Showing posts with label government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government. Show all posts

Monday, April 15, 2013

The End of the State

Continuing to correct some misunderstandings about the ideas of Karl Marx.

Most of the misconceptions regarding socialism have been propagated by those who wish to emulate the Russian Revolution. It is unfortunate that when their so-called “marxism” became the official ideology of the ruling class in Russia the anti-state sentiments of Marx and Engels have been downplayed or downright distorted.

Workers State

The society which organizes production anew on the basis of free and equal association of the producers will put the whole state machinery where it will then belong - into the museum of antiquities, next to the spinning wheel and the bronze ax.” Engels

Neither Marx or Engels ever advocated a "worker's state". Both wanted to use the state's apparatus used to overthrow the bourgeoisie, at which point it would have served its purpose and would be dismantled.

Many on the Left are convinced that Russia was some sort of "workers state’ albeit some qualifying it as being deformed. A "Workers State" is not actually a state controlled by the workers, but a state controlled by a vanguard party in the name of the workers. The 'workers state’ meant governmental rule by a vanguard party, the Bolsheviks, and by adding control over the economy by nationalisation to the political control of the government, the totalitarian rule over all of society emerged in full.

“Workers State” is a contradiction in terms, but if it is to mean anything it would have to mean that the workers controlled the state; which could only be done through some democratic mechanism. But the workers never controlled the state in Russia. Within a few years of the Bolsheviks seizing power in November 1917 they had suppressed all other parties and established a one-party dictatorship.

Marx explains that although revolution the proletariat will be “raised to a governing class” this has nothing to do with creating a dictatorship of a political sect, but is rather a claim that the proletariat will use “general means of coercion” to remove the bourgeoisie’s power (by abolishing the private ownership of the means of production, disbanding the standing army, and so forth). It is the entire proletariat that is to exercise this power. In reply to a question raised by the anarchist Bakunin, “Will all 40 million [German workers] be members of the government?” Marx responds, “Certainly! For the system starts with the self-government of the communities.”

The purpose of seeking political action and capturing the state-machine is not to take office and form a government but simply and solely to take state power out of the hands of the capitalist class since it is through controlling this organ that the capitalist class is able to maintain its possession of the means of production.

“ In order, therefore, to assert themselves as individuals, they [proletarians] must overthrow the State” German Ideology