Communism is a sociopolitical movement that aims for a classless society structured upon communal awnership o the means o production an the end o wage labour an private property. The exact definition o communism varies an it is aften mistakenly uised interchangeably wi socialism, howsomeivver, communist theory contends that socialism is juist a transitional stage on the way tae communism.
A variety o different forms o communism hae developt, each based upon the ideas o different politeecal theorists, uisually as additions or interpretations o various forms o Marxism, the collective philosophies o Karl Marx. Marxism-Leninism is the synthesis o Vladimir Lenin's contributions tae Marxism, such as hou a revolutionary pairty shoud be organised; Trotskyism is Leon Trotsky's conception o Marxism an Maoism is Mao Zedong's interpretation o Marxism tae suit the conditions o Cheenae at that time.
Communist theory generally states that the ae way tae solve the problems existin athin caipitalism is for the workin class, referred tae as the proletariat, who is the main producer o wealth in society an is exploitit bi the caipitalist class, as explained in theories such as surplus value, tae replace the bourgeoisie as the rulin class tae establish a society athoot class divisions, cawed socialism, as a prelude tae attemptin tae achieve the final stage o communism.
Pure communism, or the stage in history efter socialism, refers tae a classless, stateless society, ane whaur decisions on wha tae produce an what policies tae pursue are made in the best interests o the collective society wi the interests o ivery member o society given equal weight in the practical decision-makin process in baith the politeecal an economic spheres o life.
Karl Marx, as well as some ither communist philosophers, purposely niver providit a detailed description as tae hou communism woud function as a social system. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx lays oot a 10-point plan advisin the redistribution o land an production tae achieve his social ideals. Housomeivver, Marx fervently denies that this plan is tae be carried oot bi ony specific group or "class". Accordin tae Marx, communal awnership o the means o production an the end o wage labour inevitably arises due tae contradictions an class conflicts existin in caipitalism, an the communists are merely professors who help frame struggles in terms of class struggle. In this way, communism avoids the contradiction of creating a new class to replace the old one.
The origins o communism are debatable, an there are various historical groups, as well as theorists, whose beliefs hae been subsequently described as communist. Some theorists hae considered hunter-gatherer societies tae adhere tae a form o primitive communism, whilst historical figures like Plato an Thomas More hae been described as espousin early forms o the ideology. The communist movement as it is kent today lairgely teuk shape in the nineteent century, when it wis developt. In the twintiet century, revolutions led tae openly communist governments takin pouer in mony kintras, leadin tae the creation o states like the Soviet Union, the Fowkrepublic o Cheenae an the Republic o Cuba.
In modern uisage, communism is aften uised tae refer tae the policies o these governments, which wur ane pairty seestems operatin unner centrally planned economies an a state awnership o the means o production. Maist o these governments based their ideology on Marxism-Leninism. These seestems, sometimes referred to as state socialism are argued by many, including those on the left, that states niver made an attempt tae transition tae a communist society, while ithers even argue that they niver achieved socialism.
In the 20th an 21st centuries democratic elections led tae communist, an communist inspired, governments being electit in ither pairts o the warld such as in Chile an Venezuela. Today, although communism is a less influential politeecal force compared tae wha it wis in muckle o the twintiet century, there are still pouerful communist an aligned socialist movements in mony pairts o the warld, especially soothren Asie an Sooth Americae, an since the Economic crisis o 2008 there haes been a resurgence o interest in communist theory, especially the theories o Karl Marx.