During the Industrial Revolution in Europe, a new class of poor was created due to the harsh conditions that the works underwent. In the book written by Karl Marx and published in 1848, “The Communist Manifesto”, he points out the poverty of the lower class and proposed the idea of communism which is both a economic and political philosophy. He claimed that capitalism is an imperfect system which will eventually break down and give way to communism. He encouraged the lower class to riot and overthrow the upper class, in order to free them from poverty. He and Friedrich Engels, the author of “Principles of Communism”, both believed that revolution was the only way to achieve socialism and saw communism as liberation of the people. In the first phase of the society being called “socialism”, there would still be different classes remaining. As society progresses, there would not be any classes remaining, entering the “higher phase” commonly referred to as “communism”.
The 1917 October Revolution took place in Russia, led by the Bolshevik Party. Marxist ideologies indicate that socialism should only be built on an advanced capitalist society. However, Russia was under the control of Tsar and was one of the poorest countries in Europe. This made it difficult for Russia to progress. After the Second International dissolved in 1916, Lenin proposed the Third International and sent out Twenty-one Conditions. However Marx, Socialist also pointed out that Russia’s October Revolution could be a start of the worker’s revolution in Europe. The Bolshevik Party changed its name to the Communist Party and marked the start of the first communist state in the world. After World War II, Soviet Union had gained more territory under her influence in East Europe like East Germany and Hungary. Soviet Union also spread communism to her neighboring countries like China. This also created branches of communism like Maoism in China. All these communist states followed the theory of Marxist-Leninism and were against capitalism. This movement also started the Cold War.
Proposed by Karl Marx, communism wants to create a classless society where everyone is equal and there won’t be any poor in the country. Under the control of communism, all property will belong to the state and there is a heavy progressive tax imposed on the people. Other than regional planning, the government has control over the bank, labor, farming, education factories and agriculture. No religion and morality are allowed in communism, but these things are essential in society. Communism, however, is only the final state of society and in order to achieve this final goal, there is a transformation period where everything in the country is controlled by the government. This is some kind of dictatorship and in Marxist Theory, it is being referred to as dictatorship of the proletariat, in this first state of society, people don’t have the choice to vote for the kind of government and all companies are under the government.
Although a communist society exists only in theory, there are countries that are currently ruled by a communist party. These countries are referred to communist states; however, these countries call themselves as socialist states. As world communism is the final stage of the world in Marxist Theory, these communist states are required so that the country is able to change into communism from capitalist state. In “The Communist Manifesto”, Karl Marx only stated the theory of communism, hence in practical, this ideology is often being referred to as “Marxist-Leninism” as Lenin put Marxist Theory into practice. Currently, there are only five communist state in the world, they are China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea and Laos. But there are also communist parties in Europe, in these countries; these are Reformist Communist Parties in Italy, France and Spain.
Christian Communism, unlike Communism proposed by Karl Marx, it is a form of communism that revolved around the teachings of Jesus Christ. Many Christian communists agree that Apostles was the first to create a socialist society. But Christian communist do not really agree with Marxist theory to a certain extent. They disagree with Marxist and Leninist about how the society should be governed especially the atheist view, as Christian communism is based mainly on religion. But both ideologies agreed that socialism should replace capitalism. Overall, Christian communist is rather different from Marxist theory of communism.
Under the rules of communism, all sorts of communication are controlled by the government, so there is definitely propaganda being spread by the government. In this propaganda, people will be heavily influenced by the government, having no other form of communications; people will definitely support the current government. So in communist states, people actually support the government and this ideology to a large extent.
However in the other countries, especially in United States, there was a period where there was anti-communism. Communism is often criticized for its economic performance in the countries and human rights. When communism is put into practice, it is very similar to totalitarian states and people are given little freedom. And when communism is practiced in economic policy, the performance is not as good as countries with capitalism. Communism is also blamed for not able to provide for their people and many countries are extremely poor.
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