ABSTRACT

Capitalist development generates inequalities. Some classes, some communities, some sectors prosper far more than others, and many people benefit little or are actually immiserated in the course. Capitalism is a competitive process, so it is not surprising that there are winners and losers. But in every capitalist developing country, the rules of the game are always changing, sometimes fundamentally. And who wins depends on what the rules are. If today's winners can influence tomorrow's rules, they are likely to remain winners tomorrow, and for as long as they can continue the cycle of economic success and political power. This essay constructs, and tests for the case of postindependence India, a structural and evolutionary theory of the dominant alliance; an alliance between an economically dominant group and a state where the business strategies of the former and the development strategy of the latter are fitted to one another.