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EDITORIAL: Understanding the role of the state is vital

Written by: Editorial Committee on 1 September 2020


This is the Editorial from the September 2020 edition of Vanguard. Download a pdf of the full edition here.

There is an understandable concern about anti-worker attacks that are being demanded by employer groups as a new, post-pandemic, “normal”.

Then too, there are widespread concerns about the sorts of threats to democratic rights that are put forward by the likes of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

The mass media encourage us to focus on this or that politician, on this or that industry spokesperson as if they are the substance of power and authority over us.

Of course, they have some say, some influence, and must be fought.

However, what the media and others conceal behind phrases like “equality before the law”, “the right to vote”, “freedom of belief” and so on is the nature and role of the state machine.

In every society since the very earliest times, the state has existed as a means to coerce and oppress the majority in the interests of the few.

Whilst it is correct to despise a Morrison or a Dutton, removing them through elections is really no more than pulling gloves off a many-fisted being that keeps us all in place. Putting a “better”, “more progressive”, “kindlier” glove back on that fist does very little to restrain its power over us.

The modern bourgeois or capitalist, state arose from the struggles waged by the capitalists against the remainder of the population. It is a machine they have created with legal and political structures to protect private, capitalist ownership and control of the means of production.

Workers collectively are the vast majority of the population. If the capitalists have learned to create a state that serves their interests, so can the workers.

Yes, down with Morrison! Down with Dutton!

But down with the capitalist state as well!

Fight for working class power in a socialist state.


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