A Communist Glossary

Organized, for the moment, thematically rather than alphabetically (i.e. not organized)
★ marks my preferred definition

Dictatorship of the Proletariat (also, Workers’ State, Proletarian Democracy, Proletarian Dictatorship):

  1. ★ A political transition where the working class predominates and administers the social revolution wherein it both protects itself from reaction and dissolves class society by introducing socialism/communism.
  2. The absolute authority of the working class, expressed as a radically democratic government practicing revocable delegation (like in the Paris Commune). Also, all power to the soviets.


  1. Public/Common ownership of the means of production, whether by a state over and above the people (I use people because classes have been abolished) or by a state utterly subordinated to and composed of the people (i.e. whether ‘authoritarian’ or ‘libertarian’).
  2. A stateless, moneyless, classless society.
  3. The lower phase of communism where the division of mental and physical labor has not been abolished and the gift economy has not emerged (to each according to contribution).
  4. A nominal dictatorship of the proletariat which ostensibly builds socialism/communism.


  1. ★ Collective ownership of the means of production. Labor-time is measured and distribution is afforded by labor-vouchers. Synonymous with socialism/lower-phase communism. (To Each By Contribution)


  1. A stateless, moneyless, classless society.
  2. The first definition, including the abolition of the division of labor and the transcendence of labor-vouchers (from/to each according to ability/need), i.e. the “higher phase of communist society” or full or complete communism. AKA Full Communism.
  3. ★ A mode of production in which the means of production are held in common (belonging to all/none), production and consumption have a direct relationship which is no longer mediated by money/value (the end of commodity production), and society at large takes part in negotiating production. It may be either in its collectivist phase, its ‘fully communist’ phase, or something that our current stage of development prevents us from conceiving.

The State:

  1. The political and juridical instrument of class domination within a territory.
  2. “The sum total of the political, legislative, judiciary, military and financial institutions through which the management of their own affairs, the control over their personal behavior, the responsibility for their personal safety, are taken away from the people and entrusted to others who, by usurpation or delegation, are vested with the powers to make the laws for everything and everybody, and to oblige the people to observe them, if need be, by the use of collective force” (Malatesta, Anarchy §1¶13). Further, “the governors are those who have the power, to a greater or lesser degree, to make use of the social power, that is of the physical, intellectual and economic power of the whole community, in order to oblige everybody to carry out their wishes. … [T]his power … constitutes the principle of government, of authority” (Malatesta, Anarchy §2¶4).
  3. “A human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.” (Weber, “Politics as a Vocation”)

The Terms I use

I use Communism to refer to the communist mode of production (See Communism 3). I use Collectivism to refer to Marx’s lower-phase communism. Socialism as a word is polluted enough to be useless, ‘lower-phase communism’ is pretentious enough to be alienating, and ‘collectivism’ from anarcho-collectivism both describes exactly lower-phase communism and is unheard of enough to be yet uncontaminated by liberals and socdems. To describe ‘higher-phase communism’ I use Full Communism (See Communism 2). If I’m shitposting, I call them baby and big kid communism respectively.