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New Left Review I/59, January-February 1970

Ralph Miliband

The Capitalist State - Reply to N. Poulantzas

I very much welcome Nicos Poulantzas’s critique of The State in Capitalist Society in the last issue of NLR: this is exactly the kind of discussion which is most likely to contribute to the elucidation of concepts and issues that are generally agreed on the Left to be of crucial importance for the socialist project, yet which have for a very long time received altogether inadequate attention, or even no attention at all. While some of Poulantzas’s criticisms are, as I shall try to show, unwarranted, my purpose in the following comments is only incidentally to ‘defend’ the book; my main purpose is rather to take up some general points which arise from his review and which seem to me of particular interest in the investigation of the nature and role of the state in capitalist society. I hope that others may be similarly provoked into entering the discussion.

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Ralph Miliband, ‘The Capitalist State--Reply to N. Poulantzas’, NLR I/59: £3

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