Re: [OPE] The state under capitalism

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Fri Aug 13 2010 - 18:31:05 EDT

On 2010-08-13 21:47, Paul Cockshott wrote:
> I can see that there is something to what you say Dave, but the structrural constraints do not explain the rather different policies
> followed by the Swedish Social Democrats and Atlee and Gottwald in the late 40s. Why did these stuctural constraints operate differently in the three countries?

I think one has to conceptualize structural constraints as probabilistic
barriers on the set of actions an agent can perform. These are not
absolute but determine the limits of variation of actions. The actual
outcomes will depend on more contingent or proximate factors.

In the late-1940s the structural mechanism---derived from the state's
dependence on the taxable base of the capitalist sector---was offset by
the war effort and immediate goals of reconstruction. But as it
progressed the structural mechanism was quickly operational in more or
less the same way in the three countries.

Rather the specific policies adopted depended on the specificities the
political organizations of SAP, British Labour and CDU; the state of the
economies after the war; and their position in the emerging world
conflict. That said, I would think there were considerable similarities
in the policies adopted, especially between SAP and Labour. Both put
forward nationalization programmes and both came to a halt.

Of course, the perverse electoral system in Britain prevented us from
knowing whether Attlee's Labour and Hansson/Erlander's SAP would have
converged further to meet the same fate.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Fri Aug 13 18:32:59 2010

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