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H . DOUGLAS J . GRAY E . LOWENTHAL W . 50 CAPITAL, FRACTIONS OF CAPITAL AND THE STATE `NEO-MARXIST' ANALYSIS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN STATE Simon Clarke This paper examines what has been called the 'neo-Marxist' or, more unkindly, the 'vulgar Poulantzian', approach to the state . The typical feature of this approach is a formulation of the relation between capital and the state in terms of the struggle between 'fractions of capital' to establish the position of 'hegemonic fraction' within the 'power bloc' .

Correspondingly, class relations are prior to the specific economic, ideological and political forms taken by those relations, and are not the product of the association of individual members of the class . Classes, or more precisely class relations, are the necessary starting point for a Marxist CAPITAL AND CLASS 42 analysis, without which relations of exploitation (as the economic form of those class relations) or the relations of domination (as the political form of those relations) cannot be conceptualised .

Williams raised the question of locating the development of apartheid in relation to the valorisation of capital rather than in relation to the stunted dynamic of the exhausted 'pre-capitalist mode of production' . Posing the question in this way made it immediately clear that Wolpe's emphasis on the cheapness of labour was erroneous . However William's own account rested on an erroneous analysis of the supposed peculiar features of gold mining (2) and the original contribution of his article, his insistence on the centrality of the accumulation of total social capital, was not developed in subsequent debate .

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