Angela’s post, the first of “[t]hree remarks on the relation between ‘economic migration’ and the processes of refugee determination” states that “what binds the two processes – that of refugee determination and ‘economic migration’ policy – together is the concept of the national economy, competing within an inter-national economy.” I look forward to the next two. Go read the whole post. Related to this, some things I want to take notes on for rumination later.

What is the relationship between the health of the state and the wealth of the nation? (That’s one of the questions implied here, though I didn’t know it at the time.) Angela writes that “the contract is the “internal border” par excellence”, and notes that for Kant “the transition ‘from the state of nature to a civil state’ coincides with the recognition of borders between states and their non-infringement. In other words, the conditions of war are, for him as for others, the deficiency of borders. There are wars where there are not borders, or where borders are not recognised or infringed; and the war that conserves or restores the border is defined not as war but as policing, as the violence of “enforcement” and, thereby, the effacement of the conditions through which the monopolisation of violence is assembled.” (See also her remarks here and look at the issue of Multitudes she references, see if Raul’s essay is online in Spanish.)

Wars that preserve or produce borders are not war but policing. Reversing that, policing is at least in part war to produce or preserve borders (a possible resonance with Benjamin’s violence which produces and preserves law?). The sovereign does not end war by ending the war of each against all, but reserves the right to wages asymmetric war against each as needed in order to draw and redraw the lines of who is part of all and is not (and thus nothing, no part of all means no part at all).

War in the form of border policing, war as the health of the state; border policing as the health of the state. The biopolitical (biopolicing?) components of border policing are not incidental to the state, but built in to it. (Review Angela’s remarks on <a href="http://archive.blogsome.com/2006/03/11/esposito-immunityimmunity and Esposito. See also Glick-Schiller et al on transmigration and diasporic nationalism – nation as blood rather than – or blood tie to – territory. See also Angela and Jon‘s conversation on property rights./)

Border policing is war is the health of the state. And the wealth of the nation? War, perhaps of a different sort (also a form of policing) though how different is maybe the question involved here, is how Marx describes capitalism as in his citations of Eugene Buret (“perpetual war (…) is the sole means of obtaining peace” – perpetual peace as perpetual war or produced by it) in the 1844 Manuscripts.

Marx quotes Benjamin Franklin in v1 of Capital, ch5

Since, however, it is impossible, by circulation alone, to account for the conversion of money into capital, for the formation of surplus-value, it would appear, that merchants’ capital is an impossibility, so long as equivalents are exchanged; that, therefore, it can only have its origin in the two-fold advantage gained, over both the selling and the buying producers, by the merchant who parasitically shoves himself in between them. It is in this sense that Franklin says, “war is robbery, commerce is generally cheating.” (Benjamin Franklin: Works, Vol. II, edit. Sparks in “Positions to be examined concerning National Wealth,” p. 376. )

The quote indicates a distinction between war and commerce, but it’s not clear that this is a distinction in kind rather than a distinction of degree (“robbery” being a more intensive form of “cheating”).

In chapter 15 Marx cites John Bellers, “The masters and their workmen are, unhappily, in a perpetual war with each other. (“An Enquiry into the Causes of the Present High Price of Provisions,” pp. 61-62. Author, the Rev. Nathaniel Forster, quite on the side of the workmen.) ”

Marx changes the inflection of economy as war, though, writing in chapter 10 of v1 of Capital of “legal limitation and regulation” on labor standards as having “been wrung step by step after a civil war”.

There is a difference between conflict between workers and employers as war and this conflict as civil war. A charitable reading would see the latter as emphasizing the disruption of the nation by the war between classes. A less charitable reading would see Marx as repeating or strengthening the inscription of the contending classes within a national framework. I referenced this, the ambiguity of nation and the state-like in Marx’s terminology before (here and here). This is a matter for further research, and is connected to my interest in reading Schmitt and Marx together (in a way which works against the Schmittian moments in Marx). It also connects with trying to think about primitive accumulation, and about border between the political and the economic, touched upon very schematically here. Border policing, literal and metaphoric, relates to all of this, though each leg, so to speak, requires its own further reading.

(Note to self, write up notes on economy as war, results on Schmitt and Marx.)

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