Socialism is a mode of production characterized by workers' ownership of the means of production, achieved through the expropriation of the bourgeoisie by a dictatorship of the proletariat. Socialist economies are based on central economic planning, absence of the profit-motive and collectivization.
The scientific socialist definition of the term, as used by Marxist–Leninists, refers to a particular stage of historical development -- specifically the transitional state between the capitalist and communist modes of production (for this reason, it is also known as "the lower stage of communism", although it is generally considered distinct enough from communism to constitute its own separate mode of production). However, the term socialism is often misused in broader left-wing discourse to denote public works, welfare programmes and/or small-scale forms of economic planning practiced by capitalist countries.
Among the first successful experiments in the scientific development of socialist economics was the Soviet Union in the late 1920s, when the the means of production were brought under social ownership, namely the land and agricultural economy was brought under the ownership of the state; expropriated from private landowners called Kulaks.
Socialism can be summarized by the motto "From each according to their ability, to each according to their work."
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