From: John Holloway (johnholloway@PRODIGY.NET.MX)
Date: Tue Mar 09 2004 - 19:36:22 EST
On the relation between the state and capital and the concept of the state-form, I still think of the state derivation debate as the starting point. See: Holloway and Picciotto, State and Capital, Edward Arnold, 1978; Simon Clarke, The State Debate, Macmillan 1991. (Sorry if someone has mentioned these already; I haven't been able to follow the discussion closly.) John ---------- >From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla <cipolla@UFPR.BR> >To: OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU >Subject: Re: [OPE-L] (OPE-L) Re: "Marx, Markets and Meatgrinders: An Interview with Bertell Ollman" from Political Affairs >Date: Tue, Mar 9, 2004, 4:08 PM > >Thanks Jerry for your stimulating post. Obviously one feels overwhelmed by the >volume of reading and research that must be done if marxists want to be more >convincing both scientifically and in their daily propaganda. >I think the idea of keeping the eyes on the prize is very serious. However it >would be much harder to comprehend the subject matter -- Capitalism and State -- >if we were to depart solely from the present day evidence rather than mixing >Marx´s suggestions with new evidence. >To keep it simple consider the question of Taxes/unproductive classes. This is >in itself a whole field of analysis. I guess here Marx is referring to the >unproductive classes employed by the state, i.e., the army, the legislators, the >judges, the civil servants. What seems interesting to me is that Taxes as far as >the unproductive classes are concerned is a subject matter that is independent >of the type of government that happens to exist: as long as it mantains the >social relations as they are the state has to gather funds to pay for the >government dependent individuals. >In asking about the relationship between the state and the economy I had in mind >relations that are independent of whether the government is a committee of the >bourgeoisie or whether the government is of the the Bonapartist type. If we look >at the way Marx orders the contents of what was supposed to be the book on the >state it seems that he has in mind these economic relations. >You refer to the state as the state-form. Does that come from the Critique of >Hegel? The form of appearance of the state as the interest of all in opposition >to its intrinsic or essential being as the instrument of one class? Here the >economic relations help to understand the state as a form of appearance: taxes >come from all, therefore the state must be in the interest of all. I do not >think the question of the state as form and its economic foundations in >capitalism need to be separated. >I was also curious to know what Marx meant by the >"Encroachment of bourgeois society on the State". >I am very interested in reading Reuten and Williams` book on the state. Maybe >I´ll scape this shameful ignorance. >Thanks again >Paulo > >"Gerald A. Levy" wrote: > >> Paolo and others: Here's a bit more to think over this >> weekend. >> >> 1) "how Marx would proceed in integrating the state in >> his overall theory of capitalism" is an interesting thought- >> experiment, but: >> >> a) we'll never know the answer to that question except in >> a *very* general way (discussed briefly below). So, it is >> a *speculative* question. >> >> b) while it is one of the many background questions that >> could be asked, should it form the starting-point for an >> investigation of the state? I don't think that's the best idea. >> One has to focus on the *subject itself* (i.e. capitalism) >> if one wishes to reconstruct the state in thought in a form that >> allows us to grasp the essential, real character of the state and >> its inter-connection to the CMP. This is a research task of >> a different order than interpreting and speculating on Marx's >> writings. >> >> 2) Paradoxically perhaps, some insights could be gained by >> *asking* whether the very broad statements that Marx wrote >> would be the contents of the Book on The State can serve as a >> suitable frame of reference for us today. That is, we could >> *critically* interrogate those sketchy plans by asking to what >> extent they are INadequate and INcomplete and INcapable of >> grasping the essential character of the state in bourgeois society. >> >> In what Oakley  describes as the "First *Grundrisse* plan, >> Marx wrote: >> >> "(3) The State as the epitome of bourgeois society. >> Analysed in relation to itself. >> The 'unproductive' classes. >> Taxes. >> National debt. >> Public credit. >> Population. >> Colonies. >> Emigration." >> (M&E, _Collected Works_, Volume 28, p. 45; spacing altered >> for visual clarity; for the slightly different wording in the >> Penguin ed. of the _Grundrisse_, see p. 108.) >> >> Note that the above plan in the Economic Manuscripts of 1857-58, >> includes what the Third *Grundrisse* plan" refers to as "The State >> in its external relations." >> >> "Then the *State*. >> (State and bourgeois society. -- >> Taxation, or the existence of the unproductive classes. -- >> The national debt. -- >> Population.-- >> The State in its external relations: >> Colonies. >> Foreign trade. >> Rate of exchange. >> Money as international coin." >> (Ibid, p. 195; altered as above; Penguin ed. version is on p. >> 264.) >> >> Later, in the '6-book-plan', "The State in its external relations" becomes >> simply "foreign trade" (_A Contribution to the Critique of Political >> Economy_ in __CW_, Volume 29, p. 261). >> >> The question that I think should be asked, though, is not speculative or >> Marxological: namely, is the above broad outline a satisfactory first step >> in the reconstruction in thought of the subject matter? For example, what >> is the logic behind the ordering? Are there essential aspects of the >> subject that don't have a place in that ordering? Having the benefit of >> being able to examine capitalism in a more mature form than Marx >> witnessed, are there essential aspects of the State that weren't apparent to >> Marx or are in need of modification? >> >> In other words, by *critically* interrogating what Marx wrote -- keeping in >> mind first and foremost the subject matter itself (a slogan from the civil >> rights movement -- "Keep your eyes on the prize" -- comes to mind) >> some insights can be gained. (1) >> >> In solidarity, Jerry >> >> Note: >> >> (1) "Keep your eyes on the prize" could also be extended to mean that we >> should keep in mind the "prize" of a new society. That is, the 'END' >> should not be forgotten. Certainly Marx didn't forget it: e.g. in outlining >> the "Second *Grundrisse* plan", he describes >> >> "the conclusion, the world market, in which production is posited as a >> totality and all its movements also, but in which simultaneously all >> contradictions are set in motion. Hence the world market is likewise >> both the presupposition of the totality and its bearer. Crises are >> then the general pointer to beyond the presupposition, and the urge to >> adopt a new historical form." (_CW_, Volume 28, p. 160; for Penguin >> ed., see p. 227). >> >> [NB: if in the world market "all contradictions are set in motion" and if >> there are contradictions that arise from the state-form it follows that, >> according to Marx, the contradictions of the state-form come to the >> fore during crises. Thus, crises -- and their causes -- are not narrowly >> economic alone.] >> >> This point can be seen again in the Economic Manuscripts of 1857-58 in the >> when Marx again refers to the world market: >> >> "Finally the world market. >> Encroachment of bourgeois society on the State. [>>>/////what do you >> think *THAT* means?, JL/////<<<] >> Crises. >> Dissolution of the mode of production and form of society based upon >> exchange value. >> The real positing of individual labour as social and vice versa.)" >> (Ibid, p. 195; spacing altered again for visual clarity.) >> >> Reference: >> >> Oakley, A. (1983) _The Making of Marx's Critical Theory: A Bibliographical >> Analysis_. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul >> >> -------------- >> > Thank you Jerry. I´ll think it over during the week-end.
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