Thursday, 22 January 2009

The relative autonomy of the state?

Thirty years ago I wrote my undergraduate thesis on 'Marxist Theories of the State', of which there seemed to be an inordinate amount in the late 1970s. At certain academic institutions whole flocks of such theories could be dimly glimpsed poking about in their natural habitat of the thick undergrowth of wordy incomprehensibility.

As you might imagine, I'm rarely asked to recap on my wide reading on this subject at dinner parties. Which is perhaps just as well, as I don't think any of the great, grey radical tomes I waded through ever quite envisaged a situation where a Labour government was determined not to nationalise the banks whilst the Financial Times and quite a lot of bankers want them too.

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