[Marxism] What does state ownership have to do with socialism? | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Apr 19 11:09:01 MDT 2014
The other day I received an inquiry by email:
Hello, I am a young Marxist, and I have a question regarding
production. In a Socialism, Utopian and Scientific, Engels stated:
“The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist
machine, the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the
total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of the
productive forces, the more does it actually become the national
capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage
workers – proletarians. The capitalist relationship is not done away
with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples
over. State ownership of productive forces is not the solution of the
conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form
the elements of that solution.” –Engels.
From what I take from this, State Ownership was only advocated to
further develop productive forces to make way for socialism. But in the
Manifesto, it called for Nationalization of productive forces. However,
this is now redundant because production is already built up.
So my question is this: if state ownership of industry is not
socialist; what is? Would it be a decentralized planned economy run by
the workers through worker councils? If so; how would this operate and
how would planning go about? Without planning, we slip back into the
chaotic production of capitalism; only this time it’s worker owned.
Would the state own land and workers exercise workplace democracy on it?
As for communism (which obviously has no state to direct planning), can
you also describe the economic system it would operate on?
I am very confused about this subject, and I’d like to understand it
Since many other people might have the same kinds of questions, I am
going to reply publicly.
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