Capitalist state

This article is about the concept of the state in a capitalist system. For variants of capitalism based on state-owned business, see state capitalism.

The capitalist state is the state, its functions, and the form of organization it takes within capitalist socioeconomic systems.[1] This concept is often used interchangeably with the concept of the "modern state"; however there are many differences in sociological characteristics among capitalist states, despite their common functions.[2]

The primary functions of the capitalist state are to provide a legal framework and infrastructural framework that is conducive to business enterprise and the accumulation of capital.

Karl Marx described the function of the executive of a capitalist state as "nothing but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie". Specifically, in Marx's view, the capitalist state necessarily exists to serve the interests of capitalists (referred to as "the bourgeoisie"). Thus thinkers in the Marxist tradition often refer to the capitalist state as the Dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.[3]

See also


  1. Recent theories of the capitalist State, by Jessop, Bob. 1977. Soviet Studies, pp. 353-373, vol. 1, no. 4, Jan. 1977.
  2. Morishima, Michio (1976). The Economic Theory of Modern Society. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-21088-7. p. 1.
  3. Graeme Duncan (March 1989). Democracy and the Capitalist state. Cambridge University Press. p. 85. ISBN 9780521280624.

Further reading

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