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"To each according to his contribution" is a principle of distribution considered to be one of the defining features of socialism. It refers to an arrangement whereby individual compensation is representative of one's contribution to the social product (total output of the economy) in terms of effort, labor and productivity.This is in contrast to the method of distribution and compensation in capitalism, an economic and political system in which property owners can receive income by virtue of ownership irrespective of their contribution to the social product.
The concept formed the basic definition of socialism for its pre-Marxist proponents, including Ricardian socialists, classical economists, collectivist anarchists and individualist anarchists, as well as for Marx, who contrasted it with "to each according to his need" as the corresponding principle of completed communism.
To each according to his contribution was a concept espoused by many members of the socialist and labor movement. The French socialist Saint-Simonists of the 1820s and 1830s used slogans such as," from each according to his ability, to each ability according to its work"or," From each according to his capacity, to each according to his works.” Other examples of this can be found from Ferdinand Lassalle's and Eugen Dühring's statements to Leon Trotsky's writings. Vladimir Lenin, inspired by Marx's writing on the subject in his Critique of the Gotha Programme , claimed the principle to be a fundamental element of socialism within Marxist theory.
Libertarian socialist thinkers, such as American anarchist Benjamin Tucker, defined socialism as a system whereby the laborer receives the full product of his labor through the elimination of exploitation and accrual of unearned income to a capitalist class.
The term means simply that each worker in a socialist society receives compensation and benefits according to the quantity and value of the labor that they contributed. This translates into workers of great productivity receiving more wages and benefits than workers of average productivity, and substantially more than workers of lesser productivity. An extension of this principle could also be made so that the more difficult one's job is – whether this difficulty is derived from greater training requirements, job intensity, safety hazards, etc. – the more one is rewarded for the labor contributed. The purpose of the principle, as Trotsky would later state, [ citation needed ]is to promote productivity. This is done by creating incentives to work harder, longer, and more productively. The principle is ultimately a stowaway from capitalism that, according to Marx, will vanish as work becomes more automated and enjoyable, and goods become available in abundance.
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Capitalism can lead to a situation where the means of production are owned by a small minority who do not produce, but rather live off the labor of others. Socialism is said to remedy this by putting the means of production in common hands and rewarding individuals according to their contributions.
In the Critique of the Gotha Programme , while criticizing Ferdinand Lassalle's ideas, Marx elaborates on the theory. According to Marx's analysis of the Programme, Lassalle suggests that "the proceeds of labor belong undiminished with equal right to all members of society". While agreeing that the citizens of a workers' society should be rewarded according to individual contributions, Marx claims that giving them the "full product" of their labor is impossible as some of the proceeds will be needed to maintain infrastructure and so forth.He then explains the nature of a communist society in its transition phase (socialist society), which does not emerge from its own foundations "but, on the contrary, .. from capitalist society; [and] thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges". And so, "accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society – after the deductions have been made – exactly what he gives to it". He explains this as:
What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labor. For example, the social working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual labor time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it. He receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such-and-such an amount of labor (after deducting his labor for the common funds); and with this certificate, he draws from the social stock of means of consumption as much as the same amount of labor cost. The same amount of labor which he has given to society in one form, he receives back in another.
In the paragraph immediately following Marx continues to explain how this system of exchange is related to the capitalist system of exchange:
Here, obviously, the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, because under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labor, and because, on the other hand, nothing can pass to the ownership of individuals, except individual means of consumption. But as far as the distribution of the latter among the individual producers is concerned, the same principle prevails as in the exchange of commodity equivalents: a given amount of labor in one form is exchanged for an equal amount of labor in another form.
Marx says that this is rational and necessary, and that once society advances from the early phase of communist society and work becomes life's prime want, distribution will occur differently. During the completed phase of communism, the standard shall be "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".
Lenin wrote The State and Revolution to inform the public and to prevent Marxism from becoming tainted by "opportunists" and "reformists", as he called them. The work is very important as it categorizes the "first phase of communist society" as socialism, with the completed phase being communism proper. The pamphlet also answers many questions and concerns of the Marxists of his time by utilizing the classic works of Marxism.
When he is set to describe socialism and its economic features he turns to the authority of Marx, especially the Critique of the Gotha Programme. Lenin claims that socialism will not be perfect since, as Marx said, it has emerged from the womb of capitalism and which is in every respect stamped with the birthmarks of the old society. This society, socialism, will be unable to provide people with total equality, precisely because it is still marked by capitalism. He also explains the difference between the old society and the new as:
The means of production are no longer the private property of individuals. The means of production belong to the whole of society. Every member of society, performing a certain part of the socially-necessary work, receives a certificate from society to the effect that he has done a certain amount of work. And with this certificate he receives from the public store of consumer goods a corresponding quantity of products. After a deduction is made of the amount of labor which goes to the public fund, every worker, therefore, receives from society as much as he has given to it.
Lenin states that such a society is indeed socialism as it realizes the two principles of socialism "he who does not work, neither shall he eat" and "an equal amount of products for an equal amount of labor".
Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky both mentioned the term in their works.
The Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL) was a Trotskyist group in the United States established in 1973 and disbanded in 1989.
Superprofit, surplus profit or extra surplus-value is a concept in Karl Marx's critique of political economy subsequently elaborated by Vladimir Lenin and other Marxist thinkers.
The Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany was a Marxist socialist political party in the North German Confederation during unification.
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" is a slogan popularised by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Programme. The principle refers to free access to and distribution of goods, capital and services. In the Marxist view, such an arrangement will be made possible by the abundance of goods and services that a developed communist system will be capable to produce; the idea is that, with the full development of socialism and unfettered productive forces, there will be enough to satisfy everyone's needs.
Labour vouchers are a device proposed to govern demand for goods in some models of socialism and to replace some of the tasks performed by currency under capitalism.
He who does not work, neither shall he eat is an aphorism from the New Testament traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle, later cited by John Smith in the early 1600s colony of Jamestown, Virginia, and by the communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin during the early 1900s Russian Revolution.
The ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) was Bolshevist Marxism–Leninism, an ideology of a centralised command economy with a vanguardist one-party state to realize the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Soviet Union's ideological commitment to achieving communism included the development of socialism in one country and peaceful coexistence with capitalist countries while engaging in anti-imperialism to defend the international proletariat, combat capitalism and promote the goals of communism. The state ideology of the Soviet Union—and thus Marxism–Leninism—derived and developed from the theories, policies and political praxis of Lenin and Stalin.
Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that originates in the works of 19th century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxism analyzes and critiques the development of class society and especially of capitalism as well as the role of class struggles in systemic, economic, social and political change. It frames capitalism through a paradigm of exploitation and analyzes class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development – materialist in the sense that the politics and ideas of an epoch are determined by the way in which material production is carried on.
In Marxist thought, a communist society or the communist system is the type of society and economic system postulated to emerge from technological advances in the productive forces, representing the ultimate goal of the political ideology of communism. A communist society is characterized by common ownership of the means of production with free access to the articles of consumption and is classless, stateless, and moneyless, implying the end of the exploitation of labour.
The Critique of the Gotha Programme is a document based on a letter by Karl Marx written in early May 1875 to the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany (SDAP), with whom Marx and Friedrich Engels were in close association.
In Marxist theory and Marxian economics, the immiseration thesis, also referred to as emiseration thesis, is derived from Karl Marx's analysis of economic development in capitalism, implying that the nature of capitalist production stabilizes real wages, reducing wage growth relative to total value creation in the economy, leading to the increasing power of capital in society.
State socialism is a political and economic ideology within the socialist movement that advocates state ownership of the means of production. This is intended either as a temporary measure, or as a characteristic of socialism in the transition from the capitalist to the socialist mode of production or to a communist society. State socialism was first theorised by Ferdinand Lassalle. It advocates a planned economy controlled by the state in which all industries and natural resources are state-owned.
Exploitation of labour is a concept defined as, in its broadest sense, one agent taking unfair advantage of another agent. It denotes an unjust social relationship based on an asymmetry of power or unequal exchange of value between workers and their employers. When speaking about exploitation, there is a direct affiliation with consumption in social theory and traditionally this would label exploitation as unfairly taking advantage of another person because of their inferior position, giving the exploiter the power.
The socialist mode of production, sometimes referred to as the communist mode of production, or simply (Marxian) socialism or communism as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels used the terms communism and socialism interchangeably, is a specific historical phase of economic development and its corresponding set of social relations that emerge from capitalism in the schema of historical materialism within Marxist theory. The Marxist definition of socialism is that of production for use-value, therefore the law of value no longer directs economic activity. Marxist production for use is coordinated through conscious economic planning. According to Marx, distribution of products is based on the principle of "to each according to his needs"; Soviet models often distributed products based on the principle of "to each according to his contribution". The social relations of socialism are characterized by the proletariat effectively controlling the means of production, either through cooperative enterprises or by public ownership or private artisanal tools and self-management. Surplus value goes to the working class and hence society as a whole.
Revolutionary socialism is a political philosophy, doctrine, and tradition within socialism that stresses the idea that a social revolution is necessary to bring about structural changes in society. More specifically, it is the view that revolution is a necessary precondition for transitioning from a capitalist to a socialist mode of production. Revolution is not necessarily defined as a violent insurrection; it is defined as a seizure of political power by mass movements of the working class so that the state is directly controlled or abolished by the working class as opposed to the capitalist class and its interests.
Social ownership is the appropriation of the surplus product, produced by the means of production, or the wealth that comes from it, to society as a whole. It is the defining characteristic of a socialist economic system. It can take the form of community ownership, state ownership, common ownership, employee ownership, cooperative ownership, and citizen ownership of equity. Traditionally, social ownership implied that capital and factor markets would cease to exist under the assumption that market exchanges within the production process would be made redundant if capital goods were owned and integrated by a single entity or network of entities representing society; but the articulation of models of market socialism where factor markets are utilized for allocating capital goods between socially owned enterprises broadened the definition to include autonomous entities within a market economy. Social ownership of the means of production is the common defining characteristic of all the various forms of socialism.
Orthodox Marxism is the body of Marxist thought that emerged after the death of Karl Marx (1818–1883) and which became the official philosophy of the majority of the socialist movement as represented in the Second International until the First World War in 1914. Orthodox Marxism aims to simplify, codify and systematize Marxist method and theory by clarifying the perceived ambiguities and contradictions of classical Marxism.
A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovereign state constitutionally dedicated to the establishment of socialism. The term communist state is often used synonymously in the West, specifically when referring to one-party socialist states governed by Marxist–Leninist communist parties, despite these countries being officially socialist states in the process of building socialism and progressing toward a communist society. These countries never describe themselves as communist nor as having implemented a communist society. Additionally, a number of countries that are multi-party capitalist states make references to socialism in their constitutions, in most cases alluding to the building of a socialist society, naming socialism, claiming to be a socialist state, or including the term people's republic or socialist republic in their country's full name, although this does not necessarily reflect the structure and development paths of these countries' political and economic systems. Currently, these countries include Algeria, Bangladesh, Guyana, India, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
Permanent revolution is the strategy of a revolutionary class pursuing its own interests independently and without compromise or alliance with opposing sections of society. As a term within Marxist theory, it was first coined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as early as 1850, but since then it has been used to refer to different concepts by different theorists, most notably Leon Trotsky.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Marxism:
Under socialism, each individual would be expected to contribute according to capability, and rewards would be distributed in proportion to that contribution. Subsequently, under communism, the basis of reward would be need.
Property income is, by definition, received by virtue of owning property. Rent is received from the ownership of land or natural resources; interest is received by virtue of owning financial assets; and profit is received from the ownership of production capital. Property income is not received in return for any productive activity performed by its recipients.