State capitalism


In all periods of decadence, confronted with the exacerbation of the system’s contradictions, the state has to take responsibility for the cohesion of the social organism, for the preservation of the dominant relations of production. It thus tends to strengthen itself to the point of incorporating within its own structures the whole of social life. The bloated growth of the imperial administration and the absolute monarchy were the manifestations of this phenomenon in the decadence of Roman slave society and of feudalism respectively.

The crisis of state capitalism: The world economy sinks into chaos

"Victory! Victory! Capitalism has vanquished communism! Look at the East: it's ruined, poverty-stricken, nothing works any more, the population doesn't want any more socialism! Look at the West, it's opulent, inflation has been brought down, there's been economic growth for seven years, liberal and pluralist democracy is the best of all systems! The market has won." The capitals of the western world resound with euphoric hymns to the capitalist economy.

Presentation to the afternoon session: Why state socialism is impossible

None of us in this room believes that state socialism is possible. We could all agree that it's a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. And go home. Today, we all recognise the state as the antithesis of socialism, the enemy of a new society, an expression and conservator par excellence of the old, along with the ruling class whose privileges and mode of production it defends.

Shootings in Gothenburg: Democratic state repression

Protesters at June's EU summit in Gothenburg were met with the full force of Sweden's liberal democracy. The police attacked with dogs, batons, the cavalry and gunfire. 3 people were shot, 90 injured and 600 arrested. The EU leaders, including Tony Blair and Jack Straw, condemned the "thuggery" of the protesters and backed the police. The Danish Prime Minister thought it a "paradox" that there could be protests at a meeting "where we are working towards a better world". Blair said it was OK for protesters to protest, but, according to him, the way that capitalism was organised was universally beneficial: "The fact is that world trade is good for people's jobs and living standards".

For workers' unity against all racial divisions

At the end of the 19th century Frederick Engels called anti-semitism "the socialism of fools".

You're poor, you're exploited, your life is miserable - so blame it on another group, the vast majority of whom are also poor, miserable and exploited, in the case Engels was talking about, the Jews. Who can benefit from this except the exploiters? It's exactly the same in Britain today with all the hatred being stirred up against 'asylum seekers', or Asians, or blacks - a hatred that has burst out into 'race riots' in a number of northern towns.

Genoa: Capitalist democracy is a police state

In Genoa, during the meeting of the G8 in July, Carlo Giuliani was shot and then run over by a police vehicle. Following the shooting of protesters at June's EU summit in Gothenburg - the first time since 1931 that the Swedish police have used live ammunition against demonstrators - Giuliani's death was the first fatality in 'anti-globalisation' protests.

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