The difficulties which arise in the drafting of a ‘European’ agricultural policy are of interest because they illuminate the basic contradictions which exist within the Atlantic bloc, within the Common Market and within each of its member nations. These contradictions will not readily be resolved. But the way in which a solution is sought will be decisive for the development of the capitalist world and the balance of power within it.
The answer sought by the eec contains both regressive and progressive aspects. The regressive are as follows:
It would tend to make the Common Market a closed system, an autarchy vis-a-vis the rest of the world. If an eec price with zonal variations were fixed for wheat, it would be well above the world price.
This price would speed up a development which has already begun: it would neither help save small-scale cereal-farmers in France from annihilation, nor would it discourage large-scale cereal-farmers in other countries. This would hasten the process of capitalist concentration in agriculture. In the long run, by imposing added burdens on stock-breeding (a pre-capitalist sector), it would prepare it for the kind of capitalist integration which poultry-farming has had to undergo to pay its way.
In the long run, this capitalist reorganization of agriculture will produce a substantial surplus in the Common Market. Given the present organization (or disorganization) of world markets, this will result in a further lowering of world primary product prices for agriculture and a cutback in the already very inadequate trade of the developing nations (except for ex-French Africa).