In a way, communism is an extreme form of socialism. Many countries have dominant socialist political parties but very few are truly communist. In fact, most countries - including staunch capitalist bastions like the U.S. and U.K. - have government programs that borrow from socialist principles. "Socialism" is sometimes used interchangeably with "communism" but the two philosophies have some stark differences. Most notably, while communism is a political system, socialism is primarily an economic system that can exist in various forms under a wide range of political systems.
| |Communism |Socialism ...view middle of the document...
|planning or markets. |
|Religion |Abolished - all religious and metaphysics is rejected. |Freedom of religion, but usually promotes secularism. |
|Political System |Usually takes the form of totalitarianism as Marx |Can coexist with different political systems. Most |
| |described in The Communist Manifesto. Cronyism common. |socialists advocate participatory democracy, some |
| | |(Social Democrats) advocate parliamentary democracy, and|
| | |Marxist-Leninists advocate "Democratic centralism". |
|Ideas |All people are the same and therefore classes make no |All individuals should have access to basic articles of |
| |sense. The government should own all means of production |consumption and public goods to allow for |
| |and land and also everything else. People should work for |self-actualization. Large-scale industries are |
| |the government and the collective output should be |collective efforts and thus the returns from these |
| |redistributed equally. |industries must benefit society as a whole. |
|Definition |International theory or system of social organization |A theory or system of social organization based on the |
| |based on the holding of all property in common, with |holding of most property in common, with actual |
| |actual ownership ascribed to the community or state. |ownership ascribed to the workers. |
| |Rejection of free markets and extreme distrust of | |
| |Capitalism in any form. | |
|Key Proponents |Karl Marx, Fredrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky. |Robert Owen, Pierre Leroux, Karl Marx, Fredrick Engels, |
| | |John Stuart Mill, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, |
| | |Thorstein Veblen, Emma Goldman. |
|Social Structure |All class distinctions are eliminated. |Class distinctions are diminished. |
|Economic coordination |Economic planning coordinates all decisions regarding |Planned-Socialism relies principally on planning to |
| |investment, production and resource...