From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Wed May 18 2005 - 06:19:51 EDT
John Writes: It is fundamental to the argument of the book that the expression "a state of the Paris Commune-type" makes no sense at all. The state is a particular form of social relations grounded in the separation of the political from the economic ... Paul C I think this eternalises the capitalist form of state and acts as if the 20th century never happened. The distinguishing feature of socialist states was the close enmeshing of the political and economic levels. In the CSSR or USSR there was no economy distinct from the state, this I would argue, is a necessary consequence of planned economy. In the socialist mode of production the extraction of the surplus product is inherently political, whereas in the capitalist mode it is primarily economic. It occurs through the planned allocation in material terms of part of the social product to non-wage goods. As such you can not separate out the planning process from the economy, and the planning process is inherently political. It is from this fundamental relationship that the dominance of the political/ideological level under socialism stems from. In this sense, as John Collier remarked, socialism is more similar to feudalism than capitalism in some ways. The key issue is how the mass of the working population can exercise effective control over the political level - what forms of mass democracy will allow that.
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