By Cem Eroğul
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Extra info for An Essay on the Nature of the State
Another of its advantages, is its plasticity. ' Thus, by emphasizing the general function of politics, it is possible to take into account the first two constraints indicated above. This compliance enables us to avoid the double-trap into which the majority of current definitions have fallen with their one-sidedness and/or historical shortsightedness. Concerning the third constraint, however, this definition is as biased as ali others. So better be frank about it right at the beginning, and try to explain the reasons of my choice.
Strictly speaking, then, concrete forms of realization of political functions can be precisely singled out only from the unique experience of specific states with real historical existsnce. That is why, following the generalities concerning various modes of production, it will also be necssary to furnish at least some historical examples in order to illustrate in an unquestionable way the concrete realization of the first fuııction of politics. 1 A brief recollection of the peculiarities of this mode of production may be helpful.
An institution that derives its power from the law which gives it the right to make decisions in the name of the community as a whole, this decision is stili political. Thus, in the first case, the mere fact that an activity is carried out by the state (through one of its agencies) suffices to label it as political. In the second case, the relationship with the state stems from the content of the activity. When, for example, a trade-union decides to go on strike with a view of imposing a definite policy upon the government, or families get organized to force upon a local council the adoption of a certaın decision, these political activities performed oütside the state stili necessarily involve the state by always being directed at it.