A Critique of Agricultural Economics

by Karl “Chuck” Marx
(translated by Andrew Kliman)

Chapter 1: The Corn Model

1. The Two Factors of the Commodity:
Use-Value (Real Corn Goodness) and Value (Substance of Corn, Magnitude of Corn)

The wealth of societies in which the corn mode/l of production prevails appears as, and is, an ‘immense collection of corn’; the individual ear appears as, and is, its elementary form. Our investigation therefore begins with the analysis of the ear.

The ear is, first of all, an external object, a thing which through its qualities satisfies human needs of whatever kind. Whether one boils it and eats it with butter, as creamed corn, popcorn, uses it as a Halloween decoration, etc. makes no difference. The use-values of corn provide the material for a special branch of knowledge, namely home economics. In the form of society to be considered here, corn is also the material bearer [Träger] of … exchange-value.

1. Orville Redenbacher, Zur Kritik der Popkornische Œkonomie (Ames, Iowa: University of Iowa Press), 1989, p. 3.

The rest of the parody can be found here.


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