Study Guide: SOCIALISM: UTOPIAN AND SCIENTIFIC
READING: Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific
- Engels writes: “The socialism of earlier days certainly criticized the existing capitalistic mode of production and its consequences. But it could not explain them, and, therefore, could not get the mastery of them.” Why was this?
- What was the connection between the discovery of the materialist conception of history and the transformation of socialism into a science? What role did the dialectical method play in the creation of a scientific theory of socialism?
- How does scientific socialism, i.e., Marxism, differ from utopian socialism?
- What is the difference between “individual” and “social” production? Why does Engels say that production under capitalism is “socialized”? What has happened to this tendency since Engels died in 1895?
- What is a “crisis of overproduction”? Does this mean that more is being produced than people need? In what ways do capitalist economic crises reflect a conflict between socialized production and private capitalist appropriation of the product?
- Why did social classes come into being?
- How does capitalism prepare the economic basis for building a classless, socialist society?
- How can the working class abolish the economic crises that characterize capitalism? How can it abolish commodity production and social classes?