Like father likes son(s):
Back in the dark ages when I was a student Ralph Miliband's State In Capitalist Society was a required text. It made little impression on me but if I remember correctly the gist of it - and this really is a case of no shit sherlock - was that the various agencies that made up the state, whilst appearing to be 'neutral', were actually all connected by common background or interest.
For this hardly original insight he was given the status of a Marxist intellectual and darling of the New Left. And back in those days that was actually quite a handy label for anyone pursuing an academic career.
At the time I struggled to see what was particularly Marxist about what he was saying - the book was full of sociological description but very thin on politics - and above all there was an absence of any idea of class struggle. The State was simply something that 'happened' to a passive working class to keep them in their place.
Just as I was then bemused that their old man counted himself in the ranks of 'Marxists' so I am now equally baffled as to what the Miliband brothers are doing in the Labour Party, let alone contending for the leadership:
Ed the Brown-ite versus Dave the Blair-ite - or is it the other way round ?