By Frank Hayes
The primary purpose (job) of the capitalist state is to protect the interests of the owners of private capital (technically known as the capitalist class). By fair means – or foul!
Any role in regulating interpersonal human relationships between citizens is secondary to this, and only occurs in the context of also realising the needs of the ruling capitalist class. This, for instance, explains the Irish state’s present hostility to the provision of public needs (such as housing, health, etc.) through responsible public service provision.
The policy of the state is to force such provision into private hands (via direct Privatisation, Public/Private Partnership, etc) so as to enable private capital “investors” to rake off a profit from all such processes – thus transforming public funds into private profiteering.
Here is an example of an ideologically-driven legal device which has been changed as the capitalist system LOSES ITS ABILITY to sequestrate surplus value out of it’s essential mode of productivity for profit. This system must be fed by REAL PROFIT. And here, it encounters an intrinsic problem today.
This contraction of profitability or growth has arisen out of the maturing contradictions emerging out of four centuries of profit sequestration and the resulting decline in the general rate of profit – now a feature of globalised capitalism. This fundamental Law of Development of capitalism was identified by Karl Marx in his critical scientific research of the conceptions, and struggle to develop theories of preceding classical economists like David Ricardo and Adam Smith.
But this scientific approach is being rejected by the mainstream classical economists and the so-called Neo-Keynesian economists which inform the thinking of capitalist states presently. Of course, their anti-scientific stance renders them incapable of any realistic assessment or predictive theorising, let alone any comprehension of the real processes driving the global financial debt crisis towards self-destruction.
This aging privatisation process actually makes any given productive endeavour more expensive – as a consequence of introducing the new requirement of setting aside a portion of the value created to be taken by the “investor” (as profit or “surplus value”). Repeat this a million times daily in every capitalist state and the evolution of real economy gives rise to new forms of political violence against the comfort of the majority of the people. The prevailing Austerity of NeoLiberalism attests.
The lie is then advanced by the statutrory administration (and the academic resources at the disposal of the ruling class) that competition drives down prices – even though it is clearly obvious (from both logic and evidence) that the opposite is the case.
BREXIT AND CORPORATE PROFITEERING
The Great Brexit Crisis is now exposing the increasingly difficult prospect of achieving this for those who rule on our neighbouring island and for those who offer themselves as participants in the “representative democracy” form of capitalist state.
Although PM Boris Johnson speaks of British “Independence” from the EU corporate super-state, his stance is chiefly motivated by the diminishing returns on capitalist investment by the ruling British capitalist class (of which he is a member).
This diminishing return is a real factor – not just for Britain, but for the world of capitalism in general. Mrs Thatcher dismantled much of the productive enterprises which produced real value in Britain’s economy (from which capitalists could legally sequester “surplus” value). She then encouraged investment towards “financialisation” or gambling on stocks and bonds which doesn’t produce new real value. Marx distinguished this process as producing FICTITIOUS CAPITAL. It has consequences!
NIXON BREAKS THE $ FROM GOLD
This financialisation was the “solution” to the 1971 collapse of the Bretton Woods Agreement devised by the US philosopher and sometime economist, Milton Friedman. On August 15th Nixon ended the post-war underpinning of world trade by ending the Gold Standard of $32 to an ounce. In turn this hasn’t worked out either.
Since then, as the numbers inflated, the real value deflated, resulting in an era of crashes, slumps, currency collapses and financial readjustments. All the time, the intrinsic contradictions have become more extreme. They are now at a devastating new breaking point. For the systemic process to continue, drastic assaults on society will be required. Hence, war talk.
The only alternative for us is to replace for-profit production with not-for-profit production based on real human social need. But this would contradict the very raison d’etre of the capitalist state.
The question of the survival of humankind (in climate crisis, financial crisis, moral / ethical crisis, political crisis) is becoming transformed into the question of the nature of The State.
Post 1971, the purpose and nature of the “state” was changed by the ruling class which devised it and which it serves – and which still rules over it, dictating change as it requires.
New lies were necessary to obfuscate the true nature of what was being done, and the academic/ administrative classes duly obliged. But their “solutions” are failing as the system falls apart at the seams.
The fundamental question of the nature of “The State” as an institutional establishment of human society must become the crucial subject for progressive forces seeking to resolve the poverty and brutality of our capitalist age.
This question now assumes a prominence and importance not seen since the English Civil War (Aug 22, 1642 – Sep 3, 1651).
That revolutionary event brought into being the first capitalist state: Cromwell’s Commonwealth. Subsequent historic development has created many contradiction between the two islands of Ireland and Britain. Many, painful, as the brutality of capitalism rolled out its colonial exploitative necessity.
Today, a new set of relativities can be conceived, based not on the traditional Johnsonian stupidities of an outmoded nationalism or on the delusion of nation-state independence in a globalised world. The stage for human survival has now been set in a very different form.
The present Republic of Ireland capitalist state emerged out of the betrayal of the First Revolutionary 1919 Dail with its vision of social equality and a rights-based society in which all may prosper. The counter-revolutionary Cumann na nGael clique seized power with the connivance of the British ruling class – precisely to maintain the iniquitous inequalities which enable capitalist exploitation.
IT FALLS TO US NOW
Equality between individuals, equality between communities, respectful interaction, an end to profiteering exploitation, and a globally shared guardianship of the natural environment, based on new and sound scientific theoretical conceptions, these are the principles by which we, the people, will survive, let alone prosper.
And that will necessitate negating the contradictions of a dying system, and consciously working together to create a Real Democracy which can sustain co-operative human social development creating a civilised future freed from wage-slavery, bondage, and savagery.
That is our work, from here on. Let us all meet together, setting aside the divisions provoked by a dead past, and embrace the creation of a better future for all.
Species extinction through a tortuous dogged, unconscious systemic suicide, draped in the ignorance of denial awaits otherwise!
The driving process behind (or within) the capitalist state is it’s operational function through the prevailing and failing political-economy – the capitalist mode of production. Of course, this uncomfortable truth is denied by the corrupted administrative manipulators.
NOT FOR THE FIRST TIME!
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.
“It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
– Joseph Goebbels,
German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945