Re: [OPE] One party state?

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Sun Jun 07 2009 - 13:35:07 EDT

Alejandro Agafonow wrote:
> We have to go beyond this dangerous dichotomy. The future of socialism
> lies on this decisive step.

It seems to me that this discussion is framed in a somewhat inadequate
theoretical framework about the state in capitalism. One tending towards
the 'liberal-democratic' assumptions, the other towards a more 'orthodox
Leninism'. Ralph Miliband developed, in my view, a more sophisticated
Marxist theory of the state. (E.g. see his 'State Power and Class
Interests', in NLR.)

I think one has to look at different levels of the state under capitalism:

   1. Juridical rights
   2. Mechanisms of selection
   3. Formats of representation
   4. Forces of execution

These can be more or less 'democratic' to the extent that they allow for
the control by the 'demos', which depends on the outcome of class
struggles. It seems like the current argument over classification
whether system X is a democracy or not does not take take these
different levels into proper account. After all there is a huge
difference between political rule in, say, Germany in 1936 and 2006,
even if the capitalist class ruled in both periods.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Sun Jun 7 13:37:19 2009

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