Notes on a Theory…

Thoughts on politics, law, & social science

The State as a Claim

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“Absolute” conveys the wrong tone, the one of course kings hoped to convey. Absolutism was a rhetorical injunction, not a serious assertion. It might be perhaps wise to de-emphasize the concentration on the person of the king and simply talk of a strengthened state, or more “stateness.” We might better call the ideology ‘statism’. Statism is a claim for increased power in the hands of the state machinery. In the sixteenth century this meant power in the hands of the absolute monarch. It was a claim to power, the claim being part of the attempt to achieve it. Nobody, then or now, took it or should take it as a description of the real world of the time.

The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century by Immanuel Wallerstein


Written by David Kaib

April 16, 2019 at 11:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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