The 5 differences between socialism and communism

Communism and socialism are two of the most relevant concepts in the history of the past three centuries. In fact, much of the political, warlike and economic events that have taken place at this point have to do with the frictions that have existed between socialism and capitalism.

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

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

    Differences between communism and socialism

    In many ways they are similar, but they are not synonymous and care should be taken not to confuse them. In any case, it must be kept in mind that we will be talking about what is understood historically as socialism and communism, which does not mean that it coincides with the positions of the parties which are currently called socialists.

    Many of them are not socialists although they have the word in the name, as they experienced a drift that led them to keep their acronyms simply to appeal to an electoral base that previously supported them. Partially, the term “socialism” is used in a logic of marketing and image, Simply because there are a lot of people who feel socialist.

    That said, counted and debated, the differences between communism and socialism are as follows.

      1. They belong to different time points

      Socialism and communism can be understood as two stages of a political and production project: first socialism, then communism. In other words, that is to say in temporal terms, they are mutually exclusive, Although according to socialist theorists to achieve communism, one must first defend a socialist program. The reason we will see in the next point.

      2. One has classes facing each other, the other does not

      In socialism, the concept of social class is very important. A social class is a group of people which is defined by the relationship they maintain with the means of production. In other words, having to earn money working for others is not the same as having resources that allow others to work for you: factories, farmland, etc.

      Thus, socialism creates a context in which opposing social classes continue to exist, but this time the party that dominates the other is the one that was originally forced to sell its labor power without speculation.

      In communism, on the contrary, social classes no longer exist, because there is no one who privately owns the means of production, Since these have been collectivized. This makes it impossible to be in a position 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, the two place a lot of importance on the redistribution of goods, but do not offer the same thing.

      While socialism works under the motto “of the capacity of each, to each according to his effort”, communism revolves around the motto “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. That is to say that in communism, one assumes that one is already in a situation in which it is relatively easy to cover the needs of all the people, while in socialism yes there are limitations which prevent this, why in the way it is redistributed, the effort is taken into account.

        4. The role attributed to the State

        Historically, socialism has been divided in its conception of the state. While socialists of Marxist origin argue that the state cannot disappear in a short time, others associated with anarchism advocate its abolition, so that it disappears with one “movement”. Of course, both currents believe that the goal of socialism is make the state disappear.

        Communism, on the other hand, is a situation in which the state does not exist. From the communist point of view, the state is simply a mechanism that concentrates the power to impose political and economic measures in favor of one social class and against the other, therefore by force it must be absent from the aim pursued. .

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

        In socialism it is possible to regulate everything that happens in the economy of a single case, although there are also socialists who advocate decentralization.

        In communism, on the other hand, there is no entity strong enough to significantly modify the economy, the state having disappeared.

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