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Title: Social form and the development of the state under monetarism
Author: Bonefeld, Werner
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1990
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The thesis sets out to rework aspects of the Marxist state debate of the 1970's in the context of the contemporary development of the British state. The argument is conceptual and empirical. The thesis analyses the crisis of Keynesianism and the rise of monetarism during the 1970's and the pursuit of monetarist policies during the 1980's. The development of the state is seen as being determined by social conflict, the most fundamental form of which is the money power of capital: the money power of capital is constituted at the level of the world market and mediated through the state. The thesis contends that the single most important event for the development of the state has been the break-down of Bretton Woods in 1971 and 1973. The global power of money impinges on the state in the form of financial difficulties which restrict the integration of labour into the capital relation on the basis of social reform. Following an analysis of the crisis of capitalist accumulation and the constitution of this crisis in the form of a global pyramid of debt, the thesis analyses the politics of the social contract and the development of the state under the Thatcher governments. The thesis comes to the conclusion that monetarist policies did not involve a frontal attack on the working class but, rather, an attempt to recompose class relations on the basis of the categories of property owner and citizen. The thesis shows that monetarist policies failed to resolve the crisis of capitalist accumulation. The class struggle over the political integration of labour involved the political reproduction of the contradictions of capital. The political significance of monetarism lies in its attempt to subordinate political criteria to the money power of capital. Monetarist policies entailed, fundamentally, an attempt to recompose the form of the state as the concentrated force of the money power of capital. The thesis shows that the recomposition of the form of the state is fraught with contradictions. The subordination of political criteria to the money power of capital has led to the recomposition of labour as the antagonistic subject of debt.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available