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What is the difference between Communism and Socialism

Many times socialism and communism are used interchangeably, however both philosophies have important differences. In a way, it can be said that communism is an extreme form of socialism. Several countries have dominant socialist political parties, but only few are communist. In fact, most countries, even those that are fervent practitioners of capitalism, such as the US and the UK, have government programs based on some principles of socialism. Among its most important differences we find that while communism is considered a political system, socialism is rather an economic systemthat it can coexist to some degree with a great variety of political systems. So what is the difference between socialism and communism? Below we will delve into the subject from different perspectives. What is the difference between Communism and Socialism?

Comparison table What is the difference between Communism and Socialism?

IdeologyAccording to socialism, all individuals must have access to basic consumer products and public services to enable the fulfillment of people. Large industries are the result of a collective effort. It is for this reason that the resulting benefits should benefit society at large.On the other hand, communism defends that all people are equal, that is why social classes do not make sense. The government must own all means of production (including land). People must work for the government and the collective results must be distributed equitably.
PhilosophyEach one gives according to their abilities and to whom according to their contributions. It is emphasized that profits must be shared between society or the workforce. This as a complement to the wages of the workers.Each one gives according to their abilities and for each one according to their needs. Free access to consumer items is only possible through advances in technology, which give way to abundance.
Key defendersRobert Owen, Pierre Leroux, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, John Stuart Mill, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Thorstein Veblen, Emma Goldman, etc. What is the difference between Communism and Socialism?Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, among others.
Key elementsEconomic activity and production specifically, are adjusted by the state to meet human needs as well as economic demands. “It is produced because it is used” , This means that only what is useful and necessary will be produced. The same applies to services.Centralized government, planned economy, dictatorship of the proletariat, common ownership of the tools of production, there is no private property. There is also equality between genders, and between all people in general. It also tends to have an international, undemocratic focus with a one-party system.
Political systemSocialism can coexist with different political systems. Many socialists support participatory democracy, some others (the socio-democrats) are supporters of parliamentary democracy, and Marxist-Leninists support centralized democracy.A communist society does not have a state and is governed directly by the people. This, however, has never been able to be put into practice so it is only known in theory. What is the difference between Communism and Socialism?
Economic coordinationPlanned socialism depends mainly on planning itself to determine the directions of investment and production. Planning can be centralized or decentralized. On the other hand, mercantile socialism depends on the markets for the allocation of capital to all the different companies (owned by the state).Economic planning coordinates all decisions regarding investments, production, and resource allocation. This is done in terms of physical units, and not money.
DefinitionIt is a theory or system of social organization based on the possession of almost all common property, with title in the name of the workers.It is a theory or international system of social organization based on the possession of common property, with title in the name of the community, of the State. It also rejects free markets and capitalism in any of its forms.
Private propertyThere are two types of properties. The first is the personal (houses, clothing, etc.) that belongs to the individual. The second is the public (factories and means of production) that belong to the State but under the control of the workers.It is abolished. The concept of property is negated and is replaced with the concept of common goods and that of private property with that of public “property”.
ReligionThere is freedom of worship, but it generally promotes secularism.It is abolished. All religions and metaphysical beliefs are rejected. What is the difference between Communism and Socialism?
Property structureThe means of production are owned by society. These produce and accumulate surplus value, either for all people or for factory employees.The means of production belong to everyone, which means that there is no one entity or individual who can own them.
Social structureSocial differences are reduced to the point of disappearing. Status comes more from political distinctions. There may be some mobility.There are no social classes, that is, there are no distinctions between people.
Economic systemThe means of production are owned by public companies or cooperatives. Individuals are compensated according to the individual contribution principle. Production can be coordinated by economic planning or economic markets.The means of production are managed by all, thus nullifying the concept of property within the goods of production. Production is organized to meet human needs without the need for money. Communism seeks the condition in which material abundance exists.
Free willThere are issues that are personal, such as religion, professions, marriage, etc. Education is compulsory, access to health is free and equitable. These services must be provided through a social system paid for by taxes. Decisions concerning production would be made by the state.In theory, economic and political decisions are made by the collective “vote”. In practice, demonstrations, propaganda and force are used to control the population. What is the difference between Communism and Socialism?
Derivative political movementsDemocratic socialism, communism, libertarian socialism, social anarchism and unionism.Leninism, Trotskyism, Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, Left Communism, Stalinism, etc.
DiscriminationAll people are considered equal, yet the laws protect those who need it from discrimination. Immigration is strictly regulatedIn theory, all members of the state are considered equal.
ExamplesThe Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), although the current classification of its economic system places it rather as a form of centralized socialism.Ideally there is no leader, people rule directly. Although in reality this has never been put into practice, what has transcended is its one-party system. Some examples of a communist state are the former Soviet Union, Cuba and North Korea.
Change’s agentsThe workers of a socialist state are the nominal agent of change. The transformation of the State by the workers can be slow or fast. This depends on the change in ideology, among other factors.The government in a communist state is the agent of change, and not so much the markets or the desire of the consumers. The transformation of the State can be slow or fast, this depends on the change in ideology, among other factors.
BackgroundIn 1516 Tomas Moro wrote “Utopia”, a book about a society based on common property. In 1776, Adam Smith laid out the labor theory of value. In doing this, he set aside the theory that prices are derived from supply and demand.It was theorized by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the mid-19th century as an alternative to capitalism and feudalism. Communism could not be “proven” until after the Russian revolution, in early 1910.

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