Friedrich Engels on United States Politics and the Bourgeois State

130 years ago, Friedrich Engels made the following observations on politics and the form of the bourgeois state in the United States. You will agree that these insights are still relevant today:

Nowhere do “politicians” form a more separate and powerful section of the nation than precisely in North America. There, each of the two major parties which alternately succeed each other in power is itself in turn controlled by people who make a business of politics, who speculate on seats in the legislative assemblies of the Union as well as of the separate states, or who make a living by carrying on agitation for their party and on its victory are rewarded with positions. It is well known how the Americans have been trying for thirty years to shake off this yoke, which has become intolerable, and how in spite of it all they continue to sink ever deeper in this swamp of corruption. It is precisely in America that we see best how there takes place this process of the state power making itself independent in relation to society, whose mere instrument it was originally intended to be. Here there exists no dynasty, no nobility, no standing army, beyond the few men keeping watch on the Indians, no bureaucracy with permanent posts or the right to pensions. And nevertheless we find here two great gangs of political speculators, who alternately take possession of the state power, and exploit it by the most corrupt means and for the most corrupt ends – and the nation is powerless against these two great cartels of politicians, who are ostensibly its servants, but in reality dominate and plunder it.

Friedrich Engels, 1891. ‘Introduction to Karl Marx’s The Civil War in France’. Marx Engels Collected Works, Volume 27, p. 189.

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Throughout human history a battle has raged between the exploited and the exploiter, between those who work to produce the wealth and the parasites who feed upon their labour! It is time to shed the chains of Capitalism and regain all that has been stolen! It is time to seize the means of production!