Miliband, R. (1970) 'Reply to Nicos Poulantzas',   New Left Review 59.

[a first reply to Poulantzas]

1. Poulantzas seems to think that any approach that does not specifically embrace a theoretical problematic [roughly equals paradigm ] must be abstracted empiricism  [which is Althusser's view]. He can see the dangers of un discussed terms such as  'elite', but he meant the same as a series of fractions anyway. His analysis says the elites are part of a class in practice. Poulantzas could not know that from a purely theoreticist point of view.

2. The apparent split between managers and owners is important if we are to investigate matters such as the cohesion of the ruling class. The motivations of members are important not to demonstrate the cohesion of elites as such, but certainly to oppose bourgeois accounts which claimed some necessary separation of motives. This analysis does account for the objective relations which take place irrespective of class origins, and he has never said that the actions of particular apparatuses a wholly determined by the motivations of its members. Poulantzas's view by contrast leads to structural determinism, with no grasp of the necessary dialectic between the state and the system. Political conservatism is the result, since the whole system reproduces itself eternally. Poulantzas's analysis also fails to grasp specificity.

3. Miliband has looked at ideological institutions in his discussion of  'political socialization', and in discussion of the role of the mass media. However, he denies these are necessarily state apparatuses, and sees them instead as part of a political system. It is true that they may be becoming  'statised', especially in criticisms of monopoly capitalism  [such as 'stamocap' approaches]. However, there are important differences in terms of just how subject to state power different institutions are -- the autonomy of institutions is a very important factor in their claims to legitimacy

on to the next stage of the debate