Dependency theory (Charles)

Julio Huato juliohuato at
Thu May 24 12:10:07 MDT 2001

Charles Brown:

>CB: These states and superstructures are not mainly sources of trouble for
>capitalist expansion. They are integral parts of Capitalism,  directly
>aiding capitalist accumulation, expansion and reproduction.  Exercise of
>state power on behalf of capitalist interests is a necessary condition for
>the existence and perpetuation of capitalism.

Indeed.  But integral parts of capitalism, i.e., integral parts of the
capitalist SOCIAL FORMATION, does NOT mean integral parts of the capitalist
MODE OF PRODUCTION.  If we you check what I've written, I've been making
THIS distinction as clearly as I could.  If we do not distinguish between a
mode of production and the social formation where this mode of production
predominates, then we cannot speak 'Marxism'.

Have we ever considered why, in Marx's analysis of capitalism, the State was
not the subject of the first chapter or one of the first chapters of Marx's
magnus opus?  In fact, Marx's initial involvement with communism and
political economy (the 'anatomy' of capitalism) came as a result of his
indignation with STATE POWER being used blatantly to punish poor peasants.
So, Marx was fully aware of the importance of state power.  Why then spend
thousands of pages, rivers of ink, and the best part of his life dealing,
not directly with state power, but with the CAPITALIST MODE OF PRODUCTION?
I'm sure Marx didn't leave these 'lacunae' on purpose to allow for Nikos
Poulantzas or others to make a career trying filling them up (with all due
respect to Poulantzas and others).

When, trying to deny the validity of abstracting the policy of the Soviet
state from the laws of motion of a transitional economy, Bukharin threw at
Preobrazhensky Lenin's quote that the state was the 'synthesis' of the
interest of the ruling class, Preobrazhensky responded: "Shouldn't we,
comrade Bukharin, try to elucidate WHAT is synthesized in the power of the
state, the CONTENT of state power, the class interest itself, before we go
about dealing with the FORMS of state power as they express themselves
through policies and political practices?  If we don't do this, are we
really understanding what the policies and practices are about?"  (I'm
relying on my very bad memory.)
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