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Unformatted text preview: The State: a Product of the Irreconcilability of Class Antagonisms Special Bodies of Armed Men, Prisons, etc. The State: an Instrument for the Exploitation of the Oppressed Class The Withering Away of the State, and Violent Revolution 1. The State: A Product of the Irreconcilability of Class Antagonisms What is now happening to Marx's theory has, in the course of history, happened repeatedly to the theories of revolutionary thinkers and leaders of oppressed classes fighting for emancipation. During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the consolation of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance , blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it. Today, the bourgeoisie and the opportunists within the labor movement concur in this doctoring of Marxism. They omit, obscure, or distort the revolutionary side of this theory, its revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie. All the social-chauvinists are now Marxists (don't laugh!). And more and more frequently German bourgeois scholars, only yesterday spets in the annihilation of Marxism, are speaking of the national-German Marx, who, they claim, educated the labor unions which are so splendidly organized for the purpose of waging a predatory war! In these circumstances, in view of the unprecedently wide-spread distortion of Marxism, our prime task is to re-establish what Marx really taught on the subject of the state. This will necessitate a number of long quotations from the works of Marx and Engels themselves. Of course, long quotations will render the text cumbersome and not help at all to make it popular reading, but we cannot possibly dispense with them. All, or at any rate all the most essential passages in the works of Marx and Engels on the subject of the state must by all means be quoted as fully as possible so that the reader may form an independent opinion of the totality of the views of the founders of scientific som, and of the evolution of those views, and so that their distortion by the Kautskyism now prevailing may be documentarily proved and clearly demonstrated. Let us being with the most popular of Engels' works, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State , the sixth edition of which was published in Stuttgart as far back as 1894. We have to translate the quotations from the German originals, as the Russian translations, while very numerous, are for the most part either incomplete or very unsatisfactory....
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