Communism

Communism (from Latin communis - common, universal) is a revolutionary socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless, and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order. This movement, in its Marxist–Leninist interpretations, significantly influenced the history of the 20th century, which saw intense rivalry between the "socialist world" (socialist states ruled by communist parties) and the "western world" (countries with capitalist economies).

Marxist theory holds that pure communism or full communism is a specific stage of historical development that inevitably emerges from the development of the productive forces that leads to a superabundance of material wealth, allowing for distribution based on need and social relations based on freely associated individuals. The exact definition of communism varies, and it is often mistakenly, in general political discourse, used interchangeably with socialism; however, Marxist theory contends that socialism is just a transitional stage on the road to communism. Leninism adds to Marxism the notion of a vanguard party to lead the proletarian revolution and to secure all political power after the revolution for the working class, for the development of universal class consciousness and worker participation, in a transitional stage between capitalism and socialism.

Council communists and non-Marxist libertarian communists and anarcho-communists oppose the ideas of a vanguard party and a transition stage, and advocate for the construction of full communism to begin immediately upon the abolition of capitalism. There is a very wide range of theories amongst those particular communists in regards to how to build the types of institutions that would replace the various economic engines (such as food distribution, education, and hospitals) as they exist under capitalist systems—or even whether to do so at all. Some of these communists have specific plans for the types of administrative bodies that would replace the current ones, while always qualifying that these bodies would be decentralised and worker-owned, just as they currently are within the activist movements themselves. Others have no concrete set of post-revolutionary blueprints at all, claiming instead that they simply trust that the world's workers and poor will figure out proper modes of distribution and wide-scale production, and also coordination, entirely on their own, without the need for any structured "replacements" for capitalist state-based control.

In the modern lexicon of what many sociologists and political commentators refer to as the "political mainstream", communism is often used to refer to the policies of communist states, i.e., the ones totally controlled by communist parties, regardless of the practical content of the actual economic system they may preside over. Examples of this include the policies of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam where the economic system incorporates "doi moi", the People's Republic of China (PRC) where the economic system incorporates "socialist market economy", and the economic system of the Soviet Union which was described as "state capitalist" by non-Leninist socialists and later by communists who increasingly opposed the post-Stalin era Soviet model as it progressed over the course of the 20th century (e.g., Maoists, Trotskyists and libertarian communists)—and even at one point by Vladimir Lenin himself.

Read more about Communism:  Etymology and Terminology, Theory, History, Marxist Communism, Non-Marxist Communism, Criticism

Other articles related to "communism":

Communism - Criticism
... Some people have criticised socialism and by extension communism, stating that the two systems have distorted or absent price signals, slow or stagnant technological advance, reduced ... However, such state regimes do not fit the definition of communism as a stateless and international workers' democracy, as repeatedly advocated by Marx and Engels, and subsequent orthodox Marxists. 1481 and international declarations such as the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism and the Declaration on Crimes of Communism have condemned some of the ...
Communism In 20 Years
... Communism in 20 years was a slogan put forth by Nikita Khrushchev at the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1961 ... In his speech, Khrushchev promised that communism will be built "in the main" by 1980 ... His phrase "The current generation of Soviet people will live under communism" was the final phrase of the new Program of the CPSU adopted at the congress ...
Social Structure Of Romania - Post-communism (1990–present)
... The difference between communism in theory and communism in practice was especially pronounced in Romania, whose anemic economy was beset by inefficiency ...
Secular Religion - Communism and Nazism
... In 1936 a Protestant priest referred explicitly to Communism as a new secular religion ... the war, the social philosopher Raymond Aron would expand on the exploration of communism in terms of a secular religion while A ...
Marxism And Religion - Religious Criticism of Communism
... Because of communism's atheism, some have accused communism of persecuting religion ... In addition, another criticism is that communism is, in itself, a religion ...

Famous quotes containing the word communism:

    By intervening in the Vietnamese struggle the United States was attempting to fit its global strategies into a world of hillocks and hamlets, to reduce its majestic concerns for the containment of communism and the security of the Free World to a dimension where governments rose and fell as a result of arguments between two colonels’ wives.
    Frances Fitzgerald (b. 1940)

    Christ in this country would quite likely have been arrested under the Suppression of Communism act.
    Joost de Blank (1908–1968)

    Let’s not talk about Communism. Communism was just an idea, just pie in the sky.
    Boris Yeltsin (b. 1931)