Socialism, Marxism and CommunismPresentation Transcript
Socialism, Marxism and Communism Chirag Gupta Jitendra Dhakar Tanmay Mudholkar
Meaning• Encompasses many political theories advocated by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels• Human actions and institutions are economically determined, class struggle is needed to create historical change and capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism
Based on• Materialist interpretation of historical development• A dialectical view of social change• An analysis of class relations within society
• Marxism also holds the view that as capitalism has succeeded feudalism, it too will be removed by socialism, followed inevitably by a classless society which governs itself without a governing class or structure. This is the Marxist idea of communism.
Meaning• “n. a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.• (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism”
Meaning (contd.)• The term ‘socialism’ has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state Communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the unrestricted workings of the economic market.
Meaning (contd.)• As an objection to capitalism: “Socialists complain that capitalism necessarily leads to unfair and exploitative concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of the relative few who emerge victorious from free-market competition—people who then use their wealth and power to reinforce their dominance in society.” (Britannica)
Some Concepts• Production for Use as opposed to production for profit. Closely related concepts: Use value and Exchange value.
Some Concepts• Production for Use as opposed to production for profit. Closely related concepts: Use value and Exchange value.• Economic Planning: Could be centralized (Lenin, Stalin et. al.) or decentralized (Trotsky)
Some Concepts• Production for Use as opposed to production for profit. Closely related concepts: Use value and Exchange value.• Economic Planning: Could be centralized (Lenin, Stalin et. al.) or decentralized (Trotsky)• State Socialism: Refers to public ownership of major industries, e.g. BAe in the UK, Indian Railways and Air India in India
Meaning• Communism is a approach which tries to achieve both classlessness and statelessness in the society by taking away from the wealthy and distributing to all.• From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
• The social organization in communism is such that all property is held in common by the community or the state.• There is no such thing as private property in true communism. Everything belongs to the state and the people are the state.
Examples• China: In China under Mao Zedong (from 1949- 1976), every worker was given employment and allocated houses by the government.• Also people were granted permission to enter universities or change jobs. This is why China is associated with communism.• Nowadays, only Cuba and North Korea fit the description of communist countries. In Cuba’s case, about 80% of businesses are owned by the government and 20% by the private sector.
Differentiating Socialism,Communism and Marxism
Socialism v/s Communism• Most Communist societies tend to be based on socialist principles. (not all: e.g. China)• Historically, most Communist countries have institutionalized active suppression of basic freedoms (e.g. USSR, DPRK, DDR); this concept is totally alien to socialism.
Socialism Different from Communism(contd.)• Socialism based on the holding of most property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the workers whereas communism based on the holding of all property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the community or state• From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.• Class distinctions are diminished. All class distinctions are eliminated.
Marxism v/s Communism• Marxism is the theory and Communism is the practical implementation of Marxism.• Communism is the realisation of a Stateless society where all are equal. Marxism is one of the frameworks by which such a state is developed.• Marxism is basically a system of analysis, and a way to view the world. Communism, on the other hand, is a political movement, a form of government and a condition of society.
Marxism v/s Communism(contd.)• Marxism views that just as society transformed from feudalism to capitalism, it would transform itself to socialism and eventually to communism.• The Communists believe that the transformation will take place through revolutionary means.
Marxism v/s Socialism• Marxism is a subset of socialism. It is one of several competing socialist theories.• History forms the basis of Marxism, Socialism is based on cooperative social relations and self-management
Marxism v/s Socialism(contd.)• Marx himself used the term socialism in a different context: as a necessary period between the capitalist and communist periods in history. On the other hand, the mainstream definition of socialism contains no such presumptions.
A Light ExampleAssume that you have a chicken• Socialism-my chicken lays two eggs. the government takes one and gives it to the guy who’s chicken didn’t lay any eggs.• Communism- the government takes my chicken and gives me an egg.• Marxism- my neighbours and I all bring in our eggs and split them evenly.
Socialist Thought in India• Two major Communist parties: CPI and CPI(M).• Both major national political parties have adopted socialist policies, though Congress tends to be more socialist.• Examples of socialist policies include JNNURM, NREGA, and the incentives given to educate girls in Gujarat.
Nehru and Socialism• Jawaharlal Nehru played an important role in encouraging socialism in India.• Created the Planning Commission of India, instituted 5-year plans, advocated formation of a mixed economy, redistribution of land, creation of IITs, IIMs, attempt at provision of free and compulsory primary education.• Strong tendency towards secularism in the Indian as well as the Western sense;
Socialism worldwide• ‘Welfare State’ involves redistributionist taxation and direct transfer of funds from state to services such as healthcare, education• First pioneered by Otto von Bismarck (who, paradoxically, also passed antisocialist legislation).• Today employed by many OECD countries: Nordic Model, UK, Canada, to some extent US
Growing Effects of Socialism• Free and compulsory education• Old-age pensions• Progressive taxation• High spending on infrastructure• Nationalization of some industries• Free healthcare• Labour Unions