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Difference Between Socialism and Communism

difference between communism and socialismSocialism vs Communism

Socialism is commonly regarded as an economic system that seeks to achieve equality among members of society. Communism, on the other hand, is both an economic system that seeks equality among members of society and a political ideology that advocates a classless and stateless society and rejects religion. It is regarded as a more extreme form of socialism.

Socialism and communism both adhere to the principle that the resources of the economy should be collectively owned by the public and controlled by a central organization. They differ, however, in the management and control of the economy. In socialism, the people themselves decide through communes or popularly elected councils on how the economy should work. This makes socialism a liberal system because majority of the people have a say on how the economy should be run. Communism, on the other hand, controls its economy through a single authoritarian party. It is thus characterized as conservative because the economy functions based on the decisions of a few.

The views of socialism and communism also differ in the distribution of wealth produced by the economy. Socialism supports the view that the goods and services produced should be dispensed based on the productivity of an individual. In contrast, communism believes that the wealth should be shared by the masses based on the needs of the individual.

There are two kinds of properties in socialism: (1) personal property that an individual can own and enjoy; and (2) industrial property that is dedicated for the use of producing society’s goods. Individuals, for example, can keep their digital cameras but cannot retain a factory that produces digital cameras. While personal properties can be kept, socialists make sure, however, that no private property will be used as an instrument for oppression and exploitation. In comparison, communism treats all goods and services as public property to be used and enjoyed by the entire populace.

Finally, socialism and communism differ in their views on capitalism. Socialists regard capitalism as a threat to equality and public interest. They believe, however, that there is no need to eliminate the capitalist class because it can be used as a good instrument in the transition to socialism as long as it is properly controlled. Socialists also believe that capitalism can exist in a socialist state and vice versa. From the point of view of the communists, capitalism must to be destroyed totally in order to give way to a classless society.

Summary:

1. Socialism is an economic system while communism is both an economic and political system.
2. In socialism, the resources of the economy are managed and controlled by the people themselves through communes or councils while in communism, management and control rest on a few people in a single authoritarian party.
3. Socialists distribute wealth to the people based on an individual’s productive efforts while communists farm out wealth based on an individual’s needs.
4. Socialists can own personal properties while communists can not.
5. Socialism allows capitalism to exist in its midst while communism seeks to get rid of capitalism.


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22 Comments

  1. Actually, the definition of communism here is wrong. Marxist communism, the ORIGINAL communism, says in the Communist Manifesto that the “distinguishing feature of communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property”. He means that the “hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned” property should not be abolished, but the type of property that creates CAPITAL, “that kind of property which exploits wage-labor, which cannon increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage-labor for fresh exploitation”. Capital should be a collective product and not a personal property. It is the result of many people working together, but as Marx saw it, it was controlled by the bourgeois and they received the benefits.
    He wrote to liberate the working class that was stuck under the bourgeois and barely made enough to sustain themselves. He wanted to put the means of production into the hands of the workers, not the elite bourgeoisie class.

    • One of the difficulties in writing an article like this is determining how much to talk about communism in theory or as originally defined, and the way it has been implemented in reality. You say the definition of communism is wrong, but the article is more of a description of governments who had or do call themselves communist rather than a definition.

      Even then, I’m not sure that there is any communist government still around that doesn’t allow some private ownership.

      • You forgot to mention the millions of their own citizens that communist governments have murdered because they resisted having their property seized.

      • Then the article should say that. On one hand it seems to talk about socialism in theory (because socialism in practice is not as described) and then compares it to communism in practice. (And frankly, even that is being too kind.)

  2. You republicans are so god damn stupid you have no F.ing idea what your talking about!!

    • Thank you for you intellectual Democratic feedback. Come back when you pay the taxes you work for and the ones you dont. While youre at it, become a degree holder. Even then, raise a proper family without getting divorced for once. On top of that, become educated in a subject such as this.

      • LOL, I had to click “Reply” just to say, “+1″.

      • Stupendous reply!

      • The amount of logical fallacies and assumptions made in this single post is astounding. I have no idea how he fit it all in such a tight space.

        It just goes to show that neither of you know how to conduct yourselves properly. Just insulting each other back and forth with your preconceived assumptions of one another isn’t a way to argue your point. Now if you want to perpetuate the image that you are uninformed and uneducated on the matter, you can continue to make replies and comments like these. Anyone with half a brain will pay you no attention.

    • I like tacos

  3. Well done, you have managed to realise there is a problem but you’ve totally misunderstood that problem. You’re government are not communist, they are capitalist, and they are so shamefully right wing yet you’re solution is that they become moreso. I don’t think you really understand the political system at all, why don’t you get yourself out of the US and see how the rest of the world succeed or fail. Check Denmark for example, possibly the most egalitarian country on the planet, and not a T party nazi in site.

    • The rest of the world is succeeding through Capitalism. Once Japan, the Four Asian Tigers, China, India, and Brazil switched to a more Capitalist economy they began to develop. On the other hand, Europe is collapsing because of its expensive welfare state and drift towards Socialism.

      You talk about Denmark? Denmark and the rest of the Scandinavian countries are projected to decline the most over the next 50 years. It is a fact — their economies will slow down drastically and much of the world will surpass them. So maybe the current generation is living well, but the future is looking bleak. The same is true for all of Europe. First world and egalitarian now… third world in the next century.

      Europeans have become too complacent and are wasting all of their wealth and resources. But what about the future? They are not thinking ahead. The modern generation may be able to get away with working relatively few hours, having many vacation days, years off for maternity leave, a young retirement age, universal healthcare, and favorable unemployment benefits, but the next generation will not. The privileges Europeans currently enjoy cost money and they are not a recipe for staying competitive in this global world. We are seeing the results with what has been happening in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy etc over the last few years. European economies are not growing, they are contracting. Capitalist economies are growing.

      • Your analysis of Europe is all over the map. I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, the stated outcome of a prediction cannot be a fact until it has already happened. Second, how is Europe “wasting all their resources?” Do you even really know what’s going on over there? Or are you just making more assumptions based on media nonsense you hear over here?

  4. There is very difficult adopt the ideology of communism … Socialism is better or easy to handel

  5. Upon dropping comment, just be aware of giving supporting details that would make it more clear for other readers, I think that would be more beneficial.

  6. Good discussion except where those on the left start cursing. The Left in the US are increasingly hostile, not toward all religion but especially toward Christianity. It would seem that truth must be destroyed on the way to completing the lie. We see Russia (USSR) as the only apparent form of communism, but that is only how this deadly foolishness reared it’s head in one century — it will likely take on newer, and hopefully subtler nuances in this century. But those states which most strongly embrace capitalism will show great success. The US is clearly on a dead end path in this cycle.

  7. So if these conservatives think we’ve turned into a socialist or communist country, then why don’t the socialists and communist think so? You people make so many of us cringe at how impressionable and just blatantly retarded you are because of your paranoid and hateful media/religion.

    • This is from frontpagemag.com. If you don’t like the source there are numerous others if you care to look.
      “Erwin Marquit, a member of the International Department of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), recently told a conference of communist political parties from around the world that communists in the U.S did not run their own candidate for president on November 6 because they worked within the Democratic Party for the reelection of Barack Obama and the victories of “progressive” Democrats to Congress.

      “The Communist Party USA not only welcomes the reelection of President Barack Obama, but actively engaged in the electoral campaign for his reelection and for the election of many Democratic Party congressional candidates,” Marquit declared at the conference, hosted by the Lebanese Communist Party.

      Under Obama, he said, “…we have been forming Party clubs in states in which we previously had very few or even no members. This influx of new members led us to have a national Party school earlier this year to acquaint new members with the Marxist-Leninist orientation of the Party.””

  8. As someone who dabbled a lot with red politics in my younger days (I currently lean libertarian), this article is clearly written by a socialist who is essentially enforcing the anti-communist social stigma, in order to potentially prop up the view of socialism in the eye of the reader.

    This article is talking about socialism, and only socialism. It’s attempting to take all the bad about socialism, and separating it as “communism”, while keeping what the author considers as the good traits. As the USSR, China, and Cuba, which seems to be the inspiration for what the article refers to as communist, were really just socialist states based to varying degrees on Marxism.

    The key point in communism is that it’s intended to be stateless – with the people themselves running their own
    show. Socialism is, according to Marx, the transitional state in which the government takes control of all means of production. This can be, and has been, quite harsh, despite this article’s attempt to paint it as a democratic paradise. While perhaps that’s true in some Scandinavian countries that are held up as examples, it certainly wasn’t true in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Despite almost universally being referred to as communist in the west, the Soviets were well versed in Karl Marx’s writings, and were very self-aware that they were just that in-between transitional state on the way to the greater, yet unrealized, ideal.

    As I’ve read the discussion here, it’s been said he’s talking about “communism in practice and not communism in theory”, however, communism really only exists as a theory outside of very minor examples, usually small and localized, such as hippie communes in the sixties, and their modern successors. And yet, socialism is presented fully in it’s ideal form. Communism, to me, has always seemed to have more in common with anarchism, than socialism.

    Here’s an example that represents my problem with this whole article:

    “3. Socialists distribute wealth to the people based on an individual’s productive efforts while communists farm out wealth based on an individual’s needs.”

    Socialist “distribute” based on effort. Communists “farm out” based on needs. The word choice is very telling of the author’s personal bias. There is no difference in meaning here.

    P.S. Communism doesn’t have to reject religion, Marx himself didn’t even believe this. If you want to spit out the famous quote, I would recommend pondering the medicinal use of opiates during Marx’s time. Religion can in fact be the catalyst for the formation of communistic societies. (See Jonestown)

    Also, based on paragraph two, I question if the author even understands the terms “liberal” and “conservative”.

    I recommend researching these ideologies elsewhere.

  9. Why does this article describe communism differently from this article (http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-communism-and-capitalism/)?

    I think you haven’t studied the true principle of Marxism.
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/communism?q=communism this is just an outline concept of communism.

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