Australian Left Review

Article Title

The State Today


Eric Aarons


An army which many thought might defend a socialist government in Chile drowned it in blood. An army which was the pillar of fascism in Portugal produced forces which overturned

the regime and took an increasingly socialist orientation. These are just two of the most striking events of recent times which have refocused attention on the theory of the state. Discussion of the nature of some newly independent countries, particularly in Africa, has also centred on the state while efforts to come to theoretical grips with the character of the state in socialist countries are still continuing. Expansion of state intervention in social life, especially since World War 2 also raises many issues, and the present period of intensified crisis and class struggle has resulted in controversies about revolutionary strategy which involve the state.