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Corporate Capitalism and the Integral State
Tue, May 24, 2022 @ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM$3.00 – $11.00
Stephen Maher’s new book, Corporate Capitalism and the Integral State: General Electric and a Century of American Power, uses the relationship between the American state and General Electric from 1880 to 1980 to develop an original conception of what Gramsci called the “integral state.” Based on extensive archival research, it challenges the idea that the political power of capital is the result of corporate lobbying of a passive state. Rather, it shows how state power has been critical for the development and evolution of corporate organization. Moreover, the book reveals how the activism of the state has been indispensable for organizing fractious business interests into capitalist class power, including by taking the lead in forming and mobilizing business associations such as the Business Roundtable, Business Council, Committee for Economic Development, and others. Such lobbying groups thus constitute part of an integral state that traverses formal state institutions as well as civil society organizations. This deep structural relationship between the state and capital has profound implications for how we think about American democracy today.
Stephen Maher is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Ontario Tech University, Canada, and Associate Editor of Socialist Register.