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The state, role, what is and what is it for in a country
The issue we are going to analyze is the state. What is, what is your role, what is it for. The State can be defined as an institutional structure generating rules, which are reflected in the constitution of each country, which must be complied with by all citizens of that territory. These rules serve to regulate the behavior of all individuals in order to reach a general welfare of coexistence among all citizens. It is a form of social, economic, political, sovereign and coercive organization, formed by a set of institutions that make up that State, which have the power to regulate the national life of a given territory.
The State must be responsible for providing its citizens with the possibility of using services such as water, gas and light, among others. When giving these large -scale subsidies, it receives an economic compensation from taxes charged to its population. These taxes are charged by the rulers. But, it is not the same to talk about government and state, since the government is the people who handle that State while the State are state devices. The government is how these devices are used and the State is the devices themselves. And it is the governments who exercise their political power over the State and over the whole society that regulate, impose or agreeing on the objectives that will be pursued and their power relations.
According to Louis Althusser, the State is a repressive and ideological apparatus that allows the ruling classes to ensure their domination over the working class to submit it to the surplus value extortion system (that is, to capitalist exploitation). The State is a (repressive) apparatus of the State both in legal practice (police, courts, prisons and army) and in political practice (head of state, government and administration). The State (repressive) apparatus of the State is the State itself, which is a force of repressive execution and intervention "at the service of the ruling classes" in the class struggle developed by the bourgeoisie and its allies against the proletariat.
The power of the State (taking or conservation of the power of the State, that is, who handles it or how to manage it) is the objective of the political struggle while the State apparatus itself is the repressive apparatus that we already talked abouthigher. The fight between classes is for those who handle that device. The device remains regardless of who is in power. For Althusser, the objective of the class struggle concerns the power of the State and its use based on its class objectives.
To close Althusser’s vision on this issue, we will present to the two large groups of state devices that make up the State: the ideological devices of the State (IEA) and the repressive devices of the State (ARE). IEAs are religious institutions (all kinds of churches), school (public and private schools), family (because it intervenes in the reproduction of the workforce and is a unit of production and consumption), legal, political (the different parties) , union, information (press, radio, TV, etc.) and cultural (literature, beautiful arts, etc.). The are are given in legal practice (police, courts, prisons and army) and in political practice (head of the State, government and administration), whose characteristics can all be locked together within the same apparatus (the repressive), all its branches in one (and belongs to the public domain), while in the IEA there is a multiplicity of devices each separately and are all private.
The big difference between the two devices is that the repressive works preponderantly with violence (including physical repression) and secondarily ideologically while ideological ones work preponderantly through the dissemination of ideology and secondarily reply in a repressive way even if it is only in very extreme cases and even symbolically. Both combine for the domination of subaltern classes, to naturalize the system and accept it as such. The ideology spreading the IAI is corresponding to the ideology of the ruling class. No kind can pretend the State’s power durably without exercising hegemony over and in the IEA. And here another question begins: what is hegemony?
Hegemony is a concept that Antonio Gramsci became popular and is related to the concept of state that we are analyzing. The first thing that Gramsci did was differentiate the domain from hegemony. On the one hand the domain is the domination of the ruling classes to the subaltern through coercion, that is, through the use or threat of use of physical force (police, army, etc.), while hegemony is dominationfrom one class above the other but through consensus, of the agreement between both classes. In that consensus the ruling class imposes on society a set of own meanings and values. Imposes its way of seeing the world so that this way is taken as natural, as the right thing, by the dominated. And that would neutralize any revolutionary capacity against what is established.
That way of seeing the particular world, those meanings and values, are disseminated to society through various institutions such as education, religion and media. Those are the main ways, says Gramsci. Through this diffusion it is possible to create a cultural hegemony, a particular culture that "consumes" the entire society and that causes the effect of naturalization of the established and non-revolution. But hegemony is never a finished, total process, but has holes. This is because there is always a place of rebellion in people and it is these people who carry out counterhegemonic processes. Subjects are not static and have critical thinking. They can question what they impose and rebel.
When counterhegemonic movements add up more and more adhereThe repressive devices of the State, as Althusser would say. This occurs because there are different interests at stake.
The State must generate capitals, that is, money, in order to maintain all the services it provides and to be able to maintain. One of those capitals generates them from the collection of taxes, but it is not the only way of collection of money. There were different types of state throughout life. To cite two examples, the welfare state (Auditor State in the economy that had a leadThe greatest possible amount of services provided by the Benefactor State) is privatized). And for example, these last two types of states cited were part of the capital’s sociometabolism, Eduardo Grüner concept that refers to the capital generating process. It is worth clarifying that this crosses the economic level since it has interference at the cultural, political, social, among others, and worldwide. Today the sociometabolic process of capital is represented by neoliberalism, although it was not always like that.
This sociometabolism occurs throughout the world since people work for a salary to generate more capitals and obtain objects and obtain objects. Grüner calls this "the religion of merchandise", which is worldwide and has different problems such as environmental pollution due to the opening of the ozone layer due to the emanation of toxic gases from the factories (this rises the temperatures), World Trade but not globalization of labor supply, unemployment by technologies installation, more economic inequalities, insecurity in the streets, ideological wars and for the manipulation of the remaining natural resources, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc.
Another point of view of the concept of state is from Judith Butler. But to understand the importance of the State, we must understand the theory that poses of the bodies and infrastructure. The body of which Butler speaks will be specifically a body in precarious situations, a body that has lost some right, or space and that, in order to defend their rights, uses public spaces, that is, the infrastructure. These bodies will have a performative and relational, performative character because it will act in a certain way to generate certain results. The performative character can be understood when these bodies when taking away some right, they take to the streets and create a social movement, at that time the bodies will redefine the concept of that public space, for example, a square. It is there where doing and saying something is done in the same gesture, therefore, the speech is going to be seen in the facts. On the other hand, the relational character refers to the fact that the body is not individual or autonomous, that is, it cannot subsist on its own, it needs the others. In other words, there cannot be a body that is not related, we must add to this, that, since the bodies are in relation, the language will fulfill a crucial function, with which it will identify the subject andwill impose a conditioning from the actions, such as putting a name. Consequently, these bodies will build a series of impositions or expectations that everyone must meet.
In what has to do with the infrastructure, Butler will explain with what she calls space of appearance, this space will be a place that does not exist until the moment when the bodies appear, that is, that the bodies believe it. When they fight for their rights, for example, feminists, redefine the space where they create their struggle and create a new space, in turn these bodies are made visible and made visible through the performative character. On the other hand, resuming the concept of vulnerability, which refers to these bodies that are threatened since they were taken away from them, when they went out to the streets and take public places, what they achieve is that vulnerability becomes resistance, since it is their wayof fighting, of becoming visible, therefore, this dynamic of vulnerability and resistance are closely linked, that is, there is no resistance without vulnerability. Being clear about this, the State for Butler will have an important role in its theory, it is a state that is legitimate and at the same time helps the functioning of society. The dynamics of the body that is created and created a new infrastructure concept, can be seen when the State makes some change that affects vulnerable bodies, such as when it privatizes some good or institution. When this occurs, the bodies claim that loss and their demonstrations are made in public spaces. This is what the legitimacy of the State is questioned. Therefore, when these mobilizations are created, not only fight for social support ideas and political emancipation, but their struggle takes their own social form, which breaks with the previous ones that are taking away from them any right, such as the feminist struggle orThe LGBT movement. In summary, the State does not grant rights, but are generated at the time when the bodies go out to fight for them, however, the State manifests itself in this theory when it privatizes or eliminates rights or goods.
Finally we have the analysis of Michel Foucault regarding the state. He explains that, for centuries the State has been one of the forms of human government, more notable and more fearsome. However, Foucault does not see the State as in charge of exercising total power over individuals, he says, there is no single power, but there are various powers that manifest in smaller relations, that is, that Foucault studies thepowers and power relations. In these power relations an individual will exercise power over another or others, therefore, power is present in each part of the social framework, this is what Foucault calls the network of power and micropodeters. That is, that power is omnipresent, which is in all forms of life and manifests itself in different ways. This power is an practice, an exercise, and through this practice the bodies are going to be molded, designing. Therefore, these bodies are not natural, but have been created, through the practices and discourse that we repeat. Consequently, these speeches will generate knowledge, and these knowledge generate power, this is how power will mold the subjects, such as the discourse of the power of man to the woman, or from the adult to the child.
Foucault will recognize state power as the most important, although its objective is to study power from smaller relationships, since everything starts there. To do this, it will explain that there are two technologies that help to carry out these power relations, these are anatomopolytic and biopolytic. When it refers to anatomopolytic, it refers to the power that is exerted on the bodies to make them more docile, that is, the disciplines used for body control, therefore, this technology can also be called discipline. An example of this occurs in school, when each individual is controlled to be equal to the other, and if they do not comply with these norms, this individual will be punished and displaced until I managed to comply, in this sense,You can say that the same thing happens in jail. On the other hand, biopolitics fulfills another function, this technology is responsible for the total power that is exercised to the population, such as all economic, geographical and demographic policies that establish the power for social control. The biopolytic then is the policy of the biological and cultural life of societies, this can be said that it materializes in the state. Therefore, for capitalism, or in terms of Grüner, the sociometabolism of capital, biopolitics is essential for its development, for example, medicine is a biopolitical strategy, through this it is controlled to the population through vaccines, medical controls, medical controls,among others. In conclusion, it can be said that Foucault’s work explains that, through biopolitics, that set of knowledge, techniques and technologies that convert the biological capacity of human beings, will be the means by which the State reaches its objectives,always being clear that the State does not have the total power, but gives in these micropode within the power of power.