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I disagree with that view. The state was the subject of a huge and divisive debate (in which Holloway was a major protagonist) within Marxism for two decades or more. I still think Gramsci and the late Poulantzas worth reading for their insights and Jessop nobly continues the struggle to adapt the Marxist position to current realities. My own simplified view is that the state is a ramshackle set of institutions existing at a variety of geographical scales that internalize a lot of contradictions, some of which can potentially be exploited for emancipatory rather than obfuscatory or repressive ends (its role in public health provision has been crucial to increasing life expectancy for example), even as for the most part it is about hierarchical control, the enforcement of class divisions and conformities and the repression (violent when necessary) of non-capitalistic liberatory human aspirations. Monopoly power within the judiciary (and the protection of private property), over money and the means of exchange and over the means of violence, policing and repression, are its only coherent functions essential to the perpetuation of capital while everything else is sort of optional in relation to the powers of different interest groups (with capitalists and nationalists by far the most influential). But the state has and continues to have a critical role to play in the provision of large-scale physical and social infrastructures. Any revolutionary (or insurrectionary) movement has to reckon with the problem of how to provide such infrastructures. Society (no matter whether capitalist or not) needs to be reproduced and the state has a key role in doing that. In recent times the state has become more and more a tool of capital and far less amenable to any kind of democratic control (other than the crude democracy of money power). This has led to the rising radical demand for direct democracy (which I would support). Yet even now there are still enough examples of the progressive uses of state power for emancipatory ends (for example, in Latin America in recent years) to not give up on the state as a terrain of engagement and struggle for progressive forces of a left wing persuasion.
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Folke, however, was writing in the context of a highly politicized Danish student movement and, rightly or wrongly, none of us in the Anglo-Saxon world took that much notice of his essay at the time. So it seems mighty odd that Springer has elected to write a rebuttal to this not very influential piece some forty two years after its publication and without, moreover, paying any mind to its historical and geographical context. We, rightly or wrongly, were too wrapped up in providing the mutual aid (spiced with great parties and fierce arguments) across multiple traditions (including anarchist) that might allow us both to intervene in the trajectory of mainstream geography and to survive within the discipline while producing a more openly political geography.