Abstract

With original data from Mexico I argue that political divisions among capitalists are determined by their varying political relationships to other organized classes. I demonstrate that in 1975 a minority of agrarian capitalists formed a movement for organizational autonomy from the government to defend private property, free enterprise, and capitalism. The majority of capitalists, however, rejected this movement as "unpatriotic." Neither the heterogeneity of the capitalists' markets nor the various ways in which state policy impinged on their material interests explains this ideological divide. Rather, the data suggest that the agrarian capitalists' variant experiences with peasant struggles from below (and the contingent outcomes of such struggles) significantly shaped their political agendas and, thus, their conflicts over organizational forms. Capitalist interests, I conclude, are not fixed by an iron law of profitability any more than intraclass differences are resolvable in the monologically simple manner commonly assumed. Rather, capitalist agendas emerge dialogically through the political and ideological conflicts engendered by organized challenges from below.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8034
Print ISSN
0145-5532
Pages
pp. 75-108
Launched on MUSE
2003-04-01
Open Access
No
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