In Defense of Marxism
The question of the State in capitalist society is of key importance for Marxists. We do not see it as an impartial arbiter standing above society. The fundamental essence of every state, with its “armed bodies of men”, police, courts and other trappings is that it serves the interests of one class in society, in the case of capitalism, the capitalist class.
Marxism sets out from the idea that “force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one,” that the state consists ultimately of armed bodies of men, that it is an instrument of the ruling class for the oppression of other classes. We have never at any time denied that the working class, in moving to transform society will inevitably encounter the resistance of the possessing classes or that this resistance can under certain conditions result in civil war.