The Second Serfdom in Eastern Europe and Latin America

Eric R. Wolf

in Pathways of Power

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780520223332
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924871 | DOI:
The Second Serfdom in Eastern Europe and Latin America

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  • Theory and Practice of Anthropology


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This chapter draws comparisons between “the really existing socialisms” and “the really existing capitalisms” by two peripheries, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and aims at providing some of the perspectives required for such comparisons. The two world areas have also taken a different path from the developing industrial complex located in northwestern Europe. Demographic factors, involvements in developing markets, and the needs of military procurement, then, may have operated singly or together to further the development of the large estate worked with directly controlled, coerced labor. The two world regions exhibit a marked similarity in the nature of rule by centralizing states. Much of the political energy of the twentieth century was directed toward refashioning the political economy of the countryside and, thus, toward altering the ways in which the various societies of East and West participated, through the instrument of the large estate, in the developing world system.

Keywords: Eastern Europe; Latin America; demographic factors; socialisms; capitalisms

Chapter.  6875 words. 

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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