(Related to If capitalism can't survive without a state then how do you explain the grey and black markets? Possibly relevant to the new question Impact of cryptocurrencies in anarchy?)
Many anarchists claim that capitalism is a product of and supported by the state. One line of argument here is the historical record, where states are repeatedly observed to introduce and maintain capitalist structures. (Several histories are available, I recommend Graeber's "Debt", if only because I read it and can't speak for other sources.)
The question is, to what extent is this still the case? To my eyes, modern capitalism has huge and powerful organizations that still exhibit neither the psychological status of a state nor perform some of the traditional functions. Is the role of the state in enforcing capitalist property rights still the essential foundation of the system? Was it ever? Or is it just one aspect of many, and perhaps of diminishing importance?
'To my eyes, modern capitalism has huge and powerful organizations that still exhibit neither the psychological status of a state nor perform some of the traditional functions.'
can you illustrate a bit what you're getting at here? like, perhaps give us example of those powerful organizations.
Capitalism and "free markets" and what not depend on rules established by the government. Without them, modern capitalism would fall apart or be less of what it is today. So, like they have laws established to keep it a afloat and less risky. They have a boatload of rules/laws to accomplish this, like private property, stable money/currency (government backed), limited liability laws, bankruptcy protection, banking regulations, insurance...etc, which are all dependent on the state enforcing them. If investors were held liable for the stuff they do, contracts weren't enforced, no patents/IP/copyright, no stable money supply...etc, capitalism wouldn't be the monster that it is.
So, yes, modern capitalism still is dependent on the state, as far as I can tell. Don't know if this is what you were asking or not. This stuff hurts my brain way too much.
there is no question in my mind that capitalism could never have developed as it has without the state. and vice versa.
but when i think about this question in the current context, my mind goes directly to this:
what functions does the state provide that could not be provided by the "free market" and private enterprise?
muscle and protection of private property? nope, they've got that covered: private security, "police" forces and mercenary "armies" abound.
laws and regulations? the free market doesn't want 'em, they'd say "good riddance". or they'd "self regulate" - hahahahaha...
research and development? not a problem. sure, the capitalists would hate that there'd be no taxpayer money to massively subsidize the r&d that leads to their profitable products, but they'd figure that out. probably a bit less r&d is all.
centrally controlled currency? the fed is a privately owned enterprise already, if i am not mistaken. [edit: it is actually a complex combo of public and private. the fed banks themselves are private.]
the relationship between the state and capital is so tightly integrated that it is difficult to imagine one without the other. but if i approach it from the perspective of my (bolded) question above, i think there is some argument to be made that capitalism might be able to survive without the state. i just don't see it happening, and i surely don't see capitalists choosing to take on all the "responsibilities" that the state currently takes on (it would deeply cut their profits, and shift their objectives, for some period). but could they if they were forced to?
i am no economist, nor a political scientist, so my thoughts are not based on either area of theory; just observation of the world over the past 55 years.
fucking love it!