[Marxism] Is State Spending A Solution?

Paddy Hackett paraichackett at gmail.com
Wed Oct 12 12:32:50 MDT 2016


State spending in Ireland sustains firms that are so inefficient that many of them they would face extinction in the absence of this spending. Many, if not most, of these firms are low waged and non-unionised. Their conditions of work tend to be appalling too. 

State spending supports this backward capital through the diversity of moneyed benefits, unemployment assistance etc, transferred to the working class. This revenue maintains the demand necessary for the existence of many of these firms. They also benefit from the state spending to maintain public service workers such as the army, the gardaí, teachers etc. Many of the small farmers too are dependent on the state. The latter are the source of this artificial demand. This holds back the development of farming capital. There is also other state spending from which small capital benefit. 

Much of the surplus value generated by more efficient firms is transferred, through the imposition of taxation, from these firms to these less competitive ones through the above mentioned spend. The outcome is less  surplus value available for more profitable firms. This restricts capital growth since there is less surplus value available. It is, instead, gobbled up by these backward firms. The growth and concentration of industrial capital is hindered. This correspondingly constrains the growth and concentration of the industrial working class. The economic prosperity of the country is constrained by this leakage of surplus value. 

Not unconnected with this, state spending artificially maintains many of the villages, and even towns, in rural Ireland. In the absence of state spending many of theses villages and small towns would cease to exist. This is because many inefficient firms, shops, cafés etc. would be forced out of business because of the absence of demand.

In short state spending hinders class polarisation in the Irish republic. This hinders the expansion and concentration of capital together with the corresponding growth and concentration of the working class. This, in turn, hinders the politicisation of the working class.

Under these conditions of restricted accumulation of capital a global economic recession adversely impacts on the Irish economy with greater severity. This manifests itself in the form of the atrophy of many rural villages and small towns. This actually happened in the 2008 period.

The Irish state promotes backward capital and thereby artificially sustains a backward (petty) bourgeois class to the detriment of the working class and the class struggle. Consequently increased state spending cannot serve the class interests of the working class. Ironically much of the Irish Left promote spending by the capitalist state as the solution when it is the source of the problem.

If anything these backward firms and state dependent villages need to be eliminated if a cities concentrated working class is to exist thereby generating the objective conditions for the political development of the working class.

Take Care

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