[OPE-L:5211] capital form and the state

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 03:30:15 EST

On the post keynesian list, Gary M correctly spoke of the new US 
bankruptcy law in terms of class power. Drawing on analogy offered by 
the great anthropologist Edmund Leach  (Social Anthropology, p. 157), 
we could think of this state sanctioned relationship of permanent 
debt bondage as akin to a metal connector between two poles in an 
electrical battery. If two poles in ,say, an electrical battery are 
separated, there is no relationship between them. But as soon as the 
two poles are put into relationship by a power conductor the relative 
potential at the two ends of the connector generates a power flow. 
The greater the difference in potential the greater flow of power and 
the greater the danger to the interface/power conductor. If the metal 
in the connector is too thin to accept the load, it will burn up. It 
would seem that since the creditor to debtor relationship has been 
made by the new law to carry too great a flow of power from the 
dominant to the subordinate position, the connection between the two 
parties may be likely to burn up--that is break into violence; 
however,  the metal connector in this case is the capitalist state 
itself which unlike a piece of fuse wire  will not easily burn up.
Yours, Rakesh

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