Marxist Theory of State, and How It Might Be Criticised

In: Social Issues

Submitted By tkalil1
Words 1749
Pages 7
ESSAY – ‘What is the Marxist theory of the state and how might it be criticised?’
Introduction
Marxism first arose in 1987 when Marx and Engels were commissioned to write the manifesto for the political party of radical workers, The Communist League; this political party was formed in order to create a unity of the ‘working men’, in favour of the creation of a classless society. The purpose of The Communist Manifesto, and much of Marx’s early writings on the state, was to promote social change, in refutation to Hegel’s theory of the dialetic. This is achieved through the construction of a materialist interpretation of the state as ‘the active, conscious and official expression (of) the present structure of society' (Collected Works, 3, p. 199). Marx’s ultimate aim was to “lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society.” (Marx, Capital [1867] 1965, p10), which is to… This essay will explain and analyse Marx’s theory of state, a nd assess the legitimacy of the theory through criticisms.
Marx’s theory of history/state:
History is a study of past events in human affairs; Marx believes that historical events are driven forward by changing economic factors within the ‘base’ of society. According to Marx, human society is made up of two measures: a base and a superstructure. The superstructure is the set of 'non-economic institutions whose character is explained by the nature of the economic structure (the base).' (G. A. Cohen Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence pp 216.) The underlying economic causes within the base are the passive determinants of events that occur within the super structural sector of society. Therefore the state and its actions are reliant upon the forces of the base. Marx’s theory of state is a based upon a materialist interpretation of historical development; a process of dialetic materialism, driven forward by changing economic…...

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