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Introduction

The hammer and sickle icon is used by various Communist nations and movements.

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.

Selected article

East German stamp commemorating the conference
The Conference of Communist and Workers Parties of Europe was an international meeting of communist parties, held in the city of East Berlin, on 29–30 June 1976. In all, 29 parties from across Europe participated in the conference. Notable participants at the meeting included Brezhnev, Ceauşescu, Gierek, Husák, Honecker, Kádár, Tito, Zhivkov, Carrillo, Berlinguer, Marchais and Cunhal.

The conference highlighted several important changes in the European communist movement. It exhibited the declining influence of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and a widening gap between the independent and orthodox camps amongst European communist parties, with the ascent of a new political trend, Eurocommunism.

Selected biography

Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (Russian: Леони́д Ильи́ч Бре́жнев, IPA: [lʲɪɐˈnʲid ɪlʲˈjitɕ ˈbrʲeʐnʲɪf] (About this soundlisten); Ukrainian: Леоні́д Іллі́ч Бре́жнєв, 19 December 1906 (O.S. 6 December) – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in duration. During Brezhnev's rule, the global influence of the Soviet Union grew dramatically, in part because of the expansion of the Soviet military during this time. However, his tenure as leader has often been criticized for marking the beginning of an era of economic and social stagnation that eventually led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Brezhnev was born in Kamenskoe into a Russian worker's family. After graduating from the Dniprodzerzhynsk Metallurgical Technicum, he became a metallurgical engineer in the iron and steel industry, in Ukraine. He joined Komsomol in 1923, and in 1929 became an active member of the Communist Party. He was drafted into immediate military service during World War II and left the army in 1946 with the rank of Major General. In 1952 Brezhnev became a member of the Central Committee, and in 1964, Brezhnev succeeded Nikita Khrushchev as First Secretary. Alexei Kosygin succeeded Khrushchev in his post as Chairman of the Council of Ministers.

Selected quote

This article will express our views on guerrilla warfare and its correct utilization. Above all, we must emphasize at the outset that this form of struggle is a means to an end. That end, essential and inevitable for any revolutionary, is the conquest of political power. In the analysis of specific situations in different countries of America, we must therefore use the concept of guerrilla warfare in the limited sense of a method of struggle in order to gain that end.

Almost immediately the questions arise: Is guerrilla warfare the only formula for seizing power in Latin America? Or, at any rate, will it be the predominant form? Or will it simply be one formula among many used during the struggle? And ultimately we may ask: Will Cuba's example be applicable to the present situation on the continent? In the course of polemics, those who want to undertake guerrilla warfare are criticized for forgetting mass struggle, implying that guerrilla warfare and mass struggle are opposed to each other. We reject this implication, for guerrilla warfare is a people's warfare; an attempt to carry out this type of war without the population's support is a prelude to inevitable disaster. The guerrilla is the combat vanguard of the people, situated in a specified place in a certain region, armed and willing to carry out a series of warlike actions for the one possible strategic end — the seizure of power. The guerrilla is supported by the peasant and worker masses of the region and of the whole territory in which it acts. Without these prerequisites, guerrilla warfare is not possible.

We consider that the Cuban Revolution made three fundamental contributions to the laws of the revolutionary movement in the current situation in America. First, people's forces can win a war against the army. Second, it is not always necessary to wait for all conditions favorable to revolution to be present; the insurrection itself can create them. Third, in the underdeveloped parts of America, the battleground for armed struggle should in the main be the countryside.

— Che Guevara (1928-1967)
Guerrilla warfare: A method , 1963

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Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0331-0342, Bonn, DKP-Parteitag, SED-Gäste.jpg
German Communist Party congress, 1976.

Photo credit: Hubert Link

Communism News

12 September 2019 – Social media use in politics
Twitter suspends several Cuban government and state media accounts, including First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Raúl Castro and his daughter Mariela Castro. The pro-government Union of Journalists of Cuba denounces the suspensions as "massive censorship". (The Guardian) (BBC)
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)

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