a framework for understanding the progression of human societies

  1. Primitive Communism: This is the earliest stage of society, characterized by communal ownership of resources. In this stage, men performed the same economic function – hunter gathering. They worked together in order to survive. There was no private property and there were no classes.

  2. Slave Society: This stage is marked by the emergence of social classes and private property. The strong man ruled. He began by owning all the land but when threatened by outsiders, he would grant land to others in return for military services. A new land-owning aristocracy was therefore created.

  3. Feudalism: In this stage, land was owned by the aristocracy who exploited the peasantry who worked it. There was a surplus of food which the aristocracy sold to others – creating a class of merchants and capitalists who wanted to share political power.

  4. Capitalism: The wealthy merchants and factory owners (bourgeoisie) obtained political power and exploited the workers (proletariat). As the proletariat became politically aware they would rise up and overthrow the bourgeois government.

  5. Socialism: There would be a dictatorship of the proletariat as workers’ organizations re-distributed food, goods and services fairly according to need, and profits were shared by all. The middle classes would come to understand that equality was superior to private ownership.

  6. Communism: Everyone would join together for the common good. Money and government would no longer be needed and society would be class-less. As all countries reached this stage the world would become state-less and competition and wars would cease.

The transition from one stage to the other would be through class struggle