Social Scientist. v 3, no. 28 (Nov 1974) p. 27.


Graphics file for this page
ARVIND N DAS

Three Misconceptions about the State

IT was in dealing with widespread distortions of Marxism by petty-bourgeois ideologists that Lenin clarified the basic ideas on the historical role and meaning of the state:

According to Marx, the state could neither have arisen nor maintained itself had it been possible to reconcile classes. From what the petty-bourgeois and philistine professors and publicists say, with quite frequent and benevolent references to Marx, it appears that the state does reconcile classes. According to Marx, the state is an organ of class rule, an organ for the oppression of one class by another; it is the creation of "order,5" which legalizes and perpetuates this oppression by moderating the conflict between the classes. In the opinion of the petty-bourgeois politicians, however, order means the reconciliation of classes, and not the oppression of one class by another; to alleviate the conflict means reconciling classes and not depriving the oppressed classes of definite means and methods of struggle to overthrow the oppressors.1

The petty-bourgeois lives on a small income and big myths. In order to alleviate the pain of its miserable existence it weaves, about its paltry world, delusions of greatness, misconceptions of glory, and pipe dreams of power. Sometimes, it even persuades itself into believing that it holds



Back to Social Scientist | Back to the DSAL Page