[OPE-L:2722] Re: assumptions, assumptions, assumptions

Fri, 26 Jul 1996 07:42:54 -0700 (PDT)

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Mike W wrote in [OPE-L:2644]:

> I do not quite see what you are getting at: what we are probing is whether we
> have prima facie reason for thinking that either many nation states and/or
> nationalism are necessary to the systemic reproduction of the bourgeois
> epoch. I have no dobt that they are very important phenomena, which are
> inter-twined de facto with the dynamics of contemporary capitalism; nor
> that it is vital to undestand the nature of their location and systemic
> role.

We agree that the state is necessary for the "systematic reproduction of
the bourgeois epoch." At issue, I gather, is whether the existence of
*many states* (and nationalism) is also a systematic necessity.

It is *theoretically possible* for us to imagine a single world government
under capitalism just as it is theoretically possible for us to imagine a
circumstance whereby the concentration of capital has developed to such an
extent that there is a single cartel and the elimination of capitalist
competition. These, however, are mere *formal and abstract possibilities*,
IMHO. Just as there is unity and difference and unity-in-difference among
capitalists, there is also unity, difference, and unity-in-difference
among capitalist states. If we do not systematically investigate the
existence of many states how can we then be able to analyze relations of
foreign trade, the world market, and rivalry among capitalist states?

As for nationalism, I see this as a necessary consequence of the existence
of many states in the bourgeois epoch. If we do not consider nationalism,
I believe we run the risk of reducing the relations among states to only
economic relations and, in so doing, failing to comprehend the
non-economic aspects of relations among states that are frequently of
significance for understanding "foreign policy" by states.

In OPE-L Solidarity,