La nourriture les bestiaux: nota sull'evoluzione del tableau economique
Fodder for live-stock was, in Quesnayâ€™s view, a critical portion of the farmerâ€™s circulating capital. By increasing recourse to stabling it increased the availability of manure which in turn would increase yield per acre of land. Expenditure on fodder is in fact the single item that best of all characterizes the more general revolution in technical and social relations advocated by Quesnay for French agriculture of his time and often referred to as the passage from petite to grande culture. Yet in Quesnayâ€™s tableau Ã©conomique a quite unprecedented assumption (as far as Quesnayâ€™s own earlier writings are concerned), according to which each class divides its expense half on agricultural produce and half on manufactured goods, makes it impossible to give explicit account of this part of capital in the diagram. The present note tries to follow the rather complex course of changes the treatment of this quantity of fodder â€“ â€œla nourriture des bestiauxâ€ â€“ underwent through the different versions of the tableau, from the first â€œeditionâ€ of 1758 to the Formule of 1767: Quesnayâ€™s puzzling remarks on population in the first two â€œeditionsâ€, the introduction of interests on original advances in the third, the suppression of fodder in Lâ€™Ami des Hommes, its final accounting outside the tableau in Philosophie rurale and in the Analyse de la Formule. Several obscure passages in Quesnayâ€™s notes to the tableau are thus clarified and a better understanding of its general evolution made possible.
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