Communism is a far-left political and economic theory. Like socialism, it calls for a government-controlled planned economy. Thus, public ownership is supposed to replace private ownership. Besides, everything that the state produces, the government is supposed to redistribute equally. That means, that in theory, people own everything.
It is a distinct form of socialism. It is more strict and advanced. For example, there should be no private ownership. So, people cannot do business freely. Besides, the need for money would dissolve.
Communism takes over the argument of classes. The proletariat is the working class. The Bourgeoisie (the wealthy capitalists) forces the proletariat to work. Thus, they exploit the workers. For the likes of V. I. Lenin or Karl Marx, socialism was only the first step in achieving communism.
Rise of Communism
The first to define the word was a french aristocrat Victor d’Hupay. He labeled his idea of living in small communities (communes) as communism. However, the idea has evolved since then. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels drafted the principles of the theory in his Communist Manifesto from 1848. Communist states ended up being totalitarian.
The first time the ideas of Marx and Engles came into practice was in 1917. Then, Vladimir Lenin and other Marxists called Bolsheviks started The February Revolution and a few months later Great October Socialist Revolution. Lenin gained absolute power in 1922. Thus, creating the Soviet Union.
Further, the Soviets spread the ideology over Eastern Europe after the end of World War II. Besides, a communist regime also took over China in 1954. Further, it has several schools of thought. Most of them evolved from Marxism. The approach of Lenin is Leninism, of Josep Stalin Stalinism, and lastly, of Mao Zedong Maoism. Marxism-Leninism is the teaching of the Soviet Union.
Yet, the idea was distant from practice. Dictators controlled the communist states, and common people suffered. Thus, it was totalitarian. Besides, there were no free elections or freedom of speech. Hammer and sickle, a five-pointed star, and the color red are general symbols.
Around 100 million people died at the hands of communist rule. Thus, many countries have banned the spread of the ideology. It is widely seen as somewhat of an opposite to liberal representative democracy. In Europe, communism fell after four decades of misery in the late 1980s and early 1990s.