Toward a Theory of the State in Socialism: The Case of China
AbstractOur task—no small one at that—is to comprehend the relation between state and society in socialism, not just as it is predicted in Marxist theory but as it has actually developed. It has actually developed under very different conditions from those originally assumed in the theory. It is a relation between state and society where neither the relations of production nor the forces of production are advanced and consequently where social labor does not already exist but must be developed; a relation between such a society and a state not yet of the people though still for and even to a degree by the people that undertakes the herculean project of building (one might almost say "inventing") socialism even though there are no blueprints, only a vision. The task then is to comprehend the relation between state and society in actually existing socialism "which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges."
This article can also be found at the Monthly Review website, where most recent articles are published in full.