Violence and the Capitalist State

The capitalist state, by its very existence is extremely violent. It’s just that the violence perpetrated by the capitalist state is legalized and legitimized. Starvation, poverty, homelessness and want are all acts of violence carried out by the capitalist state against marginalized and oppressed peoples. When resources are allocated in such a way that we can have more than enough to feed, clothe, house and provide the basic necessities to every person who needs them but we end up with a small handful of people with the vast amount of wealth and power while huge segments of the population are destitute, that is violence.

Thus, revolutionary direct action against the capitalist state in the form of strikes, protests, riots and the like are merely means of self-defense against the excesses and violence of the capitalist state. By pushing the idea that change can only be done via capitalist electoral politics or that the only legitimate methods are means to destroy the threat that revolutionary, democratic mass movements pose to the capitalist state. Virtually every reformist socialist group that has accepted the constraints of capital have now themselves become the guardians of capital, becoming social democratic welfare capitalists at best and neoliberal laissez-faire capitalists or even reactionaries and fascists at worst. By having this veneer of “democracy”, capitalism can put a facade of legitimacy on its excesses. Electoral politics never succeeds in building long term mass, democratic movements and thus must be discarded.


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