Uploaded by lovebug88 on Feb 25, 2004
Communism is a concept or system of society in which the major resources and means of production are owned by the community rather than by individuals. Ideally, it is a society without money, property, or social classes. In theory the communist societies provide equal sharing of all work, according to ability, and all benefits, according to need. Everyone provides the equal amount of work and is given the equal amount of benefits. In a communist country all the country’s major resources are controlled by the federal government.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in their Communist Manifesto, helped create the movement of communism in Central Europe. They believed that the capitalist system was flawed and bound to destroy itself. They also believed that these movements would mostly occur in the Western Europe in the most highly industrialized nations, but many followers of Marx and Engels came to power in nations that lacked the necessities Marx and Engel considered essentials. The first of these countries was Russia, a huge, poor, backward country that was just beginning to create an industrial base. Since 1917 the term communism has indicated the people who regard the Russian Revolution as a model that all Marxist should follow. Although the Soviet Union called itself communist, during Stalin’s reign, it was more totalitarianism (Stalinism in Russia) than communism. The country’s cultural and intellectual life remained under the control of the ruling party. The communist parties were organized on a hierarchical basis, with active members of the party as the broad base, which were made up only of the elite. The center of communism, eventually, shifted away from Central and Western Europe. From late 1940s through the 1980s, communist movements were linked with Third World countries, striving for independence and social changes. Communist parties, or their descendent parties, remain politically important in many Eastern European nations and in Russia and many of the other nations that emerged from the former Soviet Union.