Portal:Communism

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Introduction

Communism (from Latin communis, 'common, universal') is a philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose goal is the establishment of a communist society, namely a socioeconomic order structured upon the ideas of common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state. Communism is a specific, yet distinct, form of socialism. Communists agree on the withering away of the state but disagree on the means to this end, reflecting a distinction between a more libertarian approach of communization, revolutionary spontaneity, and workers' self-management, and a more vanguardist or Communist party-driven approach through the development of a constitutional socialist state.

Variants of communism have been developed throughout history, including anarcho-communism, Leninism, Stalinism, and Maoism. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought which broadly include Marxism and libertarian communism as well as the political ideologies grouped around both, all of which share the analysis that the current order of society stems from capitalism, its economic system and mode of production, 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. The two classes are the proletariat (the working class), who make up the majority of the population within society and must work to survive, and the bourgeoisie (the capitalist class), a small minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. According to this analysis, revolution would put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership 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 and its variants came into power in parts of the world, first in the Soviet Union with the Russian Revolution of 1917, and then in portions of Eastern Europe, Asia, and a few other regions after World War II. Along with social democracy, communism became the dominant political tendency within the international socialist movement 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 states and that which concerns itself with communist principles and theory. Several academics and economists, among other scholars, posit that the Soviet model 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, or non-planned administrative-command system. (Full article...)

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A young Karl Marx
Marxism is the philosophy, social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German socialist philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary. Marx, often in collaboration with Friedrich Engels, drew on G. W. F. Hegel's philosophy, the political economy of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, and theorists of 19th century French socialism, to develop a critique of society which he claimed was both scientific and revolutionary. This critique achieved its most systematic (albeit unfinished) expression in his most famous work, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, more commonly known as Das Kapital.

Marx defined history on a strictly economic basis, stating that history had 6 steps (Tribe, Slavery, Feudalism, Capitalism, Socialism and Communism), where economic inequility caused each step to be replaced over time. He as a communist believed that a violent revolution would be the catalyst in the transformation from capitalism to socialism. Since its inception and up to the present day, Marxism has been situated largely outside the political mainstream, although it has played a major role in history. Today, Marxist political parties of widely different sizes survive in most countries around the world.

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Baburam Bhattarai
Dr. Baburam Bhattarai (Nepali:बाबुराम भट्टराई) is a Nepali politician who was the 36th Prime Minister of Nepal from August 2011 to March 2013. As a way out of the political deadlock since the dissolution of the first Nepalese Constituent Assembly in May 2012, he was then replaced by Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi to head an interim government that should hold elections by 21 June 2013. He is a senior Standing Committee Member and vice chairperson of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). His party started a revolutionary People's War in Nepal in 1996 that ultimately led to the change of the political system in Nepal. The decade long civil war transformed Nepal from a monarchy into a republic. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Gorkha in 2008 and became Finance Minister in the cabinet formed after the election.

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"The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement. In France, the Communists ally with the Social-Democrats against the conservative and radical bourgeoisie, reserving, however, the right to take up a critical position in regard to phases and illusions traditionally handed down from the great Revolution.

In Switzerland, they support the Radicals, without losing sight of the fact that this party consists of antagonistic elements, partly of Democratic Socialists, in the French sense, partly of radical bourgeois.

In Poland, they support the party that insists on an agrarian revolution as the prime condition for national emancipation, that party which fomented the insurrection of Cracow in 1846.

In Germany, they fight with the bourgeoisie whenever it acts in a revolutionary way, against the absolute monarchy, the feudal squirearchy, and the petty bourgeoisie."

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, English edition of 1888

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PLP rally.jpg
Progressive Labor Party supporters rally.

Photo credit: Jim Winstead

Communism News

15 September 2021 – 2021 Russian legislative election
Allies of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, especially Leonid Volkov, call to vote for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in the upcoming parliamentary election in order to hurt the ruling United Russia party. Navalny and his allies' party was barred from the election after being branded as "extremist" last June. (Reuters)
1 September 2021 – China–Holy See relations
Pope Francis defends the dialogue with China via the appointment of new Catholic bishops. Francis says that uneasy dialogue is better than no dialogue at all and compared the talks with China to those with Eastern European countries during the Cold War. The Vatican and China have had strained relations since the communist party took power in 1949. (Reuters)

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