Recent Developments in Marxist Theories of the Capitalist State, Part I

  • David A. Gold
  • Y. H. Lo
  • Erik Olin Wright
Keywords: Marxism, Political Economy


This is a revised version of a paper distributed, and presented orally in abbreviated form, at the San Francisco meetings of the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) in December 1974. The widespread interest which the paper aroused, then and subsequently, indicated both to the authors and to us that it should be made available to a larger audience. In proposing publication in MR, one of the authors wrote: "Many authors working within the Marxist tradition are unfamiliar with what we judge to be the most important ongoing research on the capitalist state. To cite one example, in the article 'The Tanzanian State' by Haroub Othman, which you published in the December 1974 issue of MR, the author says that, with the exception of Gramsci and Miliband, Marxists haven't written anything of importance on the state since Lenin. Such a view indicates to us that Othman is not familiar with recent and continuing work of Marxists on the capitalist state. I fear that such unfamiliarity is only too prevalent. It occurred to us that publication in MR would be the best way to reach the largest number and widest variety of interested people." Accordingly, we are publishing it, in two instalments. The authors are members of the San Francisco Kapitalistate Collective, which they explain as follows: "Kapitalistate: Working Papers on the Capitalist State is an international journal publishing Marxist research on the state—articles, theoretical notes, analyses of current events, reports on work in progress, book reviews, etc. There are a number of Kapltalistate collectives in the United States and other countries. The San Francisco Collective, in addition to participating in editorial, production, and distribution work for the journal, has written an essay on Watergate which appeared in Kapitalistate No.3. Currently the San Francisco collective is studying the role of political parties in the capitalist state. The present paper, while written by three of the members, is part of the work of the group as a whole." -THE EDITORS

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