Editorial from ROAPE Volume 8 Number 21
Peasants, Capital & The State
Of the four articles that comprise the bulk of this issue, the first, by Markakis, returns to an analysis of the Ethiopian state, that most difficult of countries to comprehend, since the removal of Emperor Haile Selasse. The Review has already sponsored the publication of Addis Hiwet's Ethiopia: From Autocracy to Revolution (1975) (which is now out of print) and Markakis's own book, with Ayele, Class and Revolution in Ethiopia (1978). Here, Markakis develops a conception of the society as one governed by a ‘garrison socialism’ . Second, we are publishing two articles, by Snyder and Bernstein, that bear in different ways on the commoditisation of peasant agriculture. While Snyder is particularly concerned at the process whereby legal forms alter in response to the new economic forces that impinge on a rural community, Bernstein is preoccupied with the changes in the circuits of peasant economy itself and on how the peasantry relates to the state and to its practices. Finally, Jacklyn Cock's article on white women and black domestic servants in South Africa examines the conditions for the reproduction of labour power, dwelling on the household as the site of important contradictions within South African society.