Almost nothing escapes Lenin’s critical gaze, not even margarine:

Margarine is cheaper than real butter. Butter is too costly for the vast majority of the population in the capitalist countries. The workers earn so little that they have to buy cheap, low-grade, substitute food products. And yet the workers are the chief consumers. There are millions of workers, and only hundreds of capitalists. And so the output of cheap substitutes is growing daily and hourly, along with the unheard-of luxury of a handful of millionaires.

K’noath! Even margarine is a signal of class conflict. And where is the conflict the sharpest? Denmark:

It appears that the greatest consumer of margarine is Denmark—16,4 kilograms (about one pood) a year per in habitant. Next comes Norway—15 pounds, Germany—7.5 pounds, etc.

Denmark is the richest country for butter output. Danish butter—real butter—ranks among the finest grades. The world’s biggest and richest city, London (population, including that of the suburbs, about six million), prefers Danish butter to any other, and pays the highest price for it.

Danish well-to-do peasants, but above all the Danish capitalists, make a good deal of money from the butter trade. And yet Denmark is the world’s biggest consumer of substitute butter, margarine!

What is the explanation?

It is very simple. The vast majority of the Danish population, like that of any other capitalist country, consists of workers and propertyless peasants. They cannot afford real butter. Even the middle peasants in Denmark, being in need of money, sell abroad the butter they produce on their farms and buy the cheap margarine for themselves.

Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 18, pp. 224-5.

Next time you consume butter or margarine, think about it: you can’t escape class conflict!

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