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Marxian Theories of the State

'The State and the Socialist Revolution'

'Why the Russian Revolution Wasn't a Socialist Revolution'

A reprint of Russian Marxist Julius Martov’s pamphlet 'The State and the Socialist Revolution'.
With an introduction by the Socialist Party, on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik coup in Russia.


Cover price £2.00.

Copies from the Socialist Party, 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UN for £3.50 including P & P. Cheques payable to ‘The Socialist Party of Great Britain’.

 

Date: 
2017

The Withering Away of the State - From Marx to Stalin

Socialists from Marx and Engels onwards have always held that with the establishment of Socialism the State will disappear. The State, which exists where society is divided into an owning class and a propertyless class, and is a coercive institution through control of which the dominant class imposes its will on the subject class, would lose its function when society ceases to be divided into classes. The Marxian view was put by F. Engels in his "Socialism, Utopian and Scientific":—

Marx on Force

“Force is the mid-wife of progress!” How completely this expression is misunderstood by many who use it! What Socialist Party speaker has not been confronted at some time or other by a callow youth or a bewhiskered old fogey who has either indignantly demanded to know why the S.P.G.B. has thrown the teaching of Marx overboard, or has condescendingly, not to say pityingly, “explained” that nothing can be done through Parliament. To most of our critics, “force” means almost anything but action for the capture and control of the State machine. It may mean the “general strike” or, as Daniel de Leon preferred to call it, the “general lock-out of the capitalist class." It may mean the blind, spontaneous upheaval of an unorganised mass or the deliberate insurrection of an armed minority. It may mean a combination of all these reactions to capitalist pressure; but nowhere does Marx indicate that it is to action on these lines that we must look for deliverance from our fetters.

Book Review: 'Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution Volume 1 - State and Bureaucracy'

Marx and the State

'Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution. Volume 1: State and Bureaucracy', by Hal Draper, Monthly Review Press, £5.60 paperback.

This is an interesting book by the man who wrote the very useful study of Marx's references to the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' which confirmed the view we had long held. In New Politics, Vol. 1, No.4, Summer 1962, he shows that the phrase was used by Marx comparatively rarely and, when it was, to mean simply the democratic exercise of political power by the working class.

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