By Norman Ginsburg (auth.)
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Extra info for Class, Capital and Social Policy
34 The capitalist welfare state is one of the dearest examples of the fetishised form of the state, embodying as it does the notion of the working-dass citizenship 38 CLASS, CAPITAL AND SOCIAL POLICY in the legislative achievement of universal rights and benefits. Yet this has. not posed the remotest threat to the continued existence of the capital-Iabour relation. Indeed the implementation of this legislation has directly assisted in the maintenance and reproduction of capitalist social relations, while failing to achieve in practice equal and universal access to those rights and benefits permitted by legislation.
Indeed the social rights of citizenship can be forfeited if labour power is not offered as an exchange value in some circumstances. In many areas the definition of the rights of welfare consumers is left to the discretion of the administrators SOME BASIC CONCEPTS AND ASSUMPTIONS 39 or professionals, and the aetual eneashment of social rights is sometimes made very difficult or eonditional on submissive forms of behaviour. The numerous eonditions and pitfalls attaehed to daiming social security benefits has generated in recent years virtually a welfare rights industry.
This period therefore sees the emergence of the European working dasses organised both at the point of production and in the political sphere. The threat of militant trade unionism and socialist politics required the integration of the organised working dass as enfranchised citizens and 'responsible people' with social rights and obligations. A particularly important development in the administrative structure of the state was the restructuring of local government in 1889-90 on a more democratic and rationalised basis under explicit central government regulation.