Front Page Titles (by Subject) III. Rent in Kind. - Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume III: The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole
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III. Rent in Kind. - Karl Marx, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume III: The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole 
Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume III: The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole, by Karl Marx. Ed. Federick Engels. Trans. from the 1st German edition by Ernest Untermann (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr and Co. Cooperative, 1909).
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III. Rent in Kind.
The transformation of labor rent into rent in kind does not change anything in the nature of rent, economically speaking. This nature, in the forms of rent considered here, is such that rent is the sole prevailing and normal form of surplus labor, or surplus-value. This, again, expresses the fact that rent is the only surplus labor, or the only surplus product which the direct producer, being in possession of the labor conditions needed for his own reproduction, must give up to the owner of the land, which under this state of things is the one condition of labor embracing everything. And furthermore it expresses the fact that land is the only labor condition, which stands opposed to the direct producer as a property independent of him and held in the hands of another, being personified by the landlord. To the extent that rent in kind is the prevailing and dominant form of ground-rent, it is always more or less in the company of survivals of the preceding form, that is of rent paid directly by labor, forced labor, no matter whether the landlord be a private person or the state. Rent in kind requires a higher state of civilization for the direct producer, a higher stage of development of his labor and of society in general. And it is distinguished from the preceding form by the fact that the surplus labor is no longer performed naturally, is no longer performed under the direct supervision and compulsion of the landlord or of his representatives. The direct producer is rather driven by the force of circumstances than by direct coercion, rather by legal enactment than by the whip, to perform surplus labor on his own responsibility. Surplus production, in the sense of a production beyond the indispensable needs of the direct producer, and within the field of production actually in his own possession, upon the soil exploited by himself and no longer upon the lord's estate outside of his own land, has become a matter of fact rule here. In this relation the direct producer is more or less master of the employment of his whole labor time, although a part of this labor time, at first practically the entire surplus portion of it, belongs to the landlord without any compensation. Only, the landlord does not get this surplus labor any more in its natural form, but rather in the natural form of the product in which it is realized. The burdensome interruption by the labor for the landlord (see Volume I, chapter X, 2, Manufacturer and Boyard), which disturbs the reproduction of the serf more or less, according to the way in which forced labor is regulated, disappears, wherever rent in kind has its pure form, or at least it is reduced to a few short intervals during the year, which demand a continuation of rent by forced labor by the side of rent in kind. The labor of the producer for himself and his labor for the landlord are no longer palpably separated by time and space. This rent in kind, in its pure form, while it may drag itself along sporadically into more highly developed modes of production and conditions of production, nevertheless requires for its existence a natural economy, that is an economy in which the conditions of production are either wholly or for the overwhelming part produced by the system itself in such a way that they are reproduced directly out of its gross product. It furthermore requires the combination of domestic rural industry with agriculture. The surplus product, which forms the rent, is the product of this combined agricultural and industrial family labor, no matter whether rent in kind contains more or less of the industrial product, as it often does in the middle ages, or whether it is paid only in the form of actual products of the soil. In this form of rent it is by no means necessary that rent in kind, which represents the surplus labor, should fully exhaust the entire surplus labor of the rural family. Compared to labor rent, the producer rather has more elbow room to gain time for some surplus labor whose product shall belong to himself, as does that of the labor which produces his indispensable means of subsistence. This form will also give rise to greater differences in the economic situation of the individual direct producers. At least the possibility for such a differentiation exists, and so does the possibility that the direct producer may have acquired the means to exploit other laborers for himself, but this does not concern us here, since we are dealing with rent in its pure form. Neither can be pay any heed to the endless variety of combinations, by which the various forms of rent may be united, adulterated and amalgamated.
Owing to the peculiar form of rent in kind, by which it is bound to a definite kind of products and of production, owing furthermore to the indispensable combination of agriculture and domestic industry attached to it, also to the almost complete selfsufficiency in which the peasant family supports itself and to its independence from markets and from the movement of production and history in the social spheres outside of it, in short owing to the character of natural economy in general this form is quite suitable for becoming the basis of stationary conditions of society, such as we see in Asia. Here, as previously in the form of labor rent, ground-rent is the normal form of surplus-value, and thus of surplus labor, that is of the entire surplus labor performed without any equivalent by the direct producer for the benefit of the owner of his essential means of production, the land, a labor which is still performed under compulsion, although no longer in the old brutal form. The profit, if, falsely anticipating, we may so call that portion of the direct producer's labor which exceeds his necessary labor and which he keeps for himself, has so little to do with determining the rent in kind, that this profit rather grows up behind the back of the rent and finds its natural limit in the size of the rent in kind. This rent may assume dimensions which seriously threaten the reproduction of the conditions of labor, of the means of production. It may render an expansion of production more or less impossible, and grind the direct producers down to the physical minimum of means of subsistence. This is particularly the case, when this form is met and exploited by a conquering industrial nation, as India is by the English.