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Marx's communist society is in the anomalous position of being, at one and the same time, the most famous of utopias and among the least known.
The programs introduced by a victorious working class to deal with the problems left by the old society and the revolution would unleash a social dynamic whose general results, Marx believed, could be charted beforehand.
Projecting the communist future from existing patterns and trends is an integral part of Marx's analysis of capitalism, and analysis which links social and economic problems with the objective interests that incline each class to deal with them in distinctive ways; what unfolds are the real possibilities inherent in a socialist transformation of the capitalist mode of production.
Our main sources of Marx's views on the dictatorship of the proletariat are the Communist Manifesto, the "Critique of the Gotha Program," and "Civil War in France," in which he discusses the reforms of the Paris Commune.
In the Communist Manifesto, there are ten measures that workers' parties are urged to put into effect immediately after their victory over the capitalists.
As for only being able to know the broad outlines of communism, this is as true now as it was in Marx's time.
But whereas presenting this outline then could only reflect negatively on Marxism as a whole, this is no longer the case, for the intervening century had brought pieces of Marx's horizon underfoot and made the most of the restas I have indicatedeasier to see and comprehend.
Whether describing communism can help raise proletarian class consciousness is a more difficult question.
There is no doubt in my mind that getting works to understand their exploitation as a fundamental and necessary fact of the capitalist system, the avowed aim of most of Marx's writings is the "high road" to class consciousness.
The conditions of this movement result from premises now in existence." Yet, as even casual readers of Marx know, descriptions of the future society are scattered throughout Marx's writings.
Moreover, judging from an 1851 outline of what was to become Capital, Marx intended to present his views on communism in a systematic manner in the final volume.