communism n.
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  1. Communism

  2. Definition of Communism • A political or economic system in which the major resources and means of production are owned by the community rather than by individuals

  3. Definition of Communism (continued) • Communists traditionally have called for government ownership rather than private ownership of land, factories, and other economic resources (the means of production) • There is also government planning of economic activities

  4. Definition of Communism (continued) • A long-range goal of communism is a society that provides equality and economic security for all

  5. Karl Marx • German philosopher that transformed communism into a revolutionary movement

  6. Karl Marx (continued) • Marx's basic ideas were first expressed in the Communist Manifesto (1848), a pamphlet that he wrote with Friedrich Engels (a German economist) • Both Marx and Engels lived during the Industrial Revolution when factories were being built and people worked in horrible conditions

  7. Karl Marx (continued) • Marx believed the only way to ensure a happy, harmonious society was to put the workers in control • His ideas were partly a reaction against hardships suffered by workers in England, France, and Germany during the Industrial Revolution

  8. Karl Marx (continued) • Marx believed that the triumph of communism was inevitable • Marx claimed that the owners of factories and other means of production—the ruling class—used their economic power to force their will on the working class

  9. Karl Marx (continued) • Marx assumed that the ruling class would never willingly give up power • As a result, he believed that struggle and violence were inevitable to overthrow this system

  10. Karl Marx (continued) • Marx called for the abolition of capitalism, an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned

  11. Karl Marx (continued) • Under capitalism, Marx argued the bourgeoisie (“the haves”) were the owners and managers of the means of production and the workers, or proletariat (“the have-nots”), were being exploited

  12. Karl Marx (continued) • Marx believed that eventually the workers would revolt against capitalism and take control of the means of production and set-up a classless, communist society

  13. Examples of Communism • Communism came to the Soviet Union in 1917 as a result of the Russian Revolution • It would last until the 1990s when communism collapsed • Communism came to China through a revolution in 1949 and the People’s Republic of China was born

  14. Examples of Communism (continued) • Throughout the 1940-1960s communism also spread to various countries in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia • In 1959 communism came to Cuba through a revolution as Fidel Castro took power

  15. References Information courtesy of World Book Online Encyclopedia