The state redux

Adam Rose adam at
Mon Sep 23 07:30:54 MDT 1996

Hugh writes:
> >
> > In our late socialist or communist societies (in the classical Gotha
> > programme sense), the enforcement will be by ad hoc groups with powers of
> > constraint and seizure. Maybe something like a combination of a people's
> > militia and jury service in an early stage of socialism, then more and more
> > by self-mobilizing mechanisms as the kind of events requiring intervention
> > are better known and classified and the best way of dealing with them is
> > scientifically evaluated.

I think Hugh is wrong about this ( not as wrong as Justin, of course ).

Enforcement will never be by ad hoc groups, except perhaps at times on
the barricades themselves. Just as the capitalist state delegates the
application of force to groups of armed men, it may well be the case
that it is not necessary to mobilise the entire working class for each
little act of repression. But these small acts of repression will be
carried out under the immediate supervision of the institutions of
the workers state.

As the workers state develops, ie wither away, there will become less
and less need for a state. Such discipline as is necessary will become
more and more voluntary. Such coordination as is necessary will become
more and more simply a question of bookkeeping, not politics.

There may be some arguments, perhaps similar to the arguments between me
and my partner : "you take the bins out - no you - no you". These arguments
may even get quite heated. But physical force is not necessary to resolve
them. In the end, one of us voluntarily takes the bins out.

Of course, such a society cannot come about overnight. It will take at least
a generation for all "the old shit" of capitalism to be got rid of, although
the process of revolution itself will get rid of a lot it from the word go.


Adam Rose


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