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The Importance of Being CivilThe Struggle for Political Decency$
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John A. Hall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153261

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153261.001.0001

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How Best to Rule

How Best to Rule

(p.62) Chapter 3 How Best to Rule
The Importance of Being Civil

John A. Hall

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that the way states behave, in civil or authoritarian ways, affects social identities, and in the process says something about the reconstruction of civility. It is here that the key sociological content of civility is spelled out. Social contracts between labor, capital, and the state have as a side effect the politicizing of industrial relations—they make the state responsible for levels of employment and give workers the right of access to political power. The most obvious, appropriate, and helpful place to begin when considering class is with Karl Marx, the greatest theorist of socialism. His expectation, and that of most Marxists in the years before the First World War, was clear: workers had no countries and so would inevitably be forced to unite as a solidarity class because of the inherent contradictions of the capitalist mode of production. However, there was no single working class, but rather working classes of particular countries.

Keywords:   states, social identities, civility, social contracts, industrial relations, Karl Marx, socialism, capitalism, working classes

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