Re: (OPE-L) Re: "Marx, Markets and Meatgrinders: An Interview with Bertell Ollman" from Political Affairs

From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla (cipolla@UFPR.BR)
Date: Wed Mar 10 2004 - 12:42:17 EST

Thanks Jerry for your helpful insights. I am also interested in other people´s
opinions even though yours was sufficient to accupy someone for a decade.

"Gerald A. Levy" wrote:

> Hi Paolo.
> > 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 maintains the
> > social relations as they are the state has to gather funds to pay for
> > the government dependent individuals.
> This presents both a  mutual dependence of  the state-employed
> 'unproductive classes'  and capitalists and a potential conflict in
> class interests between the the 'unproductive classes' who are paid out
> of state revenues and the capitalists who are levied taxes.
> [E.g. If there is a 'tendency for the "unproductive classes" to
> increase'  (which could, in part, be seen as a dynamic associated
> with the growth of bureaucracy) and this leads to additional taxation
> and state borrowing, then the rate of accumulation could be adversely
> affected by a "crowding-out effect". What's wrong with this reasoning?]
> > 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
> > Bonapartist type.
> A theory of the state under capitalism, which is part of a larger theory
> of capitalism, must be general enough that it is able to grasp the forms of
> government  independent of the specific forms that government takes
> within individual social formations during particular historical periods.
> The latter would need to be conceptualized at the more concrete level
> of abstraction where there are conjunctural and class studies.
> > 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.
> The emphasis appears to be on economic relations,  but any non-economic
> relations which are essential to the grasp of the subject matter need to be
> explained.  E.g. bureaucracy, power, and prestige are not strictly or
> exclusively economic relations.
> > You refer to the state as the state-form. Does that come from the Critique
> > of   Hegel?
> I hadn't been thinking of Marx's critique of Hegel when I wrote the 'state-
> form'.   I don't want to be evasive but I think the discussion might be
> better if instead of answering your question we *ask* others on the list --
> what is the meaning of 'state-form'?  Is it synonymous with 'The State'
> or does it express some other concept and reality?
> > I was also curious to know what Marx meant by the
> > "Encroachment of bourgeois society on the State".
> I interpret this to mean the "encroachment of Civil Society on the
> State".  This leads me to *ask*  whether Civil Society "encroaches"
> on The State?  If so, how?  What are some examples historically
> of this 'tendency'?  If not, why not?
> In solidarity, Jerry

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