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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Piers BS: Anyone still a socialist/communist? (147* d) RE: BS: Anyone still a socialist/communist? 13 Jun 07

Hello Petr and all -

"socialism - from Marxs definition was a step toward communism.."

This is incorrect - this was Lenin's view, not Marx. Marx did state that where capitalism wasn't developed, such as Russia at his time of writing, there would need to be a higher and lower phase of communism but he nowhere referred to either as socialism or communism. This distinction is irrelevant now as capitalism dominates almost every corner of the world.

Let's define capitalism:

Capitalism. A system of society based on the class monopoly of the means of production and distribution, it has the following six essential characteristics:
- Generalised commodity production, nearly all wealth being produced for sale on a market.
- The investment of capital in production with a view to obtaining a monetary profit.
- The exploitation of wage labour, the source of profit being the unpaid labour of the producers.
- The regulation of production by the market via a competitive struggle for profits.
- The accumulation of capital out of profits, leading to the expansion and development of the forces of production. A single world economy.

To define socialism we need a definition that opposes the essential characteristics of capitalism, otherwise we are defining a form of capitalism.

Thus, welfare-states, nationalised health services, "progressive" taxation, are part of capitalism.

The definition I gave above is the most robust definition because it opposes capitalism, and opposes the contradictions of the various other 'socialisms' that have been proposed. Socialism as a moneyless, stateless, classless society is the only way to have a society where democracy, creativity, ingenuity and humanity can flourish.

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