Socialism vs. Communism

Wages are determined through the antagonistic struggle between capitalist and worker. Victory goes necessarily to the capitalist. The capitalist can live longer without the worker than can the worker without the capitalist” (Marx qtd. in Melchert 512).

Private Property

Why is private property so important to capitalism?

What must communism eradicate private property?

What is the difference between individual property and private property?

What kinds of alienation do people experience under capitalism? (Review Melchert’s example of the tree, 513).

“The distinguishing feature of communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few….

Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of the petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that…


Here, unexpected damp praise from Winston Churchill about socialism:

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

Note how the balanced structure of this sentence furthers the comparison being made (vice/virtue; capitalism/socialism; unequal/equal; blessings/miseries).

A less effective way (a less rhetorical way) of presenting the same content would be to say that Capitalism breeds envy and unequal distribution of wealth whereas Communism breeds sharing and the equal distribution of poverty. Not only is this second version less sophisticated, it’s also not as easy to grasp.


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