Key Takeaways Communism and socialism describe economic systems in which workers who produce goods and services are also owners of the means of production. Economic systems Communism Socialism Capitalism Governments own/regulate all aspects of the economy. Both socialism and communism hold the principle that resources in an economy must be owned collectively by the general public and controlled by a central organization.
It is important to realize that socialism or communism, as economic systems, does not necessarily describe a form of government. Capitalism will not completely capture a nation’s economic system today. In fact, Marxists frequently call Socialism a first, necessary stage in the path from capitalism to Communism. Marx and Engels saw the development of advanced societies starting from capitalism, moving towards socialism, and eventually reaching the final destination of communism.
Socialism and Communism believed that their vision for socialism should be achieved by democratic processes, not by revolution. Both seek to address problems that they believe have been created by a capitalist system of free markets, including exploitation of workers and widening gaps between the rich and poor. Like the Communists, both socialism and communism hold that workers should control most means of production, rather than being subordinated to the free-market, capitalist class.
Both socialism and communism are, at their core, economic philosophies that support social, not private, ownership, particularly over the means of production, distribution, and exchange (i.e., making money) within a society. The major difference is that in communism, the majority of economic property and resources are owned and controlled by the state (rather than by individual citizens); in socialism, all citizens equally share in economic resources, which are allocated by democratically elected governments. The major difference between socialism and communism is that within communism, society owns property and all natural resources, while in a state governed under socialism, citizens may own private property.
The major difference is that socialism and communism are compatible with democracy and freedom, while communism involves creating a peer society via an authoritarian state which denies fundamental freedoms. Communism, in contrast, is both an economic system seeking equality between members of society, and a political ideology advocating for a classless, stateless society, as well as the rejection of religion. Communism (from Latin communis) encompasses various schools of thought, which include Marxism and anarcho-communism, in general, as well as the political ideologies clustered around either, all of which share an analysis that the present order of society is due to capitalism, its economic system, and its mode of production, that is, the fact that in capitalism, there are two main social classes, the relations between those two classes are exploitative, and that the situation can be eventually resolved through social revolution.
Communism and socialism are umbrella terms that refer to two co-operative schools of economic thought, both seemingly opposed to capitalism. While communism and socialism describe economic systems of production, the terms socialism and particularly communism have been hijacked for political purposes and attached to regimes of autocratic rule which limit individual liberty. Socialism typically refers to cooperatively owned businesses and forms of government where workers and governmental entities are given greater control over the means of production and distribution of goods, as opposed to private property and the free markets which underpin capitalism.
While capitalism is clearly distinct from the others, the same cannot be said for communism and socialism. Communism is similar because it is still founded upon the idea of collective cooperation, but different because communists believe cooperation must be managed by a totalitarian government composed of one government and only one government. Supporting universal social welfare, emphasizing government-run health care and education, the state would work to benefit all individuals within society, with no discrimination. Origins The modern form of capitalism dates back to the Early Renaissance Period of the 15th-16th centuries.