George Pennefather poseidon at
Fri Dec 24 06:08:57 MST 1999

The scandals in Ireland are said to be evidence of the massive corruption and
of the Irish state.

However this way of presenting the matter is deceiving. It misrepresents the real
of the Irish state as a capitalist state. The Irish state is a capitalist state in
existence to serve the interests of capitalism. Whether it is a corrupt state or not is
beside the point. Corruption is only a problem if it unnecessarily obstructs the
accumulation of capital. Indeed corruption is in many ways a form by which the surplus
value produced by the working class is distributed among the capitalist class and
within the Irish middle class. As such then corruption within the capitalist state is
a problem for the bourgeoisie. It is of no concern to the working class how capitalists
divvy up the surplus value among each other. The squabbles between them over how it is
divvied up and whether it is divide up in a more corrupt or less corrupt way is of no
concern to the working class movement. What is of concern to the working class is the
actual extraction of surplus value from the working class through the exploitation of
labour power.

Whether Charles Haughey former prime minister of the Irish Republic spent £14000 or
not on
expensive shirts is of no concern to the working class as such. How the surplus value
spent and by what particular capitalist is insignificant. What is significant is that
capitalists through the exploitation of the working class can spend on the scale they
Again how this surplus value is splashed around for the purposes of purchasing luxury
goods is irrelevant. What is significant is its providing evidence of the close links
exist between the bourgeoisie and the political establishment and how that
must consequently serve the interests of the working class.

To describe the Irish state as being corrupt ignores the fact that all capitalist
are by their very nature corrupt. To analyse the capitalist state in the context of its
being corrupt and the degree to which it was corrupt is  trivial.Such analyses goes no
where. Instead the analysis of the Irish state should revolve around the role it plays
the expanded reproduction of capital and the role it plays in relation to the class
struggle. In short what is required is an analysis of the specific way in which the
state serves to advance the class interests of the Irish bourgeoisie. Corruption is
only a
valid subject of study in the context of this.

If one is to talk about corruption then one might consider the whole of capitalism
too. Capitalism is corrupt in the sense that it robs in the form of surplus value the
wealth that is produced by the working class. If one wants to talk about corruption is
this not a more fundamental and comprehensive form of corruption? Is not the way the
factory workers etc treated not a more fundamental form of corruption to be discussed.
not the millions of luxuries spending by the rich capitalists both domestic and foreign
not just as corrupt as the relatively insubstantial corruption of politicians etc.

Notwithstanding this it is clear that the scandals should be used by revolutionaries to
expose the real character of the bourgeois political system and its politicians and the
interests that they really advance. The scandals should be used to show expose the fact
that it is the capitalist class and not the working class whose interests they
It should also be used to expose the links between the state and capital etc. This
be done in an effort to build up a movement that can increasingly challenge capitalism
its state.

Warm regards
George Pennefather

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