Social Scientist. v 2, no. 17 (Dec 1973) p. 51.


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Development of Capitalism in Agriculture

UTSA Patnaik (Social Scientist, Number 13, August 1973) has not refuted, from a Marxist-Leninist position, any of the points communicated (Social Scientist^ Number 5, December 1972) as part of my criticism other original study. Rather than trading 'direct9 empirical data with the author I shall merely express my opinion on her basic deviations from the stand, viewpoint and method of Marxism-Leninism. Since our points are by no means original, and are entirely borrowed from social scientists more eminent than either of us, one must face the charge of being textual and quote extensively once again. After all, even Utsa Patnaik will admit that Marx and Lenin say it much better than we can and that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with quotations so long as they are not used formally or decoratively, or in order to rob Marxism-Leninism of its living essence while appearing to stand by its letter.

Utsa Patnaik's main charge is that her 'total thesis' has not been understood. One can only try to indicate an opinion, given the limitations of space. Her 'total thesis' is strongly influenced by an academic trend1 that finds the Marxist-Leninist stand and viewpoint inadequate for a study of the concrete conditions of 'underdevelopment', and claims to develop the 'method9 of Marx in order to make it suitable for studying the 'unique' conditions of countries such as India. The basic ideas of this trend shared, to some degree, by Utsa Patnaik can be expressed as follows:

(a) There can be no general conception or definition of capitalism equally relevant to the conditions of 'development' and 'underdevelopment/ There are no essential features that can be said to characterize a socio-economic formation called capitalism. Capitalism in the advanced capitalist countries was different in all its essential features from the mode of production in the 'underdeveloped' countries.

(b) While capitalism in Europe's historical experience was an 'integrated, total' process which functioned on its own steam, in colonies



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