Marx was a classical economist which explains why he wanted actual workers to ‘own’ the means of production. Workers, free from the need to work longer hours than necessary would have time off for politics, recreation and family life. Capitalists, of course, exploited workers by taking workers working hours so they could make a profit (Capital) and become, like an aristocracy. An aristocracy based on wealth acquisition rather than inherited status. Like elites, they forced additional effort from the workers but without actually going as far as killing them. Capitalists needed a workforce.
Socialism is the reaction of the State to that exploitative situation. A ‘socialist’ State takes the wealth from the capitalist and spends it on the workers. It doesn’t, however, go as far as giving the workers the ‘means of production’ but offers welfare etc. Workers still have to work the capitalists hours.
Workers are thus exploited by the State! Go too far with this model however and the State not only undermines the systems productive capacity it enslaves the workers as well. ‘Socialist’ States thus stop serving the workers and start to serve themselves. Hitler/Stalin/Mao get into power promoting the rights of workers but end up enslaving the working class……and often killing them.
Today we have a ‘Left-wing’ of such obvious naivety it has no idea what it’s role is supposed to be in what is in effect a 21st-century post ‘capitalist’ age.
To maintain its relevance as a ‘socialist’ party the Labour Party gathers together a collection of senior State and charity employees plus a massive constituency of the politically lame and out of touch. It became a party of minority and sectarian interests united in the belief that any ‘identity’ other than ‘worker’ is radical even if the identity is simply not being a Tory. Identity without economic relevance is utopian nonsense. There is no united, militant economically exploited industrial working class anymore, just a big bunch of people who hate their lives, the Tories, real workers with Brexit opinions and probably each other
The left cannot depart from its historical self-belief or their faith in the transformative power of the socialist State because it is ‘socialist’ and proudly so. But it is no longer revolutionary. Its revolution was fought, won and then became irrelevant between 1945 and 1979.
Socialism is now is now counter-revolutionary. It’s trying to persuade its members and voters to once again empower a socialist State and in doing so undermine the working people. Under socialism, empowering workers has never been on the cards. Socialism is all about the State.
The next revolution we get must to minimise the cost of the State and politically empower the workers. Socialism won’t do that because it can’t.