You'll hear a lot of people say that Marx never had a vision for a communist society. It's true that Marx didn't presume to write down exactly how a communist society would function in its particulars--he didn't write the all the receipts for the cook shops of the future. You will also hear that he concentrated on presenting a ruthless critique of capitalist political-economy. This is true. It is also true that he and Engels ruthlessly critiqued the utopian socialists of the earlier 19th century. But this is not to say that he had no vision of what a post-capitalist, socialist society would look like nor that anything positive was to be said of utopian socialist visions. The only visions we have of what socialist societies would look like today are the ones we get, mostly filtered through hostile lenses beaming from Marxist-Leninist party directed forms of wage-slavery and of bourgeois socialist parties which have succeeded in representing the capitalist class every once in awhile after being elected as, 'The Party of Moderate Progress Within the Bounds of the Law' e.g. the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Australian Labor Party. Granted, some of these societies are more appealing than others e.g. Cuba versus the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea or Norway versus Singapore.
The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of the first volume of CAPITAL by Karl Marx.
"Let us now picture to ourselves, by way of change, a community of free individuals, carrying on their work with the means of production in common, in which the labour power of all the different individuals is consciously applied as the combined labour power of the community. All the characteristics of Robinson’s labour are here repeated, but with this difference, that they are social, instead of individual. Everything produced by him was exclusively the result of his own personal labour, and therefore simply an object of use for himself. The total product of our community is a social product. One portion serves as fresh means of production and remains social. But another portion is consumed by the members as means of subsistence. A distribution of this portion amongst them is consequently necessary. The mode of this distribution will vary with the productive organisation of the community, and the degree of historical development attained by the producers. We will assume, but merely for the sake of a parallel with the production of commodities, that the share of each individual producer in the means of subsistence is determined by his labour time. Labour time would, in that case, play a double part. Its apportionment in accordance with a definite social plan maintains the proper proportion between the different kinds of work to be done and the various wants of the community. On the other hand, it also serves as a measure of the portion of the common labour borne by each individual, and of his share in the part of the total product destined for individual consumption. The social relations of the individual producers, with regard both to their labour and to its products, are in this case perfectly simple and intelligible, and that with regard not only to production but also to distribution."
"On the basis of socialised production the scale must be ascertained on which those operations — which withdraw labour-power and means of production for a long time without supplying any product as a useful effect in the interim — can be carried on without injuring branches of production which not only withdraw labour-power and means of production continually, or several times a year, but also supply means of subsistence and of production. Under socialised as well as capitalist production, the labourers in branches of business with shorter working periods will as before withdraw products only for a short time without giving any products in return; while branches of business with long working periods continually withdraw products for a longer time before they return anything. This circumstance, then, arises from the material character of the particular labour-process, not from its social form. In the case of socialised production the money-capital is eliminated. Society distributes labour-power and means of production to the different branches of production. The producers may, for all it matters, receive paper vouchers entitling them to withdraw from the social supplies of consumer goods a quantity corresponding to their labour-time. These vouchers are not money. They do not circulate."
CAPITAL Volume II, chapter 18, page 358
Finally, there is no doubt that the credit system will serve as a powerful lever during the transition from the capitalist mode of production to the mode of production of associated labour; but only as one element in connection with other great organic revolutions of the mode of production itself. On the other hand, the illusions concerning the miraculous power of the credit and banking system, in the socialist sense, arise from a complete lack of familiarity with the capitalist mode of production and the credit system as one of its forms. As soon as the means of production cease being transformed into capital (which also includes the abolition of private property in land), credit as such no longer has any meaning. This, incidentally, was even understood by the followers of Saint-Simon. On the other hand, as long as the capitalist mode of production continues to exist, interest-bearing capital, as one of its forms, also continues to exist and constitutes in fact the basis of its credit system. Only that sensational writer, Proudhon, who wanted to perpetuate commodity-production and abolish money, was capable of dreaming up the monstrous crèdit gratuit, the ostensible realization of the pious wish of the petty-bourgeois estate.
CAPITAL Volume III, chapter 36, page 607
And here's Engels on what socialism would first look like:
The way I see it, the whole concept of projecting a positive view of the future has been shit-canned. Artistic effort has once again been channeled into an ideological foundation which upholds bondage instead of freedom. With the exception of ancient visions of a possibly grand afterlife, we non-believers are left with nothing overwhelmingly endorsing greater freedom. Our vision is blinded by an either/or ideology which presents only dystopian possibilities for the future of living, human beings. The possibility of creating a classless commonwealth of democratically organised producers is fenced off under the general heading of the dreaded 'grand narrative'. We all know what the 'grand narrative' ends up as: 1984 and a BRAVE NEW WORLD.
My novel is the dialectical opposite of this dogma. Human beings can, do and will make history and depending on how class conscious they can become, they have the possibility to rid themselves of social relations based on unequal political power between all men and women.