Landlords and Capitalists

Landlords and Capitalists: The Dominant Class of Chile

Copyright Date: 1988
Pages: 320
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    Landlords and Capitalists
    Book Description:

    In 1974, Maurice Zeitlin published a seminal article inThe American Journal of Sociology, criticizing managerial theory and evidence, which ended one era in the analysis of the large corporation's ownership and control and began a new one. He called for research on the capitalist class that would reveal its inner structure--particularly the interaction of family ties, property, and business leadership in the large corporation. But, despite the subsequent blossoming of studies of intercorporate and class power, no one else has yet done the systematic empirical analysis he outlined. This work is thus the first to explore the full panoply of intraclass relations--interorganizational, kinship, economic, and political--within an actually existing dominant class. Theoretically sensitive, methodologically precise, and historically grounded, it aims to fill in the blank spots in our knowledge about how "economic classes" become "social classes" and how the latter in turn connect with other social forms.

    This work is a sustained empirical analysis of Chile's dominant class. But it does more than reveal that class's specific internal structure; it also provides a coherent theory of the inner relations constituting any dominant class in a highly concentrated capitalist economy, a methodological paradigm, and an exemplary body of findings, which can closely guide the study of other dominant classes, especially in the "advanced" societies of the West.

    Originally published in 1988.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5953-5
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    (pp. xix-xxii)
    (pp. xxiii-2)
  7. INTRODUCTION: Inside the Dominant Class
    (pp. 3-14)

    “Class” always refers to the interpenetration of economy and society: whether of the “market” and “communal action” or of “production relations” and “class struggle.” Thus, the central question raised by the concept of class is, What are the connections between “economic relations” and “social relations”? How do classes, rooted in a concrete set of economic relations, take on historically specific social forms? This, on the most abstract level, is the originating theoretical question of the present study. No doubt, as Anthony Giddens remarks, “the most important blank spots in the theory of class concern the processes whereby ‘economic classes’ become...

  8. CHAPTER ONE Corporate Ownership and Control: The Large Corporation and the Capitalist Class
    (pp. 15-75)

    The large corporation is the decisive unit of production in “highly concentrated capitalist economies.”¹ Its ascendance surely has significantly affected the class relations and internal dynamics of contemporary capitalist societies. But has the result actually been “the breakup of family capitalism” and the transformation of “the capitalist class . . . into the managerial class”²—and thereby also the abolition of the internal contradictions, exploitative relations, and social domination characteristic of private ownership and control of capital? That is the originating question of the empirical analyses in this and the following chapter.

    The theory of managerial capitalism, implied by our...

  9. CHAPTER TWO “New Princes” for Old?
    (pp. 76-107)

    The basic premise of managerialism—and of its close variant, the functionalist theory of social stratification—is that the ascendance of the large corporation has meant a “revolution” in “the relations between power and class position in modern society.”¹ The “old unity that was private enterprise”—the “kinship-property combination typical of classical capitalism”—has been split asunder, and thus the very “social cement of the bourgeois class system” has been irrevocably broken-up.² The dissolution of the ownership and control of capital has meant the dissolution of the capitalist class itself: “capital—and thereby capitalism—hasdissolved,” as Ralf Dahrendorf avers,...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Finance Capital
    (pp. 108-145)

    A handful of immense banks, concentrating within their coffers the bulk of the assets and deposits of the entire banking system and providing much of the loans and credits for industry, are the decisive units in the circulation of capital in contemporary capitalist economies.¹ With this consolidation of oligopoly in banking itself, the amount of loans and credits granted by the leading banks actually determines the amount of money deposited with them, because what they lend flows back to them as deposits. They can, within rather wide limits, “vary at will the supply of credit or short-term capital available at...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Landlords and Capitalists
    (pp. 146-185)

    Capitalism is profoundly conditioned by the historical forms of landed property and the types of agrarian classes it confronts in its development, and this shapes the most basic features of a country’s concrete “social formation.” The latter is thus not only split into the constituent classes unique to capitalism, but also incorporates “strata of society which, though belonging to the antiquated mode of production, continue to exist side by side with it in gradual decay.”¹

    More than a century ago, Karl Marx wrote that “wage-laborers, capitalists and landlords constitute the three great social classes,” which “together and in their mutual...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Land, Capital, and Political Hegemony
    (pp. 186-214)

    The protracted presence and eventual incorporation of agrarian elements in the dominant classes of Western capitalist countries is nowhere accurately portrayed by “the simple picture of a declining aristocracy and a rising bourgeoisie.” Rather, as Reinhard Bendix rightly remarks, “in most European countries, the social and political pre-eminence of the pre-industrial groups continued even when their economic fortunes declined.”¹ This anomaly of the continuing “political dominion” of large landed property, despite the “economic supremacy” of capital is a problem wrestled with by many theorists, though with little satisfying resolution. Karl Marx, for instance, often spoke of the state in Great...

  13. CHAPTER SIX The Ties That Bind
    (pp. 215-251)

    In the epoch of the multinational corporation’s ascendancy, the implications of the internationalization of capital have now become both a critical theoretical question and an urgent political issue even for the advanced capitalist countries themselves. In particular, just how foreign capital affects the economy, class relations, and political process of the “host country” is an issue that now faces even the United States, as its global economic preeminence is being challenged by other advanced capitalist countries and as foreign investment is flowing into it at an unprecedented level and accelerating pace. This is an issue, of course, that is endemic...

  14. EPILOGUE: The Color of the Rose
    (pp. 252-258)

    This study of Chile’s landlords and capitalists focuses on them, as we now know, at a time when their class dominion was, albeit for an ephemeral moment, about to be called into historical question. In 1958, Dr. Salvador Allende, the presidential candidate of a coalition led by the Socialist and Communist parties, had narrowly failed—by a margin of 35,000 votes—to win election. In 1964, Eduardo Frei won the presidency on a Christian Democratic program explicitly designed as an alternative to socialism; his campaign spoke in a populist idiom and called for a “revolution in liberty.” With its rhetoric...

    (pp. 259-284)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 285-288)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 289-289)