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By Henry Heller

In the sunshine of the deepening trouble of capitalism and endured non-Western capitalist accumulation, Henry Heller re-examines the debates surrounding the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe and elsewhere.

Focusing on arguments concerning the starting place, nature and sustainability of capitalism, Heller deals a brand new interpreting of the old facts and a severe interrogation of the transition debate. He advances the concept that capitalism needs to be understood as a political in addition to an monetary entity. This e-book breathes new existence into the scholarship, taking factor with the excessively economistic technique of Robert Brenner, which has won expanding help over the past ten years. It concludes that the way forward for capitalism is extra threatened than ever before.

The new insights during this booklet make it crucial studying for engaged scholars and students of political financial system and history.

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This move toward theory appeared the more warranted as Hilton, of all the participants, was most versed in the concrete details of history. Throughout his career at Birmingham University he dedicated himself to rigorous empirical research in the archives. He became thoroughly familiar with Continental historiography on the Middle Ages and used it in a comparative way to illuminate his research work on England. 36 As such Hilton had a thorough grounding in Marxist theory and was passionately interested in the transition question.

The historical priority of Western capitalism could not be gainsaid, argued Takahashi, but its uniqueness, as argued by Hobsbawm, could. Takahashi notably attributed the top-down nature of Japanese capitalism to the resilience of its feudalism. While capitalism was breaking through in the West, the feudal regime consolidated or reconsolidated itself as the Tokugawa Shogunate in the seventeenth century on the basis of extremely heavy rents-in-kind and personal serfdom. The aspirations of the petty producers in Japan were crushed by the weight of feudal rent and the development of usury.

Contrary to the views of non-Marxists, and even some Marxists, historical analysis requires a dialectical or relational understanding of the historical process. Methodological individualism and notions of causation based on the isolation of independent and dependent variables were not incorrect methods. They were merely insufficient. Competitive markets, for example, may determine the success or failure of individual entrepreneurs. indd 19 6/7/2011 11:50:54 AM 20 t h e b i rt h o f c a p i ta l i s m markets is not only an economic process but also a political, social and cultural one.

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