Transition period

Transition period. Historical period that mediates between capitalism and socialism. It begins when the working class, allied with the peasantry, conquers political power and establishes the dictatorship of the proletariat and ends with the building of socialism , the first phase of communist society. It is unavoidable. All the countries that build socialism have to go through this stage of development.


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  • 1 Economic laws of socialism
    • 1 Objective premises of the socialist revolution
    • 2 Essence of the socialist revolution
  • 2 Period of transition from capitalism to socialism
    • 1 Need
    • 2 Essence
    • 3 General laws of the transition period
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External links

Economic laws of socialism

The Great October Socialist Revolution began the revolutionary transformation of capitalist society into socialist society. This transformation takes place during a special period of transition from capitalism to socialism that culminates in the construction of the latter.

The essential socioeconomic laws of the emergence and conformation of socialism were discovered by the classics of Marxism-Leninism. In their most generalized form they are exposed in Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Program (Chapter IV) ; in the State and the revolution (chapter V), The immediate tasks of the Soviet Power, Economy and politics at the time of the dictatorship of the proletariat, On the tax in kind, On the cooperatives, and in other writings of Lenin .

Objective premises of the socialist revolution

The objective necessity of the transition from capitalism to socialism is determined by the fact that as the capitalist regime evolves, the material and social premises for a more advanced social regime mature: for socialism. These premises are: a high level of the productive forces , the social character of the great mechanized production and a revolutionary working class with its Marxist-Leninist party at the forefront. With the formation of the world capitalist economy, the conditions for the triumph of the world socialist revolution crystallized. This led Lenin to deduce, already at the beginning of the 20th century , that the entire world system ofCapitalism had matured for its socialist transformation.

The social force called to exercise the historical mission of destroying capitalist relations and creating a new, communist mode of production is the working class that acts in alliance with all workers. The vanguard of the working class is the communist party, which links scientific socialism with the mass labor movement, instills socialist consciousness in the proletariat, helps it to understand its great historical mission and the problems it faces, as well as to find how to fix them.

Under imperialism , the validity of the law of unequal economic and political development of capitalism sharply sharpens the contradictions of said system and offers the possibility of revolutionary situations occurring in different countries in different periods. Consequently, as Lenin foresaw , the socialist revolution does not succeed simultaneously in all the main countries of the capitalist system, but first in one or in several, in the weakest link of the imperialist system. Under historical circumstances, the first socialist state emerged in Russia in 1917 .

Essence of the socialist revolution

The fundamental economic content of the socialist revolution is the suppression of capitalist relations of production and the affirmation of relations of socialist production, which are based on the social ownership of the means of production and on labor free from all exploitation. In this way the conflict that exists under capitalism between the social character of production and the private capitalist form of appropriation of the fruits of labor is resolved .

Period of transition from capitalism to socialism

  1. Marx

“Between capitalist society and communist society ( Marx wrote) mediates the period of revolutionary transformation from the first to the second. And this period also corresponds to a political period of transition whose state cannot be other than the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. “The transition period is due to the special conditions in which the communist mode of production arises and develops. When it occurred the transition from the feudal mode of production to the capitalist mode, bourgeois relations of production had already emerged within feudalism, where they existed in the form of an economic type; this was possible thanks to the fact that the two modes of production have a common economic base, of the same type: private property over the means of production. Socialist society differs, in principle, from capitalist society and cannot be born within thecapitalism . Under capitalism only the material premises of socialism are created . Socialist production is based on social ownership of the means of production, a type of property that excludes the exploitation of man by man. Social ownership of the means of production cannot arise spontaneously within capitalism . For it to appear, the socialist revolution must take place and the power of the workers must be established.


The feudalism and capitalism have the same kind of economic base (private property), due to which the capitalist mode of production arose and developed spontaneously and evolutionary way into the bowels of society feudad. In contrast, the bases of the bourgeois and socialist economies are diametrically opposed: the first is based on the domination of private property and the second, on the social property of the means of production; the capitalist regime is a regime of exploitation of man by man, and socialism frees man forever from all exploitation. This is why the socialist economic system emerges and becomes entrenched while capitalist production relations are suppressed.

The elimination of the capitalist economy and the creation of the socialist cannot take place at once, in the course of the proletariat’s conquest of political power. It is necessary to expropriate the big bourgeoisie, give the means of production in property to all the workers and organize the operation of the companies on new, socialist bases. It takes a long time to carry out the socialist reorganization of small peasant productions, very numerous in almost all capitalist countries, as well as to achieve the level of development of the productive forces necessary to raise the material well-being and culture of the workers. In the course of building the new society, the stubborn resistance of the overthrown exploiting classes must be faced.


VI Lenin

It is for the performance of these tasks that a special historical period is required: that of the revolutionary transformation of capitalist society into socialist society, a period that begins when the proletariat conquers political power and establishes its dictatorship and ends with victory. full of socialism . The economic essence of this period consists in the elimination of the capitalist base and the creation of a new, socialist base, from the economic system of socialism . Lenin pointed out that the goal of the construction of socialism “cannot be reached at once; this requires a fairly long transition period from capitalism to socialism… Because it takes time to introduce radical changes in all areas of life and because the immense strength of the habit of managing the economy in a petty-bourgeois way can only be overcome in a long and tenacious struggle. ”

The length of the transition period for countries embarking on the path of socialist development depends on concrete historical conditions, that is, on the level of the productive forces , the degree of development of the various types of property, the correlation of forces of class, historical and national traditions, the degree to which the old ideology endures in the consciousness of the population, etc. The importance of the international situation is also considerable. In the current context, the existence of a world system of socialism , and the strengthening of cooperation and mutual assistance between the States that build the new society , are decisive in reducing the transition period .

General laws of the transition period

Transition period

General regularities are inherent in all countries that have embarked on the path of socialist development. This is due, first, to the common content of the proletarian revolution; second, that the objective and the final result of the revolutionary transformations are the same for the countries that have begun the transition period: the construction of socialism; third, that in all these countries the main social force of revolutionary transformations is the working class, led by a Marxist-Leninist party.

These general laws, as indicated in the Declaration formulated by the Conference of representatives of the socialist and workers’ parties of the socialist countries, held in 1957, are:

  • The leadership of the working masses by the working class, whose nucleus is the Marxist Leninist party, in the realization of the proletarian revolution in one form or another and the implantation of this or the other form of dictatorship of the proletariat.
  • Alliance of the working class with the fundamental mass of the peasants and with other layers of workers.
  • Liquidation of capitalist property and establishment of social property over the fundamental means of production.
  • Gradual socialist transformation of agriculture.
  • Planned development of the national economy aimed at building socialism and communism, at raising the standard of living of workers.
  • Fulfillment of the socialist revolution in the sphere of ideology and culture and formation of a large intelligentsia faithful to the working class.
  • Liquidation of the national yoke and establishment of equal rights and fraternal friendship among peoples on the basis of the principles of proletarian internationalism.
  • Defense of the conquests of socialism against the attacks of external and internal enemies.

The socialism can only be built successfully if implemented creative spirit general laws depending on the specific historical conditions. The existence of the dictatorship of the proletariat is a decisive condition in order to carry out the socialist revolution to the end and to erect a socialist society.

History has shaped the justness of Lenin’s foresight regarding the diversity of forms and methods of socialist construction in the various countries based on the general laws of the formation and development of socialism . In each country that has embarked on the socialist path from transition to socialism, it is carried out taking into account national characteristics and the level of development. “All nations will come to socialism,” says Lenin, “that is inevitable, but they will not come in the same way; each of them will contribute its originality in one or another form of democracy, in one or another variant of the dictatorship of the proletariat, in one or another rhythm of the socialist transformations of the various aspects of social life. ”


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