One thing is does NOT mean, by the way, is a welfare state. Socialism and a welfare state are NOT the same things. Indeed, Marx opposed the welfare state as a bribe by the bourgeoise of the proletariat to deprive the latter of their class identity. Thus, for example, in China, until the market reforms of the 1980s, China had no pension system and the health care system was really nothing but the remnants of the old pre-20th century village system.In fact, the welfare state was founded by two conservatives - Disraeli in Britain and Bismarck in Germany - for the purpose of reconciling the masses to the dynamics and uncertainties of a free market economy. This by alleviating the worst impacts of old age, illness and temporary unemployment. Note that capitalism and the welfare state are NOT inherently in conflict..As to who Marxists are, they are, suffice to say, any people who share the broad outlines of the ideas noted above. Of course, in general, as people are not often well educated in the ideas that they espouse, you will often find more people who call themselves Marxists - or Fascists or National Socialists or conservatives or liberals - than who actually are.It being axiomatic, the French or Russian revolutions might not have ended as they did had there been no Napoleon or Lenin among the mob. It being rather unlikely in the current unrest in the US that such a figure is present, and even if they were that they would draw the kinds of support necessary to fulfill their vision. For whatever its' faults, America is a far cry from Bourbon France or Romanov Russia.
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