ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Politics and Economics of "Intermediate Regimes"

The discussion on "intermediate regimes" was carried out in the pages of the EPW through the mid 70s. We present one of the earliest essays on "intermediate regimes" by K N Raj for our readers. 


Abstract of the article: Michal Kalecki used the term “intermediate regimes” to describe governments in which the lower-middle-class and the rich peasantry could be identified as performing the role of the ruling class. Kalecki recognised that such governments would have to enter into some arrangements with the native upper-middle-class; that such arrangements might range from “far-reaching nationalization (usually with compensation) to a mere limitation of the scope of private investment coupled with attempts, as a rule rather ineffective, to adjust its structure to the general goals of development”; and that “the choice of the particular variant of dealing with big business is determined not so much by the ideology of the ruling class, as by the strength of the former”. Further, it was his view that the way in which land reform is carried out would limit the potentialities of increasing agricultural output, as small farms would be unable to expand their production under the prevailing agrarian relations. Nor did he expect farm labourers, workers in small factories, or the unemployed and the casually unemployed to benefit perceptibly from the growth process under these conditions. Nevertheless, and this is what is most significant, he thought the system could be politically viable.

Kalecki’s analysis of intermediate regimes deserves closer examination. For not only do the social classes (or strata) which stand between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie form the bulk of the population in most of the underdeveloped countries (as in Marx’s own time) but new forms of political and economic organisation, various technological advances, and the emerging international political alignments themselves offer a wider range of options to these countries than were available until the middle of the present century. Whether state capitalism can provide a viable economic basis for regimes dominated by one or more of these classes, what characteristics and tendencies it is likely to develop within this kind of political framework; and how much a system could evolve over a period of time in these countries are therefore questions of considerable importance today.

Their relevance to India hardly needs to be mentioned. 


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