[OPE-L:1466] Re: Re: Marx's ordering

Jurriaan Bendien (djjb99@worldonline.nl)
Wed, 13 Oct 1999 14:57:47 +0100

Jerry asked:

 what is the reason (or reasons) why Marxists haven't taken the
>next -- "obvious" -- step and advanced *beyond* Marx's analysis of value
>and a "circuit of capital" to comprehend the *state*? And why haven't
>they (we) gone on to make a more serious examination of further concrete
>topics such as foreign trade and the world market and crisis? What are we
>waiting for?

My understanding is that many Marxists have tackled the theoretical
analysis of the state, foreign trade, the world market and crisis, and that
there is a considerable valid literature on this subject nowadays. On the
state, see for instance Elmar Alvater, Ernest Mandel, Leo Kofler and (why
not) Bob Jessop, Hal Draper, Ralph Milliband, Ian Gough etc. On foreign
trade and the world market, see e.g. Ernest Mandel, Samir Amin, Dan
Nabudere, Anwar Shaikh, Klaus Busch etc. (just some authors which come to
mind). On crisis, the literature is now so vast it is difficult to give
any fair summary of it. But presumably you mean something else, you mean to
extend Marx's own project using the same "method".

As to why Marxists haven't gone into a more serious analysis of these
topics - you ought to remember firstly that very few "Marxists" up to the
1930s had actually read Capital Volume 3, and secondly that the victory of
Stalinism and Maoism meant that Marxist theory became a state ideology not
conducive to scientific development (consider for example what happened to
Eugen Varga after WW 2). The theoretical development of Marxism really only
got going again on a wider scale in the 1970s. But another aspect is
probably that the capitalist state, beyond a few general functions, can
take all kinds of specific forms, and that its form changes also depending
on the historical period of capitalist development we are talking about. In
this I should include the very origins of the bourgeois state. For example,
in Europe the bourgeois state often developed out of tax revolts by the
ascendant bourgeoisie, which took over an existing feudal state apparatus
and modified it. But in New Zealand by contrast a capitalist state was
established by British imperialism under entirely diffent circumstances.

In solidarity


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