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Walter E. Grinder and John Hagel, “Toward a Theory of State Capitalism: Ultimate Decision-Making and Class Structure” (1974)

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Class membership is defined by relationships with the market and the state. Elite groups are renewed as new members are drawn from the talented. The ruling class comprises both “narrow” and “broad” elements, with the former, rooted in the financial sector, setting the broad terms of political behavior. Politicians, the bureaucracy, the military, organized labor, and the executives of state-allied firms serve to effect and generate support for ruling-class policies, while academics and journalists help to develop and legitimate them. The ruling class is not homogenous, and conflicts persist within it related both to economic interest and to philosophy.

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    The interventionist dynamic is occasionally disrupted, and even temporarily reversed, by certain crisis periods in which the contradictions inherent in earlier interventionist measures confront the ruling class with the necessity of repealing these earlier measures, e.g., the acute housing shortage resulting from New York’s rent control legislation confronted policy makers with the option either of repealing this legislation or authorizing massive state intervention in the housing market in the form of public housing projects. The fundamental social transformations that would have resulted in the latter option made it unacceptable. Usually, however, policy makers will be reluctant to admit the mistake of their earlier intervention (mainly for political reasons) and instead will adopt further interventionist measures to “cure” the previously caused distortions.

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  48. 48.

    This defensive role of political interventionism is best identified and explained by the “Brozen-Friedman-Kolko Thesis,” a unified thesis which may be developed from the following works: Brozen; Friedman; Gabriel Kolko. See also Pareto and Mosca.

  49. 49.


  50. 50.

    A retrogressive social phenomenon is defined through a comparison between existing conditions and the conditions which probably would have prevailed had the intervention not taken place . It would be misleading to compare the present conditions with earlier conditions since, for other reasons, there in fact may have been an improvement on this level.

  51. 51.


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Hart, D.M., Chartier, G., Kenyon, R.M., Long, R.T. (2018). Walter E. Grinder and John Hagel, “Toward a Theory of State Capitalism: Ultimate Decision-Making and Class Structure” (1974). In: Hart, D., Chartier, G., Kenyon, R., Long, R. (eds) Social Class and State Power. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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