[OPE-L:3988] Books 4-6

Tony Smith (tonys@iastate.edu)
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 08:41:35 -0800 (PST)

[ show plain text ]

Next message: Gerald Levy: "[OPE-L:3989] Re: Books 4-6"
Previous message: Ian Hunt: "[OPE-L:3987] Re: Critiquing exploitation and nature"

Just a thought, but it is really the case that no worthwhile work has
been done in the last century developing Marxian theory regarding the
state, foreign trade, and the world market? Is merely an instrument of
the capitalist class? Does the self-interest of state officials in a
capitalist society generally lead them to further capital accumulation
automatically? Is the state a site of class struggle where interests of
the working class and its allies can be furthered, albeit in ultimately
incomplete and inadequate ways? Marxists have debated these and related
topics since the publication of CAPITAL, and it seems to me that there
have been advances in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the
arguments for these positions. Similarly hasn't the Marxian debate on
imperialism summarized in Brewer's book furthered our understanding of
foreign trade and the world market? In comparison with mainstream
social theory - which as far as I can tell has a theory of the state
that more or less repeats Locke and a theory of foreign trade that more
or less repeats Ricardo - it is not at all clear to me that its Marxism
that has the "degenerate" research program.

Tony Smith