Marxism Reading Group: The Master's Tools: Marxism and the State


April 13, 2023 at 7:00pm - 9pm


Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States

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In this session, we will consider the Marxist theory of the State. Today, the world economy is held together not only by a globally expansive market but also by sprawling, powerful nation-states. Marx himself was a critic of the modern state, declaring it “the form in which the individuals of a ruling class assert their common interests.” In this session, we will ask: is the State a neutral entity or a tool of class rule? Should Marxists seek State power or avoid State politics altogether?


  • Jessop, “State”
  • Poulantzas, “The Problem of the Capitalist State”
  • Miliband, “State Power and Class Interests”

The Marxism Reading Group meets regularly to discuss the writings of Marx and Engels as well as writings from the broader tradition of Marxist political struggle across the globe. Past readings have come from figures such as Lenin, Angela Davis, Franz Fanon, Louis Althusser, Rosa Luxemburg, Ellen Meiksins Wood, and Antonio Gramsci. Regardless of the topic, the goal of the group is to encourage education, discussion, and critical thinking about the history of Marxism and its place in contemporary politics.


Andrew Knox ·

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