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Beyond Leviathan: Critique of the State


István Mészáros was one of the greatest political theorists of the twentieth century. Left unfinished at the time of his death, Beyond Leviathan is written on the magisterial scale of his previous book, Beyond Capital, and meant to complement that work. It focuses on the transcendence of the state, along with the transcendence of capital and alienated labor, while traversing the history of political theory from Plato to the present. Aristotle, More, Machiavelli, and Vico are only a few of the thinkers discussed in depth.

The larger objective of this work is no less than to develop a full-fledged critique of the state, in the Marxian tradition, and set against the critique of capital. Not only does it provide, for the first time, an-all-embracing Marxian theory of the state, it gives new political meaning to the notion of “the withering away of the state.” In his definitive, final work, Mészáros seeks to illuminate the political preconditions for a society of substantive equality and substantive democracy.

In his scholarly and personal introduction, John Bellamy Foster traces the gestation of this masterwork and its place in the history of political theory.

“The pathfinder of socialism.”
Hugo Chávez, former Venezuelan President and a leader of the Bolivarian revolution

“Posthumously edited by Professor John Bellamy Foster, “Beyond Leviathan: Critique of the State” by Istvan Meszaros is a seminal work that will be an enduringly appreciated and valued addition to college and university library Political Economy and Religious Philosophy collections in general, and Communism/Marxism political science studies lists in particular.”
Midwest Book Review

István Mészáros was a professor emeritus at the University of Sussex and a world renowned philosopher and critic. He authored Marx’s Theory of Alienation, Beyond Capital, and over a dozen other titles.


For a discussion of this book, see above or head here.

For excerpts, see here.

Publication Date: 02/22/2022

Number of Pages: 512

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-58367-949-4

Cloth ISBN: 978-1-58367-950-0

eBook ISBN: 978-1-58367-951-7