By Terence J. Byres (auth.)
The contrast among 'capitalism from above' and 'capitalism from under' is necessary within the research of the agrarian query in terrible international locations. The 'Prussian direction' and the 'American course' are the following tested, opposed to present 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 kin and effective forces, mediated because it used to be by way of the kingdom, is handled and the consequences for capitalist industrialisation scrutinised.
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Extra info for Capitalism from Above and Capitalism from Below: An Essay in Comparative Political Economy
Peasantries might linger on in these regions, but not, he argued, as an effective force, which would have constituted an agrarian question for Marxist theoreticians and strategists. His was a political reading of the agrarian question. In those two regions, it was the opposition of capitalist farmers and wage labour that mattered. This was the contradiction upon which attention had to be concentrated. In fact, although Engels did not stress this in the 1894 text, the nature of agrarian capitalism was markedly different in the two regions mentioned.
We note, then, that part of the concern of this essay is with the nature and activity of the state in relation to the agrarian question and agrarian transition. That, too, is crucial to an understanding the relevant issues. It is impossible to consider the relevant issues without reference to the state. Secondly, however, there is a danger to be avoided. This is the trap of seeing the state as a kind of 'black box': a closed unit which can be studied by registering class input and reading off predetermined class output.
To the extent that they have had strengths, they have been those of one or other of the two broad approaches: 'each tends to be dominated by one [research] strategy' [Ragin, 1987: xiv]. A 'more synthetic approach to comparative research' [Ragin, 1978: xiv] has not emerged in any decisive or useful sense. Other variants might certainly be identified. Space forbids such an exercise. 23. See Anderson [1974a. 1974b]. 24. See Hobsbawm [1975: 177]. 2 The Agrarian Question, Diversity of Agrarian Transition and the Two Paths: 'Capitalism From Above' and 'Capitalism From Below' I THE DIVERSITY OF SUCCESSFUL AGRARIAN TRANSITION There was an awareness of the diversity of successful agrarian transition from the very outset of Marxist writing on the agrarian question.
Capitalism from Above and Capitalism from Below: An Essay in Comparative Political Economy by Terence J. Byres (auth.)