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Historical Arguments For A ‘Logic Of Deployment’ In ‘Precapitalist’ Agriculture

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author produces historical arguments for suspending belief in the hypothesis of discontinuity, by which one can mean the conception that the real or alleged differences between economic rgimes and historical periods are in some sense more fundamental to their historical interpretation than the factors which they share in common. It challenges the notion that the different economic epochs are each characterised by a predominant type of labour-relation, for example the ancient world by slavery. The chapter looks very rapidly at the work of some medieval historians to extract the general postulate that the agriculture of any given period is characterised by a complex and differentiated use of labour. Finally, the author takes up sharecropping and permanent farm contracts, referring mainly to India.

Keywords: economic rgimes; historical periods; medieval historians



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