Saturday, 26 October 2013
Trotskyists and the state
Leon Trotsky and his followers did not develop their ideas on the state very much. They set themselves up as oppositionists to the Stalinist regime and that is fair enough not many would hold that against them for opposing Stalinism but yet their critique of the state is very silent and often absent from many Trotskyist critiques. For me the state and an analysis of it are key for understanding capitalism and the way forward. For all my time in the socialist party of England and Wales the state got a little bit of attention it was seen as a body of armed workers essentially and nothing more. The analysis of the state or the modern state by the socialist party is hugely out of date and in my view completely irrelevant in many ways. No longer is the state just a system of ruling class rule and order. It has developed and sunk itself into greater and greater depths. For me the socialist party’s analysis of the police and the army is deeply flawed and out of step with modern thinking. Many Trotskyists refer to Lenin’s state and revolution and in many ways it is an interesting text I swallowed it whole first time round and felt the state would wither away but why would this happen and how would it happen? The more anymore i think about I find it hugely unlikely the state will just simply wither away once it has become unnecessary in terms of Marxism anyway but why would it ? The state has an independent thought and strategy of its own and ultimately looks after its own whether it’s a capitalist or a workers state point is its still a state for an all intents and purposes. The nation state as a feature of capitalism is key it almost predates capitalism and has its origin in the rise of capitalism. As the old quote goes the state makes war and the war makes the state it plays a huge role in modern society and has spread beyond even Marx’s imagination now. We even see today the state within a state with spying and surveillance states appearing under capitalism. For me no Trotskyist group out there has any up to date critique on the modern state or have begin to scratch the surface. For me the state will play a huge part in many people’s politics in the coming years as capitalism fails to progress society and develop the means of production. The state will become more and more in conflict with its base and its system it represents. The state is an important political body which needs a serious discussion on inside and outside of Marxist circles. There is much to do and to think about before we even come to taking on the understanding of the state and what it means to us and Howe we go about removing as no society which base’s itself on equality for all can exist with an existence of a state. There can be no freedom with any state; we need to address the idea of a state and what it ultimately means for the masses. Communism for me is a class less society and as such a state less society. Building a workers state is something which never sat easy with me as is a body of oppression. Ok we may need to defend ourselves against counter revolutionary forces but after that an armed group of workers is no longer needed and must go as soon as possible in my opinion. The debate will go on I am sure.