"Asiatic" or "Feudal" - How to Define the Precapitalist Mode of Production in Korea?

Jae-Hyeon Choe
The concept of mode of production developed in the Marxist debates can only partly apply to the precapitalist social formation of Korea where a centralized state power, rigid estate system and share cropping were existing side by side. Especially the concept of the Asiatic mode of production cannot explain this type of traditional society, since the most important criterion for it, namely, the state ownership and village control of arable land, has never been dominant. On the contrary, a
more » ... contrary, a greater part of arable land was owned by private landowners, and the surplus products were expropriated not by the state as tax, but by private landowners as ground-rent. The state owned less than 10 % of the whole arable land of this country. The control of the population by the state apparatus was not due to the state ownership of land, but due to the estate system with extra-economic force. This kind of society was more similiar to the feudal than to the Asiatic mode of production.
doi:10.11588/iaf.1987.18.1956 fatcat:xzyytf3sy5aedca4dyoegfbiee