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Between Periodical Studies and Intellectual History: “KAPITALISTATE” (1973-1983) at the Dawn of Neoliberalism

Ian Afflerbach

Pages 391 - 410



This publication is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0. (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Launched in 1973, the transnational leftist journal “KAPITALISTATE” set out to grapple with a growing reconciliation between state power and corporate capitalism, a set of sweeping changes in the global political economy that would eventually come to be called “neoliberalism.” This essay explores “KAPITALISTATE”’s guiding commitments to the theoretical debate about the state, case studies on American governance, and international collaboration. In the process, it identifies certain methodological tensions between Intellectual History and Periodical Studies. For the intellectual historian, “KAPITALISTATE” primarily deserves note as a platform for debates in Marxist state theory during the 1970s, an archive providing a synoptic view of problems in political economy preoccupying many left writers at the time. Reading the journal as Periodical Studies demands, however, with an emphasis upon the social materiality of its object of study, requires attention to the granular detail: to the journal’s visual rhetoric, its typography, its advertisements, even its errata. This essay argues that the propensities of Intellectual History and Periodical Studies, while potentially divergent, can clarify meaningful gaps in their respective practices, and that each is required to understand the role that periodicals like “KAPITALISTATE” served in fostering a left intellectual community during the 1970s.

1 “Ad for Social Text.” KAPITALISTATE 7 (1978): 224. Print.

2 Althusser, Louis. Lenin and Philosophy. London: New Left Books, 1971. Print.

3 “An Introduction to Working Papers on the KAPITALISTATE.” KAPITALISTATE 1 (1973): 1-7. Print.

4 Anderson, Amanda. The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2005. Print.

5 Arrighi, Giovanni. The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power and the Origins of Our Times. 1994. London: Verso, 2010. Print.

6 Bay Area KAPITALISTATE Group. Rev. of The Limits of Legitimacy, by Alan Wolfe. KAPITALISTATE 7 (1978): 107-26. Print.

7 Boulder Colorado KAPITALISTATE Group, and Margaret Fay. “Hegel and the State.” KAPITALISTATE 4/5 (1976): 158-85. Print.

8 Bornstein, George. “How to Read a Page: Modernism and Material Textuality.” Studies in the Literary Imagination 32.1 (Spring 1999): 29-58. Print.

9 Bourdieu, Pierre. The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature. New York: Columbia UP, 1993. Print.

10 Brenner, Robert. The Boom and the Bubble: The U.S. in the World Economy. London: Verso, 2002. Print.

11 Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Style. 3rd ed. Vancouver: Hartley and Marks, 2005. Print.

12 Capitol KAPITALISTATE Collective. “The Study of Studies: A Marxist View of Research Conducted by the State.” KAPITALISTATE 6 (1977): 163-90. Print.

13 Castells, Manuel. The Urban Question: A Marxist Approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1979. Print.

14 ---. “The Wild City.” KAPITALISTATE 4/5 (1976): 2-30. Print.

15 Collier, Patrick. Modern Print Artefacts: Textual Materiality and Literary Value in British Print Culture, 1890-1930s. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2017. Print.

16 Editorial. KAPITALISTATE 2 (1974): 1-3. Print.

17 Editorial. KAPITALISTATE 3 (1975): 1-2. Print.

18 Esping-Andersen, Gøsta, Roger Friedland, and Erik Olin Wright. “Modes of Class Struggle and the Capitalist State.” KAPITALISTATE 4/5 (1976): 186-220. Print.

19 Fay, Margaret. Rev. of State and Capital, by John Holloway and Sol Picciotto. KAPITALISTATE 7 (1978): 130-52. Print.

20 ---, Johannes Hengstenberg, and Barbara Stuckey. “The Influence of Adam Smith on Marx’s Theory of Alienation.” Science & Society 47.2 (1983): 129-51. Print.

21 Feshbach, Dan, and Les Shipnuck. “Corporate Regionalism in the United States.” KAPITALISTATE 1 (1973): 14-23. Print.

22 Forman, Richard T. T. Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning Beyond the City. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008. Print.

23 Habermas, Jürgen. Legitimation Crisis. Trans. Thomas McCarthy. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1975. Print.

24 Hammill, Faye, Paul Hjartarson, and Hannah McGregor. “Introduction.” Magazines and/as Media: Periodical Studies and the Question of Disciplinarity. Ed. Hammill, Hjartarson, and McGregor. Spec. issue of The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies 6.2 (2015): iii-xiii. Print.

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26 Harman, Chris. Zombie Capitalism: Global Crisis and the Relevance of Marx. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2010. Print.

27 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. The Phenomenology of Spirit. Trans. A. V. Miller. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1977. Print.

28 Hill, Richard Child. “Fiscal Crisis and Political Struggle in the Decaying U.S. Central City.” KAPITALISTATE 4/5 (1976): 31-49. Print.

29 Holloway, John, and Sol Picciotto. “Introduction: Towards a Materialist Theory of the State.” State and Capital: A Marxist Debate. Ed. Holloway and Picciotto. London: Edward Arnold, 1978. 1-31. Print.

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31 James, William. Pragmatism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1975. Print.

32 Jury, Davis. What Is Typography? Mies: Rotovision, 2006. Print.

33 La Penna, Daniela. “Habitus and Embeddedness in the Florentine Literary Field: The Case of Alberto Carocci (1926-1939).” Italian Studies 73.2 (2018): 126-41. Print.

34 Latham, Sean, and Robert Scholes. “The Rise of Periodical Studies.” PMLA 121.2 (2006): 517-31. Print.

35 Marx, Karl. “The German Ideology: Part I.” The Marx-Engels Reader. Ed. Robert C. Tucker. New York: Norton, 1978. 146-202. Print.

36 Miliband, Ralph. The State in Capitalist Society. New York: Basic Books 1969. Print.

37 Mouffe, Chantal. The Democratic Paradox. London: Verso, 2000. Print.

38 Munk, Michael. “The Guardian from Old Left to New Left.” Radical America 2.2 (Mar.-Apr. 1968): 19-28. Print.

39 Murphy, J. Stephen. “The Serial Reading Project.” The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies 1.2 (2010): 182-92. Print.

40 Mussell, James. “Repetition: Or, ‘In Our Last.’” Victorian Periodicals Review 48.3 (2015): 343-58. Print.

41 Nelson, Arthur, and Robert Lang. Megapolitan America: A New Vision for Understanding America’s Metropolitan Geography. London: Routledge, 2013. Print.

42 O’Kane, Chris. “State Violence, State Control: Marxist State Theory and the Critique of Political Economy.” Viewpoint Magazine., 29 Oct. 2014. Web. 21 Nov. 2019.

43 Poulantzas, Nicos. “The Problem of the Capitalist State.” Rev. of The State in Capitalist Society, by Ralph Miliband. New Left Review 58 (Nov.-Dec. 1969): 67-78. Print.

44 Powell, Douglas Reichert. Critical Regionalism: Connecting Politics and Culture in the American Landscape. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2007. Print.

45 Smethurst, James. The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2006. Print.

46 United States Congress. “Declaration of National Housing Policy (Housing Act of 1949).” 81st Congress, 1st Session, Ch. 338, 15 Jul. 1949. Washington: GPO, 1949. The Library of Congress. Web. 21 Nov. 2019.

47 Turner, Mark. “Periodical Time in the Nineteenth Century.” Media History 8.2 (2002): 183-96. Print.

48 White, Hayden. Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 1973. Print.

49 Zukin, Sharon, and Paul di Maggio. “Introduction.” Structures of Capital: The Social Organization of the Economy. Ed. Sharon Zukin and Paul di Maggio. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990. 1-36. Print.


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