Socialist Worker

Getting rid of racism and injustice means tearing down the state

Issue No. 2298

There has been a slew of revelations about the casual and brutal racism that pervades the Metropolitan Police.

Last week also saw some long overdue media attention for the case of Babar Ahmad, who has been in jail without trial or charge for almost eight years now.

These two cases have something in common apart from the targeting of ethnic minorities. Both involve arms of the British state—the police, the prison service, the justice system—using their powers to control us.

In theory the state is meant to be a neutral entity that looks after all private citizens equally and intervenes in disputes between them.

The state is meant to stand “above” society and preside over its conflicts.

But this theory does not match practice. In reality the state cannot stand apart from the huge material inequalities that scar our society.

The state is a tool of the rich and powerful—of the ruling class.

That’s the dirty secret behind the brutality of border controls, the racism and corruption of the police, the bias of the justice system towards those with money and influence.

And it’s why those who want to fight for justice, equality and socialism have to set themselves against the state.

It is a ruling class institution that stands in the way of these goals—and has to be torn down.

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