Capitalism from Above and Capitalism from Below: An Essay in by Terence J. Byres (auth.)

By Terence J. Byres (auth.)

The contrast among 'capitalism from above' and 'capitalism from lower than' is necessary within the research of the agrarian query in terrible nations. The 'Prussian direction' and the 'American course' are right here tested, opposed to current ancient scholarship. Their unfolding, from their earliest roots to the purpose of ultimate 'agrarian transition' within the 19th and 20th centuries, is taken into account. The dialectic among social relatives and effective forces, mediated because it was once by way of the kingdom, is taken care of and the consequences for capitalist industrialisation scrutinised.

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Additional info for Capitalism from Above and Capitalism from Below: An Essay in Comparative Political Economy

Sample text

The Permanent Settlement simply brought into being a class of large, parasitic, mainly absentee, landlords, operating via semi-feudal relations, and a stagnant agriculture. As Guha has it: After the first three decades or so of its existence as a policy it [the Permanent Settlement] was to turn back on its course to degenerate into an apologia for the quasi-feudal land system in Eastern India during the remainder of British rule ... The Permanent Settlement assumed the character of a pre-capitalist system of land ownership, mocking its own original image as visualized by Philip Francis and Thomas Law.

For a non-Marxist treatment, see Kuznets [1951] and Kuznets [1966: 16-19]. For a brief, Marxist statement of the unity of one nation state - India - in which a capitalist road is being attempted, cf. Kosambi [1977: 2-7]. The remainder of this section uses material from my Inaugural lecture [Byres, 1995]. See Karshenas [1995]. See Bloch [1966]. As he himself tells us, he had several predecessors, including Henri Pirenne (whose influence on him was great) and the linguist, A. Meillet. He was especially interested in, and impressed by, the use of the comparative method in comparative linguistics.

Nowhere does a landlord class remotely like the English one, either in its idealised or its actual version, exist. An attempt to initiate such a path was tried by the British in India, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, via the famous Permanent Settlement. In 1793, the British created 'a strange group of great landlords, a class whose annual payments of land revenue to the State were fixed ... at sums which were to remain unchanged for all time to come' [Thorner, 1955: 124].

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