How can Marx have thought a stateless society would work?

Watch
chloeee!
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#1
So it says in my text book, "...once the class system had been abolished, the state would lose its reason for existence. The resulting society would therefore be stateless as well as classless." How could a society possibly be stateless? Isn't it ridiculously idealistic to imagine that in a communist society there won't be some who will try and rise above everybody else, and if there's no state how can laws etc be implemented? I know this is what Animal Farm is about, and I'm not alone in my confusion, but surely Marx must have had an answer to these questions - what was it?
0
reply
Alexr115
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#2
Report 9 years ago
#2
(Original post by chloeee!)
So it says in my text book, "...once the class system had been abolished, the state would lose its reason for existence. The resulting society would therefore be stateless as well as classless." How could a society possibly be stateless? Isn't it ridiculously idealistic to imagine that in a communist society there won't be some who will try and rise above everybody else, and if there's no state how can laws etc be implemented? I know this is what Animal Farm is about, and I'm not alone in my confusion, but surely Marx must have had an answer to these questions - what was it?
Surely it is ridiculously idealistic that a communist society could exist anyway??
0
reply
Liam 09
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#3
Report 9 years ago
#3
Maybe he had a bout of insanity for a while. Perhaps.
1
reply
Barden
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#4
Report 9 years ago
#4
(Original post by Alexr115)
Surely it is ridiculously idealistic that a communist society could exist anyway??

IDK... The USSR was pretty close to actual communism I reckon, it just demonstrated that the state is needed to hold it together, and that this state (at least after half a century or so) still needed to be authoritarian to do so.
0
reply
chloeee!
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#5
I'm reading more about Marxism and have come to the conclusion that it is all complete and utter tripe.
0
reply
username196545
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#6
Report 9 years ago
#6
(Original post by chloeee!)
So it says in my text book, "...once the class system had been abolished, the state would lose its reason for existence. The resulting society would therefore be stateless as well as classless." How could a society possibly be stateless? Isn't it ridiculously idealistic to imagine that in a communist society there won't be some who will try and rise above everybody else, and if there's no state how can laws etc be implemented? I know this is what Animal Farm is about, and I'm not alone in my confusion, but surely Marx must have had an answer to these questions - what was it?
It's a bigger topic than you realise. It's so much more than about states.

Yeah, Marx envisages a stateless World, inter alia other factors, such as the removal of the base and superstructure which controls you. Your superstructure (think of it as perception of the world; law, politics, economics, how the world is perceived) is how you're looking at things. You have an insanely ideological outlook at the world (although you probably haven't even realised this); the superstructural forces are what make you go 'wtf, duh, stateless society, total BS'. You can't look at Marx's points individually; all of them link together.

With the removal of the base and superstructure (you can see him talk about this in the end of The German Ideology), there will be the end of ideology and private property and so on... this would lead to man being free (no more alienation etc..) and so, he would be free from the bad impulses and desires he learns from Capitalism (ie, selfishness, greed..) and will be content to work in a socialist, stateless system. It's not just 'remove the state and leave everything else the same and everyone else will be happy'.
1
reply
username196545
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#7
Report 9 years ago
#7
(Original post by chloeee!)
I'm reading more about Marxism and have come to the conclusion that it is all complete and utter tripe.
Why?
0
reply
CoffeeStinks
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#8
Report 9 years ago
#8
Because he didn't read Animal Farm.
0
reply
c0nfus3d
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#9
Report 9 years ago
#9
It sounds good tbh, like I'm new to the whole idea of Marxism- the dea of everyone being equal, but that wouldn't work!
0
reply
Dan3va
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#10
Report 9 years ago
#10
you have to look at it from a global perspective where every single person in the world follows the system completly

if one person doesnt then it does not work properly

for example a person capable of being a doctor por is already a doctor doesnt believe in the system fully. being a doctor is not easy so he becomes a shelf stacker at tescos he weould be payed the same but would have a far less challenging job so his life would be easier but it would negitivly affect others. if many people thought like this then everything would collapse

the soviet union was not communism. there has never been a true communist state because for a true communist state to exist then even the top hast to be equal with the bottom and if there is a leader that instantly places him above the rest which defies communism.

its a great idea but i belive that it is impossible to actually have a true communist system
1
reply
Alexr115
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#11
Report 9 years ago
#11
(Original post by Dan3va)
you have to look at it from a global perspective where every single person in the world follows the system completly

if one person doesnt then it does not work properly

for example a person capable of being a doctor por is already a doctor doesnt believe in the system fully. being a doctor is not easy so he becomes a shelf stacker at tescos he weould be payed the same but would have a far less challenging job so his life would be easier but it would negitivly affect others. if many people thought like this then everything would collapse

the soviet union was not communism. there has never been a true communist state because for a true communist state to exist then even the top hast to be equal with the bottom and if there is a leader that instantly places him above the rest which defies communism.

its a great idea but i belive that it is impossible to actually have a true communist system
It's impossible to have any true kind of system, they all end up going tits up anyway. This global economic crisis is a perfect example of capitalism failing.
0
reply
adam_zed
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#12
Report 9 years ago
#12
(Original post by Barden)
IDK... The USSR was pretty close to actual communism I reckon, it just demonstrated that the state is needed to hold it together, and that this state (at least after half a century or so) still needed to be authoritarian to do so.
Well Marx's idea was that capitalism would fall all over the world and one by one each country would disintegrate and transom into a socialist country. Then from this, the state and country as we know it would cease to exist and the world would be a stateless society and thus complete the transition into communism.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics reflects this. The fact that they named themselves "Socialist" instead of communist meant that they believed that they were not yet at the stage of communism and could not be until at least large proportions of the rest of the world had. This, in theory would explain their efforts to push upon the forming of socialist states in other countries whilst the USA tried to counter it.

Ideally, no authoritarian approach would have existed but considering that Russia didnt have the ideal demographic make up for a capitalist to socialist to communist transition to successfully happen meant that the leaders felt that a heavy handed approach was necessary in order for them to hold out a socialist state until the rest of capitalism would fall and that they could be united and thus continue to the next stage.

(Original post by chloeee!)
I'm reading more about Marxism and have come to the conclusion that it is all complete and utter tripe.
This is a set of ideas that have been developed over a life time and that are so complex that I doubt anyone on this forum has an amazingly clear view on it. To denounce it as tripe having read a bit into an A-Level text book is slightly pretentious (no offence) and akin to someone immediately dismissing the complex series of events that led to the recession as being caused solely by immigrants or bankers.
1
reply
Oswy
Badges: 15
#13
Report 9 years ago
#13
(Original post by chloeee!)
I'm reading more about Marxism and have come to the conclusion that it is all complete and utter tripe.
I get the impression that plenty of people approach Marxism already primed (consciously or unconsciously) to reject it. Though on interrogation casual dismissals often enough come about by those who haven't done a lot of serious reading into the subject anyway and don't really intend to.

If you're willing to accept any advice on the subject I would first caution you against confusing and mixing up Marx's analysis of past and present society with Marx's speculations about future society - you don't have to be right about the solutions to be right about the problems, and vice versa. The same goes for Marxism more generally (there's been a huge amount of study done within the Marxist framework after the writings of Marx and Engels).
2
reply
chloeee!
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#14
(Original post by Oswy)
you don't have to be right about the solutions to be right about the problems, and vice versa. T

Are you saying that Marx was right about the problems but not necessarily the solutions?
0
reply
Oswy
Badges: 15
#15
Report 9 years ago
#15
(Original post by Alexr115)
It's impossible to have any true kind of system, they all end up going tits up anyway. This global economic crisis is a perfect example of capitalism failing.
I think that's a fair point. There can be no 'perfect' society because it has humans in it and humans ain't perfect. Nevertheless, it's not hard to argue that some kinds of society are preferable to others for most of us. This fits with Marx's ideas in historical materialism - that each kind of past, and present, human civilisation (Marxists refer to these as 'modes of production') show themselves to carry significant problems and antagonisms (Marxists refer to these as 'internal contradictions') and which eventually generate transformative crises. Hence, from a historical perspective, we see slave societies transformed into feudal ones and feudal ones into capitalistic ones. Even for non-Marxists it's pretty hard to deny that capitalism has problems and pretty hard to deny that it is, perhaps more than previous modes, transformative of human life, and the planet, as well as transformative of its own activities. Once we recognise that cqapitalism is an historical phenomenon, i.e. that it is one which is changing through time, chaning itself and the nature of human life, we are necessarily led to speculate about its trajectory, i.e. where it is going. The prognosis isn't good, whether Marxist or otherwise.
0
reply
69Crazyfists
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#16
Report 9 years ago
#16
(Original post by chloeee!)
I'm reading more about Marxism and have come to the conclusion that it is all complete and utter tripe.
What I love about Marx is that he spoke out against religion saying it's all *******s, opiate of the masses etc. BUT his ideology (if it so can be called) follows a similar structure to religious faith. Belief in a god cannot be disproved assuming that the god in which the belief is invested in is transcendent. So faith can only be proved and not disproved. In that sense, Marx said that the reason the idea of a truly communist society seems so unrealistic is because we are brainwashed by capitalism. So until we reach class consciousness and break free of capitalism, his ideology can never be disproved either.

Also, it's worth noting that Marx said that communism would happen in the future. Although we can probably infer he meant quite soon to when he was writing, in reality it could still be centuries away.

Of course there's lots of criticism to what I've just written but still...
0
reply
Oswy
Badges: 15
#17
Report 9 years ago
#17
(Original post by chloeee!)
Are you saying that Marx was right about the problems but not necessarily the solutions?
No, I'm not saying that at all. I'm simply cautioning you against the error of thinking that because you see problems in his proposed solutions, i.e. how a communist society would come about or would work, you shouldn't jump to general conclusions about his analysis relating to past and present society (which to be fair to him constitutes the larger body of his work and, indeed, that of Marxists more generally).

If you want my personal opinion on Marx's speculations about communism, however, I'd say that I'm open minded, especially since he specifically imagines communism as arising (possibly very slowly) out of a state-organised socialism.
0
reply
member520746
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#18
Report 9 years ago
#18
You totally misinterpreted Animal Farm, it's not about the philosophical shortcomings of stateless society.
0
reply
karateworm
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#19
Report 9 years ago
#19
The thing is... he didn't. Marxism is fantastic at analysing the down falls of capitalism at the time, but totally under theorised the practical application of it. He probably got to that point and thought "Bugger this is hard, I'm off to have a pint."
0
reply
chloeee!
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#20
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#20
(Original post by JCC-MGS)
You totally misinterpreted Animal Farm, it's not about the philosophical shortcomings of stateless society.
Not all about that, no, but it partly is about the corrupting influence of power; the 'dictatorship of the proleteriat' would never wither away as Marx imagined it would, because those who were safeguarding the supposed wishes of the proleteriat would like the power they had too much to ever give it up, as is demonstrated in Animal Farm with the pig Napoleon.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Should there be a new university admissions system that ditches predicted grades?

No, I think predicted grades should still be used to make offers (738)
33.92%
Yes, I like the idea of applying to uni after I received my grades (PQA) (929)
42.69%
Yes, I like the idea of receiving offers only after I receive my grades (PQO) (413)
18.98%
I think there is a better option than the ones suggested (let us know in the thread!) (96)
4.41%

Watched Threads

View All