Friday, November 06, 2015

The Nature of the State - Mirage of Elections

The Nature of the State

American United CP - 12 June 1920

In every historical epoque the existing government - the State - has been the organ of coercion used by the ruling class to keep the exploiting class in subjection. The state is the expression of the organised power of the dominant class.

The capitalist society the state is sometimes democratic in appearance. The workers are permitted to take part in elections and seemingly the government is the expression of "the will of the people".
The capitalist government is none the less a class government, the organ of the capitalist for the coercion of the workers.

So long as the capitalists control the power of the newspapers, the poll it, the politicians, schools, and colleges, so long as millions of workers are disenfranchised through racial and residential qualifications and naturalisation laws the capitalists can well afford to allow the workers the empty privilege of periodically voting to confirm their role.

As the class struggle develops more bitter antagonism of the state array itself openly on the side of the capitalists. In every strike the state power is used to coerce the workers. The steel strike the miners strike furnished conspicuous examples of this use of governmental power.

In the control of the state power lies the strength of the capitalist class. The control places at its command the military and the police power of the protection of its class interests. While this power remains in the hands of the capitalists the working class can not achieve its emancipation


Moderate socialism, such as that of the Socialist Party, proposes to secure control of the capitalist state through electing a majority of the legislative and constitutional making bodies, to use the positions that achieved to transform  capitalism. It proposes to capture political power by strict adherence to exactly those constitutional methods which capitalist representative has astutely selected to make their government immune from fundamental change through the popular suffrage

The expulsion of socialist assembly members at Albany and expulsion of socialist councilman in Cleveland during the War indicate how summarily the capitalists get rid of elected officials who even in the least degree challenge the capitalist dictatorship

Program of the United Communist Party (America)  12 June 1920
The Communist