What would socialism look like?
according to the Communist Manifesto
1 Abolition of private property1 in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
1 Private property refers to property that is directly or indirectly involved in production at scale. For example, landlords owning land or investors owning stocks. Things you personally own, like your belongings or your house, are your personal property, and not considered private property in this context.
2 A heavy progressive2 income tax.
2 A progressive tax is one where the average tax burden increases with income, meaning the higher your income, the more you'll be taxed.
3 Abolition of all rights of inheritance3.
3 Inheritance is a problem because it tends to keep mass amounts of wealth in the same family line for centuries.
4 Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels4.
4 Emigrants are those leaving the country permanently. Rebels are those who rebel against the socialist constitution (i.e., they want to hoard their wealth).
Centralization of credit in the hands of the State
, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly5
5 Good can monopolies bring efficiency to markets without taking advantage of consumers. Bad monopolies provide no real benefit to the market and practice unethical business.
Centralization of the means of communication and transport6
in the hands of the State7
An issue with most capitalist governments is that they're often big and unweildy (too many departments and needless beaurocracy) with poor communication between the different branches. This seeks to bring everything together to one centralized resource.
7 We trust the State to do that?
The State refers to the socialist state, not the capitalist state (we're right to not trust that one to do too much good).
The State isn't an autonomous machine that makes its own decisions. The decisions of the State under socialism reflect the decisions of the people. Under socialism, politicians earn normal wages and gain no special perks. The outcome of an election comes from the people alone.
This stands opposed to capitalism, where ordinary people are limited in what they can do to hold politicians accountable. Instead, corporate power and wealth hold the sway.
7 Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State8; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil9.
8 Because without corporations, the state will produces everything.
9 This is important for agricultural development, so people can eat and stuff.
8 Equal liability of all to labor10, establishment of industrial armies11, especially for agriculture.
10 This part specifically calls out those who contribute the least amount of effort to society, such as millionaire landlords and investors.
11 This is not advocating the formation of an actual army. It's likening the hierarchical nature of work to the ranks in an army, with the producers being on the lowest rank.
9 Combine agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradually abolish the distinction between town and country12, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
12 A glaring sign of inequality in our society is how few 'big cities' there are in relation to the smaller scale underdeveloped country, and the differences in quality of life that follow.
10 Free education for all children in public schools13. Combine education with industrial production.
13 Education is currently only available to those who can pay for it or who financially 'qualify' for assistance. Removing this as a barrier of entry gives everyone a fair chance at a good life.