Social Scientist. v 5, no. 53 (Dec 1976) p. 33.


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KARL SCHOER

Origins of Junker Capitalism in Germany

MANY SCHOLARS have described the mode of production in the agrarian sector of countries like India as ^feudal" or ^semi-feudal". If it is proper to characterize agricultural relations in underdeveloped countries with concepts evolved from European history, it should be equally legitimate to employ historical experiences from Europe for elucidating certain developments such as the emergence of capitalism in Indian agriculture although it is inappropriate to draw direct analogies.

European feudalism exhibited various forms, particularly in its final phase, with immediate relevance to the transition to capitalism. This article deals with a form, the importance of which for the analysis of Indian agricultural conditions has been pointed out by many authors. It developed in the part of Germany east of the river Elbe and came to be known as junker capitalism. The junkers who formed the ruling class of Prussia were military in spirit, defended reaction and the landed interests, supported Bismarck prior to the Franco-Prussian war and helped bring Hitler to power.

For the last 25 years, research on junker capitalism has made considerable progress, bringing to light a number of hitherto unknown but important facts, mainly due to the opening of the junkers' private archives after the Second World War in the German Democratic



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