The following article was sent to The Marxist-Leninist by Professor Toad, and is the first part of a series of articles on China:
The term socialism and the term dictatorship of the proletariat refer to two different concepts. Socialism describes a particular relation of production in which the means of production are socially owned and the exploitation of man by man is abolished. The dictatorship of the proletariat is a political situation in which the working class — in all known cases, acting in alliance with the peasantry — has seized political power in a country. In the real world the two are very closely linked, and if you find one, the other is not far off. But in analyzing countries very near in time to a revolution, the failure to understand this difference can lead to confusion.