ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Capitalist Farmers and Agricultural Labourers

Capitalist Farmers and Agricultural Labourers Gail Omvedt Capitalism and Peasant Fanning: Agrarian Structure and Ideology in Northern Tamil Nadu by John Harriss; Oxford University Press, Bombay, 1982; pp xxviii + 358, Rs 125.

Nationalist Peasant

Peasant Nationalists of Gujarat, Kheda District 1917-1934 by David Hardiman; Oxford University Press. Delhi, 1981; pp 309, Rs 110.
GUJARAT was the strongest bastion of the Gandhian Congress, the source of some of. its most famous peasant satyagrahas (Kheda 1918, Bardoli 1928), the homeland of Gandhi himself as well as 'iron man' Vallabhbhai Patel, the conservative opposite to Nehru, and the testing-ground for the Gan- dhian 'constructive programme'

MAHARASHTRA-Maratha Melava

Maratha Melava Gail Omvedt "THERE's no sense for our Harijan brothers to listen to their belly-filling leaders and fight with Marathas. If they do this will not end without reaction." "Until our demands [against reservations and the roster system] are met, our fight will remain. And all I will say today is that those political individuals who oppose it will be burned to ashes in this movement." With threats, .saffron flags, photos of Shivaji and Shahu Maharaj, trumpets and evocations of Tarabai, Annasaheb Patil, Congress-(I) MLA and president of the All-India Maratha Mahasangh, headed a "lakh Maratha melava" on January 23-24 in Kolhapur.

Capitalist Agriculture and Rural Classes in India

in India Gail Omvedt The debate over the 'mode of production in Indian agriculture' grew out of a milieu where scholars steeped in classic Marxist notions of feudalism, capitalism and imperialism confronted a changing empirical reality. In retrospect, it now appears that the data base of the whole debate was scanty, though by the 1960s, important economic changes in agriculture had been initiated, and the process of destroying pre independence forms of landlordism and laying the foundations of an industrial and in- frastructural development that could supply inputs to agriculture was beginning to produce real changes. But though Indian agriculture was becoming capitalist, the debate on the mode of production centred itself on the colonial period and failed to analyse the qualitatively different processes at work in the post- colonial phase.

MAHARASHTRA-Rasta Roko Kulaks and the Left

MAHARASHTRA Rasta Roko Kulaks and the Left Gail Omvedt "THERE was tremendous enthusiasm in their morcha! But who were they? All maldars' sons, You know what I think? These people hive sat for several years and watched the labourers organise, suffering some defeats, feeling they were helpless to domuch in opposition. But now, now they're learning that they too can organise and build a movement.

Steel Workers, Contract Labourers and Adivasis

and Adivasis Gail Omvedt 'BOKARO Steel Has Changed the Face of the Land' proclaims the advertisement. ''Yesterday's unskilled and unemployed are today's skilled professionals. Struggling insanitary villages have become a planned city that still retains much of the rural greenery.'' But public sector bureaucrats, like private capitalists, are so eager to show their contribution to the welfare of the most downtrodden precisely because the reality is almost the opposite. What any visit to the 'Steel region'

Little Nationalism Turned Chauvinist-A Comment

Little Nationalism Turned Chauvinist A Comment Gail Omvedt AMALENDU GUHA'S defence of the left front' position on Assam (EPW welcome because it is the most detailed effort yet by a Marxist academic expert. If such a presentation cannot stand up to empirical evidence or logic, then I would think it is a good indication that the basic political position is itself indefensible.

Wishing Away Class Politics

Engels and Lenin on the integrated basis of their political, ideological and, if one may use the word, moral superiority with Stalin's authoritarianism. Secondly, Stalin's terror was certainly not limited, as the editor claims, to 'enemy classes'; it was equally directed towards 'own' and allied classes, Nobody, for instance, has questioned Khrushchev's disclosure that 98 out of the 139 members and candidate members of the central committee, elected by the 17th congress of the Bolshevik Party


December 6, 1980 government has been to secure a measure of uniformity among all ports on wages and service conditions. By the mid-sixties, industrial relations in the major ports began to move in the direction of encouragement of tripartite negotiations. Thus the government constituted resisted the unions' demand for a bipartite wage committee in 1974 and constituted instead a wage revision committee with B N Lokur, retired Judge of Allahabad High Court, as the Chairman, ft was the agreement based on Lokur's recommendations that expired on December 31, 1979.

Who Should Dalits Ally With

August 9, 1980 on the ground of 'to each according to his (unequal) needs'. In its political aspect this means that the right to socialist dissidenee and the socialists' right to change socialist governments is recognised in principle, as well as jn practice, so that socialist 'elitism' is guarded against and political equality assured. In short, it is necessary to fight for 'egalitarian socialism', as opposed to 'inegalitarian socialism'. Contemporary 'creative Marxism' must grapple with these problems, first of all, at the theoretical level IV It remains to raise an objection to one piece of orthodoxy which, it so happens quite unnecessarily, strikes a discordant note in Amin's otherwise unorthodox and creative reconstruction of the Marxian theory of social transformations. Throughout his chapters on the capitalist mode of production, Amin adheres strictly to the century-old Orthodox Marxian notion that 'labour is the sole source of value', and mates use of the orthodox notion of Marxian 'prices of production' as 'corrected labour values' in discussing questions of 'unequal development', 'the development of underdevelopment' etc. But these notions should be rejected on at least three grounds. First, it can be shown that logically if we agree that "labour is the only source of value", we cannot 'prove' that capitalists exploit workers to extract a surplus, which is the main purpose of the Marxian version of the 'labour theory of the value' and the starting point of Amin's analysis of capitalism. On the other hand, if we adopt the somewhat unorthodox notion that "capital is not a thing or a 'factor' on the same footing as land or labour, but a coercive social power", we can successfully prove the Marxian "exploitation theorem*. Secondly, it can be shown that the unorthodox 'capital theory approach' does better than the orthodox labour value approach' to lay bare the contours of certain central problems Amin tackles in his 'reconstruction' of Marxian theory. This is certainly true of the 'unequal relations' between classes and nations established through international trade and investment under capitalism functioning as a world system. It is also true of a discussion of the question as to whether a programme of establishing 'inegalitarian socialism can be replaced by a programme of establishing 'egalitarian socialism' (in the sense referred to above). Thirdly, although it is true that the 'orthodox' but untenable labour value approach is to be found in all of Marx's writings, it is also true that the 'unorthodox' but valid capital theory approach is also to be found side by side in all of Marx's writings, though less systematically worked out than the 'orthodox approach'. (However, with the modem work of Sraffa, to which Amin refers, notably on p 150, there is no difficulty in systematising Marx's 'capital theory approach'.) Hence, there is no reason why Amin, who has creatively retrieved several of Marx's neglected insights and rejected others, should not rely on the 'capital theory, approach' rather than the labour value' approach to be found in Marx's writings, to reconstruct the Marxian theory of social transformation of world capitalism to world socialism.


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