The Human Cost of Creative Destruction
The postwar French state struggled to find the right balance between quantity and quality in the agricultural sector. European integration and the general drive to modernize the French economy drove French planners to push for greater productivity, while simultaneously drawing on the French reputation for quality artisanal production in order to market food stuffs to foreign consumers. The end result was a food system split between the big-box food store and the open-air market. This push for higher productivity launched a wave of Schumpeterian creative destruction that put many farmers out of business. One of the most important tools available to the proponents of agricultural industrialization was land use policy. Through the consolidation of holdings, farms achieved greater efficiency while farmers were pushed off their lands.
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