The revolutionary strategy proposed by the Communist Party's programme Britain's Road to Socialism (BRS) is based on the understanding that the state is a machine for the oppression of one class by another - the case for socialism is outlined by Gawain Little.
This is not an over-simplification or a one-dimensional view. Indeed, Marxists have been at the forefront of identifying and analysing the complexities of the modern state and its various functions.
However, these complexities cannot be allowed to confuse the question and mask the essential nature of the state - it exists to defend the economic and social system and the ruling class in whose interests that system operates.
Whether it's the workings of a legal and judicial system founded on the principle of private property, the use of the armed forces to ensure the extraction of super-profits abroad or the role of the state broadcasting system in marginalising dissent and whitewashing the crimes of imperialism, the state acts to maintain and reproduce the current system of inequality and exploitation.
The election of a left government will not change this. A host of mechanisms within Parliament and the political system, as well as outside them, help to maintain and where possible widen the gulf between the people and their elected representatives.
It is on this question that the strategy outlined in the new BRS differs fundamentally from those on the left who support a parliamentary road to socialism.
For communists there needs to be fundamental change not only in terms of who runs the state apparatus, but in the very structure, role and character of the state.
A left government in Britain would be surrounded not only by top state personnel who are hostile to socialism, but also by a state apparatus designed to protect and maintain capitalism - not to abolish it.
Even the most modest measures to shift the balance of power towards the working class are likely to come under sustained attack from within the state, the capitalist media and elsewhere.
The only long-term solution to this problem is to move beyond the parliamentary struggle.
The working class must take state power from the capitalist class and use it to begin building socialism and defeating all attempts at counter-revolution.
Britain's Road to Socialism does not envisage this struggle as a single decisive battle.
Rather, it will be a revolutionary process going through a number of distinct but interconnected stages proceeding from the contradictions within capitalism and within the state itself.
The inability of a democratically elected left government to make changes without facing serious opposition from within the state will help to expose the nature of capitalist democracy.
This leads directly to the need to replace it with a socialist democracy in which the great mass of the people can participate directly in the exercise of state power.
As the BRS argues "new bodies of working-class and popular power are likely to be necessary to monitor or take over state functions," the aim being to "restructure and then replace the administrative and political apparatus with one designed to dismantle capitalism and construct a system that serves the interests of society as a whole."
Although this struggle is an ongoing process, its purpose is the essence of revolution - the taking of state power by the working class.
While mass extraparliamentary activity and the election of a left government would represent an important first stage, it is the process that follows that will prove decisive.
The new BRS also addresses the question of the international balance of forces during the struggle for socialism.
It is highly likely that a left government in Britain would face a huge propaganda offensive - attacks on sterling and the government's ability to borrow in financial markets, denunciations and diktats from the EU Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Court of Justice, restrictions on imports from Britain and other measures of destabilisation.
Nonetheless it is important not to overestimate these dangers.
As BRS puts it: "The policies in the left-wing programme are intended to reduce vulnerability to outside pressure and sabotage. This can be done, for instance, by taking strategic sectors and enterprises in the British economy into public ownership. Taxing the wealthy and monopoly profits would reduce the need for government borrowing. Britain should keep out of the eurozone as public opinion is prepared for possible confrontation with EU neoliberal policies. Britain's industrial base must be rebuilt and economic and political relations strengthened with non-imperialist and developing countries."
Ultimately it will be for the working class and the popular antimonopoly alliance it has constructed to lead in both building and defending socialism in Britain.
There are many lessons we can learn from previous and existing socialist countries.
But socialism - and the higher stage of communism - will be an expression of the will of the British working class and popular movement.
There is no reason why people should not comprehend that we share this earth in common, that we are interdependent, that the individual good of the vast majority requires the collective good and that co-operation and unity is better than conflict and division.
For the sake of humanity, the future is communism.