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The Asiatic Mode of Production, Indian Land Law, and the Naxalite Movement

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Marx’s views on pre-capitalist non-western societies evolved during his intellectual development and are generally grouped under the (problematic) term “Asiatic Mode of Production.” This article examines the connections between the Asiatic Mode of Production from Marxist economics, post-independence Indian land laws, the violation of those laws after independence and in the period of liberalization, and the continuing popularity of the Naxalite/Maoist insurgency. The contemporary round of globalization seeks to finish what colonization started by forcibly removing Adavasi and Scheduled Tribes in a process similar to primitive accumulation. Understanding this dynamic explains the Naxalites’ continuing appeal in contemporary India.

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