Towards a critique of political democracy - Mario Tronti

Bringing the heterodox Marxist traditions of ‘workerism’ and the ‘autonomy of the political’ together with the feminist thinking of difference, Tronti underscores the identitarian tendencies of democracy and the difficulties of combining democracy with a genuine notion of freedom.

For Tronti, democracy is increasingly synonymous with the pervasiveness of capitalism understood as ‘bourgeois society’, and the victory of ‘real democracy’ (as one might speak of ‘real socialism’) is the sociological victory of the bourgeoisie. The homo oeconomicus and the homo democraticus are fused into the dominant figure of democracy, the ‘mass bourgeois’.

Endnotes: Two aspects of austerity

What are we to make of the current round of austerity? Some members of Endnotes give their assesment.

What are we to make of the current round of austerity? Should we believe Keynesians like Paul Krugman when they argue that capitalists are acting against their own best interests in calling for cuts? Are government finances really under stress, or is it all just a ploy to undermine the last remaining gains achieved by working class struggle?

The state debate - Simon Clarke

Book presenting some of the key approaches to the capitalist state developed in the 1970s debates within the Conference of Socialist Economists.

Edited by Simon Clarke. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, 1991.

Keynesianism, monetarism and the crisis of the state - Simon Clarke

Clarke's book looking at the emergence of the capitalist state, its historical development and relation to money throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Reclaim the ‘state debate’

Looking at the text The state debate by Simon Clarke, Aufheben analyse the role of the state in capitalist society against the background of the economic crisis.


After the shock of the recent crisis, and facing its long-term consequences, many of us who have been involved in recent campaigns and struggles feel the need for a renewed debate about the state, its nature and its relation to capital and the class struggle.

In and against the state

Book from 1979 discussing the experience of working class people, mostly socialists, in working within the public sector in the late 1970s, or relying upon it as service provider; and the contradictions that reveals.

The first version of In and Against the State was published as a pamphlet in 1979; then reissued with minor updates to the original text, and a substantial postscript the next year.

Karl Marx and the state

David Adam addresses Marx’s concept of a socialist society in relation to various concepts of the state.

In April 1917, the Russian anarchist Voline met Leon Trotsky in a New York print works. Not surprisingly, both were producing revolutionary propaganda. Discussing the Russian situation, Voline told Trotsky that he considered it certain that the Bolsheviks would come to power.

Private property, exclusion and the state - Junge Linke

Junge Linke on the interdependence of private property, capitalism and the state

Any reasonable analysis of capitalist societies must include a critique of private property in the means of production. Most Marxists would agree. But it takes two to tango. The capitalist mode of production cannot be completely self-sufficient. It’s ridden with prerequisites, and it is the state that introduces and maintains these prerequisites.

Why anti-national?

Why is nationalism so effective and so persistent? What is the basis for the continual appeal of nationalism in its many forms? Wine and Cheese tackle the question.

When we declare our opposition to capital and nation, quite a few people would agree with the later part if we appended an ‘-ism’. Being a ‘nationalist’ is not a badge of honour these days, instead it is reserved for the types of the British National Party. A proper, democratic citizen does not consider himself a nationalist, instead the much more noble label ‘patriot’ is preferred.

Capital and state - Gilles Dauvé

An extract of "The communist movement", 1972, on communism, capital and their relation to the capitalist state.

A section from Le mouvement communiste, Editions Champ Libre, 1972, Troisième partie : Révolution et contre-révolution., pp 166-176.