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Introduction

In political and social sciences, communism (from Latin communis, "common, universal") is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.

Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism and anarchism (anarcho-communism), as well as the political ideologies grouped around both. All of these share the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism; that in this system there are two major social classes; that conflict between these two classes is the root of all problems in society; and that this situation will ultimately be resolved through a social revolution. The two classes are the working class—who must work to survive and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class—a minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. The revolution will put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production, which according to this analysis is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism. Critics of communism can be roughly divided into those concerning themselves with the practical aspects of 20th century communist states and those concerning themselves with communist principles and theory.

Marxism-Leninism and democratic socialism were the two dominant forms of socialism in the 20th century; democratic socialism advocates economic reform through gradual democratic legislative action rather than through revolution.

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Emblem of the Fourth International.
The Fourth International (FI) (founded in 1938) is the communist international organization consisting of followers of Leon Trotsky (Trotskyists), with the declared dedicated goal of helping the working class bring about socialism. Historically, the Fourth International was established in France in 1938: Trotsky and his supporters, having been expelled from the Soviet Union, considered the Comintern or Third International to have become "lost to" Stalinism and incapable of leading the international working class to political power.

Trotsky's followers had been organised since 1930 as the International Left Opposition, which later became the International Communist League. By declaring themselves the Fourth International, World Party of Socialist Revolution, the Trotskyists, were publically asserting their continuity not only with the Comintern but also with the earlier Socialist International and the International Workingmens Association, the first international, which had been led by Karl Marx.

The International's rationale was to construct new mass revolutionary parties able to lead successful workers' revolutions. It saw these arising from a revolutionary wave which would develop alongside and as a result of the coming world war. The founding conference adopted the Transitional Program for Socialist Revolution as the International's political platform.

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Antonio Gramsci, ca. early 20s
Antonio Gramsci (22 January 1891 – 27 April 1937) was an Italian writer, politician, political philosopher, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime. Gramsci was one of the most important Marxist thinkers in the 20th century, and his writings are heavily concerned with the analysis of culture and political leadership; he is notable as a highly original thinker within modern European thought. He is renowned for his concept of cultural hegemony as a means of maintaining the state in a capitalist society.

Gramsci wrote more than 30 notebooks and 3000 pages of history and analysis during his imprisonment. These writings, known as the Prison Notebooks, contain Gramsci's tracing of Italian history and nationalism, as well as some ideas in Marxist theory, critical theory and educational theory associated with his name.

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In our time only a party that will organise really nation-wide exposures can become the vanguard of the revolutionary forces. The word “nation-wide” has a very profound meaning. The overwhelming majority of the non-working-class exposers (be it remembered that in order to become the vanguard, we must attract other classes) are sober politicians and level-headed men of affairs. They know perfectly well how dangerous it is to “complain” even against a minor official, let alone against the “omnipotent” Russian Government. And they will come to us with their complaints only when they see that these complaints can really have effect, and that we represent a political force. In order to become such a force in the eyes of outsiders, much persistent and stubborn work is required to raise our own consciousness, initiative, and energy. To accomplish this it is not enough to attach a “vanguard” label to rearguard theory and practice.

But if we have to undertake the organisation of a really nationwide exposure of the government, in what way will then the class character of our movement be expressed? — the overzealous advocate of “close organic contact with the proletarian struggle” will ask us, as indeed he does. The reply is manifold: we Social-Democrats will organise these nation-wide exposures; all questions raised by the agitation will he explained in a consistently Social-Democratic spirit, without any concessions to deliberate or undeliberate distortions of Marxism; the all-round political agitation will be conducted by a party which unites into one inseparable whole the assault on the government in the name of the entire people, the revolutionary training of the proletariat, and the safeguarding of its political independence, the guidance of the economic struggle of the working class, and the utilisation of all its spontaneous conflicts with its exploiters which rouse and bring into our camp increasing numbers of the proletariat.

— Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924)
What Is to Be Done? , 1902

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Communism News

2 July 2019 – Education in Argentina, Argentina–Cuba relations
Argentine Education Minister Alejandro Finocchiaro, who strongly condemned a school in Chaco Province for displaying a Cuban flag and displaying pictures of Che Guevara, says the school "has no supervision" and that they are "indoctrinating children with communism and totalitarian and populist governments". He also added in an interview on state TV that the school will be reviewed. (La Nación) (Clarín)
28 June 2019 – China–Holy See relations
The Vatican asks China's communist government to stop intimidating Catholic clergy who want to remain unequivocally loyal to the pope and refuse to sign ambiguous official registration forms. (Reuters)
2 June 2019 –
During his visit to Romania, Pope Francis apologizes to the Roma people on behalf of the Catholic Church and asks forgiveness for "all those times in history when we have discriminated, mistreated or looked askance at you." He also beatifies seven Eastern Catholic church bishops who were jailed for treason and tortured under Communist rule. All died in confinement and were buried in secret. (Reuters) (BBC)
31 March 2019 –
Fourteen suspected communist rebels are killed in the Philippines. However, human rights groups dispute the claims by police forces stating those killed were farmers. (The Bangkok Post) (Channel NewsAsia)
18 February 2019 – North Korea–Vietnam relations
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet with Vietnamese General Secretary and President Nguyễn Phú Trọng in Hanoi ahead of talks with U.S. President Donald Trump. (Fox News)
4 January 2019 – Cross-Strait relations
Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping orders the country's armed forces to be ready for battle following President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Tsai Ing-wen's call for international support to defend the self-ruled island’s democracy after rejecting of the one country, two systems principle. (Newsweek via msn.com) (South China Morning Post)

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