Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (7):701-723 (2012)

The abolition of the state is a central element in Marx’s vision of human emancipation. However, at a later stage of his intellectual development Marx seems to have retreated from this idea. Marx’s theory should be defined as the primacy of labor: labor, or instrumental productive activity, brings about, as its unintended, as-if-natural results, different social relations, including the state. At the core of communism, as first envisaged by Marx, is the abolition of labor and its unintended social results . However, Marx did not hold to the idea of abolition of labor in his later writings. If labor cannot be abolished, the social relations that have developed as its unintended results, notably the state, cannot be abolished either. Any revival of the conception of abolition of the state should be connected to a revival of the conception of abolition of labor, as a regulative idea, based on modern, computer technology
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DOI 10.1177/0191453712447782
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