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★ Communism 101 ★
Welcome! This is a place for learning and teaching Marxism. No question is too simple, but please post overly academic, complicated, or otherwise "non-101" questions in /r/communism.
Before posting, please make sure you:
- /r/Communism discussion
- /r/Communism101 learning
- /r/DebateCommunism debate
- Basic Marxism-Leninism Study Plan
- Debunking Anti-Communism Masterpost
- Beginner's Guide to Marxism (marxists.org)
- A Reading Guide (marx2mao.com)
- Kapitalism 101 on political economy
- Marxist Philosophy understanding DiaMat
- Reading Marx's Capital (with David Harvey)
- Marxists.org largest Marxist library
- Marx2Mao.com another popular library
- BannedThought.net collection of revolutionary publications
★ Rules ★
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- This is a place for learning, not for debating. Try /r/DebateCommunism instead.
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- check the /r/Communism101 FAQ, and use the search feature
Star flair is awarded to reliable users who have good knowledge of Marxism and consistently post high quality answers.
★ Definitions ★
Communism: A term describing a stateless, classless, moneyless society with common ownership of the means of production. "Communism" can also describe the revolutionary movement to create such a society.
Socialism: An umbrella term used to describe social ownership of the means of production. Social ownership can include common ownership, state ownership or collective ownership. "Socialism" can also refer to an intermediate and transitional form of society between capitalism and communism featuring a Dictatorship of the Proletariat (sometimes referred to as "lower" or "the first phase of" communism).
Means of Production: An all-embracing term that describes every non-human material factor involved in the process of socially useful production.
Bourgeoisie: The capitalist class; the ruling class in capitalist society. The social class which owns the means of production and exploits hired labor. The buyers of labor power. This class is made up of a very small minority of the population.
Proletariat: The working class; the class of people in capitalist society who, deprived of any ownership of the means of production, must sell their labor power to the capitalists in order to survive. The exploited class; the producers of surplus value.
Exploitation: Exploitation is making use of some vulnerability in another person in order to use them to attain one’s own ends at their expense. Marxists specifically use the term to refer to the expropriation (theft) of the labor of a worker (via the extraction of surplus value) by the owners of the means of production. Capitalists make their profit from exploitation.
Dictatorship of the Proletariat: A state of proletarian rule where the working class organizes to democratically control the means of production, defend against bourgeois reaction, and create the material basis for a gradual transition to communism. "Dictatorship" in this sense does not mean rule by one individual; Marxists view any state as being under the "dictatorship" of a class. This term is the antithesis of the "Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie" that exists under capitalism where the minority class rules society.
State: The state, in Marxist terminology, is a mechanism for class rule. It is the primary instrument of political power in class society, consisting of organs of administration, and of force. A state of one kind or another will exist as long as social classes exist.