Here are a collection of quotes which reveal the transitional nature of Communism.

Part 2 of This Series:

“No social order is ever destroyed before all the productive forces for which it is sufficient have been developed, and new superior relations of production never replace older ones before the material conditions for their existence have matured within the framework of the old society…” - Karl Marx

“The idea held by some socialists that we need capital but not the capitalists is altogether wrong. It is posited within the concept of capital that the objective conditions of labour - and these are its own product - take on a personality towards it, or, what is the same, that they are posited as the property of a personality alien to the worker. The concept of capital contains the capitalist” - Karl Marx

“The Communists therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. The immediete aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat” - Karl Marx

“In all probability, the proletarian revolution will transform existing society gradually and will be able abolish private property only when the means of production are in sufficient quantity” - Friedrich Engels

“So long as it is not possible to produce so much that there is enough for all all. With more left over for expanding social capital and extending the forces of production… there must always be a ruling class directing the use of society’s productive forces, and a poor oppressed class” - Friedrich Engels

“In any socialist revolution. After the proletariat seizes power and basically finishes the task of depriving exploiters and supressing their revolt. It is bound to give priority to the fundamental task of creating a social structure higher than that of the capitalists and improving labor productivity” - V.I. Lenin

“No one, I think, in studying the question of the economic system of Russia, had denied its transitional character. Nor, I think, has any Communist denied that the term Socialist Soviet Republic implies the determination of Soviet power to achieve the transition to socialism, and not that the new economic system is recognised as a socialist order” - V.I. Lenin

“Socialism is inconceivable without large-scale capitalist engineering based on the latest discoveries of modern science. It is inconceivable without planned state organisation which keeps tens of millions of people to the strictest observance of a unified standard in production and distribution. We Marxists have always spoken of this, and it is not worth while wasting two seconds talking to people who do not understand even this (anarchists and a good half of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries)” - V.I. Lenin

“State capitalism would be a step forward as compared with the present state of affairs in our Soviet Republic… I can imagine with what noble indignation some people will recoil from these words. What! The transition to state capitalism in the Soviet Socialist Republic would be a step forward? Isn’t this the betrayal of socialism? We must deal with this point in detail. Our state capitalism differs essentially from the state capitalism in countries that have bourgeois governments in that the state with us is represented not by the bourgeoisie, but by the proletariat, who has succeeded in winning the full confidence of the peasantry. On the contrary. The development of capitalism. Controlled and regulated by the proletarian state (i.e… ‘state’ capitalism in this sense of the term). is advantageous and necessary in an extremely devastated and backward small-peasant country…” - V.I. Lenin

“What would happen if capital succeeded in smashing the Republic of Soviets? There would set in an era of the blackest reaction in all the capitalist and colonial countries, the working class and the oppressed peoples would be seized by the throat, the positions of international Communism would be lost” - J.V. Stalin

“Either place yourself at the mercy of capital, eke out a wretched existence as of old and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon - this is the alternative imperialism puts before the vast masses of the proletariat. Imperialism brings the working class to revolution” - J.V. Stalin

“It’s true that [Mao] made mistakes in a certain period, but he was after all a principal founder of the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Republic of China. In evaluating his merits and mistakes, we hold that his mistakes were only secondary. What he did for the Chinese people can never be erased. In our hearts, we Chinese people will always cherish him as a founder of our Party and our state” - Deng Xiaoping

“No matter to what degree we open up to the outside world and admit foreign capital. It’s relative magnitude will be small and it can’t affect our system of socialist public ownership of the means of production. Absorbing foreign capital and technology and even allowing foreigners to construct plants in China can only play a complementary role to our efforts to develop the productive forces in a socialist society. Of course, this will bring some decadent capitalist influences into China. We are aware of this possibility: it’s nothing to be afraid of” - Deng Xiaoping

“Our reform is an experiment not only for China but also for the rest of the world. We believe the experiment will succeed. If it does, our experience may be useful to the cause of world socialism and to other developing countries. If we assume that by mid-21st century our population will have reached 1.5 billion and that we shall a per capita GNP of $4,000, then our total annual GNP will be $6 trillion, and we will place China in the front ranks of nations. When we reach that goal, we shall not only have blazed a new path for the peoples of the Third World, who represent quarters of the world’s population, but also - and this is even more important - shall have demonstrated to manking that socialism is the only path and that it is superior to capitalism” - Deng Xiaoping

“At present, we are still a relatively poor nation. It is impossible for us to undertake many international proletarian obligations, so our contributions remain small. However, once we have accomplished the four modernisations and the national economy has expanded, our contributions to mankind, and especially to the Third World, will be greater. As a socialist country, China shall always belong to the Third World and shall never seek hegemony. This idea is understandable because China is still quite poor, and is therefore a Third World country in the real sense of the term. The question is whether or not China will practise hegemony when it becomes more developed in the future. My friends, you are younger than I, so you will be able to see for yourselves what happens at that time. If it remains a socialist country, China will not practise hegemony and it will still belong to the Third World. Should China become arrogant, however, act like an overlord and give orders to the world, it would no longer be considered a Third World country. Indeed, it would cease to be a socialist country. I first addressed these points in a speech delivered at the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1974. The current foreign policy, which was formulated by Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, will be passed on to our descendants” - Deng Xiaoping

“Socialist politics with Chinese characteristics does not exclude political participation by private enterprise owners as long as they follow the basic principles of the leadership of the CPC, people as masters of the country, and rule of law. Therefore, the ruling Party should allow the private enterprise owners to participate in politics within the framework of the system with Chinese characteristics and grant them full expression of their economic needs and political will. Of course, their political participation should be conducive, rather than detrimental, to safeguard the purity and vanguard nature of the ruling Party and the healthy development of socialist modernisation with Chinese characteristics” - Jin Huiming

“The concessionaire is a capitalist. He conducts his business on capitalist lines, for profit, and is willing to enter into an agreement with the proletarian government in order to obtain superprofits or raw materials which he cannot otherwise obtain, or can obtain only with great difficulty” - V.I. Lenin

“Western economics’ knowledge about finance, prices, currency, markets, competition, trade, exchange rates, industries, enterprises, growth, management, etc., reflects the general laws of socialised mass production and market economy, and should be used for reference. At the same time, with regard to foreign countries, especially Western economics, we must insist on removing the rough and the essence, removing the falsehood and keeping the truth, insisting on focusing on me and using it for me. For the content that reflects the attributes and values ​​of the capitalist system, and for the content that has the color of Western ideology, Can’t copy it. In our economics teaching, we must talk about Marxist political economy. We must talk about the political economy of socialism in contemporary China, and we must not be marginalised” - Xi Jinping

Part 3:


“The working class did not expect miracles from the Commune. They have no ready-made utopias to introduce par décret du peuple. They know that in order to work out their own emancipation, and along with it that higher form to which present society is irresistably tending by its own economical agencies, they will have to pass through long struggles, through a series of historic processes, transforming circumstances and men. They have no ideals to realise, but to set free the elements of the new society with which old collapsing bourgeois society itself is pregnant. In the full consciousness of their historic mission, and with the heroic resolve to act up to it, the working class can afford to smile at the coarse invective of the gentlemen’s gentlemen with pen and inkhorn, and at the didactic patronage of well-wishing bourgeois-doctrinaires, pouring forth their ignorant platitudes and sectarian crotchets in the oracular tone of scientific infallibility” - Karl Marx

“Development of productive forces (which itself implies the actual empirical existence of men in their world-historical, instead of local, being) is an absolutely necessary practical premise because without it want is merely made general, and with destitution the struggle for necessities and all the old filthy business would necessarily be reproduced” - Karl Marx

“From that time forward Socialism was no longer an accidental discovery of this or that ingenious brain, but the necessary outcome of the struggle between two historically developed classes - the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Its task was no longer to manufacture a system of society as perfect as possible, but to examine the historico-economic succession of events from which these classes and their antagonism had of necessity sprung, and to discover in the economic conditions thus created the means of ending the conflict” - Friedrich Engels

“Though social production remains, the determination of value still prevails in the sense that the regulation of labour-time and the distribution of social labour among various production groups becomes more essential than ever, as well as the keeping of accounts on this” - Friedrich Engels

“The proletariat seizes from state power and turns the means of production into state property to begin with. But thereby it abolishes itself as the proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, and abolishes also the state as state. Society thus far, operating amid class antagonisms, needed the state, that is, an organisation of the particular exploiting class, for the maintenance of its external conditions of production, and, therefore, especially, for the purpose of forcibly keeping the exploited class in the conditions of oppression determined by the given mode of production (slavery, serfdom or bondage, wage-labour). The state was the official representative of society as a whole, its concentration in a visible corporation. But it was this only insofar as it was the state of that class which itself represented, for its own time, society as a whole: in ancient times, the state of slave-owning citizens; in the Middle Ages, of the feudal nobility; in our own time, of the bourgeoisie. When at last it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection, as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon the present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from this struggle, are removed, nothing more remains to be held in subjection - nothing necessitating a special coercive force, a state. The first act by which the state really comes forward as the representative of the whole of society - the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society - is also its last independent act as a state. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies down of itself. The government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The state is not ’abolished’. It withers away. This gives the measure of the value of the phrase ’a free people’s state’, both as to its justifiable use for a long time from an agitational point of view, and as to its ultimate scientific insufficiency; and also of the so-called anarchists’ demand that the state be abolished overnight” - Friedrich Engels

“Marxism is not a lifeless dogma, not a completed, ready-made, immutable doctrine, but a living guide to action” - V.I. Lenin

“Socialism is not a ready-made system that will be mankind’s benefactor. Socialism is the class struggle of the present-day proletariat as it advances from one objective today to another objective tomorrow for the sake of its basic objective, to which it is coming nearer every day” - V.I. Lenin

“In order to renovate our state apparatus we must at all costs set out, first, to learn, secondly to learn, and thirdly to learn, to learn, and then see to it that learning shall not remain a dead letter, or a fashionable catch-phrase, that learning shall really become part of our very being, that it shall actually and fully become a constituent element of our social life” - V.I. Lenin

“It means that, to a certain extent, we are re-creating capitalism. We are doing this quite openly. It is state capitalism. But state capitalism in a society where power belongs to capital, and state capitalism in a proletarian state, are two different concepts. In a capitalist state, capitalism means that it is recognised by the state and controlled by it for the benefit ofthe bourgeoisie, and to the detriment the proletariat. In the proletarian state, the same thing is done for the benefit of the working class, for the purpose withstanding the as yet strong bourgeoisie, and offighting it. It goes without saying that we must grant concessions to the foreign bourgeoisie, to foreign capital. Without the slightest denationalisation, we shall lease mines, forests and oilfields to foreign capitalists, and receive exchange manufactured goods, machinery etc., and thus restore our own industry” - V.I. Lenin

“There was only one such country at the close of the last century, when Anti-Duhring was published - Britain. There the development of capitalism and the concentration of production both in industry and in agriculture had reached such a point that it would have been possible, in the event of the assumption of power by the proletariat, to convert all the country’s means of production into public property and to put an end to commodity production” - J.V. Stalin

“We want to do business. Quite right, business will be done. We are against no one except the domestic and foreign reactionaries who hinder us from doing business. Everybody should know that it is none other than the imperialists and their running dogs, the Chiang Kai-shek reactionaries, who hinder us from doing business and also from establishing diplomatic relations with foreign countries. When we have beaten the internal and external reactionaries by uniting all domestic and international forces, we shall be able to do business and establish diplomatic relations with all foreign countries on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty” - Mao Zedong




I don’t think the Deng quotes will impress the Marxist-Armchairists though.


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