Changing socio-economic relations in the Kandyan countryside.
This work is a study of transition from feudalism to capitalism in the Kandyan countryside of Sri Lanka. It conceives of socio-economic relations as constituting a total social ensemble and focuses attention on structural change in this ensemble with an emphasis on production and exchange relations and caste and class relations. Chapter I, which lays down the problematique, takes as its point of departure Marx's discussion of the impact of British colonialism in India and posits questions pertaining to the possibilities of metropolitan type capitalist development in the colonial and post-colonial social formations. Chapter II attempts to reconstruct the pre- capitalist social formation in the region and argues that its articulation could be conceived in terms of the dominance of a specific type of feudalism. Chapter-III is an attempt to trace the structural history of the social formation in the region as a whole, with due emphasis upon three dimensions: production, consumption and surplus flows; class relations and politics.
After a brief glimpse at the village scene, Chapter IV
discusses in detail the changing agrarian relations in .D elumgoda,
which is supplemented by Cha~ter V whose focus of attention is
devoted to'a detailed discussion of caste and class relations in
Delumgoda and an evaluation of the interaction between these two
distinct modes of stratification.
Chapter VI and VII follow the same theme in relation
to Yakadagama. After a.prief look at the village scene, a
detailed study of the changes in the agrarian and craft organisation
is provided. A detailed study of caste and class relations in
Yakadagama and its hamlets follows. The conclusion argues that, though the structure of the feudal mode of production has definitely been dismantled as far back as the mid-nineteenth century, this has not led to the
disappearance of all the archaic relations associated with this
mode in Delumgoda and Yakadagama up to this day. The concept of
survivals which takes such relations to be 'left-overs' from a
previous mode is rejected ~nd the continuing presence of the archaic
relations in the Kandyan countryside is explained in terms of
a concept of reactivation which maintains that these relations are
reproduced by the intervention of the structural levels of the
capitalist mode of production itself, which finds it necessary to
do so in the context of peripheral capitalist formations.