[Marxism] Asiatic Mode of Production debates

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jul 21 07:31:19 MDT 2006

Erkal wrote:

>       Now, I want to ask a more specific question. One of the most 
> "burning" issues of the Turkish left in the 60s was the debate over 
> social formations, specifically, the asiatic mode of production. Apart 
> from the current political implications of this thesis as expounded my 
> "many" of its defenders and the recent critiques directed to it in the 
> mediation of orientalism, this matter, in my opinion, was fruitful not 
> only in reflecting upon the peculiarities of the Turkish social formation 
> but also in problematizing what was taken granted by traditional Marxism, 
> that is Stalin's thesis of the five-stage line of social-historical 
> development. This was, so to say, a defamiliarizing theoretical effect in 
> that it was perhaps the first thriving of "theoretical" anti-Stalinism in 
> Turkey.
>       As far as I know, the debate over asiatic mode of production was 
> obscured in USSR toward the end of the 20s. But it was after the process 
> of de-Stalinization and the invitations to "return to Marx" began that 
> this discussion started, especially with the ones going on in the 
> France  For instance, most of the translations over this topic was made 
> from French: Maurice Godelier, Jean Suret Canale, E. Varga etc. Does 
> anyone know more about the re-emergence of this discussion?
>   I will be gratified to listen to your answers.
>   E.

The Debates over the Asiatic Mode of Production in Soviet Russia, China, 
and Japan
Joshua A. Fogel
The American Historical Review, Vol. 93, No. 1 (Feb., 1988), pp. 56-79




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