Class struggle is key to understanding the debate on social change. The State, in its structure, contains channels and thus contributes to social conflict. In and through the State, it operates to constitute forms of social reproduction.
The neoliberal crisis was a broad crisis resulting from the inability of the fractions that emerged as dominant to continue expanding their capital based on higher levels of productivity and more significant appropriation of the value created. This inability was expressed within capital as a productive force and capitalist society. Neoliberalism transformed capital’s social and technical composition and opened the space for a change in the political composition of classes. This change is perceived both in the transformations in the working-class structure (between branches, qualifications, etc.) and in the changes in the organization of dead labor or constant capital.
With the exhaustion in the global south of the last phase of the neoliberal era (1995-2002) and the internal contradictions (economic, but also political and social) typical of the process at the level of capital as a productive force, the crisis manifests itself in the impossibility of increasing its value in the face of various forms of resistance. At the level of the capitalist society, it is expressed through the inability of the dominant classes to reproduce in an extended way without significant shocks, the fundamental social relations, and their social hegemony.
The new political composition of the workers was expressed on the one hand in new forms of opposition, both from the point of view of the workers’ organizations and outside of them. On the one hand, despite the advance in the precariousness of the conditions of production, the organizational resistance of the workers was able to put concrete limits on the attempts of capital to channel the limits of accumulation on them. In parallel, as of 1993, the unemployed movement (‘picketers’) began to articulate. For its part, the development of the environmental struggles of native peoples and peasants, the struggles of small producers (urban and rural), and the advances of the feminist movement, among others, accounted for the formation of new modalities of articulation in the field of the people, of a new political composition of the class.
These changes also materialized in a blockade in the form of the neoliberal State. Constituted as a minimal, residual, repressive, strong State, as a form of capital as a social relationship, the neoliberal State in crisis is incapable of politically channeling the people’s demands and money. Convertibility as a comprehensive strategy loses effectiveness, and the marginal and repressive intervention of the State becomes useless to contain requests and resistance. Neodevelopmentalism supposes the constitution of another form of State that can contain and channel the demands in the new political composition of the classes.
The class struggle is not generally expressed directly in the relationship of work against personified capital (that is, companies or entrepreneurs) but through different mediations. In capitalism, class demands are translated into specific policies and orientations through the State. Not all the demands of the other classes and their fractions are channeled in the same way, with the same integrity. On the one hand, given that the State is a form of capital, it processes demands through mechanisms like top-down and bureaucratic patriarchies and racism, which tend to reproduce multiple domination relationships. It is expressed in ‘structurally situated and strategically selective’ forms of state channeling of demands. Popular demands tend to be first denied by capital and the State (ignored, rejected, repressed) and only eventually satisfied through specific institutional forms (e.g., labor legislation, Ministry of Labor). The demands of capital and its dominant fractions are channeled into different state institutional spaces, such as macroeconomic or monetary policy.
On the other hand, the State is not omnipresent, omnipotent, or absent of contradictions. The objective contradictions that occur in the sphere of society are also expressed in the state form. The State is not ‘above’ society but within it. The fundamental contradiction between capital and labor in the space of production or immediate circulation of value is mediated not only by the practices of the actors directly in conflict but also by the institutional forms that (temporarily) solidify these contradictory relations. This relationship includes both capital and (living) work in its modality as an active form of work (as variable capital) but also the relationship with work as non-work (that is, as non-capital work, suspended work, ‘idle’; Dinnerstein, 1999). The capital relationship also includes and tries to subsume other forms of work outside the direct connection of exploitation. Peasants, native peoples, and small farmers are subject to the capital’s attempts to expropriate them from their territories or hold them under its aegis.
In this way, the dynamics of the valorization and accumulation of capital (that is, the expanded reproduction of the capital relation) are constituted not only within the direct production space (‘the factory’) but also in the set of social connections outside of it, in the space of ‘reproduction.’ The idea that contemporary society ‘is’ (at least as a trend) the society of capital accounts for this comprehensiveness.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.