The feudalism debate: The Turkish end – is ‘tax – vs. – rent’ necessarily the product and sign of a modal difference?
This study is a contribution to the debate on feudalism and non?European societies. It seeks to identify the useful kernel in Wickham's article, ?The Uniqueness of the East?, published previously in The Journal of Peasant Studies; and it relates the issue addressed by Wickham to the Turkish debate on the nature of Ottoman society. Certain philosophical questions surrounding such discussion are treated, and it is argued that the problem of selecting a definitional/terminological framework cannot simply be a matter of individual preference. A strong argument is made for considering feudalism as the most basic and universal pre?capitalist mode of exploitation.