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Capitalism and the Capitalist Type of State.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter


Publication date2002
Host publicationThe Future of the Capitalist State
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherPolity Press
Number of pages44
ISBN (Print)0-7456-2273-9
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter develops three main themes to be elaborated in the rest of the book. First, neither capitalism as a whole nor the capital�labour relation on which its contradictory and conflictual dynamic depends can be reproduced purely through market relations. Both require supplementary modes of reproduction, regulation and governance � including those provided in part through the operations of the state. Second, and in particular,since labour-power is essentially a fictitious commodity, it cannot be reproduced solely through the wage form and labour market. Thus,non-market mechanisms of various kinds play a key role here too. And, third, as capital accumulation expands on an increasingly global scale, its dynamic becomes more ecologically dominant in shaping the overall evolution of social systems and the lifeworld.1 In developing these three themes I do not intend to argue that the dynamic of capital accumulation explains everything significant about the architecture and operation of states and the modern state system, let alone every last detail of their development. On the contrary, it is precisely because capitalism cannot secure through market forces alone all the conditions needed for its own reproduction that it cannot exercise any sort of economic determination in the last instance over the rest of the social formation. This requires us to pay close attention to the coconstitution of capital accumulation through the interaction of marketmediated and non-market social relations and, in turn, to the complex and overdetermined nature of its impact on the overall development of social relations. It follows that this chapter cannot limit itself to a presentation of economic concepts for analysing capitalism as a mode of production and object of regulation but must also introduce other concepts appropriate to the analysis of politics and the state, the lifeworld and civil society, and their connections to the economic categories and each other. In developing this more complex conceptual instrumentarium it will also prepare the ground for a four-dimensional analysis ofrecent changes in the state�s role in capitalist reproduction and its institutional, social, and discursive mediation.