The Concept of Labor Power in Relation to Government Formation

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Sovereignty by definition is the ability to have authority of a state to govern itself or another state. This also includes no interference from any outside sources. This term is very important in world politics because it is exactly the goal of many states and countries. Sovereignty is a political concept that refers to dominant power or supreme authority, power resides in the 'sovereign'[4]. For Pakistan, for example, their goal is to stay sovereign by any means. In our simulation, as the Pakistani government, our main priority was to remain sovereign and not under control by any other country rather than our own. While in the U.S, each state holds sovereignty over their own laws and how they are to act upon them. Sovereignty is of utmost importance to numerous countries in the world.

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“Labor Power is an important concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of capitalist political economy. Marx distinguished labor power and labor to be two different things.” [5] While labor is the act of doing physical work, and labor power is the capacity to do work. In Marx’s Wage Labor and Capital, Marx emphasizes that labor power is a commodity, which is then sold by the wage-worker who then sells to capital. Marx continues “the value of a commodity can be objectively measured by the average number of labor hours required to produce that commodity.” [5] Marx continued to identify that all labor can be valued and measured in its own way.

In Solt’s Diversionary nationalism article, he states that nationalism contains a myth. Solt claims that “The myth contends that individuals belong to a unified, homogeneous community that is— or should be—encompassed and represented by its own state.” Diversionary Nationalism is to combat the threat of the population to be growing civil unrest due to the realization of economic inequality. While diversionary nationalism is just a theory, a lot of evidence points to it being true. The theory of diversionary nationalism points to holding down the public from unrest at the thought and realization of economic inequality. While many may be proud of their own country, many may be emotionally attached to how they may view their own country.

Kashmir is a very important concept included in politics. While Kashmir would like to stay sovereign as its own country, it seems as if they really do not have a choice in what they want to do. Seeing as they have little governmental power and little to spend. They are at the whim of its surrounding countries and who wants to occupy them. India remained in control of Kashmir for quite some time,and still does, however there were ensuing wars over Kashmir between India and Pakistan over who should be able to control them. The whole time, the people of Kashmir were fighting for their own independence. Finally there was a ceasefire between the two countries over the years of fighting between the two. As of recently, tensions have sparked between the two countries and are more likely to go to war than ever before.

In the Treaty of Westphalia, the end of the 80 years war between Spain and the Dutch was finalized. In the treaty, it was decided that a number of countries received territories or were confirmed in their sovereignty over territories. The Treaty of Westphalia recognized the full territorial sovereignty of the member states of the empire. They were empowered to contract treaties with one another and with foreign powers.[6]As for the Netherlands, they had gained independence from Spain. Sweden gained control of the Baltic and France was acknowledged as the preeminent Western power. The power of the Holy Roman Emperor was broken and the German states were again able to determine the religion of their lands.

In World Systems Theory, Wallerstein explains that core countries are industrializing, as well as those which are developed and have money. According to Wallerstein, Wallerstein took Marx's ideas about exploitation and applied them to his contemporary views of society. His World Systems Theory explains globalization and the market economy as exploitative tools which keep some countries in power over others. The core countries dominate and exploit the peripheral countries for labor and raw materials. The peripheral countries are dependent on core countries for capital. In Wallerstein’s World Systems Analysis, he explains that economic and political relationships can be unequal, and global corporations tend to dominate the world's economic system. 

There is also his Dependency Theory, this theory explains that even though some countries can be working towards economic advances and developing themselves, they still remain as the weaker section of countries, and they still are subject to subservience of the core nations and big corporations. In Wallerstein’s Theory, there are core, semi-periphery, and periphery countries. This is somewhat of a hierarchically organized system.However, semi-peripheral countries are an exception.[2] Semi-peripheral countries share characteristics of both core and peripheral countries. As the biggest and most industrialized countries control those of which that are not as developed, as well with a weaker economic system. It is also described as extremely challenging to move yourself as a country out of the niche you have been put in. For example, China, being one of the largest and industrialized countries that provides numerous materials for the entire world, can not simply overnight change from a semi-periphery country, to a core or periphery power. However, countries like China and India are considered the most “ready” to become core countries. This is due to the development of such an infrastructure, as well as the populations of both China and India being so massive. One important point Wallerstein makes when regarding countries trying to industrialize and become core countries, is that they may go into debt to even poorer countries to do the problem of natural resources being dished out to other countries as well as labor costs being so high.

Wallerstein argued that countries have for centuries been linked by a set of unequal economic and political relationships. Tilly had also explained that countries are linked in a similar way, but describes them as countries having a tendency to monopolize by means of violence, making other countries governments provide more protection of its own system.[1] Tilly also explains that in the bigger picture, the countries that already are world powers really are the ones who hold the key to industrialization. That being said, the smaller countries with less developed infrastructures are at the whim of the bigger, more developed countries who wish to help and explore trade with them, but keep them in their “place” and to remain the worlds more powerful authority. In doing so, more capital equals the amount of military competence and reach, making the already industrialized world power safer by reassuring its place as the most dominant. 

Tilly makes a claim that government is linked to violence, also, Tilly traces the interaction between war and state-making, the origins of the nation-state, and the uniqueness of the European state system. [1]However in contrast of Wallerstein and Tilly, Wallerstein focuses more on the stability of a world capitalist system and their connection to political empires. Tilly focuses on the violence it takes of war of which leads to state making. While both compliment each other in the process of state building and economy, Wallerstein's exploitative division of labor but in that case the reasons why it is correct must be found elsewhere than in the market economics and the economic political sociology of Wallerstein's own model of the world capitalist system. Tilly also compares much of his beliefs and writings by comparing them to crime, more specifically, organized crime. 

Tilly also compared his writings to war. An example of this is “...different military formats do cost substantially different amounts to produce and provide substantially different ranges of control over opponents, domestic and foreign.” Wallerstein went a different direction and described that the normal evolution of industries led the slow dissolution of quasi-monopolies. Wallerstein, throughout “World Systems Analysis” thoroughly goes into detail the worlds varying economic systems, while Tilly compares these systems to the various reasons for such systems, including war, power, end goals. Tilly emphasized “What states do” in four different steps accordingly. This being 1. War making 2. State making 3. Protection 4. Extraction. Both Wallersteing and Tilly compliment each other in regards to how the systems of economy have shaped the world and its borders. However, they differentiate in their topics. While Wallerstein focuses on a distinct “world systems analysis” and Tilly focuses more on individual state making.          

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