Statism

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Statism

 

a school of political thought that treats the state as the highest product and goal of social development.

The principles of statism can be traced historically through many political doctrines. During the precapitalist period, they were used primarily as a substantiation and defense of absolutism; for example, Hobbes made use of statist notions in his doctrine of the state. Hegel asserted that the state is an end in itself and the highest of all goals. In bourgeois societies, it was originally believed that the state should have a limited role in the life of a country, and statism was a primarily antiliberal and anti-democratic doctrine propounded by reactionary sociopolitical forces demanding strong state power. The most extreme form of statism is fascism’s “total state.”

Anticommunists demagogically call the socialist system statist because of the important role that the state plays in socialist societies. In actuality the socialist state is not opposed to society or the individual; on the contrary, its objective is the creation of real opportunities for the comprehensive development of the individual. Its highest goal is the building of a communist society that has a communist form of social self-government.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.