Communism

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Types of government
Karl Marx, who established communist theory.

Communism is a collection of political ideologies and socio-economic theories, whose aims are the abolition of social class, the abolition of the state and the eventual creation of an egalitarian society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property.

Theory

Communist theories are based on the principle that the proletariat - the working classes - are the source of society's wealth and are the basis upon which modern civilisation has been built. Communism holds that the proletariat are oppressed by the upper-class bourgeois. Classical communism is noted for its staunch opposition to imperialism, nationalism and capitalism. There are many different branches of communist thought, such as Marxism, Leninism and Trotskyism, which have different interpretations of the theory.

Confusion with socialism

During the early to mid 20th century many countries calling themselves 'communist' were established in Europe and Asia, though most agree that these states were, in fact, socialist due to the very presence of a state and often the frequent promotion of nationalism. This exhibits a common misconception about socialism and communism, in that one is often confused for the other.

Comparison

Aspects Socialism Communism
Economics Means of production are owned and run by the State. Means of production are owned and run by the 'People' -
Politics A dictatorship of the proletariat. A 'temporary measure' to prepare the country for the utopia of 'pure communism' (i.e. with no State). Abolition of the State - decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made in the best interests of the whole of society rather than the proletariat working for wages being paid by the upper-classes.
Social Not necessarily the total abolition of the class structure, but at the very least making society less 'unequal' and for the working classes to slowly replace the bourgeois as the class controlling the means of production in preparation for utopian communism. Abolition of the class structure and the total removal of class divisions.

Communism in micronationalism

Communism is sometimes referred to as one of the most common choices of government for micronations, especially since the early 2000s. Some have referred to most of these micronations as 'costume communism' - ‘someone who thinks being communist is a cool rebellious thing to do, or maybe enjoys the aura of evilness communism carries with it in the Western world... Not people who are actually acquainted with the works of Marx or dyed-red, card-carrying fellow-travelers of the Communist Party.’ [1].

Nevertheless, many micronations calling themselves 'communist' exist, despite their being Socialist in nature; most notably the existence of a State. Some have developed extensions of existing ideologies, such as Rennie-Gaffneyism and Communalism.

See also

References

  1. 'Communism', ShireWiki, 15th December 2007, Accessed: 7th December 2011