Marx on State and Society in the Future

  • Robert X. Ware
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)


A crucial distinction between state and society is found throughout Marx’s writings. For example, on Marx’s view: “Every revolution dissolves the old society and to that extent it is social. Every revolution overthrows the old power and to that extent it is political” (MECW 3, p. 205). This distinction has an interesting role, badly misinterpreted, in his Critique of the Gotha Programme. This chapter clarifies what Marx said about phases of communism and about a transition between capitalism and communism. A crucial point is that, according to Marx, in communist society there would be analogous functions of those of a state. Some things about those functions can be extrapolated and refined from what Marx did say, but there is also much that needs to be developed.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert X. Ware
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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