Marx cogently deals with some difficult issues here, but once again there are problems with his thinking. The critique of statism, with Hegel in the background, is brilliant stuff, but in the end an almost utopian perspective in the mode he condemns. Can we make practical use of any of this? We must, yet we cannot.
We should keep this critique in mind in the background but in the end we are not at a point where we can dispense with the state. We are still at the stage where we must realize socialism, or our neo-communism, inside a state, one that will also need to act in the context of an international. It is almost as if we require an additional revolution: in the UN or some framework that can mediate between our ‘democratic market neo-communisms’, here in the plural. Our basic idea is to create ‘socialism’ in one country, and this must spring not from some conspiracy like that of the Third International to undermine states to impose stalinism, but from a study of local conditions with an autonomous creation of a democracy, a planned/market economic and a Commons that is a constitutional foundation. This entity is then able to manifest itself as a state om relation to an exterior that may not yet have moved beyond capitalism.
There are problems here: can a neo-communist state of our type consider a larger version of the Commons that is international in scope? Our model may be incomplete and it makes a great deal of sense to consider beyond a Commons associated with a state the global Commons mediated by a socialist ‘United Nations’. Look at the Amazon basin: this should be mediated beyond the range of a corrupt state now virtually destroying a planetary ecological mechanism. But we have avoided the gross anomalies of the Third International which turned into a stalinist imperialism of subversion and exploitation.
Despite the historic importance then of Marx on the state we should consider that one could at best evolve toward a condition beyond the state: the issue to start is a nation that moves to our DMNC neo-communism as beast as it can, with its crude yet effective approximations. Our solution is not utopian, and is still imperfect. But the key step is to create something that works beyond the imaginary world of Marx’s thinking that couldn’t resolve to a working model, however primitive still.
The Marxist critique of the state is again in disfavor in parts of the left, but going back to what Marx wrote clarifies the discussion.