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Transition Period

Marx's Conception of Socialism - Part 1

(The following is a transcript of a talk given earlier this year)

As Marx envisaged society moving forward from capitalism to socialism, anything he had to say about the society of the future is of interest, but it is important to notice two things about what he said. Firstly, he never set out a comprehensive outline of socialist society. Secondly, he made scattered incidental references to the society of the future at different times in his life and in dealing with different subjects, so a lot of these ideas are in the air, as it were, and we have to do our own thinking about them.

Book Review: 'William Morris The Marxist Dreamer'

Romantic revolutionary

'William Morris: The Marxist Dreamer', by Paul Meier. (2 Vols. Harvester Press 1978)

Cooking the Books: Mises is Irrelevant

The 'Weekly Worker' (28 April) carried an interesting article by the Trotskyoid Hillel Ticktin which, unusually for someone from his political background, gave a good description of socialism which (also unusually) he called socialism:

‘A distinguishing mark of socialism is that distribution would operate according to need, rather than input … people will be able to walk into a distribution point and pick up what they need.’

‘In a socialist society you would expect workers to work in the way that they judge is correct. Since a worker’s incentive under socialism is not money, they work as best they can in order that they not only fulfil what they are doing for the collectivity, but for themselves. You would expect that they would work as well as they can, without any need for discipline from outside.’

The 'Transition Period'

There are many people who cannot shake themselves clear of the Labour Party because they believe that Socialism cannot be established as a complete and revolutionary revolution change. They believe that between Capitalism and Socialism lies a period of State ownership which, they contend, will be neither Capitalism nor Socialism. Consequently they pin their faith to the Labour Party as the party which will inaugurate this “transition period”.

The idea of a transition period, during which some fundamental features of capitalism would still remain, is old, and was taken for granted by the reform parties that sprang up during the second half of the last century and the idea has persisted until to-day.

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