How can a Socialist State pay public services without taking a surplus from the workers?

In one of your lectures you said that one of the economic failures of the USSR was that it didn't implement socialism as they took a surplus from the workers. But, how can a socialist State pay the public services if it doesn't take a surplus from the workers. Moreover, the surplus taken from the workers is reinvested on them so it isn't a theft, contrary to what the bourgeois does.

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  • Mateo Espada
    commented 2018-01-13 09:13:15 -0500
    state capitalism*

    Sorry for the mistake, Iosif.
  • Mateo Espada
    commented 2018-01-13 09:12:40 -0500
    I know, but in one of his lectures he said that if the State takes a surplus from the workers, it isn’t socialism but state socialism as the worker doesn’t get the total fruit of his labour. And my question is what does he suggest in how can the workers benefit from public services if the State doesn’t take a surplus from them.

    You are a ML and I know what you propose but I’m interested on what Richrd D. Wolff proposes as he is not an ML (as far as I know).
  • iosif Dzhugashvili
    commented 2018-01-12 22:54:16 -0500
    in a perfect world, the surplus would be allocated democratically by the communities that produce the wealth. i dont think you could ever collect 100% of your suplus value because the goods and services you depend on require a social investment to exist. under socialism as opposed to capitalism, a portion of the surplus is allocated to the workers state to be distributed to the larger society. Thats how the USSR went from a backward country to a world superpower in 50 years.
  • Mateo Espada
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2018-01-12 13:34:34 -0500