A question on Marx and the State

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at SPAMjuno.com
Sun Feb 25 03:41:17 MST 2001


After you have taken a look at the books that Lou and
others have cited, you might then wish to take a look
at Richard W. Miller's *Analyzing Marx: Morality, Power,
and History* (Princeton University Press, 1984).  Miller's
book was one of the more interesting texts of Analytical
Marxism.  He devotes one section of the book to an
investigation of Marxist understandings of power and
focuses in particular on the debate between "structuralists"
and "instrumentalists" over the nature and functions of
the state.  Miller's discussion of this debate takes Poulantzas'
*Political Power and Social Class* along with Althusser's
"Ideology and Ideological-State Apparatuses" as key texts
on the structuralists' side, and he takes Milliband's
*The State in Capitalist Society* as representative of the
instrumentalist position.  Miller sees both positions as
containing important truths that a full Marxist analysis
of the state must take into account.  He also sees both
sides as being afflicted by distortions which limit the
utility of their analyses.  Miller attempts to provide a
resolution of the debate which incorporates the insights
of both sides.  He also takes a look Franz Neumann's
*Behemoth* as respresenting a persuasive Marxist
analysis of the Nazi seizure of power in Germany.

Jim F.

On Sat, 24 Feb 2001 22:05:35 -0500 Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> writes:
> Amanda:
> >
> > Specifically I am looking for people who have analysed the state
> and
> > discussed the way in which franchise, institutional structures (eg
> the
> law or
> > the media) have accommodated political struggle and prolonged
> capitalism.
> > Furthermore, from an economic point of view, the way in which
> Keynesian
> > economic management attempts to use state apparatus to mitigate
> the
> > contradictions in capitalism. Anyone who speaks on such issues, or
> any
> > contemporary who writes on how Marx spoke on those issues would
> assist my
> > work greatly.
> 1. Leo Panitch-Colin Leys, "The End of Parliamentary Socialism: From
> New Left
> to New Labor"
> 2. Mike Davis, "Prisoners of the American Dream"
> 3. Ralph Miliband: "Parliamentary Socialism: a study in the politics
> of
> labour"
> and "Capitalist Democracy in Britain"
> 4. Nikos Poulantzas, "Political Power and Social Classes"
> 5. Robert McChesney, "Telecommunications, Mass Media and Democracy"
> 6. R. Jeffrey Lustig, "Corporate Liberalism"
> 7. Ernest Mandel, "Late Capitalism"
> Louis Proyect
> Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org/

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