- Socialist state
The term socialist state (or socialist republic, or workers' state) can carry one of several different (but related) meanings:
*In strictly speaking, any real or hypothetical state organized along the principles of
socialismmay be called a "socialist state". The term "socialist republic" is used by those socialists who wish to emphasize that they favour a republican form of government. Furthermore, since socialism purports to represent the interests of the working class, many socialists refer to a state organized according to their principles as a "workers' state".
Marxism, socialism is a stage of social and economic development that will replace capitalism, and will in turn be replaced by communism. Thus, in Marxist terms, a "socialist state" is a state that has abolished capitalism and is moving towards communism.
*Several past and present states have claimed to follow some form of Marxist ideology, usually
Marxism-Leninism. They referred to themselves as "socialist states" and since 1970s as "states of real socialism". The first example was the Soviet Union, which was proclaimed a "socialist state" in its 1936 Constitution and a subsequent 1977 one. Another well-known example is the People's Republic of China, which is a "socialist state" according to its 1982 Constitution of the People's Republic of China. In the West, such states are commonly known as " communist states" (though they do not use this term to refer to themselves). A "socialist state" may be a country that uses the term "socialist" or "socialist republic" in its official name, constitution or the name or constitution of the ruling party, regardless of the actual political and economic system it has in practice. Examples include the "Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka", the "Socialist Republic of Vietnam", and the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya".
*Because there are several different branches of socialism, a country's claim to the label of "socialist state" or "socialist republic" is almost always disputed by some branch. Indeed, there are many socialists who strongly oppose certain (or all) self-proclaimed socialist republics. Trotskyists, for instance, are particularly known for their opposition to existing Communist states, which they do not view as adhering to communism at all, but rather to
List of socialist countries
Legislatures in real socialism
Deformed workers' state
Degenerated workers' state
Dictatorship of the proletariat
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