Base/superstructure and the State

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Fri Apr 20 11:40:54 MDT 2001

>>> amandatatts at 04/20/01 12:26AM >>>
>I don't recall reading Lenin on "base/superstructure" or similar things
>about the state. Could you detail just how you came to the conclusion that
>Lenin's view are similar to those of the others you write about?

In refering to Lenin theories on the state, I am arguing that his conception
of the bourgeoise state tends to rely on the conception of the state as
simply a "committee of the ruling class."  To me, that seems to be an
expression of the base/superstructure metaphor that holds the state not
simply produced or determined by economic relations (or say, class
conflict), but determined directly by the ruling class.  Such a perception
of the state, I would argue, does not allow an analysis of the State as an
institution produced by class relations, but as an institution controlled
simply by the ruling class.


CB: Lenin's theory is more like the state is an apparatus,  standing body of armed
personnel etc. used as an instrument of repression by one class over other classes.
This formulation is a "class relations" formulation.  It discusses the state's role in
class relations.

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