We explain what scientific communism is, what this set of theories consisted of and what were its foundations.
What is scientific communism?
The term scientific communism or scientific socialism is used to distinguish the political theories enunciated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels , whose theoretical foundation lay in the doctrine of historical materialism, of the rest of the socialist currents that existed in the 19th century, whose lack of “scientific” bases, as these two author thinkers understood, turned them into unviable projects, deserving of the title of “utopian socialism.”
The historical materialism proposed by Marx and Engels proposed that the reality of societies was a consequence of the eternal struggle between the classes that compose it to control the means of production, called ” class struggle .” This conflict mobilized society towards change (it was the “engine of history”) and should lead to the dictatorship of the proletariat, that is, the control of the means of production by the proletariat, the industrial workers.
Scientific communism, thus, differed from the other currents in that they did not propose a way of overcoming capitalism , but were content with a critical reading of the system. However, Marx and Engels recognized in their work the importance of “utopian” backgrounds such as Robert Owen, Henri de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, Luois Blanc and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, among others.
At present, there is no need for a distinction between scientific and utopian socialism, given that Marx’s work forever changed the critical way of interpreting capitalist society , beginning the different aspects of Marxism . For example, the one that prevailed in the Soviet Union was the interpretation of Vladimir Ilich “Lenin”, for what happened to be called “Marxism-Leninism”.
Fundamentals of scientific communism
The foundations of communism proposed by Marx and Engels can be summarized in the following:
- The class struggle as the engine of history . As has been said, Marx understood social change as a result of the tensions of this confrontation between the social classes , to see which was left with the control of the means of production of the time.
- The exploitation of man by man . According to Marx, capitalism as a system operated based on the use of the prevailing social class, the industrial bourgeoisie , of the proletariat’s labor force. This is possible thanks to the fact that the former control the means of production and in exchange for a monthly salary , they buy from the worker their effort to produce marketable goods, maintaining for themselves the surplus of the labor (surplus value), since a worker produces daily more than what you consume per month.
- The dictatorship of the proletariat . The advent of a classless society, communism , was possible according to Marx only after crossing the dictatorship of the proletariat, that is, a revolutionary transition in which the structures of oppression would be destroyed and progress towards communal property, community production and the injustices of capital would be overcome.
- The collectivization . Overcoming private property and the selfish and accumulative principles of capitalism would lead to a plural and fairer society.