Erik Olin Wright
Erik Olin Wright

Today some quotes by fundamental scholars of the Twentieth century. A way to remember that we can compare past and present, and draw draft about the very next future.

“At some stage early in every Marxist textbook of political economy it is stressed that “capital” is not a thing, but a social relation, and an antagonistic social relation at that. But frequently, after this proclamation is made, the accumulation of capital is substantively treated as the accumulation of things, of machinery, buildings, raw materials, and so forth that are usually grouped under the rubric “constant capital”. This is fundamentally incorrect from a Marxist point of view: capital accumulation must be understood as the reproduction of capitalist social relations on an ever-expanding scale through the conversion of surplus value into new constant and variable capital.”

Erik Olin Wright, Class, Crisis and the State, Verso, London, 1979, p. 113
…in a very exact sense, the bourgeoisie lives in the ideology of freedom the relation between it and its conditions of existence; that is, its real relation (the law of a liberal capitalist economy) but invested in an imaginary relation (all men are free, including the free labourers). Its…
Louis Althusser

“The state does not have an essence. The state is not a universal nor in itself an autonomous source of power. The state is nothing else but the effect, the profile, the mobile shape of a perpetual statification or statifications, in the sense of incessant transactions which modify, or move, or drastically change, or insidiously shift sources of finance, modes of investment, decision-making centres, forms and types of control, relationships between local powers, the central authority, and so on. In short, the state has no heart, as we well know, but not just in the sense that it has no feelings, either good or bad, but it has no heart in the sense that it has no interior. The state is nothing else but the mobile effect of a regime of multiple governmentalities.”

Michel Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France, 1978-1979, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, p. 77

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