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By Boris Frankel
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Additional resources for Beyond the State?: Dominant theories and socialist strategies
Mandel's answer is that the two-Department model is not just a simple analytic tool, but a model which corresponds to a social structure. Accordingly, the choice of these two Departments as basic sub-divisions of the mass of commodities produced is not at all an arbitrary one, but 40 Abandoning the 'Sacred Cows' of MarJcian Orthodoxy corresponds to the essential character of human production in general - not merely its specific expression under capitalist relations of production .... The two Departments of Marx's reproduction schemes are nothing other than the specific capitalist form of this general division of human production, insofar as they 1) take the generalised form of commodities, and 2) assume that the workers (direct producers) do not and cannot purchase that part of the commodity mountain which consists of tools and raw materials.
Marxist Disagreements over the Concept of 'CiviI Society' Although socialists have used the concepts 'Civil Society' and 'the State' very extensively, little has actually been written ab out these 'spheres' apart from the numerous expositions of what Marx or Gramsci said about 'Civii Society', etc. It is possible to identify within socialist theory several broad conceptions of the relations between 'the State', 'Civil Society' and 'the Economy'. The first school, an orthodox Marxism, tends to follow the 'base/superstructure' division, which equates the market (or 'the Economy') with 'Civil Society', while 'the State' is reduced to the political/administrative 'superstructure'.
It is rather that the way surplus-value is distributed between productive and unproductive capitalists or between state institutions and workers, is hardly a mechanicalor simple slicing of a metaphorical cake. Just as Althusserians argue that 'the economic is determinant in the last instance', so too, orthodox value-theorists postulate that the level of surplus-value is determinant in the last instance. g. tax on profits) from capitalists and distribute it to the proletariat in the form of social services and public goods.