Engels and the purpose of the State

The state is therefore by no means a power imposed on society from the outside; just as little is it “the reality of the moral idea,” “the I’mage and reality of reason,” as Hegel asserted. Rather, it is a product of society at a certain stage of development; it is the admission that this society has become entangled
in an insoluble contradiction with itself, that it is cleft into irreconcilable antagonisms which it is powerless to dispel. But in order that these antagonisms, classes with conflicting economic interests, may not consume themselves and society in sterile struggle, a power apparently standing above society becomes necessary, whose purpose is to moderate the conflict and keep it within the bounds of “order”; and this power arising out of society, but placing itself above it, and increasingly separating itself from it, is the state. 
Friedrich Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State.


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