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The 5 differences between socialism and communism

The 5 differences between socialism and communism

March 15, 2023

Both communism and socialism are two of the most relevant concepts in the history of the last three centuries. In fact, much of the political, military and economic events that have occurred at this stage have to do with the frictions that have occurred between socialism and capitalism.

On the other hand, both socialism and communism inform us about the social phenomena and ideologies in which a good part of the world population participates. That is why it is important to know well what they consist of.

In this article we will see what they are the differences between socialism and communism .

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Differences between communism and socialism

In many ways they are similar, but they are not synonymous and we must try not to confuse them with each other. Anyway, we must bear in mind that we will talk about what historically is understood by socialism and communism, which does not mean that this coincides with the positions of parties that currently call themselves socialists.

Many of these are not socialists despite having the word in the name, since they have experienced a drift that has led them to keep their acronyms simply to appeal to an electoral base that used to support them. Partly, the term "socialism" is used under the logic of marketing and image , simply because there are many people who feel socialist.

That said, in short, the differences between communism and socialism are the following.

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1. They belong to different temporal moments

Socialism and communism can be understood as two stages of a political project and production: first comes socialism, and then comes communism. That is to say, in temporal terms they are mutually exclusive , although according to the socialist theorists to reach communism it is necessary to defend a socialist program first. The reason we will see in the next point.

2. One has clashing classes, the other does not

In socialism the concept of social class is very important . A social class is a group of people that is defined by the relationship they have with the means of production. That is, it is not the same to have to earn money working for others than to have resources that make it possible for others to work for oneself: factories, farmland, etc.

Thus, socialism creates a context in which there continue to be opposing social classes, but this time the part that dominates the other is that which has originally been forced to sell its labor force without speculating.

In communism, however, social classes no longer exist, since there is no one who privately owns means of production , since these have been collectivized. This makes it impossible to be in a situation of superiority to be able to exploit people forced to work for others.

3. They have different redistributive principles

Both socialism and communism can be understood as models of production and as a social and political movement. In this last aspect, both give much importance to the redistribution of goods, but do not propose the same.

While socialism works under the motto "from each one its capacity, to each according to his effort", communism revolves around the motto "from each according to his capacity, to each according to his need" . That is to say, that in communism it is assumed that one is already in a situation in which it is relatively easy to meet the needs of all people, while in socialism there are limitations that prevent that, so when prioritizing the way in which it is redistributed takes effort into account.

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4. The role attributed to the state

Historically, socialism has been divided in its conception of the state. While socialist Marxist root defend that the State can not disappear in a short period of time, others associated with anarchism, defend the abolition of this, to disappear with a single "movement." Of course, both currents believe that the purpose of socialism is make the State disappear .

Communism, on the other hand, is a situation in which the State does not exist. From the point of view of the Communists, the State is simply a machine that concentrates the power to impose political and economic measures in favor of one social class and against the other, so by force it has to be absent in the goal which is pursued.

5. One opens the possibility of a centralized economy, the other does not

In socialism it is possible to make everything that happens in the economy be regulated from a single instance, although there are also socialists who defend decentralization.

In communism, however, there is no entity with enough force to significantly alter the economy, since the state has disappeared.

Communism vs. Socialism: What's The Difference? | NowThis World (March 2023).

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