Re: [OPE] One party state?

From: Alejandro Agafonow <>
Date: Mon Jun 08 2009 - 10:11:13 EDT

Thanks for your contribution Dave Z. There is a long list of items that I have shared two times with OPE on the occasion of a similar discussion. I don’t know this work of Miliband, but my list (I just composed it from another main source) provides criteria that fulfil at least three of these four levels, i.e.:   1. Juridical rights 2. Mechanisms of selection 3. Formats of representation   To consider the forces of execution is important in order to asses the feasibility of given model of democracy. But in terms of the evaluation of what have been achieved so far, that long list is enlightening and provides painful and counterintuitive conclusions for those sympathizers of the Lenin-Stalin way.   For example, in term of concrete institutions that facilitates dispersion of power (poliarchy) Cuba would appear behind USA, and these should not motivate childish accusations of supporting oppressors over the oppressed. I would feel as I’m not wasting my time in OPE if they didn’t devote themselves entirely to kick the table whenever they are criticized.   Regards,A. Agafonow ________________________________ De: Dave Zachariah <> Para: Outline on Political Economy mailing list <> Enviado: domingo, 7 de junio, 2009 19:35:07 Asunto: Re: [OPE] One party state? 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

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