Marx's Theory of the Transcendence of the State: A Reconstruction

Marx's Theory of the Transcendence of the State: A Reconstruction

Marx's Theory of the Transcendence of the State: A Reconstruction

Marx's Theory of the Transcendence of the State: A Reconstruction

Synopsis

One of the most striking and neglected arguments of Marx's political theory is that the state will be transcended or wither away with the development of communism. This work reconstructs Marx's thesis through a comprehensive analysis of various discussions by Marx from his early critique of Hegel through his mature work. The author concludes that the plausibility of the thesis crucially depends upon the specific institutional forms of the transitional state and the possibilities for transforming the social division of labor.

Excerpt

Besides those to whom this book is dedicated, there are a number of people whose help I take great pleasure in acknowledging. Above all, Murray Levin of Boston University spent an enormous amount of time on various drafts of this work, suggesting alterations which greatly improved it. His insight into weaknesses of the argument and his sense of style made the work much clearer. This book would not have appeared without him.

I would also like to thank Howard Zinn, who originally proposed the topic. Dr. Zinn's keen comments and especially his critical imagination rescued me in my more pedantic moments.

I very much benefited from the expert technical help of John W. Miller, Information Systems and Communications Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in producing the final manuscript.

There are of course equally important debts that are not academic. Among the many to whom they are owed, I would like to particularly thank Steven Rosenthal, Richard Stephen, Thomas Grilli, Earl C. Beverly, Kenneth W. Goings, and William Pearson. I'm not sure if they realize that their friendship and encouragement make all the difference.

Finally, I must thank Jacqueline Perry, Michael Lowe, Ken Lowstetter, and Deborah Luciani who in different ways have helped me understand the meaning of the words 'commitment' and 'sacrifice'. I am sure that there are other lessons down the road. When they come I hope I will be a better student.

The above debts cannot be repaid; all I can do is publicly acknowledge them. Needless to say, I have been stubborn enough to ensure that the faults of this work remain my own.

J. F. S. June 1988 . . .

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