From the point of view of Marxism, the State is not an independent actor from capitalism. This is made very clear by Marx, for whom the State is the amalgamation of class dominance that emanates from the development of capitalism.

Extrapolating for any mode of production, we have that the State is the manifestation of class struggle of said mode of production, e.g. the feudal State, the ancient State etc. etc. The State is always born from the mode of production, never the inverse: the State is the superstructure of the mode of production.

In the specific case of capitalism, if we apply this concept, we have that the State, ultimately, is the neutral arbiter of the free market. Someone has to enforce private property, otherwise, the physically stronger will always expropriate the physically weaker, no matter if the weaker is wealthier than the stronger. Private property would self-destruct into the raw Survival of the Fittest.

Hence capitalism cannot exist without the State. The free market is, ultimately, artificial: it does not exist in nature.

Yes, intercapitalist struggle is constant and structural, according to Marx. The capitalist class oppresses the working class as a whole, i.e. as a class, but, at the individual or regional level, capitalist rivalry do and must exist. Marx himself tells us the example in Capital, where capitalists from one specific sector make political campaign to higher wages... in the other sectors. In its most acute form, there is a total war: WWI was the quintessential intercapitalist war, the so-called interimperialist war par excellence. It brought the end of classical liberalism and paved the way for the so-called neoclassical economy.

Again, it is easy to visualize why pure capitalism without the State and, as such and with, without ferocious and to-the-death intercapitalist competition, is impossible: imagine the perfect capitalist world, where every adult male divides equally planet Earth between themselves (including all the females in the planet, that is, each one will be a family), as capitalists. Each portion of this planet will be an individual capital, owned by exactly one family. Free market competition begins, in a way everything that happens to each individual capital will be the result solely of free, purely meritocratic, capitalist free market competition.

The first problem arises: planet Earth is not equal in all of its parts: some families will receive a wasteland, while others will be sat on gold mines, while others will be spawned in fertile lands. But the most important one here would be the families who would inherit the water.

The capitalists who own the water would then subjugate the rest, in a domino effect, until they become the new oligopoly. They would then amass this accumulated rent profit, this superprofit, to then mount a military sector, which would then subjugate the rest. If the water capitalists don't manage to unite wholly at once, then it is a simple matter of a shock of titans, an interimperialist war to decide which water oligopoly will reign supreme. The process will then continue as normal, until all the weaker capitalists will be enslaved and proletarianized (i.e. transformed into the working class). The ones who resist would be killed, which means they would “exist the game”. Meritocracy and fair competition break down as moral-ethic concepts.

Obviously, really existing capitalism doesn't behave that way. That's because the State, as the high council of the capitalists, arises as capitalism develops. First of all, because capitalism isn't born from a virgin planet Earth, but from the contradictions of feudalism, so the capitalist class has to gain class consciousness in order to topple the feudal dominant classes before properly founding capitalism. Second, the working class is born from from already existing relations of production, not from a race of fallen capitalists. So the working class already “exists” the moment the capitalist class gains class consciousness. Third, as capitalism becomes hegemonic and so does grow the working class' class consciousness, so does the State develops, as the neutral arbiter of the free market, of which one of the functions is to administer and equally distribute among the members of the capitalist class the so-called “inherent monopolies” such as water, land as abstract space (property rules of land), and war (modern day terminology: defense). That's why the capitalist classes around the world -- including the American one -- accept that the State has the monopoly of the Armed Forces: if it was in private hands, this capitalist would use it to dominate all the other capitalists.

Nowadays, the State as the neutral arbiter of the free market is called “minimum state”, in order to differentiate this essential function from its expanded function, which is to also administer the welfare state (which the social-democrats also call the “social wage”, because it gives the working class a series of services that are essential to its comfort). The Neoliberal faction defends the State should go back to just do its original function, i.e the “minimum State”, while the Keynesian, Social-Democratic faction defends the State should be “maximum” i.e. accumulate both the function of the neutral arbiter of the free market and build and administer the welfare state.

To sum it up, the State not only is not alien to capitalism, but is the manifestation of the Free Market itself.

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I would add a third methodological strain - geographical split, i.e. there are American capitalists, and Chinese capitalists. If American capitalists can't keep their monopolies due to competition from China, and thus maintain their profit margins, the only logical course of action is to erect a Chinese wall. Yes, they will swim in a smaller pond, but will still be the biggest fish. Besides, if we take the globalization to the logical end, i.e. where everyone freely competes with each other, this will eliminate profits altogether, by definition. Hence, paradoxically, national capital is interested in globalization only to a certain extent, namely, as you mentioned, as long as it keeps a lid on wages. As soon as it faces margin erosion due to competition, globalization stops being in its interest.

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As expected nice analysis. Did not know Good Old kaspersky suffered from Russofobia, too bad no better AV software :D Would not turn to MacAfeee or US replacement.

Middle player, the regulator state is so much destroyed by globalization, its no rule game at all. This make it anti democratic in essence, in terms of antimonopoly etc.

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What does "nation" bring to this formula?

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Right now the US is facing the prospect of its youth being sent to fight China, while its investment banks continue to fund China. Is it economically feasible for the US to war with China? China is already economically targeting the military industrial complex. What happens if they dump our bonds or stop buying our soybeans? The Arms industry is politically powerful, but so is Finance, Shipping, Retailing, and Agribusiness. An elite civil war is brewing.

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Don't forget Mr. Keynes who understood Marx and disliked the Soviet Model. His scheme to mitigate the trap of lower wages leading to lower consumption was government spending. This was socialism to the US Power Elite so Keynes entered the US through the Pentagon's back door. The Pentagon is actually the Commissar of Industry and political leaders live in terror of Peace, which might expose their slight of hand.

See: The American Warfare State by Rebecca Thorpe for excellent documentation.

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Feb 26, 2023·edited Feb 26, 2023

wow ... now I am reading this it is immediately obvious that the distinction between cosmopolitan capitalists and military capitalists is very powerful ... it helps to cluster a wide range of events and political debates and suggests how to separate noise from trends in interesting ways

but we need to drill deeper as increasingly Big Tech is providing AI and web services for the military-industrial complex

anybody here who has insights in how this conflict may play out in the future?

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And how would the dollar/yuan exchange rate be affected in a scenario of total de-globalisation?

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Excellent analysis. No wonder they won't publish it.

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..... “they need to argue for higher taxation”.... might be true in the medium to long run. But in the short term, they only need a larger portion of the budget allocated to defense spending.

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