The social order which, through revolutionary action by the working class and its allies, replaces capitalism. It is “the first phase of Communist society, as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society” (Marx). It is the social order in which the exploitation of man by man has ended because the toiling masses own the means of production. In contrast with the higher phase of Communist society, where each “gives according to his ability, and receives according to the amount of work performed.”
Under Socialism, State power is in the hands of the workers, the Soviets being the political foundation and form of government, as in the Soviet Union. “Between capitalist and Communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. There corresponds to this also a political transition period in which the State can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat” (Marx).
Socialism is a “classless society” – classless in the sense that there are no exploiting or exploited classes. “According to the new (Stalin) Constitution, Soviet society consists of two friendly classes – the workers and peasants – class distinctions between the two still remaining” (History of the C.P.S.U.).
The society which develops from Socialism. Lenin describes Socialism and Communism as follows:
“If we were to ask ourselves in what way Communism differs from Socialism, we would have to reply that Socialism is the society which grows directly out of capitalism, that it is the first form of the new society. Communism, on the other hand, is a higher form of society which can develop only when Socialism has taken firm hold. Socialism implies the performance of work without the aid of capitalism; it implies social labor accompanied by the strictest accounting, control and supervision on the part of the organized vanguard, the most advanced section of the toilers. Moreover, it implies that standards of labor and the amount of compensation for labor must be determined. They must be determined because capitalist society has left us such and habits as uncoordinated labor, lack of confidence in social economy, the old habits of the small producer, which prevail in all peasant countries. All these run counter to a real Communist economy. Communism, on the other hand, is the name we apply to a system under which people become to the performance of public duties without any specific machinery of compulsion, when unpaid work for the common good becomes the general phenomenon” (Lenin).
“In a higher phase of Communist society, after the enslaving subordination of individuals under the division f labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor, from a mere means of life; after the productive forces have increased with the all-round development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly – only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be fully left behind and society inscribe on its banners: ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’!” (Marx).