Briefly on Socialism

This is something that has been forgotten by many.

According to Marxism-Leninism, a capitalist society is one in which

1) the means of production — factories, land, etc., — are owned by individuals or corporate groups of individuals called capitalists;

2) this class of capitalists holds political power by controlling the state apparatus;

3) production is regulated by the profit motive; and

4) exploitation occurs, in that capitalists live, partly or wholly, on the labour of others, i.e., of their employed workers.

On the other hand, according to Marxism-Leninism a socialist society is one in which

1) the means of production are owned collectively by the workers;

2) this class of workers holds political power by controlling the state apparatus;

3) production is planned by the state; and

4) exploitation — the process of living partly or wholly on the labour of others — has been eliminated.

On the basis of these definitions, Marxist-Leninists describe the society which was constructed in the Soviet Union in the period following the revolution as a socialist society.

Published by Victor Vaughn

Anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist, monarch of Latveria, owner, National Secretary of the American Party of Labor (APL) and operator of "The Espresso Stalinist" blog.

4 thoughts on “Briefly on Socialism

  1. “On the basis of these definitions, Marxist-Leninists describe the society which was constructed in the Soviet Union in the period following the revolution as a socialist society.”

    If You don’t mind I think we should say it more precisely. Of course socialism didin’t come up into reality the very first day after The Great October Revolution. It took quite a few years to build it. Nevertheless since October Revolution we may consider Soviet Russia/USSR as the country being on the socialist road, even if it applied state capitalism during NEP years. It may be necessary also to say that socialism which was built later on under Stalin, was successively de-constructed by revisionists during the Khrushchev – Brezhnev – Gorbatchov years.

    I think, that You Espressostalinist, as the Marxist-Leninist, would agree with that :)

    1. Most definitely. As to when socialism began, it depends if you’re talking about ideology or economy. From 1917-1956 the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had a socialist line, whereas the economy began to be consolidated along socialist lines later on, especially during the 30s. By the 30s most of he kulaks and exploiting classes were done away with entirely, however.

      And as we all know, the USSR did not become capitalist overnight when Khrushchev took power – the economic reforms took another entire decade to abolish central planning, culminating in the Kosygin reform about 1965.

      There’s still some serious debate on this question, however. The problem is there is no “one, final” way to tell whether a country is capitalist or socialist that I know of, merely a combination of factors.

  2. I agree.

    “And as we all know, the USSR did not become capitalist overnight when Khrushchev took power”

    I remember Lenin’s words, that state capitalism differs from socialism on one simple factor: do the authorities act for the benefit of the people or not. Keeping in mind Kchruschev’s anti-Stalin traitorous manipulations long before 1956 recorded by Hoxha in his memoirs we may even consider USSR become ideologically or symbolically capitalist overnight :) But of course, as you’ve said, we must consider rather a combination of factors.

    1. Yes, but let’s keep in mind that Lenin said that at the very early stages of the revolution. Later on, the system of ownership, distribution, etc., would in fact be different fundamentally than state-capitalism of the Mussolini or social-democratic type.

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