While communism is described as a political system where the community owns the property, socialism is an economic system where the means of production are owned and controlled by the society. Although, Communism is a subset of socialism. The people often juxtapose these two terms, but there is a difference. Just take a read of this article to know the important differences between communism and socialism.
Content: Communism Vs Socialism
|Basis for Comparison||Communism||Socialism|
|Meaning||Social organization system, that focuses on communal ownership and eliminating class distinction.||Theory of social organization where there is public or cooperative ownership of the means of production.|
|Ideology||Political and economic||Economic|
|Proposed by||Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels||Robert Owen|
|Main idea||To achieve equality among members of society and promoting classless society.||To achieve equality and fairness among the society members.|
|Basis of wealth distribution||According to the needs.||According to the efforts or contribution.|
|Means of production||Equally owned by the members of the state.||Owned by the citizens.|
|Management of resources||Lies on few people belonging to a particular authoritarian party.||Done by the people|
|Ownership of personal property||No||Yes|
|Capitalism||It removes capitalism.||Can exist in socialism.|
Definition of Communism
Communism refers to the political and economic system which is based on the ideas of common ownership on the factors of production and there is no presence of class, state and money. It aims at establishing a communist society.
The word ‘communism’ is a Latin origin, which means ‘common’. In communism, the factors of production are owned by the people commonly. Here the wealth is distributed among people on the basis of their needs. It is based on the principle of economic equality.
China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos are some of the countries where communism still exists.
Definition of Socialism
The economic system in which the factors of production are commonly owned, managed and controlled by the society. It is based on the principle of equality where all the people have similar rights.
In this form of social organisation wealth is distributed among people as per the efforts made by them. In socialism, there is an equal distribution of income which aims at filling the gap between rich and poor.
A Central Planning Authority exists in this system that sets the socioeconomic objectives. In this economy, people have the right to work, but they cannot select the occupation of their choice. Occupation of people is decided only by the authority.
Key Differences Between Communism and Socialism
The paramount differences between communism and socialism are discussed in the given points:
- Communism is defined as the system of social organisation where the focus is made on communal ownership and a classless society. Socialism refers to the social organisation in which there is public or cooperative ownership of the means of production.
- Communism is both political as well as economic theory while socialism is an economic theory.
- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the German Philosophers, propounded the concept of communism whereas Robert Owen propounded Socialism.
- The theme of communism is to achieve equality among members of society and advocates a society free from class. On the other hand, achieving equality and fairness among the society members is the main idea of socialism.
- In communism, the wealth is distributed among the people according to their needs. Conversely, in socialism, the distribution of wealth is based on the contribution made by them.
- The members of the state collectively own the means of production in communism. As opposed to socialism where the means of production are owned by the citizens.
- In communism, the management of resources lies in the hands of few people belonging to a particular authoritarian party. In the case of socialism, the management of resources is done by the people.
- Communism does not allow people to own personal property, but this is not so in the case of socialism.
- Communism tries to remove capitalism, whereas, in socialism, somehow capitalism exists.
Both the ideologies promote secularism (i.e. Rejects religion). Communism has lost its existence with the passage of time. The only reason for the non-existence of communism in most of the countries is that it removes the incentives that inspire people to work harder. The man who works hard will receive the same amount of money as an idle man gets. However, Socialism still exists in many countries.