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Ideological State Apparatuses
Ideological state apparatuses

French Marxist Louis Althusser argued that the perpetual class war between the bourgeoisie and proletariat required the capitalist state (and all predecessor states in class societies), to be an essentially repressive organization: an orthodox Marxist contention. But Althusser argued that the repressive state apparatuses (RSAs), which corresponded closely to Marx's conception of the state and included the courts, prisons, police, army and the legislative and executive branches of government – indeed, all those organizations and institutions which sustained order by their claim to the legitimate use of coercion and physical force – constituted only one element in a twofold system of repression.

The ideological state apparatuses were private institutions located in civil society, which enjoyed relative autonomy from the state and the ...

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