To discuss socialism coherently, after mastering the “basics” in Marx and Engels, we need to read the seminal documents of the Trotskyist movement. All of them. : The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the 4th international, The Permanent Revolution, The Revolution Betrayed, and In Defense of Marxism.
Only then will we have the theoretical and political clarity to intelligently discuss:
– what capitalism is – what socialism is – what communism is – what a workers state is – what a degenerated workers state is – what a deformed workers state is – what Stalinism is
I don’t mean we become academics or reference librarians. It takes hard, disciplined work. If we fail to do it we risk talking impressionistically. The World Socialist Website is a great reference source. It has a link to the classics. The Marxist Internet Archive is essential also.