The capitalist state cannot be reformed – it must be smashed and replaced with a workers’ state


IN THE TORY leadership campaign, of the six candidates left after the first round of voting five went to Oxford University and every one of those had attended a private school.

Boris Johnson went to Eton and Jeremy Hunt went to the public King’s School in Chester, with both going on to Oxford. The dominance of this ruling elite trained in expensive public schools doesn’t stop at the Tory Party, as a report this week makes clear.

The study, Elitist Britain 2019 by the Sutton Trust and the Social Mobility Commission, showed that a tiny elite of privately educated men and women dominate in every sphere of the political, judicial, military and media in the country.

From this background come 65% of senior judges; 59% of senior civil servants; 57% of the House of Lords. And in the media 44% of columnists in the bourgeois press went to private schools. 39% of the Tory cabinet followed the same direct route into power along with 49% of the senior leaders in the military.

These statistics show that, far from being the impartial components of the state machinery, all these positions are almost the exclusive preserve of public school Oxbridge graduates which in turn are the exclusive domain of the wealthy ruling class, and used to train them to rule over the people.

Occasionally, the odd comprehensive school wannabe Tory is sucked into this elite and provided with a respectable job that raises them above the people and class they came from.

Labour’s shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, said: ‘The old boys’ network and the old school tie still hold back talented and hard-working people from less privileged backgrounds. Labour will focus on giving every child the chance to flourish, not just a lucky few, focusing on social justice not just social mobility.’

This is a dangerous delusion by the ‘left’ reformists in the Labour Party around Corbyn – that the capitalist state can be reformed through more ‘social justice’ and better state schools, while the capitalist state itself, its army, its judiciary and its parliament are left intact.

This idea that a democratically elected Labour government could come to power and carry out radical transformations of capitalism that threaten the existence of the ruling class, and that the state would sit back and allow it, is treacherous and dangerous.

It was this theory of the ‘peaceful parliamentary road’ to socialism that opened the door to military dictatorship and led to the murder of thousands of workers in Chile.

Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile in 1970 on a socialist programme of increasing wages, freezing prices, reforming the education system and nationalising industries.

But Allende left the capitalist state, its military, political and legal structures, completely intact.

In 1973 the Chilean state – that Allende believed would tamely submit to a democratically elected government – launched a military coup led by General Pinochet that cost the life of Allende and hundreds of thousands of Chilean workers who Allende had disarmed in order to appease the military.

No amount of appeasement or appeals to ‘democracy’ can prevent the capitalist state from brutal counter-revolution to preserve capitalism.

As Marx and Engels always insisted, after the experience of the Paris Commune in 1871, ‘the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes’ – the working class must break up and smash the capitalist state replacing it with a new workers’ state.

If Corbyn believes a Labour government will be permitted by the state to carry out policies like renationalisation and wealth redistribution in any peaceful way then he will face his ‘Allende moment’ as capitalism, in its acute crisis, drops the pretence of ‘democracy’ and the state is revealed as purely the organ for the oppression of the working class using the army and police to subjugate it.

The working class is infinitely more powerful than the capitalist state, but it requires a trained Marxist leadership prepared to lead the working class to power replacing the dictatorship of the capitalist class with the dictatorship of the proletariat in order to end bankrupt capitalism and advance to socialism.

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