Describe in plain English the differences between socialism and Marxism, and types of Marxism.

For example, how does socialism differ from Marxism? What are Leninism, Trotskyism, and so on. Are there meaningful differences we should be aware of? As I start to dip my toes into reading about Marxism, these leave me scratching my head and thinking the basic ideas of Marxism have become overcomplicated.

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  • Nicholas Anderson
    commented 2017-12-20 01:48:51 -0500
    Marx was more concerned with criticizing capitalism than building socialism. In his writings he established that worker ownership would result in a classless society. This would be a natural consequence of capitalism’s exploitative nature. This could occur peacefully or otherwise. The term coined in his writing is Permanent Revolution, a concept that Trotsky idealized in his writings and subsequent criticisms of Stalinism. Stalin essentially believed that capitalism was a necessary agent to develop the industry which would support socialism. This resulted in the State-Capitalism that defined the Soviet Union. Lenin is a little bit more complicated. I have not read enough of his work to interpret it. For that matter the other things I said are gross oversimplifications, but you did ask for plain English. I would also appreciate more information on this subject if possible.
  • Nicholas Anderson
    tagged this with upvote 2017-12-20 01:48:50 -0500
  • D E
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-12-18 21:35:09 -0500