Friday, August 28, 2020

Examine the Marxist Perspective of State

Examine the Marxist Perspective of State.

Marxist Definition of State

Marxist Perspective of State, Marxist theory of state, besides liberal state, is perhaps the most prominent theory. Marxist theory not only challenges the basic concepts of liberal state but also emphasises that it enslaves majority men of society for the realisation of its aims, it is to be abolished or smashed without which the emancipation of common men will never be possible. Marxist Perspective of State, However, a problem about academic analysis of Marxist theory of state is that no where Marx has methodically analysed the theory. Marx (1818- 1883) and his friend Engels (1820-1895) have made different comments and statements which constitute the fabric of state theory. We shall first deal with the definition of state. In the Communist Manifesto (it was written by both Marx and Engels) we find a simple definition of state.

They have said that the state is the “Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another”. In the same book we find them saying, “The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie”. Hal Draper in his Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution defines in the following words: “The state is the institution or complex of institutions which bases itself on the availability of forcible coercion by special agencies of society in order to maintain the dominance of a ruling class, preserve the existing property relations from basic change and keep all other classes in subjection.” Draper’s definition of Marxist state is not basically different from the definitions given by Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto. The state is fundamentally an instrument of class domination. In other words, the state is used by the bourgeoisie to exploit the common people and in that sense it is a machinery for exploitation. This concept has been elaborated by Lenin.

Origin of State

Marxist Perspective of State, Marx, Engels and their followers (particularly Lenin) had no faith on the social contract theory as the origin of state. They have viewed the origin from a materialistic’ standpoint which emphasises that though the state is the creation of man, behind this there is no emotion, idea but the influence of material conditions which they termed as economic conditions.

They have divided the development of society into old communist social system, slave society, feudal society and industrial society. In the old communist society there was no state because there was no existence of private property. The system of private property worked as a potential cause of the rise of state. Marxist Perspective of State, From the study of history Marx and Engels have concluded that the state—for all practical purposes—was set up in the slave society. Because in the slave society there were mainly two classes—the owners of slaves and the slaves themselves. The owners of the slaves required an organisation to control and dominate slaves. People inhabiting in society laid the foundation of state for the realisation of their class interests. Marxist Perspective of State, What is the class interest and how could the state fulfill this? Engels in this book has categorically stated that the interests of the owners of property are at diametrically opposite to those who are not the owners; because of this there were clashes of interests between these two classes and the interests were irreconcilable. 

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