Communism, What is It?

The notion may have originated in the early stages of history, embodied in the hunter-gatherer groups of the Palaeolithic, who were essentially equitable. Long after that, Pythagoras and Plato discussed the idea common ownership. Also, Thomas Moore and Tommaso Campanella further spoke of societies in which products and goods are shared, in their respective books Utopia and La Citta del Sole. However, it wasn’t until German philosopher Karl Marx outlined the blueprint for Marxist Communism, that the seed was planted for this ideology to become one of the most influential political systems. Marx published his best known work, The Communist Manifesto, in 1848, but along with his supporter Friedrich Engels, did more than just write. They participated and promoted communist activities, which pursued the end of class struggles between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
Communism advocates for a classless society, where wage labour and private property are abolished, and the means of production are owned communally. As such it is diametrically opposed to capitalism, and this has been and enduring source of conflict. It has also been related to socialism, but in the socialism vs communism debate, it is argued that socialism is a step towards communism, and not its end goal. In reality, both political systems support the concept of shared ownership and criticizes capitalism, however for proponents of both ideologies, it will always be socialism vs communism. Probably the main difference in the socialism vs communism argument is that although socialism shares the belief that capitalism concentrates wealth and power in the hands of just a few, it still believes that capitalism may have a place in a socialism state, and the other way around, that socialism can take part of a capitalist state.
On the other hand, communists’ stance towards capitalism, and viceversa, has led to much confrontation. The victory of the Soviet Union in WW2 allowed the spread of communism to new countries in Eastern Europe and East Asia. This development led to the “Red Scare” in the US, the main stronghold of capitalism, where fear reached levels of paranoia, though most probably didn’t even ask themselves, “what is communism? Still, the biggest conflict between the two political systems is the Cold War. Characterized by political tension, economic competition and proxy wars, the Cold War lasted since the end of the Second World War, until the fall of the Soviet Union. A landmark of the first part of the Cold War is the 1959 Cuban Missile Crisis, when Soviet Union ally, and president of Cuba Fidel Castro, installed nuclear missiles in Cuban soil, to which US president John F. Kennedy reacted with a naval blockade. Some years after that there was a cooling off period, although the conflict didn’t officially ceased. Tensions reignited with the Afghanistan War in 1979, a period termed by historians as the Second Cold War. In the early 90′s political reformations spearheaded by Mikhail Gorbachev, such as Perestroika and Glasnost brought an end to the Cold War.
Currently though, people may ask “what is communism anymore?”, the truth is that communist parties control various states, including The People’s Republic of China, Laos, Cuba, Vietnam and North Korea. Furthermore, Marxists revolutionaries lead armed insurgencies under the banner of communism in India, Philipines, Peru, Bangladesh, Iran, Turkey and Colombia.