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File: 1608528406937.jpeg (89.33 KB, 1023x378, jengels.jpeg)

 No.4620

>The free people’s state is transformed into the free state. Grammatically speaking, a free state is one in which the state is free vis-à-vis its citizens, a state, that is, with a despotic government. All the palaver about the state ought to be dropped, especially after the Commune, which had ceased to be a state in the true sense of the term. The people’s state has been flung in our teeth ad nauseam by the anarchists, although Marx’s anti-Proudhon piece and after it the Communist Manifesto declare outright that, with the introduction of the socialist order of society, the state will dissolve of itself and disappear. Now, since the state is merely a transitional institution of which use is made in the struggle, in the revolution, to keep down one’s enemies by force, it is utter nonsense to speak of a free people’s state; so long as the proletariat still makes use of the state, it makes use of it, not for the purpose of freedom, but of keeping down its enemies and, as soon as there can be any question of freedom, the state as such ceases to exist. We would therefore suggest that Gemeinwesen ["community"] be universally substituted for state; it is a good old German word that can very well do service for the French “Commune.”
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/letters/75_03_18.htm
What did Engels mean by this?

>pic unrelated

it's what comes up when you search for images of Engels
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 No.4621

Engels was bourgeois and because of that his mind was not free of bourgeoise degeneracy
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 No.4622

>>4620
>What did Engels mean by this?
Your thread should be anchored for such a shitty OP. What do you mean what did he mean? He elaborates in clear and accessible language his position on the state. Workers seize state to neutralize the capitalists and their reactionary dogs. Then, once the danger is over, the state dissolves into the background. What's left is a series of communities without despotic governance
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 No.4623

>>4622
>He elaborates in clear and accessible language his position on the state.
Wasn't that clear to me. Does he think the transitional state be exactly the same as the state that precedes it? If so, why would he call it something else?

If some of the state's institutions are used, why is that the same thing as using the state? Perhaps that is why he wanted to call it something else, because "state" does not adequately describe the dictatorship of the proletariat that is to be present in the transitional stage. What do you think?
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 No.4624

>>4623
>Does he think the transitional state be exactly the same as the state that precedes it?
It’s core function of class domination is the same, because class domination is the defining feature of the Marxist understanding of the state. The difference is that it now works to secure the proletariat as the ruling class.
>because "state" does not adequately describe the dictatorship of the proletariat that is to be present in the transitional stage.
Why not?
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 No.4625

Ruling classes' power needs constant maintenance, therefore it constantly needs a state, therefore letting the state wither one day would be full retard.
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 No.4626

>>4625
What if there's no ruling class?
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 No.4627

It means the dictatorship of the proletariat is not about freedom, it is about destroying bourgeois power. Therefore it will be "authoritarian," "totalitarian," "oppressive," etc. There can be no freedom until classes cease to exist and the state fades away.
We need to realize that his has been a weakness in previous attempts at socialism. We need a reign of terror that will make Stalin look like a pacifist.
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 No.4628

>>4624
>It’s core function of class domination is the same, because class domination is the defining feature of the Marxist understanding of the state.
Then why did Engels say the Paris Commune ceased being a state?
>the Commune, which had ceased to be a state in the true sense of the term.
If the Commune was a DotP according to Marx, how can Engels say it had ceased to be a state?

States arise as forms of class domination 'out of' class struggle, but does that necessarily mean that what we consider a state is the 'only' form of class domination? For example, why can't a band of workers in a city get together and kick out, kill, exile all the land owners and appropriate their wealth? Is that not class domination in the absence of a state?

>Why not?

I don't know. Engels said the word "community" should be substituted for "state". I am asking why? Surely he didn't mean it as a stylistic choice, there must have been a reason why the word "state" and its definition became poorly suited for the task, for Engels, after the Paris Commune. Did Engels want to expand the definition of the "state" to include other forms of governing or did "state" refer to a particular historical form of class domination?

>>4625
>Ruling classes' power needs constant maintenance, therefore it constantly needs a state, therefore letting the state wither one day would be full retard.
That's close to what I'm getting at. Humans will always need some sort of organisation, a system of reproduction of society. Unless we're all gonna become a linked super-brain and humans will coordinate and build society together just as easy as we lift a glass of water and drink from it alone Why does organisation always have to be called a state, especially when Engels was ready to drop that term in 1875?

>>4627
>it is about destroying bourgeois power. Therefore it will be "authoritarian," "totalitarian," "oppressive," etc. There can be no freedom until classes cease to exist and the state fades away.
I'm talking specifically about the definition of a state. A company like Amazon can be "authoritarian", "totalitarian", "oppressive", these epithets/descriptions/features are not unique to states and are not necessary or sufficient conditions for its existence. Taking an extreme example, mindless violence and chaos would be able to destroy bourgeois power without the help of a "state", right? That means bourgeois power can be destroyed without a state, i.e. organised police and military, but by armed people coming together and doing what is necessary. But a gang of people with guns can't be a "state", right? Then the bloods and crips would be a state (and in my extreme example I am talking about a group that is less organised than the bloods or the crips).

Where do armed men end and states begin? At what level of administrative bureaucracy does it become a state? Would bloods and crips be considered states if they managed to hold certain areas of the US uncontested? Would they have to declare themselves to be a state, just to be one?


I started this thread because people on this board have been throwing the word "state" around, and I know for a fact not everyone means the same thing with it. There are anarchists and Marxists both parroting their definitions, "monopoly on violence", "tool of class domination", respectively, but what do those things actually 'mean'? Is a monopoly of violence reached by consent of the governed, by might makes right, by super-structural institutions that justify violence?

Are things given their meaning/definition through function or do they have essential properties? If a state is a tool of class domination that perpetuates the class system, does it not become something else if it is used to destroy the class system rather than perpetuate it? I can use a hammer to build a house, or to destroy it. It is the same hammer, yet it fulfills a different function, and the person wielding it is performing a different act, is it still a "hammer"? What then makes it a hammer, its shape, its construction? Is every tool used to drive in nails or break things a hammer?

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