Simply Marxism homepage

Socialism and Communism

Communism will be preceded by a transition period that has usually been called socialism or the dictatorship of the proletariat. This period will begin with a revolution that takes the means of production from the capitalists. Then follows a protracted and tortuous period of class struggle with a new bourgeoisie that will inevitably emerge because it is not possible to immediately eliminate the old division of labor. For some time society will still have a lot of hierarchy, and all levels of government including the very top will be full of phonies pretending to be revolutionaries and also former revolutionaries who have been corrupted by power. In this struggle workers will have to learn to run their own society without masters and be guided by the morality of mutual regard. This struggle will encounter many mishaps and reversals but final victory is premised on the fact that communism is the answer to the problems and limitations of capitalism. To date the only experience we have is of transition failure, in countries where the conditions for success were completely absent.