Althusser defines the State as “a machine of repression, which enables the ruling classes to ensure their domination of the working class, thus enabling the former to subject the latter to the process of surplus-value extortion.” (Althusser 60) Along with “RSA’s” there are also “ISA’s” which are associated more with the private domain such as churches, parties, newspapers etc. (Althusser 61).
Both forces are strongly depicted in The Hunger Games. The RSA, also known as the Capitol, is more dominant in pushing ideologies within the film and as a result, a desire for a revolution is produced. The Hunger Games clearly shows that rebellion will occur in case the RSA is too domineering with its citizens. Class stratification and unequal segregation is also enforced through the RSA which is why there is ultimately a revolution. Class is separated based each districts’ resource and production value which again is also enforced through the Capitol’s power.
“Given the fact that the ruling class in principle holds State power, and therefore has at its disposal the Repressive State Apparatus, we can accept the fact this this same ruling class is active in the Ideological State Apparatuses”(Altusser 62). The Capitol seems to have complete control over every branch, organization, institute etc. Enforcing the Hunger Games as an annual event for every district keeps every citizen in their place and reluctant to revolt. President Snow essentially acts as a dictator by using aggression and fear to incite obedience.
Snow’s force is further established through the reaping, the live recording of the games, as well as the other ceremonies that lead up to the games itself. All of these mentioned act as an ISA due to the Capitol’s complete control.