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The "dictatorship of the proletariat" or workers' state is a term employed by Marxists that refers to what they see as a temporary state between the capitalist society and the classless, stateless and moneyless communist society. During this transition period, "the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat." The term does not refer to a concentration of power by a dictator, but to a situation where the proletariat (the working class) would hold power and replace the current political, economic and social system controlled by the bourgeoisie (the propertied class). In short, the "dictatorship of the proletariat" would replace the current "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie"; the crucial distinction being that while the bourgeoisie is by definition a minority, the proletariat is, similarly, always the majority . Many Marxists refer to this transitional stage as socialism or "workers' democracy".

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