The use of the power of the state to foster the development of capitalism is not a new phenomenon peculiar to the monopoly stage of the past hundred years.  The governments of capitalist countries have played this role from the beginnings of capitalism.  In the most elementary sense, the state is guarantor of the conditions, the social relations, of capitalism, and the protector of the ever more unequal distribution of property which this system brings about.  But in a further sense state power has everywhere been used by governments to enrich the capitalist class, and by groups or individuals to enrich themselves.  The powers of the state having to do with taxation, the regulation of foreign trade, public lands, commerce and transportation, the maintenance of armed forces, and the discharge of the functions of public administration have served as an engine to siphon wealth into the hands of special groups, by both legal and illegal means (197).