Features Of Communism

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jameadows | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Communism, which stemmed from the writings of Karl Marx, involves government ownership of the means of production (land, labor, and capital). In a strictly communist system, private ownership of land and businesses is not permitted and people's basic needs are provided for. There is not supposed to be a difference in living standards among people (though, in practice, government officials in communist nations such as China are generally wealthier than other people).

As practiced in the 20th century, communism involved a command economy in which the state directed the economic policies of the entire nation, such as in the former Soviet Union. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union and other economic pressures drove communist governments in China and elsewhere to allow limited private entrepreneurship and a relaxation of strict government control of the economy. In addition, communist regimes are marked by government control of the political sphere and a prohibition of expressions of disagreement with government policies. Communist regimes feature rule by one party and do not permit grassroots political activity. 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One primary feature of Communism would be the expanded role of the government in economic matters.  The essence of any Communist government calls for a government or external body controlling the means of production.  There is little, if any, room for private enterprise or the free market, as the public realm has subsumed the private one.  Accordingly, there is a very strong and present role of government in Communist nations.  The apparatus of government is quite present in such societies and permeates many, if not all, levels of existence.  There would be little in way of opposition as the public realm controlled and represented by the government once again subsumes all.  As with most state controlled industry, economic growth and development of gross national product runs through the government's control.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Communism is an ideology and a political and economic system for managing economies and countries. The essence of communism, or its close cousin socialism, is in that all capital or means of production are owned and operated by the society or the government rather than by by individuals as their private property. This communistic government is a government that governs a country based on this principle of socialism or communism.

However, governments in different countries have attempted to implement these ideals of communism in different ways and have achieved varying degree of success. There is no accepted definition of communistic form of government that reasonably covers the characteristics of all such governments. As a matter of fact the description of communist form of government given by different people is greatly influenced by their sympathies towards the ideal of public ownership of means of production.

Countries opposed to communism frequently describe themselves as democratic country as opposed to communist countries, implying that communist government are not democratic. However communist governments themselves like to claim that they have been elected democratically to manage the affairs of their country. Actually, in India some of the states have been governed by communist part, without in any way violating the democratic nature of Indian government system.

However, it would not be incorrect to say that in general communist government around the world have used force and coercion to implement their ideals to a greater extent than democratic governments. Also, in many instances the elections to elect the representatives are so organized that only selected few people who are members of the official communist party can manage to get elected.