The State

The state"Marxism sets out from the idea that 'force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one,' that the state consists ultimately of armed bodies of men, that it is an instrument of the ruling class for the oppression of other classes." — From Marxism and the StateLike money, the state is something we are all very familiar with and take for granted, but its real essence tends to elude us. The ideologists of capitalism have tried, in various ways, to justify the capitalist state as supremely rational; a neutral arbiter for society, and the embodiment of justice. For Marxists, the state is not at all neutral, nor just. It is certainly anything but rational. We must strip the vale of mysticism away and reveal the state’s real basis. To do that, we have to treat the state historically - taking in its origins, rise, and eventual fall.

The state has not always existed. It is inseparable from class society. Ultimately, it is the instrument for the ruling class to oppress and hold down the masses, guaranteeing the status quo and the sanctity of property. Although the modern state performs many other functions, these are secondary to its real basis - the protection of a set of property relations. To do this, it needs “armed bodies of men” and a monopoly on the use of violence. To establish socialism, it will not be possible for the working class to use the state as it currently exists - that is, with the same network of judges, heads of police and army etc.

Title Created Date Author
La Manada affair reveals the rotten character of the Spanish state 30 April 2018 Arturo Rodríguez
Cambridge Analytica holds a mirror up to the mainstream media 21 March 2018 Daniel Morley
Law and Marxism: the state and the constitution 15 February 2018 Ben Gliniecki
Russia: How the Bureaucracy Seized Power ‒ Part two: isolation and degeneration of the workers' state 04 January 2018 George Collins
[Video] 1917 Russian Revolution: The Art of Insurrection 01 November 2017 Daniel Morley
The Role of the State and Social Democracy 07 July 2017 Alan Woods
Marxism or anarchism? - An open letter to thinking anarchists 21 April 2017 Alan Woods
[Video] Workers' control, democracy, and power 02 March 2017 Daniel Morley
What is historical materialism? 14 January 2016 Alan Woods
[Video] Crime, Corruption, and Capitalism: the Crisis of the Bourgeois State 11 November 2015 Marie Frederiksen
[Video] The European Crisis: past, present, and future 27 October 2015 Josh Holroyd
Law and Marxism: 800 years since Magna Carta 15 October 2015 Ben Gliniecki
The Role of the State in the Space Race 08 December 2014 Mark Rahman
[Book] The Classics of Marxism: Volume One 30 October 2013 (Various authors)
[Video] Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State 30 September 2013 Rob Sewell
The Ideas of Karl Marx 21 June 2013 Alan Woods
“Trade unions” in fascist Italy 29 August 2011 Fred Weston
The role of the State in the Italian economy in the 1930s and beyond 26 July 2011 Fred Weston
The role played by the state in the development of capitalism in Japan 21 July 2011 Fred Weston
[Audio] The Iranian Revolution and the question of the State 06 July 2009 Fred Weston