Socialist state


August 19, 2022

A socialist state or people's republic is a state governed by a political party that declares its loyalty to the principles of Marxism-Leninism and socialism in general. Other terms used to indicate such a state form are democratic republic (little used to avoid confusion with parliamentary republics), people's democracy, socialist republic, workers' state, semi-state or even, improperly, communist state. The term socialist state can lead to misunderstandings with other forms of socialism, where state socialism is seen as the end (e.g. Arab socialism, democratic socialism, Eurocommunism or 21st century socialism: however at the political level often the denomination socialist state or people's republic is also used for these states), while in the people's republics it is nothing more than an intermediate stage towards the achievement of communism, a final stage in which the extinction of the state and the end of division have been achieved in social classes.



In Marxist literature the definition of a "socialist state" is a form of state in which the communist party holds power in the context of the dictatorship of the proletariat, thus excluding any form of competition with bourgeois parties in sharing political power. Furthermore, the exercise of the dictatorship of the proletariat, making useless and breaking the immense class repressive machine against the great majority (replacing the army with the people in arms), is already beginning to extinguish the state, reducing it, breaking it, making it a semi-state. However, in the past and present historical reality, within the sphere of established powers, the second condition has never occurred, such as to make it impossible for the Communist Party to revoke power. A country governed by a communist party is not automatically a "socialist state". There have been and still exist countries where Communist parties came to power through democratic elections, and ruled in the context of a multi-party democracy. Such situations can currently be found in the Indian states of Kerala and West Bengal, Nepal, Moldavia, Cyprus and the French territory of Réunion; the Republic of San Marino from 1945 to 1957. Communist parties also took part in democratic coalition governments in nations such as France and Italy. None of these nations qualify as a socialist state, because their respective communist parties do not have a monopoly on political power. Furthermore, the historical states of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, the Slovak Soviet Republic and the Bavarian Soviet Republic were short-lived revolutionary entities, which are difficult to define as socialist states, as the status of non-communist political parties within them remains unclear.

Communist theories and ideologies of government

The "socialist states" are based on a form of Marxist-Leninist ideology. All the historical "socialist states" that existed for significant periods during the twentieth century have their roots either in Soviet-inspired Marxism-Leninism or in Maoism. That these states were faithful to Marxism is a matter of contention. The Trotskyists were vocal communist opponents of the Stalinist and post-Stalinist Soviet Union and of Maoism, on the grounds that they were regarded as perversions of communist ideals and Leninist practice. Marxism argues, among other things, that human history has and will have a structure that alternates between periods of slow technological / economic development, and short periods of rapid changes in the technological and economic as well as philosophical and sometimes religious fields. The brief periods of rapid change occur immediately after revolutions. Marx imagined communism as an evolutionary phase fi