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Capitalism and the State

Editorial: Circumstances alter cases

 Probably no newspaper carried on a more vigorous campaign against the Red Peril, a year ago, than the “Daily Express.” That the “Socialism” it attacked was, in the main, State Capitalism, is a fact which only adds piquancy to its present attitude.

Cooking the Books: Capitalism and Property

When Jeremy Corbyn proposed that the survivors of the Grenfell Tower massacre should be housed in nearby empty luxury properties he was expressing a thought that will have occurred to many others. The Times (16 June) reported it under the front-page headline 'Corbyn: seize properties of the rich for Grenfell homeless' and wheeled out a Tory backwoodsman, Andrew Bridgen, MP, to say of Corbyn's suggestion that

'calls to requisition private property when there is empty student accommodation available locally fits in with his hard Marxist views where all private property should belong to the state.'

Where to begin?

First, Corbyn doesn't claim to be a Marxist, not even a 'soft' one.

Second,  while Marx did speak of the 'Abolition of Private Property' he meant only of the means of wealth production, not of personal possessions. As he and Engels wrote in The Communist Manifesto:

Against Anti-parliamentarianism

To establish Socialism, the working class must organise to win control of the state and turn it from the instrument of oppression which it is today into the agent of their emancipation. This principle asserts the conscious, majority, political nature of the socialist revolution.

The State is the public power of coercion and consists of the armed forces, law courts, prisons and police. Today the State is used by the capitalist class to maintain their dominant social position in a society based on the forcible exclusion of the majority from the means of production.

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