Political Theory

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By Alex Callinicos

Marx's Capital is again the place it belongs, on the centre of discussion approximately Marxism and its buy at the modern international. in recent times there was an explosion of a lot wider curiosity in Capital, after the controversy on Capital mostly fell silent within the late-1970s. In decoding Capital, Alex Callinicos bargains his personal sizeable contribution to the controversy. He tackles the query of Marx's procedure, his relation to Hegel, price conception and labour. He engages with Marxist thinkers prior and current, from Gramsci and Althusser to Harvey and Jameson.

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Extra info for Deciphering Capital

Sample text

Force and statelessness The value of highlighting force as the central attribute of the state is that it focuses upon a practice that is extraordinary: the use of force to tackle conflicts of interest. It is true that states defined in a Weberian way have been around for some 5,000 years, but humans have been in existence for much longer, and therefore an extremely interesting question arises. How did people secure order and resolve disputes before they had an institution claiming a monopoly of legitimate force?

It is clear that if so-called globalisation aggravates and deepens inequalities in the world, then this will generate wars, fundamentalism and, of course, the need for states. John Gray takes the view that economic liberalisation and religious fundamentalism go together (1998: 103). Globalisation can only weaken the state if it cements common interests and allows conflicts of interest to be subject to governmental sanctions. The case for global government If globalisation is to be positively conceived – as an opportunity rather than as a source of violence and division – then it is crucial that we see free-market fundamentalism and the abstract similarity that it seeks to impose as a distortion of globalisation.

Green supports the argument of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an eighteenth-century French writer. Rousseau took the view that morality, rights and duty form the basis of the state. Green does not deny that what he calls ‘supreme coercive power’ is involved in the state, but he insists that central to the state are the moral ends for which this power is exercised. This led Green’s editor to sum up his argument with the dictum that ‘will, not force, is the basis of the state’ (Hoffman, 1995: 218–19). More recently, writers like Hamlin and Pettit have argued that the state is best defined in terms of a system of rules which embody a system of rights – this is crucial to what they call a ‘normative analysis of the state’ (1989: 2).

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