[World History] Important Differences : Capitalism vs Socialism, Communism vs Socialism, Communism vs Fascism, Communism vs Democracy

Capitalism and socialism are somewhat opposing schools of thought in economics. The central arguments in the socialism/capitalism debate are about economic equality and the role of government: socialists believe economic inequality is bad for society and the government is responsible for reducing it via programs that benefit the poor. e.g. free public education, free

or subsidized health care, social security for the elderly, higher taxes on the rich. On the other hand, capitalists believe that government does not use economic resources as efficiently as private enterprise and therefore society is better off with the free market determining economic winners and losers.

The U.S. is widely considered the bastion of capitalism and large parts of Scandinavia and Western Europe are socialist democracies. However, the truth is every developed country has some programs that are socialist.

An extreme form of 
socialism is communism.


Capitalism
 vs Socialism


 Comparison chart :

Capitalism
Socialism
Philosophy:
Capital (or the "means of production") is owned, operated, and traded for the purpose of generating profits for private owners or shareholders. Emphasis on individual profit rather than on workers or society as a whole.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce in addition to receiving a wage.
Ideas:
Laissez-faire means to "let it be"; opposed to government intervention in economics because capitalists believe it introduces inefficiencies. Free market produces the best economic outcome for society. Govt. should not pick winners and losers.
All people should be given an equal opportunity to succeed. Workers should have most say in their factory's management. The free market suffers from problems like tragedy of the commons.Government regulation is necessary.
Economic System:
Free-Market economy.
Wealth redistributed so that everyone in society is given somewhat equal shares of the benefits derived from labor, but people can earn more if they work harder. Means of production are controlled by the workers themselves.
Key elements:
The accumulation of capital drives economic activity - the need to continuously produce profits and reinvest this profit into the economy. "Production for profit": useful goods and services are a byproduct of pursuing profit.
Economic activity and production especially are adjusted to meet human needs and economic demands. "Production for use": useful goods and services are produced specifically for their usefulness.
Economic coordination:
Relies principally on markets to determine investment, production and distribution decisions. Markets may be free-markets, regulated-markets, or may be combined with a degree of state-directed economic planning or planning within private companies.
Planned-Socialism relies principally on planning to determine investment and production decisions. Planning may be centralized or decentralized. Market-socialism relies on markets for allocating capital to different socially-owned enterprises.
Political movements:
Classical liberalism, Social liberalism, Libertarianism, Neo-liberalism, Modern Social-Democracy
Democratic Socialism, Communism, Libertarian Socialism, Anarchism, Syndicalism
Ownership structure:
The means of production are privately-owned and operated for a private profit. This drives incentives for producers to engage   in economic activity.
The means of production are socially-owned with the surplus value produced accruing to either all of society (in Public-ownership models) or to all the employee-members of the enterprise (in Cooperative-ownership models).
Religion:
Permitted/Freedom of Religion
freedom of religion
Key Proponents:
Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Milton Friedman, Fredrich Hayek, Ayn Rand
Robert Owen, Pierre Leroux, Karl Marx, Fredrick Engels, John Stuart Mill, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Leo Tolstoy, Emma Goldman
Way of Change:
Fast change within the system. In theory, the relationship between buyer and seller (the market) is what fuels what is produced. Government can change rules of conduct/business practices through   regulation or ease of regulations.
Workers in a Socialist-state are the agent of change rather than any market or desire on the part of consumers. Change by the workers can be swift or slow, depending on change in ideology or even whim.



Tenets

One of the central arguments in economics, especially in the socialism vs. capitalism debate, is the role of the government. A 
capitalist system is based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit. A socialist system is characterised by social ownership of the means of production, e.g. cooperative enterprises, common ownership, direct public ownership or autonomous state enterprises.

Proponents of capitalism espouse competitive and free markets, voluntary exchange (over forced exchange of labor or goods). Socialists advocate greater government involvement but the differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets versus planning, how management is to be organised within economic enterprises, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.


Criticisms of Socialism and Capitalism


Criticisms of Capitalism

Critics argue that capitalism is associated with: unfair and inefficient distribution of wealth and power; a tendency toward market monopol or oligopoly (and government by oligarchy); imperialism, counter-revolutionary wars and various forms of economic and cultural exploitation; repressions of workers and trade unionists, and phenomena such as social alienation, inequality, unemployment, and economic instability. Critics have argued that there is an inherent tendency towards oligolopolistic structures when laissez-faire is combined with capitalist private property. Capitalism is regarded by many socialists to be irrational in that production and the direction the economy is unplanned, creating many inconsistencies and internal contradictions.

In the early 20th century, Vladimir Lenin argued that state use of military power to defend capitalist interests abroad was an inevitable corollary of monopoly capitalism. Economist Branko Horvat states, "it is now well known that capitalist development leads to the concentration of capital, employment and power. It is somewhat less known that it leads to the almost complete destruction of economic freedom." Southern Methodist  university  Economics Professor Ravi Batra argues that excessive income and wealth inequalities are a fundamental cause of financial crisis and economic depression, which wil lead to the collapse of capitalism and the emergence of a new social order.

Environmentalists have argued that capitalism requires continual economic growth, and will inevitably deplete thefinite natural resources of the earth, and other broadly utilized resources. Murray Bookchin has argued that capitalist production externalizes environmental costs to all of society, and is unable to adequately mitigate its impact upon ecosystems and the biosphere at large. Labor historians and scholars, such as Immanuel Wallerstein, Tom Brass and latterly Marcel van der Linden, have argued that unfree labor — by slaves, indentured servants, prisoners, and other coerced persons — is compatible with capitalist relations.

Many religions have criticized or opposed specific elements of capitalism; traditional  Judaism and christianity, and islam forbid lending money sat interst, although methods of Islamic banking have been developed. Christianity has been a source of both praise and criticism for capitalism, particularly its materialist aspects.


Criticisms of Socialism

Criticisms of socialism range from claims that socialist economic and political models are inefficient or incompatible with civil liberties to condemnation of specific socialist states. There is much focus on the economic performance and human rights records of  communist states, although there is debate over the categorization of such states as socialist.

In the economic calculation debate, classical liberal Friedrich Hayek argued that a socialist command economy could not adequately transmit information about prices and productive quotas due to the lack of a price mechanism, and as a result it could not make rational economic decisions. Ludwig von Mises argued that a socialist economy was not possible at all, because of the impossibility of rational pricing of capital goods in a socialist economy since the state is the only owner of the capital goods. Hayek further argued that the social control over distribution of wealth and private property advocated by socialists cannot be achieved without reduced prosperity for the general populace, and a loss of political and economic freedoms.

Hayek's views were echoed by Winston Churchill in an electoral broadcast prior to the British general election of 1945:

 a socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.



Communism vs Socialism

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.

Comparison chart:-

Communism
Socialism
Philosophy:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Free-access to the articles of consumption is made possible by advances in technology that allow for super-abundance
From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce in addition to receivinga wage.
Definition:
A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the community or state
A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of most property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the workers
Ideas:
Human societies have always been divided into warring classes. The Industrial Revolution has enriched the wealthy and impoverished the poor. The workers must overthrow the bourgeois.
All people should be given an equal opportunity to succeed. Workers should have most say in their factory's management. The free market suffers from problems like tragedy of the commons.Government regulation is necessary.
Economic System:
Wealth redistributed so that everyone in society is given equal shares of the benefits derived from labor. All means of production are controlled by the state.
Wealth redistributed so that everyone in society is given somewhat equal shares of the benefits derived from labor, but people can earn more if they work harder. Means of production are controlled by the workers themselves.
Political System:
No leader, directed directly by the people. This has never been actually practiced, and has just used a one-party system.
Multiple parties, but the ruling partyusually goes by the name "Socialist".
Social Structure:
All class distinctions are eliminated.
Class distinctions are diminished
Economic Coordination:
Government controls all business, as well as Business decisions.
Planned-Socialism relies principally on planning to determine investment and production decisions. Planning may be centralized or decentralized. Market-socialism relies on markets for allocating capital to different socially-owned enterprises.
Free Choice:
In real communism, where a leader does not exist, everything is chosen freely.In those that have been practiced though, all choices, including education, religion, employment and marriage, are controlled by the state.
All choices, including education, religion, employment and marriage, are up to the individual. All healthcare and education is provided free to everybody
Political Movements:
Leninism, Trotskyism, Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, Left-Communism
Democratic Socialism, Communism, Libertarian Socialism, Anarchism, Syndicalism
Key elements:
An enhanced form of the principle of "Production for use".
Economic activity and production especially are adjusted to meet human needs and economic demands. "Production for use": useful goods and services are produced specifically for their usefulness.
Religion:
Abolished.
freedom of religion
Private Property:
Abolished
two kinds of property, private property, such as land, houses, clothing, etc. owned by the individual. Public property, factories, and means of production owned by the state but with worker control
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, Leo Tolstoy, Emma Goldman
Discrimination:
In theory, all members of the state are considered equal
The people are considered equal, laws are made when necessary to protect people from discrimination
Ownership structure:
The means of production are commonly-owned, meaning no entity or individual owns productive property. Importance is ascribed to "usership" over "ownership".
The means of production are socially-owned with the surplus value produced accruing to either all of society (in Public-ownership models) or to all the employee-members of the enterprise (in Cooperative-ownership models).
Way of Change:
Government in a Communist-state is the agent of change rather than any market or desire on the part of consumers. Change by government can be swift or slow, depending on change in ideology or even whim.
Workers in a Socialist-state are the agent of change rather than any market or desire on the part of consumers. Change by the workers can be swift or slow, depending on change in ideology or even whim.
Means of control:
Proletariat engages in violent rebellion.
Proletariat engages in taking charge of the factories and means of production.
Variations:
Include Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism and Maoism
libertarian-socialism, and anarcho-socialism, anarcho-syndicalism



Economic differences between socialists and communists

In a Socialist economy, the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. On the other hand, in a communist society, there is no centralized government - there is a collective ownership of property and the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

For a Capitalist society to transition, the first step is Socialism. From a capitalist system, it is easier to achieve the Socialist ideal where production is distributed according to people's deeds (quantity and quality of work done). For Communism (to distribute production according to needs), it is necessary to first have production so high that there is enough for everyone's needs. In an ideal Communist society , people  work not because they have to but because they want to and out of a sense of responsibility.


Political differences

Socialism rejects a class-based society. But socialists believe that it is possible to make the transition from capitalism to socialism without a basic change in the character of the state. They hold this view because they do not think of the capitalist state as essentially an institution for the dictatorship of the capitalist class, but rather as a perfectly good piece of machinery which can be used in the interest of whichever class gets command of it. No need, then, for the working class in power to smash the old capitalist state apparatus and set up its own—the march to socialism can be made step by step within the framework of the  democratic forms of the capitalist state. Socialism is primarily an economic system so it exists in varying degrees and forms in a wide variety of political systems.

On the other hand, communists believe that as soon as the working class and its allies are in a position to do so they must make a basic change in the character of the state; they must replace capitalist dictatorship over the working class with workers’ dictatorship over the capitalist class as the first step in the process by which the existence of capitalists as a class (but not as individuals) is ended and a classless society is eventually ushered in.



Communism vs Fascism

In many ways, communist and fascist movements had opposing ideologies but both ended up being repressive political systems based on the control of a single leader. While communism is based around a theory of economic equality, fascism is based around the glory of the state and strength displayed through violence and conquest. Both communism and fascism originated in Europe and gained popularity in the early to mid 20th century.


Comparison chart:-

Communism
Fascism
Philosophy:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Free-access to the articles of consumption is made possible by advances in technology that allow for super-abundance
No single philosophy. The state must gain glory through constant conquest, aka war. Belief that the past was glorious, and that the State can be renewed.
Economic System:
Wealth redistributed so that everyone in society is given equal shares of the benefits derived from labor. All means of production are controlled by the state.
Focused on glorifying and strengthening the State. Both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany attempted to pursue self-sufficiency.
Ideas:
Human societies have always been divided into warring classes. The Industrial Revolution has enriched the wealthy and impoverished the poor. The workers must overthrow the bourgeois.
Union between businesses and the State, with the state telling the business what to do, with private ownership. Also Known as National-Socialism.
Definition:
A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the community or state
A government system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly oppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism.
Economic Coordination:
Government controls all business, as well as Business decisions.
People control businesses properly, but Government makes business decisions.
Political System:
No leader, directed directly by the people. This has never been actually practiced, and has just used a one-party system.
One charismatic leader has absolute authority. Often the symbol of the state.
Political Movements:
Leninism, Trotskyism, Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, Left-Communism
Nazism, Falangism
Social Structure:
All class distinctions are eliminated.
Strict class structure believed necessary to prevent chaos. Everyone has a specific, defined role. While a certain race is considered superior, individuality among members of that race is discouraged.
Religion:
Abolished.
Fascism is a civic religion - citizens worship the state through nationalism. The state only supports religious organizations that are nationally/historically tied to that state; e.g. the Iron Guard in Romania supported the Romanian Orthodox church.
Free Choice:
In real communism, where a leader does not exist, everything is chosen freely.In those that have been practiced though, all choices, including education, religion, employment and marriage, are controlled by the state.
The individual is considered meaningless; they must be dedicated to the power of the State. Traditional gender roles are upheld.
Key Proponents:
Karl Marx, Fredrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky
Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler
Private Property:
Abolished
Permitted
History:
First conceived by Thomas More in his book Utopia in 1516. Most famously associated with Karl Marx and his Communist Manifesto in 1848. First used by the Bolshevik party when they took control of Russia in the 1917 October Revolution.
Term coined by Mussolini in the 1920 s when he gained control of Italy. Other major fascist regimes include the Nazi Party in Germany (1933-45), the National Union in Portugal (1934-68), and Francoist Spain (1936-1975).
Key elements:
An enhanced form of the principle of "Production for use".
Used to want to control the government, usually used by a harsh or demanding leader.
Discrimination:
In theory, all members of the state are considered equal
Belief in one superior race (Nazism). Blames society’s problems on members of other races or social groups.
Way of Change:
Government in a Communist-state is the agent of change rather than any market or desire on the part of consumers. Change by government can be swift or slow, depending on change in ideology or even whim.
Change can only occur within the party and the system itself.
Famous Examples:
Stalin (USSR), Mao (People’s Republic of China)
Mussolini (Italy), Hitler (Germany), Franco (Spain), Ion Antonescu (Romania)
Modern Examples:
Cuba
Recent far-right dictatorships include Pinochet's regime in Chile and Peron's regime in Argentina. Many Neo-Fascist organizations exist and engaged in terrorist attacks in the US, Germany and the UK in the 1990s.
Variations:
Include Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism and Maoism
Nazism, National Socialism, Falangism, Strasserism
Means of control:
Proletariat engages in violent rebellion.
Force and national fanaticism through rallies etc.



 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, two of the most brutal and evil fascist leaders in history.



Contents

·         1 What is Communism and Fascism?
·         2 Philosophy
·         3 Social Structure and Class Hierarchies
·         4 Political System
·         5 Economic System
·         6 Individual Rights
·         7 Videos explaining the difference
·         8 History of Fascism and Communism
·         9 Modern Examples



What is Communism and Fascism?


Communism is a system or a theory of social  organizations where the holding of all property is common, with actual ownership ascribed to the community or state.
Fascism is a system where the government is led by a dictator. The dictator has complete authority and forcibly oppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism.

Philosophy

Communists believe that a utopian (perfect) society can be achieved if, and only if, the proletariat (or working classes) overthrow the capitalist system in a social-revolution, usually using armed rebellion. 
Communism is an extreme form of socialism.

Fascism is based around the glory of the nation state. Fascists believe that constant conquest of other nations is necessary to uphold this glory. Fascist parties and movements in  various countries  differed significantly from each other. But they also had many characteristics in common, including extreme militaristic nationalism, opposition to parliamentary democracy conservative  economic policy  that favored the wealthy, contempt for political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a 
Volksgemeinschaft (German: “people’s community”), in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation.


Social Structure and Class Hierarchies

Communists inspired by Karl Marx believe class hierarchies must be abolished by the state seizing control of private property and industry, thereby abolishing the capitalist class. Oh the other hand, fascists believed in a rigid class hierarchy, especially rule by an elite, and were opposed to socialist movements. Fascism upholds a strict class structure, ensuring that every member of society has a specific, unchangeable role. Often in fascist societies a certain racial group is considered superior and national and ethnic unity is encouraged at the expense of individuality. For example, Hitler's fascist regime glorified the Aryan race and called for the extermination of Jews during World War II.


Political System


Both fascism and communism are against the democratic process but with some differences. Fascism looks down upon parliamentary democracy. Fascist leaders like Hitler and Mussolini participated in electoral politics before coming to power. But after seizing power, fascist leaders tended to abolish political parties, oppose universalsuffrage and became dictators and rulers for life.

In a communist system, there is rule -- in theory -- by a single party. Democracy was to be practiced only within the party, constrained by the policy of democratic centralism i.e. full and vigorous debate would lead to a decision that would determine the party’s “line” on an issue, whereupon the party’s central leadership would close off debate and require adherence to the party line. In short, the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat had to be a dictatorship of the communist party in the name of the proletariat.
Economic System

Communism is based on the equal distribution of wealth. The tenet of Marxian communism was "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Everyone in society receives an equal share of the benefits derived from labor, e.g. food and money. In order to ensure that everyone receives an equal amount, all means of production are controlled by the state.

Fascism allows for private enterprise, but its economic system is focused entirely on strengthening and glorifying the state. Both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany aimed for self-sufficiency, so that each country could survive entirely without trade with other nations. See Fascist corporatism


Individual Rights


In both communism and fascism, individual choice or preference matter less than society as a whole. In communism, religion and private property are both abolished, the government controls all labor and wealth, and individual choices such as job or education are dictated by the government. While private property is permitted in fascism, most other choices are also controlled to increase the strength of the State.


History of Fascism and Communism


Communism can be traced back to Thomas More, who wrote about a society based around common ownership of property in Utopia in 1516. Communism is most commonly associated with Karl Marx and his 1848 book The Communist Manifesto. Marx was a critic of the Industrial Revolution who disagreed with how capitalism took advantage of the working classes. He imagined that a utopia would be formed when all people were economically equal.

The first real-world example of Marxist Communism was in Russia in 1917, when the Bolshevik Party seized control in the October Revolution. This was the beginning of many communist revolutions in the 20th century, including in China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola and Mozambique.

Modern Fascism originated in Italy in the 1920s, when Mussolini gained control and coined the term “fascism” to describe his form of government. Fascism then spread throughout Europe, including to Germany beginning in 1933 with the Nazis, and Portugal in 1934.


Modern Examples


Communism is still practiced in Cuba and North Korea. Communism is also nominally the system of government in China, but China’s current economic system is far more capitalist in nature than traditional communism.

No countries are currently ruled by fascism, but neo-fascists (or neo-Nazis) exist in many countries, including the US. The bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995 was caused by neo-fascists.



Communism vs Democracy

Economics

Democratic and communist political systems are based on different ideological principles. Although superficially they seem to share the "power to the people" philosophy, in practice the two systems of government structure the economic and political fabric of society in markedly different ways.
In the economic sphere, communism calls for the government to take control of all the capital and industry in the country in an effort to get rid of economic inequality. On the other hand, a democracy respects individuals' right to own property and means of production.

The political landscape is also very different in a democracy vs. under communism. In a democratic society people are free to create their own political parties and contest in elections, which are free of coercion and fair to all contestants. In a communist society, however, the government is controlled by one political party and political dissent is not tolerated.


Comparison chart

Communism
Democracy
Philosophy:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Free-access to the articles of consumption is made possible by advances in technology that allow for super-abundance
All eligible citizens get equal say in decisions
Definition:
A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the community or state
is ruled by the omnipotent majority. In a Democracy, an individual, and any group of individuals composing any minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of the majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man.
Economic System:
Wealth redistributed so that everyone in society is given equal shares of the benefits derived from labor. All means of production are controlled by the state.
Usually capitalist
Political System:
No leader, directed directly by the people. This has never been actually practiced, and has just used a one-party system.
Elected officials
Social Structure:
All class distinctions are eliminated.
Class distinctions can become pronounced due to capitalist society. Varies from state to state
Free Choice:
In real communism, where a leader does not exist, everything is chosen freely.In those that have been practiced though, all choices, including education, religion, employment and marriage, are controlled by the state.
Permitted within legal limits
Religion:
Abolished.
Permitted
History:
First conceived by Thomas More in his book Utopia in 1516. Most famously associated with Karl Marx and his Communist Manifesto in 1848. First used by the Bolshevik party when they took control of Russia in the 1917 October Revolution.
Originated in ancient Athens
Private Property:
Abolished
Permitted
Discrimination:
In theory, all members of the state are considered equal
In theory, all citizens have an equal say and so are treated equally. However often allows for the tyranny of the majority over the minority
Famous Examples:
Stalin (USSR), Mao (People’s Republic of China)
Ancient Greece, the United States, France, the UK
Modern Examples:
Cuba
More than half of the world, including the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc.
Variations:
Include Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism and Maoism
Include direct democracy, parliamentary democracy and presidential democracy



Democracy

Contents


·         1 Ideology
·         2 Origins
·         3 Modern Development
·         4 Government system
·         5 Variations
·         6 Current Examples
·         7 Criticism


Ideology

Communism
 is a socialist movement that aims to create a society without class or money. As an ideology, it imagines a free society without any division, free from oppression and scarcity. The proletariat (working class) overthrow the capitalist system in a social revolution, usually via an armed rebellion.

Democracy is a form of government that gives all eligible citizens an equal say in decisions that affect their lives. All people can participate equally, either directly or through elected representatives, in the creation of laws.

Origins

Communism is traced back to 16th century English writer Thomas More, who described a society based on common ownership of property in his book Utopia. It first emerged as a political doctrine after the French Revolution, when Francois Noel Babeuf talked of the desirability of common ownership of land and total equality among citizens. Modern communism emerged from the industrial revolution, when Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto.
Democracy originated in Athens in Ancient Greece. The first democracy was established in 508-7 BC. Athenians were randomly selected to fill government administrative and judicial offices, and the legislative assembly was made up of all Athenian citizens, who had a right to speak and vote. However, this excluded women, slaves, foreigners and anyone under the age of 20.


Modern Development


Hammer, sickle and the red star are universal symbols of communism. Also seen are some famous communists, from bottom clockwise, Chen Duxiu, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels.

In the 1917 October Revolution, the Bolshevik Party seized power in Russia. They changed their name to the Communist Party and created a single party regime devoted to implementing a specific type of communism known as Leninism. They nationalized all property and put all factories and railways under government control. After
World War II, Communism spread throughout central and eastern Europe, and in 1949, the Communist Party of China established the People’s Republic of China. Communism also emerged in Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique and other countries. By the early 1980s, almost one-third of the world’s population lived in Communist states.

The first nation to become democratic in modern 
historywas the Corsican Republic in 1755. However, it was short-lived, and the first modern nation to establish an official democratic system was France, which established universal male suffrage in 1848. The founding fathers of theUnited States did not describe their new nation as a democracy, but they also espoused principles of national freedom and equality. All men in the US were nominally given the right to vote in the late 1860s, and full enfranchisement of citizens was secured when Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Democracy was a popular government system after World War I, but the Great Depression led to dictatorships throughout much of Europe and Asia. After World War II, the American, British and French sectors of Germany, Austria, Italy and Japan became democracies. By 1960, the majority of countries were nominally democracies, although many had sham elections or were, in reality, communist states. Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Boliva, Uruguay, Brazil and Chile all became democracies in the 1970s to 1990s.

Government system

In its ideological form, communism has no governments. However, it considers a dictatorship to be a necessary intermediate stage between capitalism and communism. In practice, communist governments take many different forms, but usually involve an absolute dictator.

Democratic governments take many forms, but in modern democracy, they usually involve elections, where citizens vote for individuals and parties to represent their concerns in government.

Variations

There are a wide range of interpretations of communism, usually named after the dictator who created them. They include Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism, Titoism and Eurocommunism.
There are many forms of democracy. They include representative, parliamentary, presidential, constitutional, and direct democracy, as well as constitutional monarchies.

Current Examples

Current communist states are the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Some people also consider North Korea to be a communist state.

According to Freedom House, there are currently 123 electoral democracies in the world. The World Forum on Democracy claims 58.2% of the world’s population live in democracies.

Criticism


Communism has been criticized as an ideology because it leads to slow technological advance, reduced incentives, and reduced prosperity. It has also been criticized as unfeasible. Communist states have been criticized for poor human rights records, with the belief that Communist governments have been responsible for famines, purges and war. Stephane Courtois argues that communism was responsible for the deaths of almost 100 million people in the 20th century.

Democracy has been criticized as inefficient and a creator of wealth disparity. It is criticized as a system that allows the uninformed to make decisions with equal weight as the informed, and one which allows for oppression of minorities by the majority.

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