Connexions Quotations

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Socialism and Communism
Quotes



Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.
- Karl Marx
  The German Ideology


Democracy is the road to socialism.
- Karl Marx


From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.
- Karl Marx


In a higher phase of communist society ... only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
- Karl Marx
  Critique of the Gotha Program


In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
- Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
  The Communist Manifesto


Marxism came into being, in self-conscious struggle against the advocates of the Educational Dictatorship, the Savior-Dictators, the revolutionary elitists, the communist authoritarians, as well as the philanthropic do-gooders and bourgeois liberals. This was Marx’s Marxism... “It was Marx who finally fettered the two ideas of Socialism and Democracy together” because he developed a theory which made the synthesis possible for the first time. The heart of the theory is this proposition: that there is a social majority which has the interest and motivation to change the system, and that the aim of socialism can be the education and mobilization of this mass-majority. This is the exploited class, the working class, from which comes the eventual motive-force of revolution. Hence a socialism-from-below is possible, on the basis of a theory which sees the revolutionary potentialities in the broad masses.
- Hal Draper


Those who take the meat from the table
teach contentment
Those for whom the taxes are destined
Demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill
speak to the hungry of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss
Call ruling too difficult
For ordinary men.
- Bertolt Brecht


What makes Capital so exciting is that, more than anything else Marx wrote, it brings to life his vision of modern life as a totality. This vision is spread out on an immense canvas: more than a thousand pages in the first volume alone; hundreds of characters – shopkeepers and sharecroppers, miners and millowners, poets and publicists, doctors and divines, philosophers and politicians, the world-famous and the anonymous – speaking in their own voices. The amazing multiplicity of real voices that Marx brings forth, and the skill with which he propels and deploys them, carry us back to the glorious days of the nineteenth-century novel, back to Lost Illusions and Bleak House and War and Peace. Some of the most vivid characters appear for only a moment; others stay with us for long stretches and engage Marx in long passionate argument; others disappear for hundreds of pages, only to return transformed. The people in Capital have a life that will outlive capitalism itself.
- Marshall Berman
  Adventures in Marxism


When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist.
- Dom Helder Camara


The world’s two major propaganda systems did not agree on much, but they did agree on using the term socialism to refer to the immediate destruction of every element of socialism by the Bolsheviks. That’s not too surprising. The Bolsheviks called their system socialist so as to exploit the moral prestige of socialism. The West adopted the same usage for the opposite reason: to defame the feared libertarian ideals by associating them with the Bolshevik dungeon, to undermine the popular belief that there really might be progress towards a more just society with democratic control over its basic institutions and concern for human needs and rights. If socialism is the tyranny of Lenin and Stalin, then sane people will say: not for me. And if that’s the only alternative to corporate state capitalism, then many will submit to its authoritarian structures as the only reasonable choice.
- Noam Chomsky


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