[Marxism] Fwd: Why the State Matters | Jacobin

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Thu Aug 25 08:38:03 MDT 2016

I agree with Andy, it's an interesting article and well worth reading. What
Parenti does, and without using the term, is laying out a survey of
*Bonapartist* political-economy over the last 250 years.

However, what I find very valuable here is the understanding of the role of
the State as a *prerequisite* for development as capitalism transformed
into Imperialism. This article as a survey of industrial development under
the many areas of the globe that have gone through this process is a direct
affront to...the Libertarian's who believe that only unbridled, unregulated
and form where the state buts out of development can work. The a-historical
nature of the Libertarian economic program is slammed and destroyed by this
article. Libertarianiam is exposed as a fantasy, at least historically, by
the thesis Parenti develops here.

While Parenti avoids the need for workers revolution and maybe in
contradiction to what Andy's implies, the 'solutions' part of his article
has a kind of "transitional" program of immediate demands, or perspectives,
that flow from the arguments in the article. That is, "mitigating fossil
fuel use" he suggests wisely, means using the power of the State, even
under capitalism, to enforce other forms of energy. He notes "We need
movements that, at least for now, seek to use state power to force capital
into new patterns of investment and technological development." I'm for
that in some ways. It makes political sense for a movement concerned about
climate change, to push for this even if it's book ended by capitalist
political economy. He does, perhaps, give to much legitimacy to the concept
of the State's "autonomy" and doesn't realize the contradictions between
what was in the ruling class' long term interests during the periods in
countries he describes and today's speculative based Imperialist political
economy. Because of this he doesn't go the necessary step further to
suggest that implementing such a radical plan, Imperialism will simply
remove that 'autonomy' the State has to insure it's present domination over
nature for purposes of short term profit.

Still, his description of how development occurred is very valuable.

David Walters

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