Lesson 94 – Marxism, Part I

Reading: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (selections). In the video I mention a paragraph distinguishing the terms “socialism” and “communism.” You’ll find it at the bottom of this page.



The standard way the terms were used by the Soviets and their affiliated parties was that communism is the higher stage of socialism. After a proletarian revolution overthrows capitalism, a socialist regime will be established. Distribution will be based on the work that people carry out. As the productive powers made possible by the system increase, an economy of abundance will ensue. This system, communism, will be based on the principle, “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” The distinction between the two stages is found in Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme, but not the names “socialism” and “communism” to designate the two stages.