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Communism (from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
la, communis, lit=common, universal, label=none)Ball, Terence; Dagger, Richard. (2019)
999999 or triple nine most often refers to: * 999 (emergency telephone number) 250px, A sign on a beach in the coastguard in the event of an emergency 999 is an official emergency telephone number in a number of countries which allows the caller to ...
br>"Communism"
(revised ed.). ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia which is now published exclusively as an online encyclopedia, online encyclopaedia. It was formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., ...
''. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
is a
philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real o ...

philosophical
,
social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology The word "Social" derives fr ...
,
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive process resulting in the selection ...
, and
economic An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ( ...
ideology and
movement Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referred to as movement Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * Movement (short story), "Movement", a shor ...
whose goal is the establishment of a
communist society In Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societi ...
, namely a
socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies social progress, progress, economic stagnation ...
order structured upon the ideas of
common ownership Common ownership refers to holding the assets of an organization, enterprise Enterprise (or the archaic spelling Enterprize) may refer to: Business and economics Brands and enterprises * Enterprise GP Holdings Enterprise GP Holdings ...
of the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
and the absence of
social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those soc ...
es,
money In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corner">174x174px Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally a ...

money
, and the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
. Communism is a specific, yet distinct, form of
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
. Communists agree on the
withering away of the state"Withering away of the state" is a Marxism, Marxist concept coined by Friedrich Engels referring to the idea that, with realization of socialism, the government, social institution of a state (polity), state will eventually become obsolete and disapp ...
but disagree on the means to this end, reflecting a distinction between a more
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and funda ...

libertarian
approach of
communization Communization (or communisation in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, ...
,
revolutionary spontaneity Revolutionary spontaneity, also known as spontaneism, is a revolutionary socialist tendency that believes the social revolution can and should occur spontaneously from below by the working class itself, without the aid or guidance of a vangu ...
, and
workers' self-management Workers' self-management, also referred to as labor management and organizational self-management, is a form of organizational management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for ...
, and a more
vanguardist In the context of the theory of Leninist revolutionary struggle, vanguardism is a strategy whereby the most class-conscious and politically advanced sections of the proletariat or working class, described as the revolutionary vanguard, form org ...
or
Communist party A communist party is a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and part ...
-driven approach through the development of a constitutional
socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is bor ...
. Variants of communism have been developed throughout history, including
anarcho-communism Anarcho-communism, also known as anarchist communism, is a political philosophy and Anarchist schools of thought, anarchist school of thought which advocates the abolition of the State (polity), state, capitalism, wage labour, social hierarchies a ...

anarcho-communism
and
Marxist schools of thought Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as well as a dial ...
. Communism includes a variety of
schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, List of academic disciplines, discipline, belief, social movement, Schools of economic ...
which broadly include
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Economic materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as wel ...
,
Leninism Leninism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as the ...
, and libertarian communism as well as the
political ideologies An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "belief" to refer to attitudes abo ...
grouped around both, all of which share the analysis that the current order of society stems from
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...
, its
economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the co ...
and
mode of production In the writings of Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, German Confederation, ...
, namely that in this system there are two major social classes, the relationship between these two classes is exploitative, and that this situation can only ultimately be resolved through a
social revolution Social revolutions are sudden changes in the Social structure, structure and nature of society. These revolutions are usually recognized as having transformed society, economy, culture, philosophy, and technology along with but more than just t ...

social revolution
.; . (1969)
848 __NOTOC__ Year 848 ( DCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday A leap year starting on Sunday is any year with 366 days (i.e. it includes 29 February) that begins on Sunday, 1 January, and ends on Monday, 31 December. Its dominical letters ...
br>"Bourgeois and Proletarians"
Chapter 1 in ''
The Communist Manifesto ''The Communist Manifesto'', originally the ''Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (german: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is an 1848 pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was ...
''. Translated by Moore, Samuel. ''Marx/Engels Selected Works''. 1. pp. 98–137). Moscow:
Progress Publishers Progress Publishers was a Moscow Moscow (, ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, is ...
. Retrieved 10 June 2020 – via Marxists Internet Archive.
The two classes are the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
(the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar colorCo ...
), who make up the majority of the population within society and must work to survive, and the
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
(the
capitalist Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for Profit (economics), profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a price s ...
class), a small minority who derives profit from employing the working class through
private ownership Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental Legal personality, legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity, and from Collective ownershi ...
of the means of production. According to this analysis,
revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...
would put the working class in power and in turn establish
social ownership Social ownership is the appropriation of the surplus product Surplus product (german: Mehrprodukt, links=no) is an economic concept explicitly theorised by Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philoso ...
of the means of production which is the primary element in the transformation of society towards a communist mode of production. In the 20th century, Communist governments espousing
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
and its variants came into power in parts of the world, first in the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
with the
Russian Revolution of 1917 The Russian Revolution was a period of Political revolution, political and social revolution that took place in the former Russian Empire and began during the First World War. Commencing in 1917 with the fall of the House of Romanov and concl ...
, and then in portions of Eastern Europe, Asia, and a few other regions after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. Along with
social democracy Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between indivi ...
, communism became the dominant political tendency within the international
socialist movement The history of socialism has its origins in the 1789 French Revolution and the changes which it brought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. ''The Communist Manifesto'' was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 ju ...
by the 1920s. Criticism of communism can be divided into two broad categories, namely that which concerns itself with the practical aspects of 20th century
Communist state A communist state, also known as a Marxist–Leninist state, is a one-party state that is administered and governed by a communist party guided by Marxism–Leninism. Marxism–Leninism was the Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Uni ...
s Bosteels, Bruno (2014). ''The Actuality of Communism'' (paper back ed.). New York City, New York: Verso Books. . and that which concerns itself with communist principles and theory. Several academics and economists, among other scholars, posit that the
Soviet model Soviet-type economic planning (STP) is the specific model of centralized planning A planned economy is a type of economic system where investment, Production (economics), production and the allocation of capital goods takes place according to ec ...
under which these nominally Communist states in practice operated was not an actual communist economic model in accordance with most accepted definitions of ''communism'' as an economic theory but in fact a form of
state capitalism State capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea ...
, (1986)
"The Soviet Union Versus Socialism"
'' Our Generation'' (Spring/Summer). Retrieved 10 June 2020 – via Chomsky.info.
Howard, M. C.; King, J. E. (2001)
"'State Capitalism' in the Soviet Union"
''History of Economics Review'' 34 (1): 110–126. .
See also Wolff, Richard D. (27 June 2015)
"Socialism Means Abolishing the Distinction Between Bosses and Employees"
''
Truthout Truthout is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, ...
''. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
or non-planned
administrative-command systemThe administrative-command system (russian: Административно-командная система, Administrativno-komandnaya sistema), also known as the command-administrative system, is the system of management of an economy An econ ...
.


Etymology and terminology

''Communism'' derives from the ''communisme'', which developed out of the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...
roots ''communis'' and the suffix ''isme''. Semantically, ''communis'' can be translated to "of or for the community", while ''isme'' is a suffix that indicates the abstraction into a state, condition, action, or
doctrine Doctrine (from la, Wikt:doctrina, doctrina, meaning "teaching, instruction") is a codification (law), codification of beliefs or a body of teacher, teachings or instructions, taught Value (personal and cultural), principles or positions, as the e ...

doctrine
. ''Communism'' may be interpreted as "the state of being of or for the community"; this semantic constitution has led to numerous usages of the word in its evolution. Prior to becoming associated with its more modern conception of an economic and political organization, it was initially used in designating various social situations. ''Communism'' came to be primarily associated with
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Economic materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as wel ...
, most specifically embodied in ''
The Communist Manifesto ''The Communist Manifesto'', originally the ''Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (german: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is an 1848 pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was ...
'', which proposed a particular type of communism. One of the first uses of the word in its modern sense is in a letter sent by Victor d'Hupay to Restif de la Bretonne around 1785, in which d'Hupay describes himself as an ''auteur communiste'' ("communist author"). In 1793, Restif first used ''communisme'' to describe a social order based on egalitarianism and the common ownership of property. Restif would go on to use the term frequently in his writing and was the first to describe communism as a
form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department ...
.
John Goodwyn Barmby John Goodwyn Barmby (Bapt. 12 November 1820–1881) was born at Yoxford in Suffolk and educated at Woodbridge School. He was an English Victorian utopian socialist thinker. He and his wife Catherine Barmby (died 1853/1854) were influential supp ...

John Goodwyn Barmby
is credited with the first use of ''communism'' in English, around 1840.Harper, Douglas (2020)
"Communist
''
Online Etymology Dictionary The ''Online Etymology Dictionary'' is a free online dictionary In computer technology and , online indicates a state of connectivity and offline indicates a disconnected state. In modern terminology, this usually refers to an , but (especia ...
''. Retrieved 15 August 2021.


Communism and socialism

Since the 1840s, ''communism'' has usually been distinguished from ''
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
''. The modern definition and usage of the latter would be settled by the 1860s, becoming predominant over alternative terms ''associationist'' (
Fourierism Fourierism is a system of economic, social, and political beliefs created by Charles Fourier François Marie Charles Fourier (;; 7 April 1772 – 10 October 1837) was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. Th ...
), ''
co-operative A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous The federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российск ...
'', and '' mutualist'', which had previously been used as synonyms; instead, ''communism'' fell out of use during this period. An early distinction between ''communism'' and ''socialism'' was that the latter aimed to only socialize
production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (goods and services) * Production as a statistic, g ...
, whereas the former aimed to socialize both production and
consumption Consumption may refer to: *Resource consumption *Tuberculosis, an infectious disease, historically in biology: * Consumption (ecology), receipt of energy by consuming other organisms in social sciences: * Consumption (economics), the purchasing of ...
(in the form of free access to
final good A final good or consumer good is a final product In Production (economics), production, a final product, or finished product is a product (business), product that is ready for sale.Wouters, Mark; Selto, Frank H.; Hilton, Ronald W.; Maher, Micha ...
s). By 1888, Marxists employed ''socialism'' in place of ''communism'' which had come to be considered an old-fashioned synonym for the former. It was not until 1917, with the
Bolshevik Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. under the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in ...
, that ''socialism'' came to refer to a distinct stage between
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
and communism, introduced by
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
as a means to defend the
Bolshevik The Bolsheviks (Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (росси ...

Bolshevik
seizure of power against traditional Marxist criticism that Russia's
productive forces Productive forces, productive powers, or forces of production (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, ...
were not sufficiently developed for
socialist revolution Revolutionary socialism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowle ...
. A distinction between ''communist'' and ''socialist'' as descriptors of political ideologies arose in 1918 after the
Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP; , ''Rossiyskaya sotsial-demokraticheskaya rabochaya partiya (RSDRP)''), also known as the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party or the Russian Social Democratic Party, was a Revolutionary socia ...
renamed itself to the
All-Russian Communist Party The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Abbreviated in Russian as КПСС or ''KPSS''. was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the One-party state, sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 1 ...
, where ''Communist'' came to specifically refer to socialists who supported the politics and theories of Bolshevism,
Leninism Leninism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as the ...
, and later in the 1920s those of
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
, although
Communist parties A communist party is a left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equal ...
continued to describe themselves as socialists dedicated to socialism. Both ''communism'' and ''socialism'' eventually accorded with the cultural attitude of adherents and opponents towards
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religion
. In European
Christendom Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian state A Christian state is a country that recognizes a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the ...
, ''communism'' was believed to be the
atheist Atheism, in the broadest sense, is an absence of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use the term "bel ...

atheist
way of life. In Protestant England, ''communism'' was too
phonetic Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) an ...
ally similar to the Roman Catholic '' communion rite'', hence English atheists denoted themselves socialists.
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''
stated that in 1848, at the time when ''
The Communist Manifesto ''The Communist Manifesto'', originally the ''Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (german: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is an 1848 pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was ...
'' was first published, socialism was respectable on the continent, while communism was not; the
Owenites Owenism is the utopian socialist philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, ...
in England and the Fourierists in France were considered respectable socialists, while working-class movements that "proclaimed the necessity of total social change" denoted themselves ''communists''. This latter branch of socialism produced the communist work of Étienne Cabet in France and
Wilhelm Weitling Wilhelm Christian Weitling (October 5, 1808 – January 25, 1871) was a German tailor, inventor, radical political activist and one of the first theorists of communism. Weitling gained fame in Europe as a social theorist before he emigrated to the ...
in Germany. While liberal democrats looked to the
Revolutions of 1848 The Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Springtime of the Peoples or the Springtime of Nations, were a series of political upheaval A political revolution, in the Trotskyist Trotskyism is the political ideology and branch o ...
as a
democratic revolution Democratic Revolution () is a Chilean left-wing political party, founded in 2012 by some of the leaders of the 2011–13 Chilean student protests, 2011 Chilean student protests, most notably the current Deputy Giorgio Jackson, who is also the most ...
which in the long run ensured liberty, equality, and fraternity, Marxists denounced 1848 as a betrayal of working-class ideals by a
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
indifferent to the legitimate demands of the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
. According to ''The Oxford Handbook of Karl Marx'', "Marx used many terms to refer to a post-capitalist society—positive humanism, socialism, Communism, realm of free individuality, free association of producers, etc. He used these terms completely interchangeably. The notion that 'socialism' and 'Communism' are distinct historical stages is alien to his work and only entered the lexicon of Marxism after his death."Hudis, Peter; Vidal, Matt, Smith, Tony; Rotta, Tomás; Prew, Paul, eds. (September 2018 – June 2019)
''The Oxford Handbook of Karl Marx''"Marx's Concept of Socialism"
Oxford University Press. . .


Associated usage and Communist states

In the United States, ''communism'' is widely used as a pejorative term, much like ''socialism'', mainly in reference to
authoritarian socialism Authoritarian socialism, or socialism from above, is an economic An economy (from Greek language, Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), ...
and
Communist state A communist state, also known as a Marxist–Leninist state, is a one-party state that is administered and governed by a communist party guided by Marxism–Leninism. Marxism–Leninism was the Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Uni ...
s. The emergence of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
as the world's first nominally Communist state led to the term's widespread association with
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
and the
Soviet-type economic planning Soviet-type economic planning (STP) is the specific model of centralized planning A planned economy is a type of economic system where investment, Production (economics), production and the allocation of capital goods takes place according to ec ...
model.Busky, Donald F. (2000). ''Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey''. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. pp. 6–8. . "In a modern sense of the word, communism refers to the ideology of Marxism–Leninism. ... e adjective democratic is added by democratic socialists to attempt to distinguish themselves from Communists who also call themselves socialists. All but communists, or more accurately, Marxist–Leninists, believe that modern-day communism is highly undemocratic and totalitarian in practice, and democratic socialists wish to emphasise by their name that they disagree strongly with the Marxist–Leninist brand of socialism." ''Marxism–Leninism'' is an empty term that depends on the approach and basis of ruling
Communist parties A communist party is a left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equal ...
, and is dynamic and open to re-definitions, being both fixed and not fixed in meaning. In his essay "Judging Nazism and Communism", Martin Malia defines a "generic Communism" category as any Communist
political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
movement led by
intellectual An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Critical thinking is the analysis of facts to form a judgment. The subject is complex; several different Critical thinking#Definitions, definitions exist, which generally includ ...
s; this
umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the m ...
allows grouping together such different
regime In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social sc ...

regime
s as radical
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovere ...
industrialism and the
Khmer Rouge The Khmer Rouge (; ; km, ខ្មែរក្រហម, ; "Red Red is the color at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength Image:dominant wavelength ...
's anti-urbanism. The idea to group together different countries such as
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...
and
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...
has no adequate explanation. While the term ''Communist state'' is used by Western historians, political scientists, and news media to refer to countries ruled by Communist parties, these states themselves did not describe themselves as communist or claim to have achieved communism: they referred to themselves as
socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is bor ...
s that are in the process of constructing communism. Terms used by Communist states include '' national-democratic'', '' people's democratic'', '' socialist-oriented'', and '' workers and peasants''' states.


History


Early communism

According to
Richard Pipes Richard Edgar Pipes ( pl, Ryszard Pipes; July 11, 1923 – May 17, 2018) was an American academic who specialized in Russian and Soviet history. He published several books critical of communist regimes throughout his career.Kenez, Peter, and Rich ...
, Pipes, Richard. 2001. ''Communism: A History''. . pp. 3–5. the idea of a classless,
egalitarian Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all hu ...
society first emerged in
Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era wa ...
; since the 20th century,
Ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who stud ...
has also been discussed, among them thinkers such as Aristotele,
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
,
Demosthenes Demosthenes (; el, Δημοσθένης, translit=Dēmosthénēs; ; 384 – 12 October 322 BC) was a statesman and orator of . His constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight in ...

Demosthenes
,
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
, and
Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus ( , ; – ) was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historians by modern scholars. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature Classi ...

Tacitus
, with Plato in particular being discussed as a possible communist or socialist theorist, or as the first author to give communism a serious consideration. The 5th-century
Mazdak Mazdak ( fa, مزدک, : 𐭬𐭦𐭣𐭪, also Mazdak the Younger; died c. 524 or 528) was a ' (priest), ian reformer, prophet and religious reformer who gained influence during the reign of the emperor . He claimed to be a prophet of and inst ...

Mazdak
movement in
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Tu ...

Persia
(modern-day Iran) has been described as ''communistic'' for challenging the enormous privileges of the noble classes and the
clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established s. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's s and practices. Some of the terms used for ind ...
, criticizing the institution of
private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the prope ...
, and striving to create an egalitarian society. At one time or another, various small communist communities existed, generally under the inspiration of
Scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of ...
.. In the Medieval
Christian Church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, errors in the Catholic Church. ...

Christian Church
, some
monastic Monasticism (from Ancient Greek , , from , , 'alone'), or monkhood, is a religion, religious way of life in which one renounces world (theology), worldly pursuits to devote oneself fully to spiritual work. Monastic life plays an important role in ...
communities and
religious order A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. ...
s shared their land and their other property. As summarized by Janzen Rod and Max Stanton, the Hutterites believed in strict adherence to biblical principles, church discipline, and practiced a form of communism. The Hutterites "established in their communities a rigorous system of Ordnungen, which were codes of rules and regulations that governed all aspects of life and ensured a unified perspective. As an economic system, communism was attractive to many of the peasants who supported social revolution in sixteenth century central Europe." This link was highlighted in one of Karl Marx's early writings; Marx stated that "[a]s Christ is the intermediary unto whom man unburdens all his divinity, all his religious bonds, so the state is the mediator unto which he transfers all his Godlessness, all his human liberty." Thomas Müntzer led a large Anabaptist communist movement during the German Peasants' War, which
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''
analyzed in his 1850 work ''The Peasant War in Germany''. The Marxist communist ethos that aims for unity reflects the Christian universalist teaching that humankind is one and that there is only one god who does not discriminate among people. Communist thought has also been traced back to the works of the 16th-century English writer Thomas More. In his 1516 treatise titled ''Utopia (book), Utopia'', More portrayed a society based on
common ownership Common ownership refers to holding the assets of an organization, enterprise Enterprise (or the archaic spelling Enterprize) may refer to: Business and economics Brands and enterprises * Enterprise GP Holdings Enterprise GP Holdings ...
of property, whose rulers administered it through the application of reason and virtue. Marxist communist theoretician Karl Kautsky, who popularized Marxist communism in Western Europe more than any other thinker apart from Engels, published ''Thomas More and His Utopia'', a work about More, whose ideas could be regarded as "the foregleam of Modern Socialism" according to Kautsky. During the
Bolshevik Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. under the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in ...
in Russia,
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
suggested that a monument be dedicated to More, alongside other important Western thinkers. In the 17th century, communist thought surfaced again in England, where a Puritan religious group known as the Diggers advocated the abolition of private ownership of land. In his 1895 ''Cromwell and Communism'', Eduard Bernstein stated that several groups during the English Civil War (especially the Diggers) espoused clear communistic, Agrarianism, agrarian ideals and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude towards these groups was at best ambivalent and often hostile. Criticism of the idea of private property continued into the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century through such thinkers as Abbé de Mably, Jean Meslier, Étienne-Gabriel Morelly, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in France. During the upheaval of the French Revolution, communism emerged as a political doctrine under the auspices of Gracchus Babeuf, Restif de la Bretonne, and Sylvain Maréchal, all of whom can be considered the progenitors of modern communism according to James H. Billington. In the early 19th century, various social reformers founded communities based on common ownership. Unlike many previous communist communities, they replaced the religious emphasis with a rational and philanthropic basis."Communism" (2006). ''Encyclopædia Britannica''. ''Encyclopædia Britannica Online''. Notable among them were Robert Owen, who founded New Harmony, Indiana, in 1825, and Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States, such as Brook Farm in 1841. In its modern form, communism grew out of the
socialist movement The history of socialism has its origins in the 1789 French Revolution and the changes which it brought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. ''The Communist Manifesto'' was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 ju ...
in 19th-century Europe. As the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for the misery of the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
—a new class of urban factory workers who labored under often-hazardous conditions. Foremost among these critics were Karl Marx and his associate Friedrich Engels. In 1848, Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet ''
The Communist Manifesto ''The Communist Manifesto'', originally the ''Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (german: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is an 1848 pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was ...
''.


Revolutionary wave of 1917–1923

In 1917, the October Revolution in Russia set the conditions for the rise to state power of
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
's Bolsheviks, which was the first time any avowedly communist party reached that position. The revolution transferred power to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets in which the Bolsheviks had a majority. The event generated a great deal of practical and theoretical debate within the Marxist movement, as Marx stated that socialism and communism would be built upon foundations laid by the most advanced capitalist development; however, Imperial Russia was one of the poorest countries in Europe with an enormous, largely illiterate peasantry, and a minority of industrial workers. Marx warned against attempts "to transform my historical sketch of the genesis of capitalism in Western Europe into a historico-philosophy theory of the ''marche générale'' imposed by fate upon every people, whatever the historic circumstances in which it finds itself", and stated that Russia might be able to skip the stage of bourgeois rule through the ''Obshchina''. The moderate Mensheviks (minority) opposed Lenin's Bolsheviks (majority) plan for
socialist revolution Revolutionary socialism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowle ...
before the Capitalist mode of production (Marxist theory), capitalist mode of production was more fully developed. The Bolsheviks' successful rise to power was based upon the slogans such as "Peace, Bread, and Land", which tapped into the massive public desire for an end to Russian involvement in World War I, the peasants' demand for land reform, and popular support for the Soviet (council), soviets. By November 1917, the Russian Provisional Government had been widely discredited by its failure to withdraw from World War I, implement land reform, or convene the Russian Constituent Assembly to draft a constitution, leaving the soviets in ''de facto'' control of the country. The Bolsheviks moved to hand power to the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies in the October Revolution; after a few weeks of deliberation, the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries formed a coalition government with the Bolsheviks from November 1917 to July 1918, while the right-wing faction of the Socialist Revolutionary Party boycotted the soviets and denounced the October Revolution as an illegal coup. In the 1917 Russian Constituent Assembly election, socialist parties totalled well over 70% of the vote. The Bolsheviks were clear winners in the urban centres, and took around two-thirds of the votes of soldiers on the Western Front, obtaining 23.3% of the vote; the Socialist Revolutionaries finished first on the strength of support from the country's rural peasantry, who were for the most part single issue voters, that issue being land reform, obtaining 37.6%, while the Ukrainian Socialist Bloc finished a distant third at 12.7%, and the Mensheviks obtained a disappointing fourth place at 3.0%. Most of the Socialist Revolutionary Party's seats went to the right-wing faction. Citing outdated voter-rolls, which did not acknowledge the party split, and the assembly's conflicts with the Congress of Soviets, the Bolshevik–Left Socialist-Revolutionaries government moved to dissolve the Constituent Assembly in January 1918. The Draft Decree on the Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly was issued by the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of Soviets, a committee dominated by Lenin, who had previously supported multi-party free elections. After the Bolshevik defeat, Lenin started referring to the assembly as a "deceptive form of bourgeois-democratic parliamentarism." This would lead to the development of vanguardism in which an hierarchical party–elite controlled society, resulting in a split between anarchism and Marxism, and Leninist communism assuming the dominant position for most of the 20th century, excluding rival socialist currents. Other communists and Marxists, especially social democrats who favored the development of liberal democracy as a prerequisite to
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
, were critical of the Bolsheviks from the beginning due to Russia being seen as too backward for a
socialist revolution Revolutionary socialism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowle ...
. Council communism and left-communism, inspired by the German Revolution of 1918–1919, November Revolution in Germany and the proletarian revolutionary wave, arose in response to developments in Russia and are critical of self-declared constitutionally
socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is bor ...
s. Some left-wing parties, such as the Socialist Party of Great Britain, boasted of having called the Bolsheviks, and by extension those
Communist state A communist state, also known as a Marxist–Leninist state, is a one-party state that is administered and governed by a communist party guided by Marxism–Leninism. Marxism–Leninism was the Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Uni ...
s which either followed or were inspired by the Soviet Bolshevik model of development, establishing
state capitalism State capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea ...
in late 1917, as would be described during the 20th century by several academics, economists, and other scholars, or a command economy. Before the Soviet path of development became known as ''socialism'', reminiscenting the two-stage theory, communists made no major distinction between the socialist mode of production and communism; it is consistent with, and helped to inform, early concepts of socialism in which the law of value no longer directs economic activity. Monetary relations in the form of exchange-value, Profit (economics), profit, interest, and wage labor would not operate and apply to Marxist socialism. While Joseph Stalin stated that the law of value would still apply to socialism and that the Soviet Union was ''socialist'' under this new definition, which was followed by other Communist leaders, many other communists maintain the original definition and state that Communist states never established socialism in this sense. Lenin described his policies as state capitalism but saw them as necessary for the development of socialism, which left-wing critics say was never established, while some Marxist–Leninists state that it was established only during the Stalin era and Mao era, and then became capitalist states ruled by ''Revisionism (Marxism), revisionists''; others state that Maoist China was always state capitalist, and uphold Communist Albania as the only
socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is bor ...
after the Soviet Union under Stalin, who first stated to have achieved ''socialism'' with the 1936 Soviet Constitution.


Soviet Union

War communism was the first system adopted by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War as result of the many challenges. Despite ''communism'' in the name, it had nothing to do with communism, with strict discipline for workers, strike actions forbidden, obligatory labor duty, and military-style control, and has been described as simple authoritarian control by the Bolsheviks to maintain power and control in the Soviet regions, rather than any coherent political ideology. The Soviet Union was established in 1922. Before the Ban on factions in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, broad ban in 1921, there were several factions in the Communist party, more prominently among them the Left Opposition, the Right Opposition, and the Workers' Opposition, which debated on the path of development to follow. The Left and Workers' oppositions were more critical of the state-capitalist development and the Workers' in particular was critical of bureaucratization and development from above, while the Right Opposition was more supporting of state-capitalist development and advocated the New Economic Policy. Following Lenin's democratic centralism, the Leninist parties were organized on a hierarchical basis, with active cells of members as the broad base. They were made up only of elite Professional revolutionaries, cadres approved by higher members of the party as being reliable and completely subject to party discipline. Trotskyism overtook the left communists as the main dissident communist current, while more libertarian communisms, dating back to the libertarian Marxist current of council communism, remained important dissident communisms outside the Soviet Union. In the Moscow Trials, many old Bolsheviks who had played prominent roles during the Russian Revolution or in Lenin's Soviet government afterwards, including Lev Kamenev, Grigory Zinoviev, Alexei Rykov, and Nikolai Bukharin, were accused, pleaded guilty of conspiracy against the Soviet Union, and were executed. The academic field after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
and during the Cold War was dominated by the "totalitarian model" of the Soviet Union, stressing the absolute nature of Joseph Stalin's power. The "totalitarian model" was first outlined in the 1950s by political scientist Carl Joachim Friedrich, who stated that the Soviet Union and other Communist states were totalitarian systems, with the personality cult and almost unlimited powers of the "great leader" such as Stalin. The "revisionist school" beginning in the 1960s focused on relatively autonomous institutions which might influence policy at the higher level. Matt Lenoe describes the "revisionist school" as representing those who "insisted that the old image of the Soviet Union as a totalitarian state bent on world domination was oversimplified or just plain wrong. They tended to be interested in social history and to argue that the Communist Party leadership had had to adjust to social forces." These "revisionist school" historians such as J. Arch Getty and Lynne Viola challenged the "totalitarian model" approach, which was considered to be outdated, and were most active in the former Communist states' archives, especially the State Archive of the Russian Federation related to the Soviet Union. According to John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, the historiography is characterized by a split between traditionalists and revisionists. "Traditionalists" characterize themselves as objective reporters of an alleged totalitarian nature of communism and Communist states. They are criticized by their opponents as being anti-communist, even fascist, in their eagerness on continuing to focus on the issues of the Cold War. Alternative characterizations for traditionalists include "anti-Communist", "conservative", "Draperite" (after Theodore Draper), "orthodox", and "right-wing"; Norman Markowitz, a prominent "revisionist", referred to them as "reactionaries", "right-wing romantics", and "triumphalist" who belong to the "HUAC school of Communist Party USA, CPUSA scholarship." "Revisionists", characterized by Haynes and Klehr as historical revisionists, are more numerous and dominate academic institutions and learned journals. A suggested alternative formulation is "new historians of American communism", but that has not caught on because these historians would describe themselves as unbiased and scholarly and contrast their work to the work of anti-communist "traditionalists", whom they would term biased and unscholarly.


Cold War

Its leading role in World War II saw the emergence of the Soviet Union as an Soviet industrialization, industrialized superpower, with strong influence over Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. The Colonial empire, European and Empire of Japan, Japanese empires were shattered and communist parties played a leading role in many independence movements. Marxist–Leninist governments modeled on the Soviet Union took power with Soviet assistance in People's Republic of Bulgaria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Polish People's Republic, Poland,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...
, and Socialist Republic of Romania, Romania. A Marxist–Leninist government was also created under Josip Broz Tito in Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia, but Tito's independent policies led to the expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform, which had replaced the Comintern, and Titoism was branded ''deviationist''. People's Socialist Republic of Albania, Albania also became an independent Marxist–Leninist state after World War II. Communism was seen as a rival of and a threat to Western capitalism for most of the 20th century.Dan Georgakas, Georgakas, Dan (1992). "The Hollywood Blacklist". ''Encyclopedia of the American Left'' (paperback ed.). Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. . The socio-economic nature of Communist states, especially that of the Soviet Union during the Stalin era, has been much debated. Some Communist supporters and anti-communists agree that socialism was established, albeit for different reasons; often using the term ''real socialism'' or ''actually-existing socialism'', the former state that workers had control of the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
through the party, the state, and trade unions, while the former see any planned economy as socialism. Experts, scholars, and left-wing critics have variously labelled it a form of bureaucratic collectivism, state capitalism, state socialism, or a totally unique
mode of production In the writings of Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, German Confederation, ...
.Sandle, Mark (1999). ''A Short History of Soviet Socialism''. London, England: UCL Press. pp. 265–266. . . The Eastern Bloc, including states in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Third World socialist regimes, have been variously described as "bureaucratic-authoritarian systems",Andrain, Charles F. (1994). "Bureaucratic-Authoritarian Systems". ''Comparative Political Systems: Policy Performance and Social Change''. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe. pp. 24–42. and China's socio-economic structure has been referred to as "nationalistic state capitalism." The concept of totalitarianism gained prominent influence in Western anti-communist and McCarthyist political discourse during the Cold War era as a tool to convert pre-World War II anti-fascism into post-war anti-communism. The popular, yet long-discredited and defunct among scholars, totalitarian perspective of equating Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin is not conceivable and is a misunderstanding of the two distinct natures of the regimes, which is why they were enemies. Stalin's main goal was to create a
socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is bor ...
, under the banner of socialism in one country, that was autarkic, industrialized, and multiethnic. Genocide was not in Stalin's plans, rather nationalism and nation-building were, and it was not inherent in the building of a non-capitalist, non-expansionary state. In this sense, Stalinism, which stopped Nazi genocide alongside the other Allies of World War II, was non-intrinsically genocidal, and Marxist communism was a restraining factor that did not allow Stalin to unleash a true genocide. Some academics and journalists have stated that anti-communist narratives have exaggerated the extent of political repression and censorship in states under Communist rule, or have drawn comparisons with what they see as atrocities that were perpetrated by capitalist countries, particularly during the Cold War. They include Mark Aarons,Aarons, Mark (2007)
"Justice Betrayed: Post-1945 Responses to Genocide"
In Blumenthal, David A.; McCormack, Timothy L. H. (eds)
''The Legacy of Nuremberg: Civilising Influence or Institutionalised Vengeance? (International Humanitarian Law)''
Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp
7180–81
.
Vincent Bevins, Noam Chomsky, Jodi Dean, Kristen Ghodsee, Seumas Milne, and Michael Parenti. Mark Bradley and Rudolph Rummel have written that, while the exact numbers have been in dispute, the order of magnitude is not. Ghodsee and Scott Sehon wrote that "quibbling about numbers is unseemly. What matters is that many, many people were killed by communist regimes." About 20th-century Communism, Nathan J. Robinson wrote: "It's incredibly easy to be both in favor of socialism and against the crimes committed by 20th century communist regimes. All it takes is a consistent, principled opposition to authoritarianism." Some of those academics wrote about the merits of taking an anti anti-communist position that does not deny the events and the loss of life but make a distinction between anti-authoritarian communist and other socialist currents, both of which have been victims of repression, and reject 20th-century Communist economies. In Western Europe, Communist parties were part of several post-war governments, and even when the Cold War forced many of those countries to remove them from government, such as in Italy, they remained part of the liberal-democratic process. There were also many developments in libertarian Marxism, especially during the 1960s with the New Left. By the 1960s and 1970s, many Western Communist parties had criticized many of the actions of Communist states, distanced from them, and developed a democratic road to socialism, which became known as Eurocommunism. This development was criticized by more orthodox supporters of the Soviet Union as amounting to
social democracy Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between indivi ...
.


Dissolution of the Soviet Union

With the fall of the Warsaw Pact after the Revolutions of 1989, which led to the fall of most of the former Eastern Bloc, the Soviet Union was dissolved on 26 December 1991. It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. The declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States, although five of the signatories ratified it much later or did not do it at all. On the previous day, Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev (the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union) resigned, declared his office extinct, and handed over its powers, including control of the Cheget, to Russian president Boris Yeltsin. That evening at 7:32, the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag. Previously from August to December 1991, all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had seceded from the union. The week before the union's formal dissolution, eleven republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, formally establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States, and declaring that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. Some scholars such as Jodi Dean and Kristen Ghodsee posit that the triumphalist attitudes of Western powers at the end of the Cold War, and the fixation with linking all leftist and socialist political ideals with the horrors of Stalinism, allowed neoliberalism to fill the void, which undermined democratic institutions and reforms, leaving a trail of economic misery, unemployment, hopelessness and rising inequality throughout the former Eastern Bloc and much of Western world, the West in the following decades that has fueled the rise of extremist right-wing nationalism in both the former and the latter. For Ghodsee, the time has come "to rethink the democratic project and finally do the work necessary to either rescue it from the death grip of neoliberalism, or replace it with a new political ideal that leads us forward to a new stage of human history." Those scholars state that there remains a persistence of anti-communist rhetoric decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall. For Dean, conservatives, Liberalism, liberals, and social democrats agree that 20th-century Communist states were unqualified failures, thereby limiting the scope of discussion around political alternatives to free markets and liberal democracy, a fusion of which constitutes Dean's conception of neoliberalism. According to this scholarly view, when people think of capitalism, they do not consider what are its worst results (climate change, economic inequality, hyperinflation, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the Robber baron (industrialist), robber barons, and unemployment) because the history of capitalism is viewed as dynamic and nuanced; the history of communism is not considered dynamic or nuanced, and there is a fixed historical narrative of communism that emphasizes authoritarianism, the gulag, starvation, and violence.


Post-Soviet Communism

Walter Scheidel stated that despite wide-reaching government actions, Communist states failed to achieve long-term economic, social and political success. The experience of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the North Korean famine, and alleged economic underperformance when compared to developed free market systems are cited as examples of Communist states failing to build a successful state while relying entirely on what they view as ''orthodox Marxism''. Despite those shortcomings, stated that there was a general increase in the standard of living throughout Eastern Bloc countries as the result of modernization programs under Communist governments. Branko Milanović wrote that following the end of the Cold War many of those countries economies declined to such an extent during the transition to capitalism that they have yet to return to the point they were prior to the collapse of communism. According to anthropologist Kristen Ghodsee and philosopher Scott Sehon, there is a "victims of Communism" narrative which seeks to equate communism with murder, for instance by erecting billboards in Times Square which declare "100 years, 100 million killed" and "Communism kills";Ghodsee, Kristen; Sehon, Scott; Dresser, Sam, ed. (22 March 2018)
"The merits of taking an anti-anti-communism stance"
. ''Aeon (digital magazine), Aeon''. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
for Ghodsee, conservative and anti-communist organizations seek to institutionalize the "victims of Communism" narrative as a double genocide theory, or the moral equivalence between the Nazi Holocaust (race murder) and those killed by Communist states (class murder). According to this view, these are suspect efforts to distract from the global financial crisis and the failures of neoliberalism. As of 2021, states controlled by Marxist–Leninist parties under a single-party system include the China, People's Republic of China, the Cuba, Republic of Cuba, the Laos, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and the Vietnam, Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Communist parties, or their descendant parties, remain politically important in several other countries. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Fall of Communism, there was a split between those hardline Communists, sometimes referred to in the media as ''neo-Stalinists'', who remained committed to orthodox
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
, and those, such as The Left (Germany), The Left in Germany, who work within the liberal-democratic process for a democratic road to socialism, while other ruling Communist parties became closer to democratic socialist and social-democratic parties. Outside Communist states, reformed Communist parties have led or been part of left-leaning government or regional coalitions, including in the former Eastern Bloc. In Nepal, Communists (CPN UML and Nepal Communist Party) were part of the 1st Nepalese Constituent Assembly, which abolished the monarchy in 2008 and turned the country into a federal liberal-democratic republic, and have democratically shared power with other communists, Marxist–Leninists, and Maoists (CPN Maoist), social democrats (Nepali Congress), and others as part of their People's Multiparty Democracy. China has reassessed many aspects of the Maoist legacy, and along with Laos, Vietnam, and to a lesser degree Cuba, has decentralized state control of the economy in order to stimulate growth. These reforms are sometimes described by outside commentators as a progression to, and by some left-wing critics as a regression to capitalism, or as
state capitalism State capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea ...
, but the ruling parties describe it as a necessary adjustment to existing realities in the post-Soviet world in order to maximize industrial productive capacity. In these countries, the land is a universal public monopoly administered by the state, and so are natural resources and vital industries and services. The public sector is the dominant sector in these economies and the state plays a central role in coordinating economic development. Chinese economic reforms were started in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, and since then China has managed to bring down the poverty rate from 53% in the Mao era to just 6% in 2001.


Theory

Communist political thought and theory are diverse but share several core elements. The dominant forms of communism are based on
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Economic materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as wel ...
or
Leninism Leninism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as the ...
but non-Marxist versions of communism, such as
anarcho-communism Anarcho-communism, also known as anarchist communism, is a political philosophy and Anarchist schools of thought, anarchist school of thought which advocates the abolition of the State (polity), state, capitalism, wage labour, social hierarchies a ...

anarcho-communism
and Christian communism, which remain partly influenced by Marxist theories and Libertarian Marxism, libertarian and humanist Marxism in particular, also exist. Common elements include being theoretical rather than ideological, identifying political parties not by ideology but by class and economic interest, and share an identify with the proletariat. According to communists, the proletariat can avoid mass unemployment only if capitalism is overthrown; in the short run, state-oriented communists favor state ownership of the commanding heights of the economy as a means to defend the proletariat from capitalist pressure. Some communists are distinguished by other Marxists in seeing peasants and smallholders of property as possible allies in their goal of shortening the abolition of capitalism. For Leninist communism, such goal, including short-term proletarian interests to improve their political and material conditions, can only be achieved through vanguardism, an elitist form of socialism from above which relies on theoretical analysis to identify proletarian interests rather than consulting the proletarians themselves, as is advocated by
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and funda ...

libertarian
communists. When they engage in elections, Leninist communists' main task is that of educating voters in what are deemed their true interests rather than in response to the expression of interest by voters themselves. When they have gained control of the state, Leninist communists' main task was preventing other political parties from deceiving the proletariat, such as by running their own independent candidates. This vanguardist approach comes from their commitments to democratic centralism in which communists can only be cadres, i.e. members of the party who are full-time professional revolutionaries, as was conceived by
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
.


Marxist communism

Marxism is a method of
socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies social progress, progress, economic stagnation ...
analysis that frames
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
through a paradigm of exploitation, analyzes Social class, class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. Marxism uses a materialist methodology, referred to by Marx and Engels as the materialist conception of history and now better known as historical materialism, to analyze and critique the development of class society and especially of
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...
as well as the role of class struggles in systemic economic, social and political change. First developed by Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''
in the mid-19th century, it has been the foremost ideology of the communist movement. Marxism does not lay out a blueprint of a communist society ''per se'' and it merely presents an analysis that concludes the means by which its implementation will be triggered, distinguishing its fundamental characteristics as based on the derivation of real-life conditions. Marxism considers itself to be the embodiment of scientific socialism but does not model an ideal society based on the design of
intellectual An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Critical thinking is the analysis of facts to form a judgment. The subject is complex; several different Critical thinking#Definitions, definitions exist, which generally includ ...
s, whereby communism is seen as a State of affairs (sociology), state of affairs to be established based on any intelligent design; rather, it is a non-idealist attempt at the understanding of material history and society, whereby communism is the expression of a real movement, with parameters that are derived from actual life. According to Marxist theory, class conflict arises in capitalist societies due to contradictions between the material interests of the oppressed and exploited
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
—a class of wage laborers employed to produce goods and services—and the
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
—the ruling class that owns the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
and extracts its wealth through appropriation of the surplus product produced by the proletariat in the form of Profit (economics), profit. This class struggle that is commonly expressed as the revolt of a society's
productive forces Productive forces, productive powers, or forces of production (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, ...
against its relations of production, results in a period of short-term crises as the bourgeoisie struggle to manage the intensifying alienation of labor experienced by the proletariat, albeit with varying degrees of class consciousness. In periods of deep crisis, the resistance of the oppressed can culminate in a proletarian revolution which, if victorious, leads to the establishment of the socialist mode of production based on
social ownership Social ownership is the appropriation of the surplus product Surplus product (german: Mehrprodukt, links=no) is an economic concept explicitly theorised by Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philoso ...
of the means of production, "To each according to his contribution", and production for use. As the productive forces continued to advance, the
communist society In Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societi ...
, i.e. a classless, stateless, humane society based on
common ownership Common ownership refers to holding the assets of an organization, enterprise Enterprise (or the archaic spelling Enterprize) may refer to: Business and economics Brands and enterprises * Enterprise GP Holdings Enterprise GP Holdings ...
, follows the maxim "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." While it originates from the works of Marx and Engels, Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, with the result that there is now no single definitive Marxist theory. Different Marxian schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while rejecting or modifying other aspects. Many schools of thought have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts, which has then led to contradictory conclusions. There is a movement toward the recognition that historical materialism and dialectical materialism remains the fundamental aspect of all
Marxist schools of thought Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as well as a dial ...
.
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
and its offshoots are the most well-known of these and have been a driving force in international relations during most of the 20th century. Classical Marxism is the economic, philosophical, and sociological theories expounded by Marx and Engels as contrasted with later developments in Marxism, especially
Leninism Leninism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as the ...
and Marxism–Leninism. Orthodox Marxism is the body of Marxism thought that emerged after the death of Marx and which became the official philosophy of the socialist movement as represented in the Second International until World War I in 1914. Orthodox Marxism aims to simplify, codify, and systematize Marxist method and theory by clarifying the perceived ambiguities and contradictions of classical Marxism. The philosophy of orthodox Marxism includes the understanding that material development (advances in technology in the
productive forces Productive forces, productive powers, or forces of production (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, ...
) is the primary agent of change in the structure of society and of human social relations and that social systems and their relations (e.g. feudalism,
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
and so on) become contradictory and inefficient as the productive forces develop, which results in some form of social revolution arising in response to the mounting contradictions. This revolutionary change is the vehicle for fundamental society-wide changes and ultimately leads to the emergence of new
economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the co ...
s. As a term, ''orthodox Marxism'' represents the methods of historical materialism and of dialectical materialism, and not the normative aspects inherent to classical Marxism, without implying dogmatic adherence to the results of Marx's investigations.


Marxist concepts


= Class conflict and historical materialism

= At the root of Marxism is historical materialism, the materialist conception of history which holds that the key characteristic of economic systems through history has been the
mode of production In the writings of Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, German Confederation, ...
and that the change between modes of production has been triggered by class struggle. According to this analysis, the Industrial Revolution ushered the world into
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...
as a new mode of production. Before capitalism, certain
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar colorCo ...
es had ownership of instruments utilized in production; however, because machinery was much more efficient, this property became worthless and the mass majority of workers could only survive by selling their labor to make use of someone else's machinery, and making someone else profit. Accordingly, capitalism divided the world between two major classes, namely that of the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
and the
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguisti ...

bourgeoisie
. These classes are directly antagonistic as the latter possesses
private ownership Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental Legal personality, legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity, and from Collective ownershi ...
of the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
, earning profit via the surplus value generated by the proletariat, who have no ownership of the means of production and therefore no option but to sell its labor to the bourgeoisie. According to the materialist conception of history, it is through the furtherance of its own material interests that the rising bourgeoisie within feudalism captured power and abolished, of all relations of private property, only the feudal privilege, thereby taking the feudal ruling class out of existence. This was another key element behind the consolidation of capitalism as the new mode of production, the final expression of class and property relations that has led to a massive expansion of production. It is only in capitalism that private property in itself can be abolished. Similarly, the proletariat would capture political power, abolish bourgeois property through the
common ownership Common ownership refers to holding the assets of an organization, enterprise Enterprise (or the archaic spelling Enterprize) may refer to: Business and economics Brands and enterprises * Enterprise GP Holdings Enterprise GP Holdings ...
of the means of production, therefore abolishing the bourgeoisie, ultimately abolishing the proletariat itself and ushering the world into Communist society, communism as a new mode of production. In between capitalism and communism, there is the dictatorship of the proletariat; it is the defeat of the bourgeois state but not yet of the capitalist mode of production, and at the same time the only element which places into the realm of possibility moving on from this mode of production. This ''dictatorship'', based on the Paris Commune's model, is to be the most democratic state where the whole of the public authority is elected and recallable under the basis of universal suffrage.


= Marxian economics

= Marxian economics and its proponents view capitalism as economically unsustainable and incapable of improving the living standards of the population due to its need to compensate for Tendency of the rate of profit to fall, falling rates of profit by cutting employee's wages, social benefits and pursuing military aggression. The Socialist mode of production, communist system would succeed capitalism as humanity's mode of production through workers' revolution. According to Marxian crisis theory, communism is not an inevitability but an economic necessity.


= Socialization versus nationalization

= An important concept in Marxism is Social ownership, socialization versus nationalization. Nationalization is state ownership of property whereas socialization is control and management of property by society. Marxism considers the latter as its goal and considers nationalization a tactical issue, as state ownership is still in the realm of the Capitalist mode of production (Marxist theory), capitalist mode of production. In the words of
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''
, "the transformation ... into State-ownership does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. ... State-ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution." (1970) [1880]
"Historical Materialism"
''Socialism: Utopian and Scientific''. "But, the transformation—either into joint-stock companies and trusts, or into State-ownership—does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies and trusts, this is obvious. And the modern State, again, is only the organization that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine—the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers—proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is, rather, brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State-ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution."
(1970) [1880]
"Historical Materialism"
''Socialism: Utopian and Scientific''. Translated by Edward Aveling, Aveling, Edward. ''Marx/Engels Selected Works''. 3. Moscow: Progress Publishers pp. 95–151.
This has led some Marxist groups and tendencies to label states based on nationalization such as the Soviet Union as state capitalist.


Leninist communism

Leninism is the body of political theory, developed by and named after the Russian revolutionary and later-Soviet premier
Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
, for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party and the achievement of a Dictatorship of the proletariat#Vladimir Lenin, dictatorship of the proletariat as political prelude to the establishment of the socialist mode of production. Leninism comprises socialist political and economic theories developed from orthodox Marxism as well as Lenin's interpretations of Marxist theory for practical application to the socio-political conditions of the early-20th-century agrarian society in the Russian Empire. Leninism was composed for revolutionary Praxis (process), praxis and originally was neither a rigorously proper philosophy nor a discrete political theory. After the Russian Revolution and in ''History and Class Consciousness'' (1923), György Lukács developed and organized Lenin's pragmatic revolutionary practices and ideology into the formal philosophy of vanguard-party revolution. As a political-science term, ''Leninism'' entered common usage in 1922 after infirmity ended Lenin's participation in governing the Russian Communist Party. At the Fifth Congress of the Communist International in July 1924, Grigory Zinoviev popularized the term ''Leninism'' to denote vanguard-party revolution. Within Leninism, democratic centralism is a practice in which political decisions reached by voting processes are binding upon all members of the communist party. The party's political vanguard is composed of professional revolutionaries that elect leaders and officers as well as to determine policy through free discussion, then this is decisively realized through united action. In the context of the theory of Leninist revolutionary struggle, vanguardism is a strategy whereby the most class-conscious and politically advanced sections of the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class of wage labor, wage-earners, those members of a society whose only possession of significant economic value is their labour power (their capacity to work). A member of such a class is a proletarian. Marx ...

proletariat
or working class, described as the revolutionary vanguard, form organizations in order to draw larger sections of the working class towards revolutionary politics and serve as manifestations of proletarian political power against its class enemies. From 1917 to 1922, Leninism was the Russian application of Marxian economics and political philosophy as effected and realized by the Bolsheviks, the vanguard party who led the fight for the political independence of the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar colorCo ...
. In the 1925–1929 period, Joseph Stalin established his interpretation of Leninism as the official and only legitimate form of Marxism in Russia by amalgamating the political philosophies as
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
which then became the Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, state ideology of the Soviet Union.


Marxism–Leninism

Marxism–Leninism is a political ideology developed by Joseph Stalin.Lisichkin, G. 1989. "Мифы и реальность, Новый мир" . ''Novy Mir'' 3. p. 59. According to its proponents, it is based in
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Economic materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as wel ...
and
Leninism Leninism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as the ...
. It describes the specific political ideology which Stalin implemented in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and in a global scale in the Comintern. There is no definite agreement between historians of about whether Stalin actually followed the principles of Marx and Lenin.Александр Бутенко (Aleksandr Butenko), Социализм сегодня: опыт и новая теория// Журнал Альтернативы, №1, 1996, pp. 2–22 . It also contains aspects which according to some are deviations from Marxism such as socialism in one country.''Contemporary Marxism'' (4–5). Synthesis Publications. 1981. p. 151: "[S]ocialism in one country, a pragmatic deviation from classical Marxism."Erik, Cornell. "North Korea Under Communism: Report of an Envoy to Paradise." p. 169. "Socialism in one country, a slogan that aroused protests as not only it implied a major deviation from Marxist internationalism, but was also strictly speaking incompatible with the basic tenets of Marxism." Marxism–Leninism was the official ideology of 20th-century
Communist parties A communist party is a left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equal ...
(including Trotskyist), and was developed after the death of Lenin; its three principles were dialectical materialism, the leading role of the Communist party through democratic centralism, and a planned economy with industrialization and agricultural collectivization. As a term, ''Marxism–Leninism'' is misleading because Marx and Lenin never sanctioned or supported the creation of an ''-ism'' after them, and is reveling because, being popularized after Lenin's death by Stalin, it contained those three doctrinal and institutionalized principles that became a model for later Soviet-type regimes; its global influence, having at its height covered at least one-third of the world's population, has made ''Marxist–Leninist'' a convenient label for the Communist bloc as a dynamic ideological order. During the Cold War, Marxism–Leninism was the ideology of the most clearly visible communist movement and is the most prominent ideology associated with communism. Social fascism was a theory supported by the Comintern and affiliated communist parties during the early 1930s which held that
social democracy Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between indivi ...
was a variant of fascism because it stood in the way of a dictatorship of the proletariat, in addition to a shared corporatist economic model. At the time, leaders of the Comintern such as Stalin and Rajani Palme Dutt stated that
capitalist Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for Profit (economics), profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a price s ...
society had entered the Third Period in which a proletariat revolution was imminent but could be prevented by social democrats and other ''fascist'' forces. The term ''social fascist'' was used pejoratively to describe social-democratic parties, anti-Comintern and progressive socialist parties and dissenters within Comintern affiliates throughout the interwar period. The social fascism theory was advocated vociferously by the Communist Party of Germany which was largely controlled and funded by the Soviet leadership from 1928. Within Marxism–Leninism, anti-revisionism is a position which emerged in the 1950s in opposition to the reforms and Khrushchev Thaw of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Where Khrushchev pursued an interpretation that differed from Stalin, the anti-revisionists within the international communist movement remained dedicated to Stalin's ideological legacy and criticized the Soviet Union under Khrushchev and his successors as state capitalist and social imperialist due to its hopes of achieving peace with the United States. The term ''Stalinism'' is also used to describe these positions but is often not used by its supporters who opine that Stalin simply synthesized and practiced orthodox Marxism and Leninism. Because different political trends trace the historical roots of revisionism to different eras and leaders, there is significant disagreement today as to what constitutes anti-revisionism. Modern groups which describe themselves as anti-revisionist fall into several categories. Some uphold the works of Stalin and Mao Zedong and some the works of Stalin while rejecting Mao and universally tend to oppose Trotskyism. Others reject both Stalin and Mao, tracing their ideological roots back to Marx and Lenin. In addition, other groups uphold various less-well-known historical leaders such as Enver Hoxha, who also broke with Mao during the Sino-Albanian split. ''Social imperialism'' was a term used by Mao to criticize the Soviet Union post-Stalin. Mao stated that the Soviet Union had itself become an imperialist power while maintaining a socialist ''façade''. Hoxha agreed with Mao in this analysis, before later using the expression to also condemn Mao's Three Worlds Theory.


= Stalinism

= Stalinism represents Stalin's style of governance as opposed to Marxism–Leninism, the socioeconomic system and political ideology implemented by Stalin in the Soviet Union and later adapted by other states based on the ideological Soviet model, such as central planning, nationalization, and one-party state, along with public ownership of the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
, accelerated industrialization, pro-active development of society's
productive forces Productive forces, productive powers, or forces of production (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, ...
(research and development), and nationalized natural resources. Marxism–Leninism remained after de-Stalinization whereas Stalinism did not. In the last letters before his death, Lenin warned against the danger of Stalin's personality and urged the Soviet government to replace him. Until the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, the Soviet Communist party referred to its own ideology as ''Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism''. Marxism–Leninism has been criticized by other communist and Marxist tendencies, which state that Marxist–Leninist states did not establish socialism but rather
state capitalism State capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea ...
. According to Marxism, the dictatorship of the proletariat represents the rule of the majority (democracy) rather than of one party, to the extent that co-founder of Marxism
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''
described its "specific form" as the Republicanism, democratic republic. According to Engels, state property by itself is private property of capitalist nature unless the proletariat has control of political power, in which case it forms public property. (1970) [1880]
"Historical Materialism"
''Socialism: Utopian and Scientific''. "The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialized means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this act, the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialized character complete freedom to work itself out."
Whether the proletariat was actually in control of the Marxist–Leninist states is a matter of debate between Marxism–Leninism and other communist tendencies. To these tendencies, Marxism–Leninism is neither Marxism nor Leninism nor the union of both but rather an artificial term created to justify Stalin's ideological distortion,History for the IB Diploma: Communism in Crisis 1976–89. Allan Todd. p. 16. "The term Marxism–Leninism, invented by Stalin, was not used until after Lenin's death in 1924. It soon came to be used in Stalin's Soviet Union to refer to what he described as 'orthodox Marxism'. This increasingly came to mean what Stalin himself had to say about political and economic issues. ... However, many Marxists (even members of the Communist Party itself) believed that Stalin's ideas and practices (such as socialism in one country and the purges) were almost total distortions of what Marx and Lenin had said." forced into the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Comintern. In the Soviet Union, this struggle against Marxism–Leninism was represented by Trotskyism, which describes itself as a Marxist and Leninist tendency.


= Trotskyism

= Trotskyism, developed by Leon Trotsky in opposition to Stalinism, is a Marxist and Leninist tendency that supports the theory of permanent revolution and world revolution rather than the two-stage theory and Stalin's socialism in one country. It supported proletarian internationalism and another communist revolution in the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
. Rather than representing the dictatorship of the proletariat, Trotsky claimed that the Soviet Union had become a degenerated workers' state under the leadership of Stalin in which class relations had re-emerged in a new form. Trotsky's politics differed sharply from those of Stalin and Mao, most importantly in declaring the need for an international proletarian revolution—rather than socialism in one country—and support for a true dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles. Struggling against Stalin for power in the Soviet Union, Trotsky and his supporters organized into the Left Opposition, the platform of which became known as Trotskyism. Stalin eventually succeeded in gaining control of the Soviet regime and Trotskyist attempts to remove Stalin from power resulted in Trotsky's exile from the Soviet Union in 1929. While in exile, Trotsky continued his campaign against Stalin, founding in 1938 the Fourth International, a Trotskyist rival to the Comintern. In August 1940, Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico City on Stalin's orders. Trotskyist currents include orthodox Trotskyism, third camp, Posadism, Pabloism, and neo-Trotskyism. In Trotskyist political theory, a degenerated workers' state is a dictatorship of the proletariat in which the working class's democratic control over the state has given way to control by a bureaucratic clique. The term was developed by Trotsky in ''The Revolution Betrayed'' and in other works. Deformed workers' states are states where the capitalist class has been overthrown, the economy is largely state-owned and planned, but there is no internal democracy or workers' control of industry. In a deformed workers' state, the working class has never held political power like it did in Russia shortly after the
Bolshevik Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. under the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in ...
. These states are considered deformed because their political and economic structures have been imposed from the top (or from outside) and because revolutionary working class organizations are crushed. Like a degenerated workers' state, a deformed workers' state cannot be said to be a state that is transitioning to socialism. Most Trotskyists cite examples of deformed workers' states today as including Cuba, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, and Vietnam. The Committee for a Workers' International has also included at times states such as Burma and Syria when they have had a nationalized economy.


= Maoism

= Maoism is the theory derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong. Developed from the 1950s until the Deng Xiaoping Chinese economic reform in the 1970s, it was widely applied as the guiding political and military ideology of the Communist Party of China and as the theory guiding revolutionary movements around the world. A key difference between Maoism and other forms of Marxism–Leninism is that peasants should be the bulwark of the revolutionary energy which is led by the working class. Three common Maoist values are revolutionary populism, being practical, and dialectics. The synthesis of Marxism–Leninism–Maoism, which builds upon the two individual theories as the Chinese adaption of Marxism–Leninism, did not occur during the life of Mao. After de-Stalinization, Marxism–Leninism was kept in the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
, while certain anti-revisionist tendencies such as Hoxhaism and Maoism stated that such had deviated from its original concept. Different policies were applied in Albania and China which became more distanced from the Soviet Union. From the 1960s, groups who called themselves ''Maoists'', or those who upheld Maoism, were not unified around a common understanding of Maoism, instead having their own particular interpretations of the political, philosophical, economical and military works of Mao. Its adherents claim that as a unified, coherent higher stage of Marxism, it was not consolidated until the 1980s, first being formalized by the Communism in Peru, Peruvian communist party Shining Path in 1982. Through the experience of the people's war waged by the party, the Shining Path were able to posit Maoism as the newest development of Marxism. Proponents of Marxism–Leninism–Maoism refer to the theory as ''Maoism'' itself, whereas ''Maoism'' is referred to as either ''Mao Zedong Thought'' or ''Marxism–Leninism–Mao Zedong Thought''. Maoism–Third Worldism is concerned with the infusion and Thesis, antithesis, synthesis, synthesis of Marxism–Leninism–Maoism with concepts of non-Marxist Third-Worldism such dependency theory and world-systems theory.


Eurocommunism

Eurocommunism was a Revisionism (Marxism), revisionist trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties, claiming to develop a theory and practice of social transformation more relevant to their region. Especially prominent in French Communist Party, France, Italian Communist Party, Italy, and Communist Party of Spain, Spain, communists of this nature sought to undermine the influence of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
and its Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Communist party during the Cold War. Enrico Berlinguer, general secretary of the Italian Communist Party, was widely considered the father of Eurocommunism.


Libertarian Marxist communism

Libertarian Marxism is a broad range of economic and political philosophies that emphasize the anti-authoritarian aspects of
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Economic materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social class, class relations and social conflict as wel ...
. Early currents of libertarian Marxism, known as left communism, emerged in opposition to
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
and its derivatives such as Stalinism, Trotskyism, and Maoism. Libertarian Marxism is also critical of reformist positions such as those held by social democrats. Libertarian Marxist currents often draw from Marx and Engels' later works, specifically the ''Grundrisse'' and ''The Civil War in France'', emphasizing the Marxist belief in the ability of the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar colorCo ...
to forge its own destiny without the need for a revolutionary party or
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
to mediate or aid its liberation. Along with anarchism, libertarian Marxism is one of the main derivatives of libertarian socialism. Aside from left communism, libertarian Marxism includes such currents as autonomism,
communization Communization (or communisation in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, ...
, council communism, De Leonism, the Johnson–Forest Tendency, Lettrism, Luxemburgism Situationist International, Situationism, Socialisme ou Barbarie, Solidarity (UK), Solidarity, the World Socialist Movement, workerism as well as parts of Freudo-Marxism and the New Left. Moreover, libertarian Marxism has often had a strong influence on both Post-left anarchy, post-left and Social anarchism, social anarchists. Notable theorists of libertarian Marxism have included Antonie Pannekoek, Raya Dunayevskaya, C. L. R. James, Antonio Negri, Cornelius Castoriadis, Maurice Brinton, Guy Debord, Daniel Guérin, Ernesto Screpanti, Raoul Vaneigem, and Yanis Varoufakis, the latter of whom claims that Marx himself was a libertarian Marxist.


Council communism

Council communism is a movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s, whose primary organization was the Communist Workers Party of Germany. It continues today as a theoretical and activist position within both libertarian Marxism and libertarian socialism. The core principle of council communism is that the government and the economy should be managed by workers' councils, which are composed of Delegate model of representation, delegates elected at workplaces and Recall election, recallable at any moment. Council communists oppose the perceived authoritarian and undemocratic nature of central planning and of state socialism, labelled
state capitalism State capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea ...
, and the idea of a revolutionary party, since council communists believe that a revolution led by a party would necessarily produce a party dictatorship. Council communists support a workers' democracy, produced through a federation of workers' councils. In contrast to those of
social democracy Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between indivi ...
and Leninist communism, the central argument of council communism is that democratic workers' councils arising in the factories and municipalities are the natural form of working-class organization and governmental power. This view is opposed to both the reformist and the Leninist communist ideologies, which respectively stress parliamentary and New institutionalism, institutional government by applying Reform movement, social reforms on the one hand, and vanguard parties and Participatory democracy, participative democratic centralism on the other.


Left communism

Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the communist left, which criticizes the political ideas and practices espoused, particularly following the series of revolutions that brought World War to an end by Bolsheviks and social democrats. Left communists assert positions which they regard as more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views of
Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, 36–44. . "By 1985, one-third of the world's po ...
espoused by the Communist International after its 1st Congress of the Comintern, first congress (March 1919) and during its 2nd World Congress of the Comintern, second congress (July–August 1920). Left communists represent a range of political movements distinct from Marxist–Leninists, whom they largely view as merely the left-wing of Capital (economics), capital, from anarcho-communists, some of whom they consider to be internationalist socialists, and from various other revolutionary socialist tendencies, such as De Leonists, whom they tend to see as being internationalist socialists only in limited instances. Bordigism is a Leninist left-communist current named after Amadeo Bordiga, who has been described as being "more Leninist than Lenin", and considered himself to be a Leninist.


Other types of communism


Anarcho-communism

Anarcho-communism is a
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and funda ...

libertarian
theory of anarchism and communism which advocates the abolition of the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
,
private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the prope ...
and
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
in favor of
common ownership Common ownership refers to holding the assets of an organization, enterprise Enterprise (or the archaic spelling Enterprize) may refer to: Business and economics Brands and enterprises * Enterprise GP Holdings Enterprise GP Holdings ...
of the
means of production The means of production is a concept that encompasses the social use and ownership Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive right In Anglo-Saxon law Anglo-Saxon law (Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest record ...
; direct democracy; and a Horizontal integration, horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers' councils with production and consumption based on the guiding principle "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs, From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"; anarcho-communism differs from Marxism in that it rejects its view about the need for a state socialism phase prior to establishing communism. Peter Kropotkin, the main theorist of anarcho-communism, stated that a revolutionary society should "transform itself immediately into a communist society", that it should go immediately into what Marx had regarded as the "more advanced, completed, phase of communism". In this way, it tries to avoid the reappearance of class divisions and the need for a state to be in control. Some forms of anarcho-communism such as insurrectionary anarchism are Egoist anarchism, egoist and strongly influenced by radical individualism, believing that anarchist communism does not require a Communitarianism, communitarian nature at all. Most anarcho-communists view anarchist communism as a way of reconciling the opposition between the individual and society. "Communism is the one which guarantees the greatest amount of individual liberty—provided that the idea that begets the community be Liberty, Anarchy ... Communism guarantees economic freedom better than any other form of association, because it can guarantee wellbeing, even luxury, in return for a few hours of work instead of a day's work." In human history to date, the best-known examples of an anarcho-communist society, i.e. established around the ideas as they exist today and that received worldwide attention and knowledge in the historical canon, are the anarchist territories during the Free Territory during the Russian Revolution, the Korean People's Association in Manchuria and the Spanish Revolution of 1936. During the Russian Civil War, anarchists such as Nestor Makhno worked through the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine to create and defend anarcho-communism in the Free Territory of the Ukraine from 1919 before being conquered by the Bolsheviks in 1921. In 1929, anarcho-communism was achieved in Korea by the Korean Anarchist Federation in Manchuria (KAFM) and the Korean Anarcho-Communist Federation (KACF), with help from anarchist general and independence activist Kim Chwa-chin, lasting until 1931, when Imperial Japan assassinated Kim and invaded from the south while the Chinese Nationalists invaded from the north, resulting in the creation of Manchukuo, a puppet state of the Empire of Japan. Through the efforts and influence of the Anarchism in Spain, Spanish anarchists during the Spanish Revolution within the Spanish Civil War, starting in 1936 anarcho-communism existed in most of Aragon, parts of the Levante, Spain, Levante, and Andalusia, and in the Fortification, stronghold of Revolutionary Catalonia, before being brutally crushed.


Christian communism

Christian communism is a theological and political theory based upon the view that the teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ compel Christians to support religious communism as the ideal social system. Although there is no universal agreement on the exact dates when communistic ideas and practices in Christianity began, many Christian communists state that evidence from the Bible suggests that the first Christians, including the apostles, established their own small communist society in the years following Jesus' death and resurrection. Many advocates of Christian communism state that it was taught by Jesus and practiced by the apostles themselves. Some historians confirm its existence. Christian communism enjoys some support in Russia. Russian musician Yegor Letov was an outspoken Christian communist and in a 1995 interview was quoted as saying: "Communism is the Kingdom of God on Earth."


Analysis


Reception

Emily Morris from University College London wrote that because Karl Marx's writings have inspired many movements, including the
Russian Revolution of 1917 The Russian Revolution was a period of Political revolution, political and social revolution that took place in the former Russian Empire and began during the First World War. Commencing in 1917 with the fall of the House of Romanov and concl ...
, communism is "commonly confused with the political and economic system that developed in the Soviet Union" after the revolution. This is why communism echoes controversial reactions due to the actions of certain
Communist state A communist state, also known as a Marxist–Leninist state, is a one-party state that is administered and governed by a communist party guided by Marxism–Leninism. Marxism–Leninism was the Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Uni ...
s, which have been extensively criticized, and comparison of Nazism and Stalinism have been made, which in turn led to criticism for being a form of double genocide theory and Holocaust trivialization. Historian Andrzej Paczkowski summarized communism as "an ideology that seemed clearly the opposite, that was based on the secular desire of humanity to achieve equality and social justice, and that promised a great leap forward into freedom."Paczkowski, Andrzej (Spring 2001). "The Storm over the Black Book". ''The Wilson Quarterly''. 25 (2): 28–34. . Quotes at pp. 32–33. Anti-communism developed as soon as communism became a conscious political movement in the 19th century, and anti-communist mass killings have been reported against alleged communists, or their alleged supporters which were committed by anti-communists and political organizations or governments which opposed communism. The communist movement has faced opposition since it was founded and the opposition to it has often been organized and violent. Many of these anti-communist mass killing campaigns, primarily during the Cold War, were supported by the United States and its Western Bloc allies, including those who were formally part of the Non-Alligned Movement, such as the Indonesian mass killings of 1965–66 and Operation Condor in South America.


Excess deaths under Communist states

Many authors have written about excess deaths under Communist states and mortality rates, such as excess mortality in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Some authors posit that there is a Communist death toll, whose death estimates vary widely, depending on the definitions of the deaths that are included in them, ranging from lows of 10–20 million to highs over 100 million, which have been criticized by several scholars as ideologically motivated and inflated; they are also criticized for being inaccurate due to incomplete data, inflated by counting any excess death, ignoring lives saved by Communist modernization, making an unwarranted link to communism, and the grouping and body-counting itself. Higher estimates account for actions that Communist governments committed against civilians, including executions, man-made famines, and deaths that occurred during, or resulted from, imprisonment, and forced deportations and labor. Higher estimates are criticized for being based on sparse and incomplete data when significant errors are inevitable, skewed to higher possible values, and victims of civil wars, the Holodomor and other famines, and war-related events should not be included.Harff, Barbara (1996). "Death by Government by R. J. Rummel". ''The Journal of Interdisciplinary History''. 27 (1): 117–119. . .Hiroaki, Kuromiya (2001). "Review Article: Communism and Terror. Reviewed Work(s): ''The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, and Repression'' by Stephane Courtois; Reflections on a Ravaged Century by Robert Conquest". ''Journal of Contemporary History''. 36 (1): 191–201. . . .Paczkowski, Andrzej (2001). "The Storm Over the Black Book". ''The Wilson Quarterly''. 25 (2): 28–34. .Weiner, Amir (2002). "Review. Reviewed Work: ''The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression'' by Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartošek, Jean-Louis Margolin, Jonathan Murphy, Mark Kramer". ''The Journal of Interdisciplinary History''. 32 (3): 450–452. . . .Dulić, Tomislav (2004). "Tito's Slaughterhouse: A Critical Analysis of Rummel's Work on Democide". ''Journal of Peace Research''. 41 (1): 85–102. . . .Harff, Barbara (2017)
"The Comparative Analysis of Mass Atrocities and Genocide"
In Gleditsch, N. P., ed. ''R.J. Rummel: An Assessment of His Many Contributions''. 37. SpringerBriefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice. pp. 111–129. . .
There is no consensus among genocide scholars and scholars of Communism about whether some or all the events constituted a mass killing. There is also no consensus on a common terminology,Weiss-Wendt, Anton (2008). "Problems in Comparative Genocide Scholarship". In Stone, Dan (eds). ''The Historiography of Genocide''. London: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 42. . . "There is barely any other field of study that enjoys so little consensus on defining principles such as definition of genocide, typology, application of a comparative method, and timeframe. Considering that scholars have always put stress on prevention of genocide, comparative genocide studies have been a failure. Paradoxically, nobody has attempted so far to assess the field of comparative genocide studies as a whole. This is one of the reasons why those who define themselves as genocide scholars have not been able to detect the situation of crisis." and the events have been variously referred to as ''excess mortality'' or ''mass deaths''; other terms used to define some of such killings include ''classicide'', ''crimes against humanity'', ''democide'', ''genocide'', ''politicide'', ''Holocaust (disambiguation), holocaust'', and ''Political repression, repression''.Karlsson, Klas-Göran; Schoenhals, Michael (2008)
''Crimes Against Humanity Under Communist Regimes – Research Review''
Stockholm: Forum for Living History. .
Scholars state that most Communist states did not engage in mass killings; some in particular, such as Benjamin Valentino, propose the category of Communist mass killing, alongside colonial, counter-guerrilla, and ethnic mass killing, as a subtype of dispossessive mass killing to distinguish it from coercive mass killing. Scholars do not consider ideology or regime-type as an important factor that explains mass killings. Some authors have connected killings in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao Zedong's China, and Pol Pot's Cambodia on the basis that Stalin influenced Mao, who influenced Pol Pot; in all cases, killings were carried out as part of a policy of an unbalanced modernization process of rapid industrialization. Other authors allege that genocide was dictated in otherwise forgotten works of Karl Marx.Grant, Robert (November 1999). "Review: The Lost Literature of Socialism". ''The Review of English Studies''. 50 (200): 557–559. . Historical revisionist view of the double genocide theory, equating mass deaths under Communist states with the Holocaust, is popular in Eastern European countries and the Baltic states, and their approaches of history have been incorporated in the European Union agenda, among them the Prague Declaration in June 2008 and the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, which was proclaimed by the European Parliament in August 2008 and endorsed by the OSCE in Europe in July 2009. Among many scholars in Western Europe, the comparison of the two regimes and equivalence of their crimes has been and still is widely rejected. Many commentators on the political right point to the mass killings under communist regimes, claiming them as an indictment of communism. Opponents of this view, including those on the political left, state that these killings were aberrations caused by specific authoritarian regimes, and not caused by communism itself, and point to mass deaths in wars that they claim were caused by capitalism and Anti-communist mass killings, anti-communism as a counterpoint to those killings.


Memory and legacy

Memory studies have been done on how the events are memorized. The "victims of Communism" narrative, as popularized by and named after the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, has become accepted scholarship, as part of the double genocide theory, in Eastern Europe and among anti-communists in general; it is rejected by most Western European and other scholars, especially when it is used to equate Communism and Nazism, which is seen by scholars as a long-discredited perspective. It has additionally been criticized by several scholars as an oversimplification and politically motivated as well as of Holocaust trivialization for equating the events with the Holocaust, positing a communist or red Holocaust.Mastracci, Davide (21 July 2020)
"The 'Memorial to the Victims of Communism' Should Be Bulldozed"
''Read Passage''. Retrieved 20 December 2020. "This ideological process has consequences. As Katz notes, 'One major symptom of the revisionism underway in Eastern Europe is the rehabilitation of Nazi collaborators as 'national heroes' on the grounds that they were anti-Soviet.' This is also happening in Canada. ... They get that figure from ''The Black Book of Communism'', a 1997 text that tallies up all of the ideology's supposed victims. The TL's website cites the book on numerous occasions, regardless of the fact that it has been widely debunked and was led by an editor who some of the book's contributors said was obsessed with reaching the 100 million deaths mark."
The narrative posits that famines and mass deaths by Communist states can be attributed to a single cause and that communism, as "the deadliest ideology in history", or in the words of Jonathan Rauch as "the deadliest fantasy in human history", represents the greatest threat to humanity. Proponents posit an alleged link between communism, left-wing politics, and
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
with genocide, mass killing, and totalitarianism, with authors such as George Watson (scholar), George Watson advocating a common history stretching from Marx to Adolf Hitler. Some right-wing authors allege that Marx was responsible for Nazism and the Holocaust. Authors such as Stéphane Courtois propose a theory of equivalence between class and racial genocide.Christophe Jaffrelot, Jaffrelot, Christophe; Jacques Sémelin, Sémelin, Jacques, eds. (2009) ''Purify and Destroy: The Political Uses of Massacre and Genocide''. Translated by Schoch, Cynthia. CERI Series in Comparative Politics and International Studies. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 37. . It is supported by anti-communist organizations such as ''The Epoch Times'', the Tribute to Liberty, and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, with 100 million being the most common estimate used from ''The Black Book of Communism'', a controversial work which popularized the narrative. Various museums and monuments have been constructed in remembrance of the victims of Communism, with support of the European Union and various governments in Canada, Eastern Europe, and the United States. Works such as ''The Black Book of Communism'' and ''Bloodlands'' legitimized debates on comparison of Nazism and Stalinism, and by extension communism, and the former work in particular was important in the criminalization of communism.


See also

* ''American Communist History'' * Anti anti-communism * Commons-based peer production * :Communism by country, Communism by country * Communist bandit * Crimes against humanity under communist regimes * Criticism of communist party rule * Criticism of Marxism * Crypto-communism * List of communist parties * Outline of Marxism * Post-scarcity economy * Sociocultural evolution * ''Twentieth Century Communism''


References


Notes


Quotes


Sources


Bibliography

*


Further reading

* Adami, Stefano; Marrone, G. ed. (2006). "Communism". In ''Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies'' (1st ed.). Routledge. . * Brown, Archie (2009). ''The Rise and Fall of Communism''. Bodley Head. . * Robert Vincent Daniels, Daniels, Robert Vincent (1994). ''A Documentary History of Communism and the World: From Revolution to Collapse''. University Press of New England. . * Daniels, Robert Vincent (2007). ''The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia''. Yale University Press. . * Jodi Dean, Dean, Jodi (2012). ''The Communist Horizon''. Verso Books. . * Dirlik, Arif (1989). ''Origins of Chinese Communism''. Oxford University Press. . * ; (1998). [1848]. ''
The Communist Manifesto ''The Communist Manifesto'', originally the ''Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (german: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei), is an 1848 pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was ...
'' (reprint ed.). Signet Classics. . * Sheila Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick, Sheila (2007). "Revisionism in Soviet History". ''History and Theory''. 46 (4): 77–91. . Historiographical essay that covers the scholarship of the three major schools: totalitarianism, revisionism, and post-revisionism. * Forman, James D. (1972). ''Communism: From Marx's Manifesto to 20th-century Reality''. Watts. . * Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola, Schündeln, Matthias (2020)
"The Long-Term Effects of Communism in Eastern Europe"PDF version
. ''Journal of Economic Perspectives''. 34 (2): 172–91. . * François Furet, Furet, Francois; Kan, D., trans. (2000). ''The Passing of An Illusion: The Idea of Communism In the Twentieth Century'' (English ed.). University of Chicago Press. . * Fürst, Juliane; Pons, Silvio; Selden, Mark, eds. (2017). ''Endgames? Late Communism in Global Perspective, 1968 to the Present''. The Cambridge History of Communism. 3 Cambridge University Press. . * * Gregor, A. J. (2014). ''Marxism and the Making of China: A Doctrinal History''. Palgrave Macmillan. . * Michel Henry, Henry, Michel; Davidson, Scott, trans. (2014) [1991]
''From Communism to Capitalism''
Bloomsbury. . * Laybourn, Keith; Murphy, Dylan (1999). ''Under the Red Flag: A History of Communism in Britain'' (illustrated, hardcover ed.). Sutton Publishing. . * Lovell, Julia (2019). ''Maoism: A Global History''. Bodley Head. . * Morgan, W. John (2003). ''Communists on Education and Culture 1848–1948''. Palgrave Macmillan. . * Morgan, W. John, guest ed. (December 2005). "Communism, Post-Communism, and Moral Education". ''The Journal of Moral Education''. 34 (4). (print). (online). * Naimark, Norman; Silvio Pons, eds. (2017). ''The Socialist Camp and World Power 1941–1960s''. The Cambridge History of Communism. 2. Cambridge University Press. . * Pipes, Richard (2003). ''Communism: A History'' (reprint ed.). Modern Library. . * Pons, Silvio (2014). ''The Global Revolution: A History of International Communism 1917–1991'' (English, hardcover ed.). Oxford University Press. . * Pons, Silvio, Robert Service (historian), Service, Robert (2010). ''A Dictionary of 20th Century Communism'' (hardcover ed.). Princeton University Press. . * Pons, Silvio; Smith, Stephen A., eds. (2017). ''World Revolution and Socialism in One Country 1917–1941''. The Cambridge History of Communism. 1. Cambridge University Press. . * Pop-Eleches, Grigore; Tucker, Joshua A. (2017). ''Communism's Shadow: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Political Attitudes'' (hardcover ed.). Princeton University Press. . * David Priestland, Priestland, David (2009). ''The Red Flag: A History of Communism''. Grove Press. . * Sabirov, Kharis Fatykhovich (1987)
''What Is Communism?''
(English ed.) Progress Publishers. . * Service, Robert (2010). ''Comrades!: A History of World Communism''. Harvard University Press. . * Shaw, Yu-ming (2019). ''Changes And Continuities In Chinese Communism: Volume I: Ideology, Politics, and Foreign Policy'' (hardcover ed.). Routledge. . * Alexander Zinoviev, Zinoviev, Alexandre (1984) [1980]. ''The Reality of Communism''. Schocken Books. .


External links

* Retrieved 18 August 2021.
"Communism"
''Encyclopædia Britannica Online''. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
Libertarian Communist Library
at Libcom.org contains almost 20,000 articles, books, pamphlets, and journals on libertarian communism. . Retrieved 18 August 2021. One example bein
"Marx on the Russian Mir, and misconceptions by Marxists"
* Retrieved 18 August 2021.

at the Library of Congress contains materials on the topic of communism. Retrieved 18 August 2021. * See als
"The True Levellers Standard Advanced: Or, The State of Community Opened, and Presented to the Sons of Men"
from Kingston University London's Faculty of Business and Social Sciences at Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 18 August 2021. {{authority control Communism, 1770s neologisms Anarcho-communism Anti-capitalism Anti-fascism Economic ideologies Left-wing ideologies Marxism–Leninism Political ideologies Political culture Social anarchism Socialism