Definition of Communism
(noun) An economic system based on the collective ownership of property and the means of production and a classless society.
Examples of Communism
Note: There are numerous variations of communism related to different people such as:
- Castroism: Fidel Castro (1926–2016), Cuba
- Leninism (also called Marxism-Leninism): Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924), Russia
- Maoism: Mao Zedong (1893–1976), China
- Marxism: Karl Marx (1818–1883), Germany
- Trotskyism: Leon Trotsky (1879–1940), Russia
- American English – /kAHm-yuh-niz-uhm/
- British English – /kOm-yu-ni-zuhm/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈkɑmjəˌnɪz(ə)m/
- British English – /ˈkɒmjᵿnɪz(ə)m/
- Plural: communisms
- Communism is often compared and contrasted to other economic systems such as capitalism and socialism.
- Also called state monopoly capitalism.
- A (noun) communist advocates for communism.
- “Though Marx is often identified with the communist revolutions and social governments that appeared in many nations in the 20th century, Marx actually had little to say about communism or socialism. Marx was a utopian who centered his attention on capitalism and its internal dynamics, assuming that when socialism replaced capitalism many of the world’s problems would disappear” (Hughes and Kroehler 2008:12).
- Economic Sociology Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “communism” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Alexander, Robert J. 1973. Trotskyism in Latin America. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University.
- Callinicos, Alex. 1990. Trotskyism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- Carlisle, Rodney P., and James H. Lide. 2002. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Communism. Indianapolis: Alpha.
- Harding, Neil. 1996. Leninism. London: Macmillan Press.
- Heilbroner, Robert L. 1980. Marxism: For and Against. New York: Norton.
- Lane, David Stuart. 1981. Leninism: A Sociological Interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Llerena, Mario. 1978. The Unsuspected Revolution: The Birth and Rise of Castroism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
- Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels.  2017. The Communist Manifesto. London: Pluto Press.
- Note: Originally titled Manifesto of the Communist Party (German: Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei).
- Meisner, Maurice J. 1982. Marxism, Maoism, and Utopianism: Eight Essays. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
- Pipes, Richard. 2003. Communism: A History. New York: Modern Library.
- Sowell, Thomas. 1985. Marxism: Philosophy and Economics. New York: Morrow.
- Suárez, Andrés. 1967. Cuba: Castroism and Communism, 1959–1966. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Trotsky, Leon. The History of the Russian Revolution.
- Wylie, Raymond Finlay. 1980. The Emergence of Maoism: Mao Tse-tung, Ch’en Po-ta, and the Search for Chinese Theory, 1935–1945. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- mode of production
- relations to production
- social movement
- Marx, Karl
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Cite the Definition of Communism
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “communism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 29, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/communism/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
communism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/communism/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “communism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 29, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/communism/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“communism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 29 May. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/communism/>.