Sociology Index

COMMUNISM

Communism is a political theory that advocates collective ownership of the means of production and abolition of private property to bring about equalisation of incomes. Communism differs from socialism because it contemplates revolutionary social change and not in just electoral politics.

The first modern communist society was established in Russia after the revolution of 1917 and this political system was imposed by the Soviet Union on many countries of Eastern Europe.

A successful communist-led revolution in China in 1949 led to the growth of communist regimes and political movements in other areas like Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia.

These centralized and dictatorial communist systems were far from the model societies envisaged by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels who believed that a communist revolution would create co-operative collective ownership in a true community-based democracy by the weakening of the role of the state. The term Marxism is also used more generally to refer to work in the social sciences that employs key ideas and concepts from Marx and Engels.

Marxian analysis is largely macrosociological and structural, and emphasizes social class, means and modes of production, division of labour, crises and class conflict.