Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Capitalism?

In contrast to Socialism and Communism, Capitalism is the control of goods and services through Corporations (Microsoft, McDonalds, Enron etc.) which produce only to make profits for their shareholders and the rich. Capitalism eventually leads to Imperialism as it expands, (the conquest and exploitation of other, usually smaller nations) or possibly even fascism. The primary source of profit, and thus the wealth of the capitalists comes from surplus labor. Surplus labor is the extra hours spent working by a member of the proletariat. This can only be extracted, exploited from the working class, a class that must sell its labor power to survive since it is separated from the means of production. Basically, if one is a factory worker and works an eight hour day, at the very least two of those hours go unpaid. Repeat, AT LEAST two of those hours GO UNPAID. If they were paid in full, there would be no profit for the capitalists. Their goal is simply to maximize profits by extending working hours and slashing wages. Essentially, Capitalism is the dictatorship of the majority (the proletariat or working class) by the minority (the bourgeoisie or capitalist class), in short, exploitation, greed, and death.

What is a Worker's State?

A Worker's State is what emerges immediately after the overthrow of Capitalism via a worker's revolution. The means of production and resources are nationalized and decisions concerning production are made through worker's democracy (usually councils, in the USSR these were called ‘soviets’). In a healthy state development will steadily increase as the bourgeoisie is held in check and Socialism will emerge. A Worker's State is unstable however and can degenerate however (as did the USSR) or can even come into existence deformed (as did nations such as China, Cuba, North Korea, etc). However, it is important to note that many of the states mentioned have degenerated or were born deformed as a result of siege by the bourgeoisie and the possession of a peasant majority (peasant’s are a class separate from the proletariat and have different interests and tendencies). Finally, although they are degenerated or deformed, the worst Worker’s State is more advanced than the best capitalist state and deserves defense against capitalist aggression and counter-revolution. What IS needed in the Worker’s States is a new political revolution by the proletariat to oust the bureaucratic parasites holding down human rights and appropriating labor to maintain their own privileged lifestyle.

What is Socialism?

Socialism is a transitional phase from Capitalism to Communism. The working class (the proletariat) controls the means of production (factories, machinery, resources, land, ect) and re-distributes the wealth. It is a period Marx calls "Dictatorship of the Proletariat". Wages are paid through labor certificates, or more likely in our modern era, labor credits, and these are given only through labor. Less work is required by each worker throughout the day unless they volunteer it, as a great amount of surplus value is no longer required for a capitalist’s profit. What is required for a time however, is for some labor to be appropriated by the state to keep useful social programs running and to generate economic growth. Society also continues to become more advanced and eventually Communism emerges as all class is destroyed.

What is Communism?

Communism is the final phase following a period of Socialist transition after the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. Communism results through the transition and advancement of a healthy worker's state and Socialism. Communism has no class or money, and the society works as the old Marxist slogan goes "from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs." This means that people will have reached discipline enough to work for the good of society, and as a result will take what they need or want, but not so much as there could be someone else who needs it more.

How is Communism achieved in countries like the US?

By the unity of the working class and the development of internal class consciousness. Each individual of the proletariat must realize that Capitalism cannot solve the problems it creates. A democratic vanguard worker’s party must emerge to lead the revolution, though always maintain a grassroots basis (unlike the later Bolsheviks).

How do you 'get ahead' in a Communsim?

Ahead of who or what? Under Capitalism, one attempts to get ahead of other people, under Socialism and later Communism we all get ahead together. The classless society would theoretically move forward under the banner of progress for the greatest good.

Why did Communism fail in the USSR?

First of all, it is important to note that the USSR never reached the communist stage described by Marx and Engels. They began as a healthy Worker’s State, but then as a result of civil war, famine, imperialist invasion, and other hardships, bureaucratization and the destruction of Soviet democracy occurred. Through war many class conscious and valuable workers were killed. This resulted in a Stalinist dictatorship. Stalin and his bureaucrats craved power, and were determined to hold onto it by any means. The bureaucracy was a parasite upon the body of the working class, though not another class. By 1924 the Soviet Union had become a degenerated Worker’s State with a state-capitalist economy. This began the long counter-revolution which eventually culminated in the destruction of the USSR in the late 1980's.

Why are so many people trying to leave Cuba?

The main reason is because they are suffering due to our 40 year blockade and cutoff of trade. In addition, the conditions are not exceptionally good in Cuba Fidel Castro is a dictator leading a Stalinist bureaucracy. It is important to distinguish however, that Cuba does have decent edges over other nations, including the best health care system in the world. Housing is moderate and provided to all people, and few go hungry. In addition, the Cuban people adore their revolution and the leader before Castro was a US backed dictator named Batista who murdered many and essentially ran Cuba as a puppet state of US Imperialism, an island of casinos and whore houses. Perhaps one day true Communism will come to Cuba.

Was Stalin a Communist?

No, he was a Stalinist which means a bureaucratic dictator that is very similar to fascism. Even Trotsky noted that the only difference between the USSR and Nazi Germany was that the Soviet Union lacked the racist pogroms and possessed a different class structure. The Left Opposition against him was crushed, and leader Leon Trotsky exiled because of Stalin's need to preserve his power. This was very anti-democratic and anti-Marxist.

Are you still allowed freedom in a Communist/Socialist Country?

Of course, of course! If you still think otherwise, please read this entire FAQ again. A Socialist and later Communist society would never allow infringement, censorship, or an attack on human rights. Freedom of all sorts is treasured, as are the skills and worth of every single man, women, and child. Oh wait, there is one freedom abolished. The freedom to exploit another person.