Many people think of the state as a huge collection of bureaucratic offices and institutions that have little to do with our daily lives. Some have illusions in the state as a neutral arbiter over society, operating on the basis of universal principles of ‘democracy’ and ‘rule of law’. But for countless workers and youths on the receiving end of police violence, legal victimisation or military oppression, the real nature of the capitalist state is clear.
For communists, the task is not to reform or adjust the capitalist state, but to understand its role as a violent, repressive tool for the ruling class, and then to smash it. Despite what the reformists and the liberals may think, it is only through class struggle and revolution that the brutality of the capitalist state can be overcome.
This week’s episode of the Spectre of Communism podcast welcomes Ben Gliniecki, National Secretary of Socialist Appeal, the British section of the International Marxist Tendency. Ben explains the fundamental nature of the state in general, as well as its specific role under capitalism, and discusses how communists propose to smash the capitalist state once and for all, as well as what we would replace it with.