Anti-semitism amongst the left and anarchists

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Angelus Novus
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Dec 22 2008 06:02
Anti-semitism amongst the left and anarchists

Or is there some other reason that comments like this are allowed to stand:

wangwei wrote:
I read the article on the smashing of the Jewish exhibit, and I have to say that the Black Bloc had the right idea. Since when is the plunder of capital a tragedy?

So in other words, the expropriation of Jewish capitalists and small proprietors by the Nazis is to be welcomed, since after all, "the plunder of capital" is not "a tragedy".

Unless this dipshit is kicked, the ban on National Anarchists on this website is pure hypocrisy.

And a "Progressive Labor" sympathizer, no less.

admin - this thread was renamed and moved from the feedback forum as the discussion about a comment became a more general discussion.

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Rob Ray
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Dec 22 2008 08:48

How did you get that from the quote? Sounds like he’s saying there’s no particular reason to single Jews out for any special treatment to me, that if their activities are capitalist they should be ‘plundered’ regardless of religion. Are you saying Jews should get special treatment because of their religion?

Angelus Novus
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Dec 22 2008 10:04

No, moron. The context is a reference to an exhibit concerning the "Aryanization" of Jewish capitalists and small proprietors during the NS period in Germany. No "expropriation" took place. Capital was simply taken from Jews and placed in German hands.

Wangwei argues that it was ok for protestors to destroy the exhibit, since the "plunder of capital" by the Nazis is presumably an ok thing. Presumably Wangwei thinks that Nazis simply were not consistent enough as "expropriators of capital".

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Rob Ray
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Dec 22 2008 10:54

That wasn't clear from the quote, and you didn't give a link to where it was said, so what i got from this was 'black bloc smash up money-making scheme which happened to be Jewish, wangwei thought this was fine'. Which is fairly in keeping with their politics, such as they are. So my response was hardly that of a moron.

Yours on the other hand was that of a child. Keep your attitude civil if you want to be treated with respect.

I don't like that 'presumably' either. Have you asked him to explain his position in more detail?

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Steven.
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Dec 22 2008 11:10

wangwei is a very annoying poster. I would say would probably disagree with almost everything he says. However, we don't go about banning people left right and centre if we don't like them. If you disagree with something he said, take it up with him when he said it, don't start threads with ridiculous titles that you know are obviously bollocks.

Apart from anything else, we don't have time to read every post put up on this site.

tough_crowd
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Dec 22 2008 11:14
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Rob Ray wrote:
"Sounds like he’s saying there’s no particular reason to single Jews out for any special treatment..."

"Aryanization" was exactly that. Singling out Jews for violence and systematic persecution.

Thanks for your "civil" defense of this violence Rob Ray. It is really much preferred to angry critiques of those justifying Nazi brutality.

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Steven.
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Dec 22 2008 11:17

Okay I've seen this now. A. N. you didn't even give us a link to whereabouts this comment was so we could see the context of it. It was here:
http://libcom.org/news/germany-high-school-students-strike-14112008

I've deleted a comment and warned the poster. If you see any comments which you think breaks site guidelines email us or contact one of the administrators. As you did not do that but just started this thread here with a hysterical title and no link given to give us any context then I can only assume that you are more interested in trying to score points against us rather than any more lofty motives.

As for the poster, we will send him or her a message to justify or defend themselves, and depending on the outcome ban them.

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Rob Ray
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Dec 22 2008 11:57
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"Aryanization" was exactly that. Singling out Jews for violence and systematic persecution.

Yes quite. The quote said: "I read the article on the smashing of the Jewish exhibit, and I have to say that the Black Bloc had the right idea. Since when is the plunder of capital a tragedy?". This implies only that he is pro "plundering capital". In itself it doesn't imply he is pro 'Aryanization' unless he believes 'Ayran' capital should be better treated. There was no other information posited, hence my comment.

I am not 'defending' anything except a person's right not to have comments pulled and used to claim the poster is a nazi and libcom is soft on Nazis with no further supporting evidence. I was in fact complaining that the information provided was inadequate and suggesting you talk to the person direct to get a clearer picture of their views – which Steven has since corrected for you.

I hadn't even commented on the thread in question, so attempts to slander me with such hysterical bullshit just look pathetic. I also suspect this is the same person posting under two separate accounts, as the tone of writing is very similar for each, which is an unpleasant trick to use in online posting, don't do it.

Fletcher
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Dec 22 2008 14:30

Both wangwei and Angelus Novus sound like dickheads to me. Starting a thread like this is just stupid.

What fucking point is there listening to two twats argue semantics. That's really going to help spread anarchist ideas and get our message across to people.

Sometimes I think some of the fuckwits that post on here don't live in the real world and inhabit some sort of cyber world for lefties. Happy Xmas.

Angelus Novus
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Dec 22 2008 20:33
Steven. wrote:
As you did not do that but just started this thread here with a hysterical title and no link given to give us any context then I can only assume that you are more interested in trying to score points against us rather than any more lofty motives.

Oh please. This is simply the well-worn canard that criticism of left anti-semitism is never exactly that, but rather an insidious attempt to discredit the left.

I apologize for calling the other fellow a moron, but I think there is nothing "hysterical" about getting agitated about comments like that being allowed on the site, anymore than it would be "hysterical" if somebody would refer to the "genetic inferiority" of "n******".

Libcom and the milieu it represents has always been somewhat of an honorable exception on the English-speaking Left in terms of the usual stupidity of "national liberation" and anti-semitism, so I was distraught to see that garbage comment stand, and apparently for an entire month at that.

Mike Harman
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Dec 22 2008 21:22
Angelus Novus wrote:
so I was distraught to see that garbage comment stand, and apparently for an entire month at that.

Stuff is only allowed to left stand because 1. No admins notice it 2. No-one bothers to report it. 'reporting' stuff without even including a link to the comment isn't very helpful, at all.

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cantdocartwheels
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Dec 23 2008 10:26
Angelus Novus wrote:
Steven. wrote:
As you did not do that but just started this thread here with a hysterical title and no link given to give us any context then I can only assume that you are more interested in trying to score points against us rather than any more lofty motives.

Oh please. This is simply the well-worn canard that criticism of left anti-semitism is never exactly that, but rather an insidious attempt to discredit the left.

I apologize for calling the other fellow a moron, but I think there is nothing "hysterical" about getting agitated about comments like that being allowed on the site, anymore than it would be "hysterical" if somebody would refer to the "genetic inferiority" of "n******".

Libcom and the milieu it represents has always been somewhat of an honorable exception on the English-speaking Left in terms of the usual stupidity of "national liberation" and anti-semitism, so I was distraught to see that garbage comment stand, and apparently for an entire month at that.

Oh give it a break, your hysterical whuinging is just starting to get annoying. It was one comment that was a bit dubious and carried some dodgy anti-semetic undertones. Chances are it slipped through the net, since libcom admins all have full time jobs that take up there time and are not being a bunch of pathetic post grad wankers, also when they look for comments to delete its usually the more obvious fash stuff.
Fair enough you've notified the admisn and the comments been deleted but the way you behaved and for some reason are still behaving reminds me very much of the established left you claim to be so set against. Its pretty much standard trot practice that they'll pick one particular aspect of a rival sects behaviour or something the rival sect has ''tolerated'', make massively over exaggerated claims about how racist or undemocratic etc it all is then start screeching hysterically about it.We've all seen it before and its still just as pathetic as it always was.

tough_crowd
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Dec 23 2008 12:23
Quote:
Rob Ray wrote:
Yes quite. The quote said: "I read the article on the smashing of the Jewish exhibit, and I have to say that the Black Bloc had the right idea. Since when is the plunder of capital a tragedy?". This implies only that he is pro "plundering capital". In itself it doesn't imply he is pro 'Aryanization' unless he believes 'Ayran' capital should be better treated. There was no other information posited, hence my comment.

Please stop bending over backwards to whitewash and justify what he said. He characterized "Araynization" as anti-capitalist, and damaging the exhibit as a "good idea." He was approving of Nazi "Araynization" policy.

You are defending him on some abstract hypothetical situation about "equality of being plundered." That´s a wonderfully liberatory imagination you have! And then using your abstract fantasy to charge us as privileging Jews above others for criticizing those who sympathize with Nazis. Have you ever heard of having solidarity with those who are the victims of systematic violence?

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Rob Ray
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Dec 23 2008 12:45

Have you actually asked him what he meant? Because if he says he is pro-aryanisation I will be the first to call for him to be banned. However I know enough idiots (as opposed to bastards) that I'm prepared to ask before I get the fucking guns out for them.

It's not bending over backwards for anyone, you're being a prick and leaping to conclusions before you have all the facts. It's this sort of shit which leads to the libcom admins blah, and it's posturing of the worst kind. You want justice, you work to make sure you're right, don't just point fingers the moment you percieve there might be a problem.

Edit: In fact, here's a direct quote from wangwei on the subject of nationalism from this thread:

wangwei wrote:
I don't understand why so many anarchists support nationalism, as it's just mindboggling. Anarchism opposes the state, and nationalism is THE religion of the state, therefore anarchism and nationalism are diametrically opposed. When any of the nlf groups take power, we'll be the first that they shoot.

We need to create an organization that exists outside and within the movement that links up and horizontally coordinates struggle to attain a dual power situation to negate the state once and for all.

Hardly fucking lebensraum is it.

Angelus Novus
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Dec 23 2008 12:44
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Oh give it a break, your hysterical whuinging is just starting to get annoying. It was one comment that was a bit dubious and carried some dodgy anti-semetic undertones.

Likening Aryanization to the expropriation of capital has anti-semitic "undertones"?

Quote:
Chances are it slipped through the net, since libcom admins all have full time jobs that take up there time and are not being a bunch of pathetic post grad wankers,

Oh darling, I love it when you get all populist. Of course, this particular "post-grad wanker" has no higher education to speak of and has spent almost his entire post-secondary school life inside of the trade union movement, but you get a point for effort. It's only the fourth time this smear has been lobbed at me. Never give up!

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jef costello
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Dec 23 2008 12:50
tough_crowd wrote:
Please stop bending over backwards to whitewash and justify what he said. He characterized "Araynization" as anti-capitalist, and damaging the exhibit as a "good idea." He was approving of Nazi "Araynization" policy.

Did you read the original post by any chance?

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jef costello
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Dec 23 2008 13:13
Jack wrote:
I don't have the full original post as context as it's deleted, but from the bit quoted i can't see how anyone could read it as anything but him refering to smashing the exhibit (or anything) as being an attack on capital, rather than 'aryanisation'. To me it reads as shit 'smash stuff' politics, rather than anti-semitism.

That would be my guess.
Tough crowd, you might want to give the BBC a ring.

echo
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Dec 23 2008 14:03

In what way can an exhibition, housed within a university, in memorial to the 'aryanization' of Jewish-owed business be usefully considered to be capital?

Indeed, in the thread on which wangwei made the comment, the article linked to that describes the attack (at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1226404730069&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull ) specifically refers to 'the plundering of Jewish businesses under the Nazis'. I'm somewhat confused as to Rob Ray, Jack and jef costello are trying to whitewash this blatantly antisemitic comment.

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Rob Ray
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Dec 23 2008 14:33

Again, there is no whitewash! I just posted a piece by wangwei in which he categorically states he is anti-nationalist ffs, what do you want, a signed affidavit?

The reason you can’t understand our view is because you’re coming from a biased starting point which assumes people are in favour of one thing if they are in favour of the other. It does not logically follow that because he likes the idea of taking capital off someone he also likes nazis.

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 23 2008 14:34

The point is though, that if you see a post that you think is out of order, you get in touch with an admin about it rather than making a hilarious denunciation and then continuing in your one (wo)man crusade, even after your original complaint has been upheld and action has been taken.

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madashell
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Dec 23 2008 14:37
Jack wrote:
Because it was almost certainly retarded rather than anti semitic.

None of us would usefully consider it capital, and we'd all think it was a stupid thing to say. It also probably wasn't anti-semitic.

It reads as pretty ambiguous to me. "In what sense is the plunder of capital a tragedy" could easily read as suggesting that Aryanisation was not a tragedy. That could be a result of bad phrasing, though.

Saying that the people crying about the admin's inability to know immediately when somebody posts a comment that might be viewed as offensive and delete it right away are, of course, fuckwits.

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jef costello
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Dec 23 2008 16:35
echo wrote:
In what way can an exhibition, housed within a university, in memorial to the 'aryanization' of Jewish-owed business be usefully considered to be capital?

Indeed, in the thread on which wangwei made the comment, the article linked to that describes the attack (at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1226404730069&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull ) specifically refers to 'the plundering of Jewish businesses under the Nazis'. I'm somewhat confused as to Rob Ray, Jack and jef costello are trying to whitewash this blatantly antisemitic comment.

welcome to the boards, appropriate name.
Who's whitewashing anything? I'm a long-standing poster who has never seen any evidence of anti-semitism from the admins or any of the other long term posters. I've not read the original post apart from the quoted part and I doubt you have either. One thing that is noticeable on this board is that few people do support palestinian nationalism or anti-zionism (except in the fact that it's a nationalism and as such oppresses people). I'd be interested to see this exhibit, if it's anything like the jewish museum I was in not long ago (I think it was in Germany come to think of it) where a fairly interesting set of exhibits finished up with a large section explaining that europe wasn't safe and that god had given the jews Israel so it was a good idea for them to all go and live there and make a new society.
I'm not going to apologise or whitewash anti-israeli sentiments or american etc because I think that they're stupid ideologies that mimic nationalism rather than counter it but in the same way I've got no patience for people using 9/11, the holocaust, the battle of Kosovo or anything else to excuse nationalism or any other anti-working class actions.

tough_crowd
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Dec 23 2008 16:49

The exhibit was not "plundered," it was attacked. What was "plundered" was jewish owned shops during the Nazi period. Therefore, wangwei´s comment was referring first to "Aryanization" (which he says is not a tragedy), and then secondly to the attack on the exhibit, which he commends.

Antisemitism on the left is quite common. What makes this statement so outrageous is wangwei´s characterization of "Araynization" as anti-capitalist.

tough_crowd
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Dec 23 2008 16:59

.

Angelus Novus
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Dec 23 2008 17:14
jef costello wrote:
One thing that is noticeable on this board is that few people do support palestinian nationalism or anti-zionism (except in the fact that it's a nationalism and as such oppresses people).

Yeah, I generally agree (see above), which is why I was disturbed to see whathisname's comment stand unopposed for so long. OK, so admins don't have the time to monitor every thread. I get it.

Nonetheless, I think there are basically no ambiguities in the post by whatshisname, for the reasons that "tough crowd" has already enunciated. The use of the word "plunder" and the reference to the "expropriation" of capital not being a "tragedy" was fairly unambiguous.

Quote:
where a fairly interesting set of exhibits finished up with a large section explaining that europe wasn't safe and that god had given the jews Israel so it was a good idea for them to all go and live there and make a new society.

Egad, Jewish nationalists behaving just like all other nationalists? Whoda thunk it?!

Quote:
I'm not going to apologise or whitewash anti-israeli sentiments or american etc because I think that they're stupid ideologies that mimic nationalism

They don't mimic nationalism, they are inherently nationalistic. Anti-Zionism is merely the ideology that Jewish nationalism is particularly evil, while Anti-Americanism is the assumption that European states are somehow more civilized.

mK ultra
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Dec 23 2008 17:39
Angelus Novus wrote:
Anti-Zionism is merely the ideology that Jewish nationalism is particularly evil, while Anti-Americanism is the assumption that European states are somehow more civilized.

What then does that make my american Jewish friends who are also anti-american, and anti-zionist? Are they antisemitic european nationalists?

Your critique has some merit, but don't overgeneralize. Perhaps where you live anti-americans are Euro-supremists and most anti-zionists are also anti-Jewish. Where I live all revolutionaries are anti-american and as I see it anti-zionism is essential to being against colonialism and racism.

Let's not loose track of the big issue here regarding zionism: land theft and apartheid. Millions of Palestinian descendants can't return to the land of their grandparents, stolen in living memory. Millions more live in an apartheid system which elevates Jews over everyone else. Supporting the struggle of the oppressed against this = anti-zionism.

This has nothing to do with the students ransacking the exhibit. I find no other explanation for that action than anti-Jewish racism, whether intentional or ignorant.

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Rob Ray
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Dec 23 2008 17:44
tough_crowd wrote:
What was "plundered" was jewish owned shops during the Nazi period. Therefore, wangwei´s comment was referring first to "Aryanization" (which he says is not a tragedy), and then secondly to the attack on the exhibit, which he commends.

My bit in bold. There is no therefore. That's the point. His comment wasn't referring to the reasons for the plundering it was referring to the plundering itself.

Now there could be an implication in there that he supports aryanisation, which is what makes it a stupid comment. But as the other quote I pulled shows, and you haven't bothered to even address, he is very clearly anti-nationalist, and therefore logically can't be pro aryanisation.

While it is possible that his politics are totally irrational and he is anti-nationalist and pro aryan, which is why it is worth asking, he has been on these boards for years now and while he makes a lot of stupid comments, I have never seen, and can't find with a search, any comments before now that could be considered in the slightest bit anti-jew or pro-aryan. Quite the opposite in fact.

Despite this, one somewhat ambiguous comment appears to be enough in your eyes to destroy his credibility in one fell swoop, without you even bothering to ask him. I find this unacceptable.

Angelus Novus
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Dec 23 2008 18:43
mK ultra wrote:
What then does that make my american Jewish friends who are also anti-american, and anti-zionist?

Morons. Certainly not communists. Communists are anti-nationalist, period. Communists don't make these fine distinctions between "good" and "bad" nations.

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Are they antisemitic european nationalists?

Gosh, no, of course not! After all, there can be no such thing as a Jewish anti-semite, just as there is no such thing as an anti-feminist woman, or black person with racist notions about black people! roll eyes

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Let's not loose track of the big issue here regarding zionism: land theft and apartheid.

Every single nation-state on the planet is an "apartheid" state, because every nation-state functions according to criteria of exclusion and inclusion.

Quote:
Millions of Palestinian descendants can't return to the land of their grandparents, stolen in living memory.

What a load of Blut und Boden crap. People have territorial claims on the basis of their lineage? What is this, Stormfront?

Quote:
Millions more live in an apartheid system which elevates Jews over everyone else.

Welcome to the world of nation-states. Surprised that Jewish nationalists aren't morally superior to other nationalists? Hermann Gremliza once correctly characterized this attitude as the notion that Auschwitz was a finishing school for humanitarians.

Quote:
Supporting the struggle of the oppressed against this = anti-zionism.

Anyone referring to struggles of the "oppressed", as opposed to social mediation via state and commodity, has no business referring to his- or herself as a communist.

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Django
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Dec 23 2008 18:46

I agree with all your points Angelus, but suspect that that poster may not refer to themselves as a 'communist' anyway.

mK ultra
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Dec 23 2008 19:21
mK ultra wrote:
What then does that make my american Jewish friends who are also anti-american, and anti-zionist?
Angelus Novus wrote:
Morons. Certainly not communists. Communists are anti-nationalist, period. Communists don't make these fine distinctions between "good" and "bad" nations.

no one said anything about "good nations"

mK ultra wrote:
Are they antisemitic european nationalists?
Angelus Novus wrote:
Gosh, no, of course not! After all, there can be no such thing as a Jewish anti-semite, just as there is no such thing as an anti-feminist woman, or black person with racist notions about black people! roll eyes

I take it you're being sarcastic and that you do equate being against zionism with anti-Jewish racism and anti-Americans in the U.S. with being euro-nationalists. How odd.

mK ultra wrote:
Let's not loose track of the big issue here regarding zionism: land theft and apartheid.
Angelus Novus wrote:
Every single nation-state on the planet is an "apartheid" state, because every nation-state functions according to criteria of exclusion and inclusion.

Sounds reasonable, but is it then wrong to focus on the states that are most apartheid like? Was the movement in solidarity with the liberation struggle in South Africa wrong to focus on South Africa due to the fact that Angola is also an exclusionary nation-state?

mK ultra wrote:
Millions of Palestinian descendants can't return to the land of their grandparents, stolen in living memory.
Angelus Novus wrote:
What a load of Blut und Boden crap. People have territorial claims on the basis of their lineage? What is this, Stormfront?

Do you disagree with the historical reality, or are you just uncomfortable with the implications for today? Yes, if someone kicked my grandparents off their farm and stole their land based on ethnicity and religion, I would have a claim to return to that land.

mK ultra wrote:
Millions more live in an apartheid system which elevates Jews over everyone else.
Angelus Novus wrote:
Welcome to the world of nation-states. Surprised that Jewish nationalists aren't morally superior to other nationalists? Hermann Gremliza once correctly characterized this attitude as the notion that Auschwitz was a finishing school for humanitarians.

What I'm surprised about is that someone who calls himself a communist can be such an apologist for imperialism.

mK ultra wrote:
Supporting the struggle of the oppressed against this = anti-zionism.
Angelus Novus wrote:
Anyone referring to struggles of the "oppressed", as opposed to social mediation via state and commodity, has no business referring to his- or herself as a communist.

Yet a communist I am.
If it's forbidden to speak of the "oppressed" please excuse my faux pas. Perhaps you could point me in the direction of something intelligable I could read about this point, because school or no school Angelus is quite indecipherable at times.

Angelus Novus
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Dec 23 2008 19:39
mK ultra wrote:
no one said anything about "good nations"

By claiming that being "Anti-Zionist" or "Anti-American" is somehow legitimate, you are by default dividing nations into "good" and "bad". Communists are anti-national, period. The U.S. nation-state and the Jewish national project in the Levant do not, from a consistent anti-nationalist perspective, require any specific mention.

mK ultra wrote:
I take it you're being sarcastic and that you do equate being against zionism with anti-Jewish racism

I equate Anti-Zionism (as oppposed to a consistent anti-nationalism that logically includes the state of Israel) with Anti-semitism, because that is exactly what it is.

"Anti-Jewish racism" is not a term I would use, because "Anti-semitism" has a logic that is distinct from racism (conspiratorial thinking, anti-cosmopolitanism, a truncated anti-capitalism focused upon financial markets and money capital, etc.). There are also forms of prejudice that are closer to the logic of Anti-semitism than to that of racism, such as the attitude towards Chinese merchants in Indonesia, or the way that Korean merchants are regarded in South Central Los Angeles.

Quote:
Sounds reasonable, but is it then wrong to focus on the states that are most apartheid like?

So I was correct, you do distinguish between "good" and "bad" states, or at the very least, between "bad" and "less bad" ones.

Quote:
Do you disagree with the historical reality, or are you just uncomfortable with the implications for today?

Communists have no business getting mixed up in the territorial claims of ethnically-defined national collectives. Even if one side has the good luck of possessing a nuclear bomb while the other side only has Kassam rockets.

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Yes, if someone kicked my grandparents off their farm and stole their land based on ethnicity and religion, I would have a claim to return to that land.

Ah, a state idealist.

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What I'm surprised about is that someone who calls himself a communist can be such an apologist for imperialism.

Right. Stating the tautology that nationalists behave like nationalists is "apology for imperialism".

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Yet a communist I am.

No, you're a liberal idealist who is disappointed when states don't behave according to your ideals.

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If it's forbidden to speak of the "oppressed" please excuse my faux pas. Perhaps you could point me in the direction of something intelligable I could read about this point

If you're looking for a communist analysis of the state, you could do a lot worse than to look here:

http://www.gegenstandpunkt.com/english/state/toc.html