“From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs” means when the productive forces become so productive that people can give only what they can to the work force and take what they need from society. There is always more than could ever possibly consumed, and if there isn’t they can always produce more. Everyone in society is fed, clothed, and has a roof over their head. There is no more poverty, no more hunger. There is no more exploitation of one group of people over another, this is the embodiment of true liberty.
The distinction here is that the present society does not resemble this pholosohy in any way, shape or form. Labor in modern society is not only not proportional to weapth but the hardest workers in our society are the poorest. The first step to addressing this problem is to make work proportional to wealth, to end thr systematic oppression which makes this so. By abolishing the distinctions between those who make the wealth (workers) and those who take the wealth (capitalists), we introduce for the first time real democracy. Not merely the formal democracy we see today, but real democracy, democracy in the workplace. Thus the philosphy becomes “he who does not (aside from those who physically/ mentally cannot) work, does not eat”. We call this system socialism. However even this is still an injustice as income is for the first time directly proportional to work, but not to NEEDS. Thus the single mother of 4 makes the same as the independant man so long as they work the same amount. Thus the goal of socialism is not socialism itself, but communism, where the last injustices which survive under socialism are abolished. The state is abolished, currency is abolished and the alienation of work itself is abolished. Thus the philosophy of communism is “from each according to their ability, to each according to their NEEDS (not proportional to work)”. Only under a global economic system with the modern advancements of industry and agriculture is this possible. And with this, comes the end result of thousands of years of innovation and struggle, as Einstein put it, it’s about “advancing beyond the predatory phase of human development”. This I believe.