Concepts of State Power MARXIST AND WEBERIAN THEORIES OF THE STATE

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MARXIST AND WEBERIAN THEORIES OF THE STATE

AND THEIR CONTEMPORARY RELEVANCE IN AMERICA

This research paper summarizes the concepts of state

power in Marxist philosophy and in the writings of the

German sociologist Max Weber and discusses how each theory

of the state might help explain its role in contemporary

American society. The Marxist view that the state is the

resultant of economic forces has proved to be a vast

oversimplification, but it is nevertheless closer to the truth

in present times than could have been imagined not long ago.

On the whole, Weber's theories and observations of the state have

proven, despite their somewhat mystical components, to have been

Marxist and NeoMarxist Theories of the State

A fundamental premise of all Marxist theory is that

economic factors determine the course and outcome of history

(economic determinism). Karl Marx and Friederich Engels said

that "the history of all hitherto existing society is the

history of the class struggle"1between the capitalist

class, which owned the means of production, and the working

class. As the following quotations illustrate, Marxists

view the state as the tool of the capitalists, the main

function of which (until communism triumphs by revolution)

is the oppression of the proletariat:

The state is "the executive committee of the

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Category: Philosophy - C

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