Introducing the Concepts of Electoral, Production, Credit and Food Production Processes
Rather than simply contrast state institutions with private institutions as belonging to separate realms — each governed by inherently different forms of rationality — Electoral, Production, Credit and Food Production Processes are concepts which attempt to explain the overlapping and interdependent relations between state institutions and private institutions. There are, however, social practices such as judicial arbitration or the printing of money which are almost exclusive roles carried out by state institutions in most capitalist countries. But it is difficult to think of many social practices in contemporary capitalist societies which are carried out exclusively by private institutions. This is not to deny that in many capitalist countries such as the United States, state institutions are involved in less commodity production or the operation of cultural institutions and other social practices, compared to state institutions in other capitalist countries such as those in Western Europe. It is precisely these historical differences which make the concepts of Processes valuable analytical tools. Each local, regional and national Electoral, Production, Credit and Food Production Process consists of greater or fewer state-run or privately-run institutions. Whereas the concepts of ‘the State’, ‘Civil Society’ and ‘the Economy’ are nearly always used to delineate private institutions from state-run institutions — i.e. ‘Civil Society’ and ‘the Economy’ are supposed to be realms of only private activity — the concept of Electoral, Production, Credit and Food Production Processes cut across these traditional and artificial divisions.
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