia. First the author focuses on the two so-called “poles” of agrarian development — the United States and China — and argues that “old” labor-intensive agrarian China and the “young” capital-intensive agrarian United States are the exact opposites of each other. It is between these poles that the paths of the agricultural evolution of most countries of the world, including Europe and Russia, are located. Makarov concludes with a preliminary diagnosis of the approaching “great agrarian crossroads” of world agriculture. The publication with comments was prepared by A.M. Nikulin.
Editor: Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; 119571, Moscow, Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.
This article of the outstanding Russian agrarian economist and representative of the organization-production school of the 1920s Nikolai Pavlovich Makarov (1887–1980) was written in 1923 as a response to the book of Lev Nikolaevich Litoshenko criticizing the theory of peasant economy of the organization-production school from the economic liberalism perspective. The article has not been published before and is kept in the Russian State Archive of Economics. The article clarifies the position of the organization-production school on some debatable social-political aspects of the economic theory of agriculture. This publication aims at stimulating further research on the theory and history of the organization-production school and the history of the economic thought in Russia. The publication was prepared by T.A. Savinova.