Showing socialism and communism to be the same

May 2024 Forums General discussion Showing socialism and communism to be the same

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  • #188793
    maxhess
    Participant

    Is there a Marx quote including the word “socialism” or “socialist” showing it meaning the same as communism?

    The best I can come up with is “The bourgeoisie is just as necessary a precondition for the socialist revolution as is the proletariat itself.”

    #188794
    ALB
    Keymaster

    There’s Marx’s comments in 1875 in his Critique of the Gotha Programme on the section of that programme which reads:

    “Starting from these basic principles, the German workers’ party strives by all legal means for the free state—and—socialist society: that abolition of the wage system together with the iron law of wages — and—exploitation in every form; the elimination of all social and political inequality.”

    In section II of his critique, where he lambasts the “iron law of wages”, he talks of critics using the existence of this so-called law to criticise “socialism”:

    “Basing themselves directly on this, the economists have been proving for 50 years and more that socialism cannot abolish poverty, which has its basis in nature, but can only make it general, distribute it simultaneously over the whole surface of society! “

    In section IV where he lambasts the idea of a “free state” he uses the term “communist society” three times as the society that will follow on from capitalism and which he had already defined in section I as “the co-operative society based on common ownership of the means of production” where “the producers do not exchange their products.”

    So, here, in the same piece of writing, he uses the words “socialism” and “communist society” to mean the same, and he doesn’t object to the Gotha Programme referring to what will replace capitalism and abolish the wages system as “socialist society”.

     

    #188795
    PartisanZ
    Participant

    That is where I had been looking too.

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01d.htm

    I can’t find the hard quote you seek only his critique of the various ‘shabby forms’ (Engels) and strands of ‘socialisms’.

    But he is clear enough as to what revolutionaries i.e. proletarian parties need to be.

    The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.

    #188796
    PartisanZ
    Participant

    Oh excellent Adam I had brain freeze..

    Critique of the Gotha Programme 

     

    #188797
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • The key to this question is the Gotha programme and that is where Lenin and others distorted the whole idea
    #188799
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Is this just Marx or can Engels be called as a witness? If so, there’s his famous explanation in his 1888 preface to the English translation of the Communist Manifesto where he explains why it couldn’t have been called the Socialist Manifesto in 1848 whereas if it had been published in 1888 this would have been what it could/would have been called.

    #188800
    robbo203
    Participant

    A few more snippets of evidence to prove the point .   Like Engel’s letter to Bebel, dated 18-28 March 1875, sharply criticising those anarchists who accused him and Marx of being statists:

    The people’s state has been flung in our teeth ad nauseam by the anarchists, although Marx’s anti-Proudhon piece and after it the Communist Manifesto declare outright that, with the introduction of the socialist order of society, the state will dissolve of itself and disappear

     

    So for Engels socialism would be a stateless, meaning communist society

    Then there is Sylvia Pankhurst’s article entitled “The Future Society” originally published in One Big Union Bulletin, 2 August 1923:

    The words Socialism and Communism have the same meaning. They indicate a condition of society in which the wealth of the community: the land and the means of production, distribution and transport are held in common, production being for use and not for profit.

     

    It is worth mentioning, also, that among the Russian social democrats, too, prior to their break up into the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions, this particular interpretation of “socialism” likewise prevailed. A key text called A Short Course of Economic Science, written by A Bogdanoff, talked of socialism being “the highest stage of society we can conceive”, in which such institutions as taxation and profits will be non-existent and in which “there will not be the market, buying and selling, but consciously and systematically organised distribution”. This book appeared in 1897 and a revised edition, published in August 1919, was used as a textbook in schools and study circles of the Russian Communist Party

    Interestingly, Stalin, himself, in this early period likewise talked of socialism in this fashion. For instance, in his Anarchism or Socialism (1906) he wrote that “Future society will be socialist society. This means also that, with the abolition of exploitation, commodity production and buying and selling will also be abolished and, therefore, there will be no room for buyers and sellers of labour power, for employers and employed — there will be only free workers“. In socialism, argued Stalin, “Where there are no classes, where there are neither rich nor poor, there is no need for a state, there is no need either for political power, which oppresses the poor and protects the rich. Consequently, in socialist society there will be no need for the existence of political power”. It was this same Stalin who, in the 1930s, asserted that the Soviet Union was now a fully-fledged “socialist state” controlled by the working class when he had previously excluded both the state and classes from his conception of socialism.

     

    There can be little doubt that it was Lenin and the Bolsheviks who were primarily responsible for this shift in the meaning of socialism although it has to be said that people like Kautsky too were responsible

     

    #188803
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Paul Robeson Jr

    http://nova.wpunj.edu/newpolitics/issue24/robeso24.htm

    Well worth a read

    #188804
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Kautsky also borrowed from La Salle the concept of the vanguard party

    The Communist Manifesto was also called the German Manifesto

    #191887
    PartisanZ
    Participant

    Here is something on the subject from our archives by ‘Hardy’.

    https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1936/1930s/no-384-august-1936/socialists-do-stand-equality/

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by PartisanZ.
    #191889
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Lenin knew that Marx and Engels never made a distinction or a division between socialism and communism, the problem that they were facing is that they knew that it was impossible to establish socialism-communism in an economical  backward society like Russia, and they had to justify the existence of a capitalist state, that is one of the reason why Lenin did recognize that state capitalism was a ‘step’ toward socialism, and the SPGB wrote an article which  shows that Lenin admitted his defeat. In the State and the revolution Lenin distorted and changed some phrases used by Marx on the 18 Brumaire, and cited passages out of context. It is one of the most dishonest pampblets written by Lenin, but it is one of the most popular one , as popular as What is to be done ? A pamphlet which he was not going to republish again, and he admitted that it was only applicable to Russia.

    https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1970/1970s/no-788-april-1970/did-lenin-admit-defeat/

    #191890
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    A very powerful argument made on this subject matter is Julius Martov works on the state, Bolshevism and sovietism. He did know pretty well the works of Marx and Engels available in that time, and he knew that there was not a distinction between socialism and communism, the problem with Julius Martov is that he was  discredited by Lenin and his followers, and he was expelled from Russia,  and most of his works were not widely  translated as the works of Lenin

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