L état, le pouvoir, le socialisme

L état, le pouvoir, le socialisme Developing Themes Of His Earlier Works, Poulantzas Here Advances A Vigorous Critique Of Contemporary Marxist Theories Of The State, Arguing Against A General Theory Of The State, And Identifying Forms Of Class Power Crucial To Socialist Strategy That Goes Beyond The Apparatus Of The StateThis New Edition Includes An Introduction By Stuart Hall, Which Critically Appraises Poulantzas S Achievement

Greek Greek French Marxist political sociologist In the 1970s, Poulantzas was known, along with Louis Althusser, as a leading Structural Marxist and, while at first a Leninist, eventually became a proponent of eurocommunism He is most well known for his theoretical work on the state, but he also offered Marxist contributions to the analysis of fascism, social class in the co

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  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • L état, le pouvoir, le socialisme
  • Nicos Poulantzas
  • Turkish
  • 14 August 2019

10 thoughts on “L état, le pouvoir, le socialisme

  1. says:


  2. says:

    Nicos Poulantzas s final book represents an odd melange of coming to a position that is less Althusser and Marx, and yet drawing conclusions that seem to take him further from Marx s communist commitments What he does at the beginning of SPS is to bring the necessity of considering the state and politics as being the product of the social relations of production, rather than seeing them being independent except in the last instance of economic forces as Althusser did The result is that the early sections of the book read like the Young Marx on his critique of politics, just with the Hegelian language taken out.However, the key move that comes in which restores the essence of the Althusserian system is that in fact, once constituted on the basis of capitalist social relations, the state effectively becomes constitutive of how those relations operate, to the point of inscribing classes on real individuals and so on Thus, far from being a rejection of the essence of Hegel s metaphysical thinking on the state where the state constitutes the real individuals of civil society , Poulantzas simply repeats it, although wrapped in different language The state ends up being granted remarkable independent powers to shape civil society and the economy, and its social basis soon disappears from view State and civil society end up being not simply part of a wider unity, but are effectively portrayed as something close to an identity.By way of contrast, Marx recognises that Hegel s view of an inverted relationship between state and society was not the product of a theoretical error but because Hegel described the fetishised form in which that relationship actually occurs, while the underlying essence is that the secret of the state is the civil society from which it is abstracted.So, for Althusser all social struggles traverse the state and the task of socialists is to be inside the state in order to transform society by working to tip the balance of forces in a favourable direction This strategic outlook in fact treats the subaltern social actors in civil society as at best an obedient servant of the Left of the political class, right down to having to defend a Left government s efforts to maintain the health of the capitalist economy so as to prevent capitalist economic collapse In the end, Poulantzas merely recapitulates the political point of view that Marx was so scathing of, relegating the real movement of society to a secondary player.

  3. says:

    For one wishing to experience one of the most sophisticated theories of the State from a Marxist perspective, start with this book which is admittedly one of his easier to understand texts and work backwards Sometimes its a slog especially when he talks about the nation but Poulantzas sets out a comprehensive analysis of the nature of the capitalist State which I believe is a valuable analytical and prescriptive tool for us today.

  4. says:

    This is perhaps one of the best abstract theoretical accounts of what the state is from a Marxist perspective I have read At the same time, Poulantzas suffers from a few key issues 1 Like most male Marxists, he really doesn t do than pay lip service to feminism and the role of gender It would have been better if he could systematically theorizes his isolated comments on the role of gender relations in political power the state, but he doesn t What he does say, how ever, is promising for a feminist uptake and development of his work than are the misogynist and victim blaming comments made by the likes of Michel Foucault 2 Speaking of Foucault, Poulantzas has some great critiques of Foucault and offers a real, viable theoretical alternative to the latter s erasure of the state as a discrete entity and material force Yet at several key moments, Poulantzas analysis collapses into basically Foucauldian anxieties about the supposedly ever expanding power of the authoritarian state into every sphere of social life basically the myth of biopower under another name This is a form of non Marxist, non empirical, basically liberal libertarian anxiety that has no place in radical political theory It also harbors a kind of masculinist fear of state intervention in the family sexual gender sphere Poulantzas does say important things generally that run against these moments, but they are noticeable and annoying when present 3 It is clear that this book was written in a very specific political moment and as such it contains several arguments that no longer make any sense It is also very focused on Europe France First, the chapters on authoritarian statism name the wrong non existent enemy Because the book was originally written in the late 1970s, Poulantzas was probably not able to correctly identify what he was seeing as a broader process of the transition from Keynesian to neoliberal political economy Second, Poulantzas final chapter on the democratic road to socialism is a confused mess of scattered comments that culminate in a wholly unconvincing rejecting of dual power in favor of an argument for what is essentially dual power under another but somehow politically conciliatory name This I think stems from the fact that Poulantzas was himself involved in statist Eurocommunist politics and couldn t afford to be wholly consistent with his own arguments for political reasons The rest of the book militates directly against his strategy of basically transform the state from the inside but also didn t get co opted somehow Again, this makes a certain limited but ultimately naive sense given the period he was writing in The struggles of 1968 were in recent memory, the parliamentary Left and grassroots social movements had been having some limited success in appealing to the liberal Keynesian state to get funding, start limited initiatives, and win elections, and neoliberal technocracy was not yet fully on the horizon But ultimately, history has proven Marx right the proletariat cannot grab hold of the ready made state machinery Poulantzas also has a line about somehow transforming the police and military for democratic socialist ends, and just..absolutely not So, a good and helpful read for abstract theoretical reflections that needs a good dose of feminism and anti racism, a global non European focus, and which offers no concrete political guidance Like most male and European authored Left theory from this or any period.

  5. says:

    I wish some time was spent with certain ideas and less with others, but the appraisals here are excellent, especially its expansive but precise rendering of the state and the breadth of its strategic field, the insistence on ultimately relating power to the social division of labor, its keen eye for the intellectual division of labor reproduced within the state apparatus, and the closing sections on the political effects of alterations in the breakdown of functions between government, party and administration The brilliant puncturing of bourgeois appreciation of the law also leave one begging for Strangely, the final remarks on dual power seem underdeveloped, which seems odd considering how much weight Poulantzas clearly wants them to hold Dense at times, but largely provoking and difficult to disagree with some of his clarifications on certain common repetitions in Marxist thought.

  6. says:

    The antidote to anarchist and liberal foolish regarding the state, Poulantzas final work remains a vital contribution to the general understanding of how political power takes shape and functions.

  7. says:

    Yes the state is heterogeneous Yes, yes, yes I share Stuart Hall s disappointment that Poulantzas died before giving us the ultimate critique of Foucault.

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