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Marxist Economics and The Transition to Pure Communism

QUESTION: Marxist Economics – The Transition to Pure Communism


Engels explains why the transition from socialism to communism must be gradual. Because private property cannot be abolished all at once, “the proletarian revolution...will transform existing society only gradually, and be able to abolish private property only when the necessary quantity of the means of production has been created.”1 Marx says, “Between capitalist and communist society lies a period of revolutionary transformation from one to the other.”2

Marxist Economics – Socialism will First Blend Capitalism and Communism
Lenin explains that the transitional phase of socialism will be a blend of capitalism and communism: “Theoretically, there can be no doubt that between capitalism and communism there lies a definite transition period which must combine the features and properties of both these forms of social economy.”3 Engels describes the features of the inevitable communist society: “Finally, when all capital, all production, and all exchange are concentrated in the hands of the nation, private ownership will automatically have ceased to exist, money will have become superfluous, and production will have so increased and men will be so much changed that the last forms of the old social relations will also be able to fall away.”4


Rendered with permission from the book,Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews(Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, 40 vols. (New York, NY: International Publishers, 1976), 6:350.
2 Cited in Kenneth N. Cameron, Marxism: The Science of Society (Boston, MA: Bergin & Garvey, 1985), 97.
3V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, 45 vols. (Moscow, USSR: Progress Publishers, 1980), 30:107.
4 Marx and Engels, Collected Works, 6:351.

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