Stateless communism

Stateless communism

Stateless communism is the ideal, post-socialist stage of society which Karl Marx predicted would inevitably follow the historical stages of capitalism and socialism.

*Anarchists and Marxists both agree on the long-term desirability of a stateless society (which Marx called "pure communism").

*For Lenin, a classless society would be a wholly working class society, organised to produce according to socially managed goals. Such a society, Lenin suggested, would develop habits that would gradually make political representation unnecessary, as the radically democratic nature of the Soviets would lead citizens to come to agree with the representatives' style of management. Only in this environment, Lenin suggested, could the state wither away, ushering in a period of stateless communism. []

*The administration of socialist economy is a direct function of the state in its struggle to overcome class oppositions. So here we have a difference in principle in the relation between "society" and the "state", between "politics" and "economics", between the "administration of people" and the "administration of things". In such conditions the development of productive forces and the victorious course of the class struggle systematically prepare the transition to the swallowing up of the political functions of the state in administrative and economic functions, i.e. the transition to classless and stateless communist society. []

Usage notes

Often when academics or others argue about whether a certain country is "communist", the dispute hinges on the definition used:
#Marxists, along with other socialists, prefer to use terms like "communism" for the post-socialist stage Marx predicted, in which the government (or State) has "withered away"
#Others, particularly anti-Communists, prefer to use terms like "communism" for any country ruled by a Communist Party.

The contradiction is irreconcilable, because what Marxists call a "Socialist state" is utterly different from the predicted future stage of "communism"; and because what anti-Communists call a "Communist state" corresponds in most respects to what Marxists call a "socialist state".

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