The State at the Heart of Capitalism: Marxist Theory and Foucault’s Lectures on Governmentality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Marx, on several occasions, registered his plan to devote a volume of Capital to the state. At the time of his death, however, this volume remained unwritten. Subsequently, students of Marx have proven hesitant to theorize the distinct organizational schema of modern state power, and the way it mediates and enriches those tendencies identified by Marx in Capital’s first three volumes. Instead, the capitalist state is often distinguished by pointing to its disaggregation from the economic structure of society. The following paper will return to Marx’s proposed volume on the state, using a number of recently published scholarly tracts to consider its potential analytical orientation. Particular attention will be paid to Foucault’s late work on governmentality which, it will be argued, offers a useful starting point for conceptualizing modern state power, and the historically distinct ways it forms part of capitalism’s interior.
LanguageEnglish
Pages641-658
JournalCritical Sociology
Volume41
Issue number4-5
Early online date12 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2015

Fingerprint

Marxism
governmentality
capitalist society
Structure of Society
disaggregation
economic structure
death
student
time

Keywords

  • Foucault
  • governmentality
  • international relations
  • Marx
  • political economy
  • state
  • state theory

Cite this

@article{67ad1386636342378629e3b1f65356f7,
title = "The State at the Heart of Capitalism: Marxist Theory and Foucault’s Lectures on Governmentality",
abstract = "Marx, on several occasions, registered his plan to devote a volume of Capital to the state. At the time of his death, however, this volume remained unwritten. Subsequently, students of Marx have proven hesitant to theorize the distinct organizational schema of modern state power, and the way it mediates and enriches those tendencies identified by Marx in Capital’s first three volumes. Instead, the capitalist state is often distinguished by pointing to its disaggregation from the economic structure of society. The following paper will return to Marx’s proposed volume on the state, using a number of recently published scholarly tracts to consider its potential analytical orientation. Particular attention will be paid to Foucault’s late work on governmentality which, it will be argued, offers a useful starting point for conceptualizing modern state power, and the historically distinct ways it forms part of capitalism’s interior.",
keywords = "Foucault, governmentality, international relations, Marx, political economy, state, state theory",
author = "Kristian Lasslett",
note = "Reference text: Allen B (2009) Agricultural development, policies and governance. In: Bourke RM and Harwood T (eds) Food and Agriculture in Papua New Guinea, Canberra: ANU E Press, 425–488. Allen M and Hasnain Z (2010) Power, pork and patronage: Decentralisation and the politicisation of the development budget in Papua New Guinea. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance 6: 7–31. Auditor General’s Office (2001) Department of Works and Implementation: Investigation into Allegations of Financial Mismanagement, Fraud and Misuse of Resources. Waigani: Author. Auditor General’s Office (2005) Special Investigation into the Office of the Public Curator. Waigani: Author. Auditor General’s Office (2007) Report of the Auditor General to the National Parliament on the Department of Lands and Physical Planning. Waigani: Author. Banks G (2001) Papua New Guinea baseline study. Available (consulted 15 October 2013) at: http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G01003.pdf Barnes C E (1969) Business and investment opportunities in New Guinea. Current Notes on International Affairs 40(6): 333–334. Block F (1977) The ruling class does not rule: Notes on the Marxist theory of the state. Socialist Revolution 33: 6–28. Brenner R (1985a) Agrarian class structure and economic development in pre-industrial Europe. In: Aston TH and Philpin CHE (eds) The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-industrial Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 10–63. Brenner R (1985b) The agrarian roots of European capitalism. In: Aston TH and Philpin CHE (eds) The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-industrial Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 213–328. Brenner R (1986) The social basis of economic development. In: Roemer J (ed.) Analytical Marxism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 23–53. Cammack D (2009) Chronic Poverty in Papua New Guinea. Manchester: Chronic Poverty Research Centre. Chomsky N and Foucault M (2006) The Chomsky-Foucault Debate: On Human Nature. New York, NY: The New Press. Connell J (1978) Taim Bilong Mani: The Evolution of Agriculture in a Solomon Island Society. Canberra: Australian National University. Connell J (1997) Papua New Guinea: The Struggle for Development. London: Routledge. Denoon D (1985) Capitalism in Papua New Guinea. The Journal of Pacific History 20(3): 119–134. Dinnen S (2001) Law and Order in a Weak State: Crime and Politics in Papua New Guinea. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Donaldson M and Good K (1988) Articulated Agricultural Development: Traditional and Capitalist Agricultures in Papua New Guinea. London: Aldershot. Faal E (2006) Growth and productivity in Papua New Guinea. Available (consulted 15 October 2013) at: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2006/wp06113.pdf Foucault M (2003) ‘Society Must Be Defended’: Lectures at the Coll{\`e}ge de France 1975–76. London: Penguin Books. Foucault M (2007) Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Coll{\`e}ge de France 1977–1978. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Foucault M (2008) The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Coll{\`e}ge de France 1978–1979. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Ghai Y (1997) Establishing a liberal political order through a constitution: The Papua New Guinea experience. Development and Change 28: 303–330. Gouy J, Kapa J, Mokae A and Leantis T (2010) Parting with the past: Is Papua New Guinea poised to begin a new chapter towards development? Pacific Economic Bulletin 25(1): 1–23. Harvey D (1982) The Limits to Capital. Oxford: Blackwell. Harvey D (2010) The Enigma of Capital. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hawksley C (2007) Constructing hegemony: Colonial rule and colonial legitimacy in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Rethinking Marxism 19(2): 195–207. Heinrich M (2012) An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital. New York, NY: Monthly Review Press. Internal Revenue Commission (2012) Annual Report 2011. Port Moresby: Author. Internal Revenue Commission (2013) Annual Report 2012. Port Moresby: Author. Jones P (2012) Managing urbanisation in Papua New Guinea: Planning for planning’s sake? Alfred Deakin Research Institute Working Papers Series 2 2(33): 6–17. Lacher H (2006) Beyond Globalization: Capitalism, Territoriality and the International Relations of Modernity. Abingdon: Routledge. Lasslett K (2010) Winning hearts and mines: The Bougainville crisis 1988–1990. In: Jackson R, Murphy E and Poynting S (eds) Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge. Lasslett K (2012) The Demolition of Paga Hill. London: International State Crime Initiative. Lebowitz MA (2003) Beyond Capital: Marx’s Political Economy of the Working Class. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Marx K (1971) A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. London: Lawrence and Wishart. Marx K (1973) Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy. Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K (1975) Early Writings. Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K (1976) Capital (Vol. 1). Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K (1978) Capital (Vol. 2). Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K (1981) Capital (Vol. 3). Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K and Engels F (1982) Selected Correspondence. Moscow: Progress Publishers. May RJ (2004) State and Society in Papua New Guinea: The First Twenty-Five Years. Canberra: ANU E Press. McCasker AW (1966) Economic development in Papua and New Guinea. Australian Territories 6(3): 2–13. Namaliu R (1995) Politics, business and the state in Papua New Guinea. Pacific Economic Bulletin 10(2): 61–65. Oakley A (2007) What is Capital? History of Economics Review 45: 82–94. Payani H (2003) Bureaucratic corruption in Papua New Guinea: Causes, consequences and remedies. In: Kavanamur D, Yala C and Clements Q (eds) Building a Nation in Papua New Guinea: Views of the Post-Independence Generation. Canberra: Pandanus Books, 91–105. Poulantzas N (1978) State, Power, Socialism. London: Verso. Public Accounts Committee (2003) Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Parliamentary Services. Waigani: National Parliament of Papua New Guinea. Public Accounts Committee (2006) Public Accounts Committee Report to Parliament on the Inquiry into the Department of Lands and Physical Planning. Waigani: National Parliament of Papua New Guinea. Regan AJ (1997) The Papua New Guinea policy-making environment as a window on the Sandline controversy. In: Dinnen S, May R and Regan AJ (eds) Challenging the State: The Sandline Affair in Papua New Guinea. Canberra: National Centre for Development Studies, 82–93. Rogers P (2004) Stirring words, ruling ideas, and the price of bread: Reflections on a Gramscian-Thompsonian approach to cultural history. Past Imperfect 10: 1–20. Rosenberg J (1994) The Empire of Civil Society. London: Verso. Rynkiewich MA (2000) Big-man politics: Strong leadership in a weak state. In: Rynkiewich MA and Seib R (eds) Politics in Papua New Guinea: Continuities, Changes and Challenges. Goroka: Melanesian Institute, 17–43. Standish B (2007) The dynamics of Papua New Guinea’s democracy: An essay. Pacific Economic Bulletin 22(1): 135–157. Strathern A (1993) Violence and political change in Papua New Guinea. Pacific Studies 16(4): 41–60. Teschke B (2003) The Myth of 1648: Class, Geopolitics, and the Making of Modern International Relations. London: Verso. Teschke B and Lacher H (2007) The changing ‘logics’ of capitalist competition. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 20(4): 565–580. Turner M (1990) Papua New Guinea: The Challenge of Independence. Middlesex: Penguin Books. Wood EM (1991) The Pristine Culture of Capitalism. London: Verso. Wood EM (2002) The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View. London: Verso. Wood EM (2003) Empire of Capital. London: Verso.",
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The State at the Heart of Capitalism: Marxist Theory and Foucault’s Lectures on Governmentality. / Lasslett, Kristian.

In: Critical Sociology, Vol. 41, No. 4-5, 31.07.2015, p. 641-658.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - The State at the Heart of Capitalism: Marxist Theory and Foucault’s Lectures on Governmentality

AU - Lasslett, Kristian

N1 - Reference text: Allen B (2009) Agricultural development, policies and governance. In: Bourke RM and Harwood T (eds) Food and Agriculture in Papua New Guinea, Canberra: ANU E Press, 425–488. Allen M and Hasnain Z (2010) Power, pork and patronage: Decentralisation and the politicisation of the development budget in Papua New Guinea. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance 6: 7–31. Auditor General’s Office (2001) Department of Works and Implementation: Investigation into Allegations of Financial Mismanagement, Fraud and Misuse of Resources. Waigani: Author. Auditor General’s Office (2005) Special Investigation into the Office of the Public Curator. Waigani: Author. Auditor General’s Office (2007) Report of the Auditor General to the National Parliament on the Department of Lands and Physical Planning. Waigani: Author. Banks G (2001) Papua New Guinea baseline study. Available (consulted 15 October 2013) at: http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/G01003.pdf Barnes C E (1969) Business and investment opportunities in New Guinea. Current Notes on International Affairs 40(6): 333–334. Block F (1977) The ruling class does not rule: Notes on the Marxist theory of the state. Socialist Revolution 33: 6–28. Brenner R (1985a) Agrarian class structure and economic development in pre-industrial Europe. In: Aston TH and Philpin CHE (eds) The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-industrial Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 10–63. Brenner R (1985b) The agrarian roots of European capitalism. In: Aston TH and Philpin CHE (eds) The Brenner Debate: Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-industrial Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 213–328. Brenner R (1986) The social basis of economic development. In: Roemer J (ed.) Analytical Marxism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 23–53. Cammack D (2009) Chronic Poverty in Papua New Guinea. Manchester: Chronic Poverty Research Centre. Chomsky N and Foucault M (2006) The Chomsky-Foucault Debate: On Human Nature. New York, NY: The New Press. Connell J (1978) Taim Bilong Mani: The Evolution of Agriculture in a Solomon Island Society. Canberra: Australian National University. Connell J (1997) Papua New Guinea: The Struggle for Development. London: Routledge. Denoon D (1985) Capitalism in Papua New Guinea. The Journal of Pacific History 20(3): 119–134. Dinnen S (2001) Law and Order in a Weak State: Crime and Politics in Papua New Guinea. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Donaldson M and Good K (1988) Articulated Agricultural Development: Traditional and Capitalist Agricultures in Papua New Guinea. London: Aldershot. Faal E (2006) Growth and productivity in Papua New Guinea. Available (consulted 15 October 2013) at: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2006/wp06113.pdf Foucault M (2003) ‘Society Must Be Defended’: Lectures at the Collège de France 1975–76. London: Penguin Books. Foucault M (2007) Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France 1977–1978. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Foucault M (2008) The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France 1978–1979. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Ghai Y (1997) Establishing a liberal political order through a constitution: The Papua New Guinea experience. Development and Change 28: 303–330. Gouy J, Kapa J, Mokae A and Leantis T (2010) Parting with the past: Is Papua New Guinea poised to begin a new chapter towards development? Pacific Economic Bulletin 25(1): 1–23. Harvey D (1982) The Limits to Capital. Oxford: Blackwell. Harvey D (2010) The Enigma of Capital. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hawksley C (2007) Constructing hegemony: Colonial rule and colonial legitimacy in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Rethinking Marxism 19(2): 195–207. Heinrich M (2012) An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx’s Capital. New York, NY: Monthly Review Press. Internal Revenue Commission (2012) Annual Report 2011. Port Moresby: Author. Internal Revenue Commission (2013) Annual Report 2012. Port Moresby: Author. Jones P (2012) Managing urbanisation in Papua New Guinea: Planning for planning’s sake? Alfred Deakin Research Institute Working Papers Series 2 2(33): 6–17. Lacher H (2006) Beyond Globalization: Capitalism, Territoriality and the International Relations of Modernity. Abingdon: Routledge. Lasslett K (2010) Winning hearts and mines: The Bougainville crisis 1988–1990. In: Jackson R, Murphy E and Poynting S (eds) Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge. Lasslett K (2012) The Demolition of Paga Hill. London: International State Crime Initiative. Lebowitz MA (2003) Beyond Capital: Marx’s Political Economy of the Working Class. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Marx K (1971) A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. London: Lawrence and Wishart. Marx K (1973) Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy. Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K (1975) Early Writings. Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K (1976) Capital (Vol. 1). Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K (1978) Capital (Vol. 2). Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K (1981) Capital (Vol. 3). Middlesex: Penguin Books. Marx K and Engels F (1982) Selected Correspondence. Moscow: Progress Publishers. May RJ (2004) State and Society in Papua New Guinea: The First Twenty-Five Years. Canberra: ANU E Press. McCasker AW (1966) Economic development in Papua and New Guinea. Australian Territories 6(3): 2–13. Namaliu R (1995) Politics, business and the state in Papua New Guinea. Pacific Economic Bulletin 10(2): 61–65. Oakley A (2007) What is Capital? History of Economics Review 45: 82–94. Payani H (2003) Bureaucratic corruption in Papua New Guinea: Causes, consequences and remedies. In: Kavanamur D, Yala C and Clements Q (eds) Building a Nation in Papua New Guinea: Views of the Post-Independence Generation. Canberra: Pandanus Books, 91–105. Poulantzas N (1978) State, Power, Socialism. London: Verso. Public Accounts Committee (2003) Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Parliamentary Services. Waigani: National Parliament of Papua New Guinea. Public Accounts Committee (2006) Public Accounts Committee Report to Parliament on the Inquiry into the Department of Lands and Physical Planning. Waigani: National Parliament of Papua New Guinea. Regan AJ (1997) The Papua New Guinea policy-making environment as a window on the Sandline controversy. In: Dinnen S, May R and Regan AJ (eds) Challenging the State: The Sandline Affair in Papua New Guinea. Canberra: National Centre for Development Studies, 82–93. Rogers P (2004) Stirring words, ruling ideas, and the price of bread: Reflections on a Gramscian-Thompsonian approach to cultural history. Past Imperfect 10: 1–20. Rosenberg J (1994) The Empire of Civil Society. London: Verso. Rynkiewich MA (2000) Big-man politics: Strong leadership in a weak state. In: Rynkiewich MA and Seib R (eds) Politics in Papua New Guinea: Continuities, Changes and Challenges. Goroka: Melanesian Institute, 17–43. Standish B (2007) The dynamics of Papua New Guinea’s democracy: An essay. Pacific Economic Bulletin 22(1): 135–157. Strathern A (1993) Violence and political change in Papua New Guinea. Pacific Studies 16(4): 41–60. Teschke B (2003) The Myth of 1648: Class, Geopolitics, and the Making of Modern International Relations. London: Verso. Teschke B and Lacher H (2007) The changing ‘logics’ of capitalist competition. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 20(4): 565–580. Turner M (1990) Papua New Guinea: The Challenge of Independence. Middlesex: Penguin Books. Wood EM (1991) The Pristine Culture of Capitalism. London: Verso. Wood EM (2002) The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View. London: Verso. Wood EM (2003) Empire of Capital. London: Verso.

PY - 2015/7/31

Y1 - 2015/7/31

N2 - Marx, on several occasions, registered his plan to devote a volume of Capital to the state. At the time of his death, however, this volume remained unwritten. Subsequently, students of Marx have proven hesitant to theorize the distinct organizational schema of modern state power, and the way it mediates and enriches those tendencies identified by Marx in Capital’s first three volumes. Instead, the capitalist state is often distinguished by pointing to its disaggregation from the economic structure of society. The following paper will return to Marx’s proposed volume on the state, using a number of recently published scholarly tracts to consider its potential analytical orientation. Particular attention will be paid to Foucault’s late work on governmentality which, it will be argued, offers a useful starting point for conceptualizing modern state power, and the historically distinct ways it forms part of capitalism’s interior.

AB - Marx, on several occasions, registered his plan to devote a volume of Capital to the state. At the time of his death, however, this volume remained unwritten. Subsequently, students of Marx have proven hesitant to theorize the distinct organizational schema of modern state power, and the way it mediates and enriches those tendencies identified by Marx in Capital’s first three volumes. Instead, the capitalist state is often distinguished by pointing to its disaggregation from the economic structure of society. The following paper will return to Marx’s proposed volume on the state, using a number of recently published scholarly tracts to consider its potential analytical orientation. Particular attention will be paid to Foucault’s late work on governmentality which, it will be argued, offers a useful starting point for conceptualizing modern state power, and the historically distinct ways it forms part of capitalism’s interior.

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KW - international relations

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