Power and the State

Power and the State

Every political theory which does not recognize the autonomy of politics vis a vis socio-economic history rejects out of hand the following propositions:

that the problem of political power in a socialist economy is not fundamentally different from the same problem in a capitalist economy; that political power in a socialist economy offers comparable or even greater possibilities for tyranny; and therefore that public controls as strict as, if not stricter than, those imposed in capitalist societies are necessary under socialism.

The autonomy of politics—for which I shall argue in this essay— seems to me to consist of two characteristics. On the one hand, politics embodies a human relationship which is not reducible to class conflict or socio-economic tensions in general. Even the state that is most in subjection to a dominating class is also a state precisely to the extent that it expresses the fundamental will of the nation as a whole. ...

Socialist thought provides us with an imaginative and moral horizon.

For insights and analysis from the longest-running democratic socialist magazine in the United States, sign up for our newsletter: