What Is The Primary Distinction Between Modern Communism And Socialism – Communism is a political and economic ideology that stands in opposition to liberal democracy and capitalism, instead advocating a classless system in which the means of production are communally and privately owned – property is absent or severely limited.
“Communism” is an umbrella term covering a range of ideologies. The modern use of the term comes from Victor d’Hupay, an 18th-century French aristocrat who advocated living in “communities” where all property would be shared and “all might benefit from the labor of all.”
What Is The Primary Distinction Between Modern Communism And Socialism
The idea was hardly new, even at the time: the Bible’s book of Acts describes Christian communities in the 1st century who shared property according to a system known as
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Modern communist ideology began to develop during the French Revolution, and its basic tract, the “Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, was published in 1848. This pamphlet rejected the Christian wording of earlier communist philosophies, which established the materialist and… his. advocates say — a scientific analysis of the history and future direction of human society. “The history of all existing society,” wrote Marx and Engels, “is the history of class struggles.”
The Communist Manifesto presented the French Revolution as a great turning point in history, when the “bourgeoisie”—a merchant class in the process of consolidating control over the “means of production”—overthrew the feudal power structure and established a modern, capitalist one. maturity. This revolution replaced the medieval class struggle, which pitted the nobility against the serfs, with the modern pitting the bourgeois owners of capital against the “proletariat”, the working class who sold their labor for wages.
In the Communist Manifesto and subsequent writings, Marx, Engels and their followers advocated (and predicted its historical inevitability) a world proletarian revolution that would begin in the first period of socialism after communism.
In communist theory, the final stage of human development will mark the end of class struggle, and thus of history: All people will live in social equilibrium, without class distinctions, family structures, religion or property. The state is also “withering”.
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A communist economy will operate, as a popular Marxist slogan says, “to each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
The theories of Marx and Engels could not be tested in the real world until their deaths. In 1917, during World War I, an uprising in Russia overthrew the Czar and sparked a civil war that eventually saw a group of radical Marxists led by Vladimir Lenin take power in 1922. The Bolsheviks, as this group was called, founded the Soviet Union. on the territory of the former imperial Russia and tried to implement the communist theory.
Before the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin developed the Marxist theory of the avant-garde, which argued that a narrow group of politically enlightened elites was necessary to usher in a higher stage of economic and political development: socialism and ultimately communism.
Lenin died shortly after the Civil War, but the “dictatorship of the proletariat” led by his successor, Joseph Stalin, would pursue brutal ethnic and ideological cleansing, as well as the forcible collectivization of agriculture. Tens of millions of people died during Stalin’s rule from 1922 to 1953, in addition to the tens of millions who died as a result of the war with Nazi Germany.
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Instead of going away, the Soviet state became a powerful one-party institution that outlawed dissent and occupied the “echelons of command” of the economy. Agriculture, the banking system, and industrial production were subject to quotas and price controls set out in a series of five-year plans.
This system of central planning enabled rapid industrialization, and from 1950 to 1965, Soviet gross domestic product (GDP) growth exceeded that of the US. In general, however, the Soviet economy grew at a slower rate than its capitalist, democratic counterparts.
Weak consumer spending is a particular drag on growth. Central planners’ emphasis on heavy industry led to chronic shortages in the production of consumer goods, and long lines at poorly equipped grocery stores were a constant feature of Soviet life even in times of relative prosperity.
The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 following pressure to reform the economic and political system and allow more space for private enterprise and freedom of expression. These reform pressures, the so-called
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, respectively, failed to prevent the economic decline suffered by the Soviet Union in the 1980s and probably hastened the end of the communist state by unleashing the sources of dissent.
In 1949, after more than 20 years of war with the Chinese Nationalist Party and Imperial Japan, Mao Zedong’s Communist Party gained control of China, creating the world’s second largest Marxist-Leninist state. Mao aligned the country with the Soviet Union, but the Soviet policy of de-Stalinization and “peaceful coexistence” with the capitalist West led to a diplomatic split with China in 1958.
Mao’s rule in China resembled Stalin’s in its violence, deprivation, and insistence on ideological purity. During the Great Leap Forward period from 1958 to 1962, the Communist Party ordered the rural population to produce massive amounts of steel in an attempt to start China’s industrial revolution.
The Great Chinese Famine during the same period killed at least 16 million people and probably more than 45 million. The Cultural Revolution, an ideological purge that lasted from 1966 until Mao’s death in 1976, killed about 1.6 million people and exposed millions more to political persecution.
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After Mao’s death, Deng Xiaoping introduced a series of market reforms that remained in force under his successors. The US began to normalize relations with China with the visit of President Nixon in 1972, before Mao’s death.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) remains in power, presiding over a large capitalist system, although state-owned enterprises continue to make up a large part of the economy. Freedom of speech is severely restricted and meaningful opposition to the ruling Communist Party is not permitted. In other words, overthrowing the CCP would require a miracle.
The year marked the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War between that power and the US.
The U.S. emerged from World War II as the richest and most powerful country in the world. As a liberal democracy that had just defeated fascist dictatorships in two theaters, the country—if not all of its citizens—felt a unique and historic sense of purpose. So was the Soviet Union, his ally in the fight against Germany and the only revolutionary Marxist state in the world. The two powers immediately divided Europe into spheres of political and economic influence: Winston Churchill called this dividing line the “Iron Curtain”.
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Possessing nuclear weapons after 1949, the two superpowers engaged in a long stalemate known as the Cold War. The closest is the U.S. came into direct military conflict with the Soviet Union in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
The U.S. fought in Vietnam in the protracted war, however, in which his army supported South Vietnamese forces fighting the Chinese and Soviet-backed North Vietnamese army and South Vietnamese communist guerrillas. The U.S. withdrew from the war and Vietnam was unified under communist rule in 1975.
Communism failed for a number of reasons, including the lack of profit incentives among citizens, the failure of central planning, and the effect of usurping power by a very small number of people who then exploited it and gamed the system.
Although there are extensive studies on the causes of communism’s failure, researchers have identified some common factors that contributed to its demise.
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The first is the lack of incentives for citizens to make a profit. The profit motive leads to competition and social change. But the ideal citizen in a communist society is selflessly devoted to society’s goals and rarely stops to think about his own welfare.
A second reason for the failure of communism was the inherent inefficiency of the system, such as centralized planning. This planning method requires the aggregation and synthesis of vast amounts of data at a granular level. Since all projects are planned centrally, the method of planning is also complicated. In some cases, growth data is distorted or prone to error to match the facts with the assumed statistics and create the illusion of progress.
The concentration of power in the hands of a select few also led to impotence and, conversely, gave them incentives to game the system to their advantage and retain power. Corruption and laziness became endemic features of this system, and surveillance, as was characteristic of East German and Soviet societies, was common. It discouraged even the industrious and diligent. Ultimately, the economy suffered.
An example of communism is a community where people live together and share responsibilities and property. Many of these communities work well, although they tend to be small.
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Communism is the official form of government in China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. However, these countries also follow some capitalist principles, are largely autocratic and do not reflect Marx’s definition of this term.
Both communism and socialism advocate public ownership, promote equality, and seek to empower the working class. However, socialism is seen as a more moderate ideology. Unlike communism, it allows for the continued existence of capitalism in some parts of the economy and favors gradual change over revolution.
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