Marxist and Social Contract Theory of the Origin of States


3. What is a state? Analyse the difference between Marxist and social contract theory of the origin of states.

What is State

A state is quite a government; that's clear. Governments change, but states endure. A state is that the means of rule over an outlined or "sovereign" territory. it's comprised of an executive, a bureaucracy, courts and other institutions. But, above all, a state levies taxes and operates a military and police . States distribute and re-distribute resources and wealth, so lobbyists, politicians and revolutionaries seek in their own thanks to influence or maybe to urge hold of the levers of state power. States exist during a sort of sizes, starting from enormous China to tiny Andorra. Some claim an extended lineage, while others are of recent construction. altogether but the short term, states are in flux.
They expand and contract as military and political fortunes change. Some, like Poland, even disappear and re-appear later. Or they'll be divided (sometimes peacefully) by communities that like better to go their separate ways (Czechoslovakia). Others, like Iraq, could also be occupied or run as a colony or protectorate. States also can "fail" - their governing institutions collapse thanks to war and internal strife (as in Somalia) or because the state has little authority outside the capital city (Afghanistan). While globalization and regional integration (like the ecu Union) challenge the state's powers, the state remains the dominant arena of domestic politics also because the primary actor in diplomacy .

Marxist Theory of State

Marxist theory of state, besides liberal state, is probably the foremost prominent theory. Marxist theory not only challenges the essential concepts of liberal state but also emphasises that it enslaves majority men of society for the realisation of its aims, it's to be abolished or smashed without which the emancipation of common men will never be possible. However, a drag about academic analysis of Marxist theory of state is that no where Marx has methodically analysed the idea .
Marx (1818- 1883) and his friend Engels (1820-1895) have made different comments and statements which constitute the material of state theory. We shall first affect the definition of state. within the Communist Manifesto (it was written by both Marx and Engels) we discover an easy definition of state.

They have said that the state is that the “Political power, properly so called, is simply the organised power of 1 class for oppressing another”. within the same book we discover them saying, “The executive of the fashionable state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the entire bourgeoisie”.

Hal Draper in his Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution defines within the following words: “The state is that the institution or complex of institutions which bases itself on the supply of forcible coercion by special agencies of society so as to take care of the dominance of a upper class , preserve the prevailing property relations from basic change and keep all other classes in subjection.”

Manifesto and German Ideology

In many of their writings Marx and Engels have elaborated the instrumentalist idea of state but analysts of Marxism are of opinion that within the Communist Manifesto (full name is Manifest of the Communist Party) and therefore the German Ideology the concept has prominence. The bourgeois class gradually and steadily captured political power and eventually established its authority over all aspects of governmental affairs.
In Manifesto Marx and Engels have said, “political power, properly so called, is simply the organised power of 1 class for oppressing another”.
The bourgeoisie, so as to determine its full control over the industry especially and therefore the economy generally , has constantly revolutionised the industry, mode of production. The bourgeoisie did it by introducing new machineries and improved techniques of production into industries. By doing this the capitalist class has been ready to articulate its full hold over all the branches of economy.
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The bourgeoisie has not only controlled the domestic economy and internal market but also the planet market. “The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the planet market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption”.

In other words, the chief aim of the bourgeoisie is to regulate all the branches of state , the economy with all its ramifications and eventually the planet market. Marx and Engels have assertively said that the bourgeoisie has performed these tasks through state and during this way the state acts as an instrument.

The State and therefore the Ideology

Though Marx and Engels have viewed the state from the background of materialism, they need never overlooked the ideological aspect of state. The ideology or ideas play a really vital role within the management of state. within the German Ideology Marx and Engels have stressed the purpose that in every class state the dominant class always dominants the economic, political, cultural and other aspects of state.
This doesn't mean that the state will always represent a specific ideology. However, the state will represent the views and concepts of the economically dominant class. allow us to quote from The German Ideology an outsized passage:
“The ideas of the upper class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the category which is that the ruling the fabric force of society is at an equivalent time its ruling intellectual force. the category which has the means of fabric production at its disposal, consequently also controls the means of mental production in order that the ideas of these who lacks the means of mental production are on the entire subject thereto . The ruling ideas are nothing quite the perfect expression of the dominant material relations”.


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