state capitalism

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A label which has been applied to at least three different forms of economic organization: the taking over by a state, within a capitalist society, of major sections of the economy (also known as etatisme or sometimes as ‘democratic socialism’); the necessary maintenance of a capitalist sector within a society in transition to socialism (as developed by Lenin in the early 1920s); and the thesis that the Soviet Union was not a socialist society, but simply another variant of capitalism, as a result of the bureaucratic control of the productive system through state ownership (a proposition advanced by Marxist critics of the USSR from the 1930s onwards). See also communism.

Subjects: Sociology.

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