Socialization of the Means of Production

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Socialization of the Means of Production


in the transitional period from capitalism to socialism, the revolutionary transformation of private capitalist property in the means of production into socialist public property. A new type of social production is organized to ensure, in a planned way, an ever-higher standard of living and the comprehensive and free development of all members of society.

The objective preconditions for the socialization of the means of production originate deep within capitalist society. They result from the increasingly social character of large-scale machine production, as expressed in the rising level of concentration and centralization of production, the intensification of the social division of labor, the expansion of ties between the different branches of industry and the types of production within each country, and the formation and development of the world economy. This process reaches its maximum when monopoly capitalism turns into state-monopoly capitalism and the mechanism for a single system of accounting develops because of the concentration of banks and their interlocking with industrial monopolies.

The contradiction between the social character of production and the private capitalist form of appropriating the products of labor is resolved in the course of the socialist revolution by means of socialist nationalization. The socialist state not only declares the means of production to be legally socialized—it actually brings about socialization. V. I. Lenin pointed out that the principal economic difficulty in building the new society lies in “socializing production in practice,” which presupposes setting up “an extremely intricate and delicate system of new organizational relationships extending to the planned production and distribution of the goods required for the existence of tens of millions of people” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 36, p. 171). The fulfillment of this task implies coordinated management by the working people throughout society, based on the common utilization of the social means of production, on social accounting and control, and on the planned regulation of the entire economy. During the period of socialist construction, the socialization of the means of production also takes place among small producers through the socialist transformation of the small-scale commodity production of peasants and artisans and through the creation of socialist production cooperatives.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Another aspect of the socialization of the means of production is that everyone becomes an "employee" of the state.
Claim Number 3: Successful socialization of the means of production reduces the people to slaves whose lives the regime has neither the incentive nor the ability to preserve.
Although he held out no hope "if it could achieve internationalism and the socialization of the means of production," he thought, it "might establlish a world which would not be a mass of automatic economic contradictions." He assured his readers that "no criticism of the Communists removes the arguments against capitalism." Indeed, "America, the greatest capitalist country, seems to offer no alternative to war, exploitation, and destruction of the world's resources." Some new "American-centered" paradigm!
Taking the bishops' call for partial socialization of the means of production, let us see how some of their imperatives might work out in practice.
With the socialization of the means of production (or perhaps one should say "the statization of the menas of production"--although that is not a foregone conclusion) the separation between the political and the economic spheres is overcome.
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