it’s a 1. moneyless, 2. stateless, and 3. classless social structure where the means of production (factories, farms, etc.) are commonly owned. when the means to produce are owned by everyone, then the workers can produce for themselves or for the community, but not for the profit of the people above them. I’m going to discuss the 3 points above one at a time so that you can see how they all relate to each other and the ownership of the means of production.
communism is moneyless so there’s no money which allows for economic equality. things would be free and instead of a profit motive, there would be a motive to own what the profit could’ve bought originally. in capitalism, I might get a job to afford a new computer. in communism, I could just build a computer because I would have the means and the knowledge to create one. the idea of a moneyless system freaks most people out because we have this idea that money fuels everything, but that’s really not true. everything is fueled by labor, and money fuels labor (in capitalism). when we pay our electric bills, our money isn’t sent off to the electric company and thrown into a furnace to power our generators, but rather our money is collected by a company that in return will keep our power on. communism argues that these things should be free because these resources should be owned by all, and not by those who are rich enough to buy them and only allow people to tap into them if they have money to pay for it.
the owner of the electric/water/etc company that holds the resources at ransom is above the person who is paying for the service because the power to give or not to give rests in the hands of the business. you could argue that the buyer has the power to choose whether or not pay for a service, but in some cases such as this, that choice can mean the difference of life and death for the consumer. the choice (not being much of a choice) is easy: pay for the service. the power structure this creates is one of class. a lower class that works for goods and services to stay alive, and an upper class that benefits from the lower class’ need to stay alive and pay for those goods and services. a class of owned and a class of owners. slave and master. oppressed and oppressor. however you wanna look at it, they’re all true. communism would erase these classes by having these industries owned and operated on a community level by the community. no one would be shut off for not being able to afford it, and the company itself would still operate without the profit because, like I said earlier, money doesn’t physically fuel industry, rather it’s a type of incentive for labor. in communism, the incentive to continue working would be the incentive to have water/gas/electricity. it’s essentially the same incentive as that in capitalism (working to afford water/gas/electricity), but without the power structure that keeps you at the bottom so that other people can benefit off of your labor. under communism, the community would benefit off of your labor without pushing you down or making you unequal to the rest of the community.
3. the state
it’s also stateless which is another thing that people have a problem with grasping, not only because communist states in history have obviously not been stateless, but because a stateless society doesn’t make sense to us. in reality, the lack of a state doesn’t mean the lack of order. the state is just one way to keep order, and it’s very inefficient and extremely oppressive. it assumes that a body of people above you are more capable of making decisions for you than you are. in some cases, this might be true, but in others, it’s definitely not. for example, there are things like weed and same-sex marriage that aren’t universally legal. why? because our government makes those decisions for us. sure we can vote for change, but look how hard that’s been, and when the government also controls the majority of schools and plays a huge role in the media, if an issue is profitable, then how would most voters be knowledgeable enough to make a truly informed decision? the government is a business, and as a business, it relies on a profit. profit relies on inequality. for there to be profit, there has to be deficit. if there is deficit, especially government deficit, there is economic disparity. just as we should own the means to produce for ourselves, we should also own the means to govern ourselves. if we don’t, then we are still working for a vertically structured body that retains power over us, which is my problem with state socialism. this lack of government doesn’t mean that people will be able to run around killing people, as there could still be rules on a community level and decisions would be made democratically about any issue that might pop up. most crimes, however would disappear overnight. tax fraud is irrelevant in a moneyless system, and why/how would you steal something that is free to everyone? most crimes only exist in capitalism because capitalism creates crimes. when a class of underserved people get desperate, they react, sometimes violently. without classes, money, and a state, there’s no way to be below anyone else, and therefore, there’s no reason to react in such a way to your current living conditions. also, communism would offer the best education to everyone (no tuition in a moneyless society), so all people would be eligible for a quality education, and not just those rich enough to afford it. this means that those seeking higher education and beyond would be allowed to, without being in debt for the rest of their lives.
we could have a lot more doctors as the profession becomes more and more irrelevant with new discoveries in the fields of science and medicine (capitalism benefits from stagnancy in these areas. if diseases can be cured, then people won’t be buying medicine their whole lives). eventually, if not immediately, lots of industries could be automated and the need for labor could disappear, allowing people to create art or study things with their advanced education and society would grow in every direction as people could pursue their interests and workers create new things as they come up with ideas because they have the means and knowledge to produce these things. the end point is almost utopian, but it’s a very realistic idea and I think we should work to achieve it.