State Monopoly under Capitalism : Lenin

The brief quotation below is one of many examples which separate Lenin from the school of ‘socialism’ that sees as its mission to centralize all economic activity in the hands of the state or which, in whatever way, is dependent upon the economic apparatus of the modern state as its life blood or raison d’être. Though Lenin saw state power as a mechanism to advance the political interests of the working class he never viewed it as an end in itself nor did he depart from the socialist goal of an eventual withering of the state.

In contemporary liberal discourse there has grown an idealization of the power of ‘government’ to regulate capitalism and address the inequality and privation experienced by the masses in a system  based upon the private ownership of socially produced wealth and the earth’s natural resources.  This idealization of the capacity of the state is rooted in the large sector of individuals in mature capitalist society who are employed by or dependent upon state redistribution of wealth.

Contrary to the reactionary views of those who would cut off government programs directly aiding low-income families (such as food stamps in the US) most of the benefactors of state absorption and redistribution of the surplus value from productive activity is not poor working people but middle class layers in the security apparatus, government contractors, state administrators of various types as well as members of the capitalist class who benefit from government deals and efforts on the part of the modern state to stabilize and effectively manage the inherently volatile and anarchistic workings of capitalism.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

from

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism

A POPULAR OUTLINE


II. BANKS AND THEIR NEW ROLE

Excerpt: Click highlighted text below for link to complete work at Marxists.org

As they pay interest at the rate of 4 per cent and 4 1/4 per cent on deposits, the savings-banks must seek “profitable” investments for their capital, they must deal in bills, mortgages, etc.The boundaries between the banks and the savings-banks “become more and more obliterated”. The Chambers of Commerce of Bochum and Erfurt, for example, demand that savings-banks be “prohibited” from engaging in “purely” banking business,such as discounting bills; they demand the limitation of the “banking” operations of the post-office.[10] The banking magnates seem to be afraid that state monopoly will steal upon them. from an unexpected quarter. It goes without saying, however, that this fear is no more than an expression of the rivalry, so to speak, between two department managers in the same office; for, on the one hand, the millions entrusted to the savings-banks are in the final analysis actually controlled by these very same bank capital magnates, while, on the other hand, state monopoly in capitalist society is merely a means of increasing and guaranteeing the income of millionaires in some branch of industry who are on the verge of bankruptcy.  

Emphasis by Rawlinsview

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/ch02.htm

About rawlinsview

News and political commentary from the point of view of the social interests of the international working class.
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