In the last two chapters, we looked at some of the differences between market and non-market societies. We saw some of the problems which arose when sociologists tried to understand the relationship between them.
Historically, the transition from non-market to market organisation has been managed by the state. In nineteenth century Europe, it was widely believed that a 'laissez-faire' approach was desirable. The state should act as a kind of referee while entrepreneurs got on with the job of creating wealth through pursuing their individual self-interests. Even so, the state played a major part in the development of capitalism and of industrial society. This took many forms, ranging from the maintenance of a legal system which protected private property and allowed enclosure to occur; which prevented the formation of trades unions; and which later made education compulsory not only because workers wanted education, but also because employers needed workers who could read and write. The state also had considerable influence over the content of education, thus influencing the way people thought and the values they held.
In chapter 2, I indicated that Barrington Moore thought that there had been three routes to development. These were the bourgeois democratic route, the fascist route and the route through peasant uprising. In all these cases, the state played a role. But in the latter two cases, its role was paramount. Japan is the clearest example of a society whose development originated in the total dominance of a ruthless and centralised state accompanied by an extreme nationalist, and also racist, ideology. The Soviet Union and China are examples of largely peasant uprisings in which a centralised state took over the direction of all aspects of production, consumption, distribution, as well as of culture and education.
In most countries of Africa and South and South East