Communism vs Socialism


In a way, communism is an extreme form of socialism. Many countries have dominant socialist political parties but very few are truly communist. In fact, most countries - including staunch capitalist bastions like the U.S. and U.K. - have government programs that borrow from socialist principles. "Socialism" is sometimes used interchangeably with "communism" but the two philosophies have some stark differences. Most notably, while communism is a political system, socialism is primarily an economic system that can exist in various forms under a wide range of political systems.

Comparison chart



Ideas Human societies have divided into conflicting classes. Existing class structures become unsustainable as the technology progresses, resulting in contradictions which can only be resolved by having the subordinate class overthrow the ruling class. All individuals should have access to basic articles of consumption and public goods to allow for self-actualization. Large-scale industries are collective efforts and thus the returns from these industries must benefit society as a whole.
Religion Abolished - all religious and metaphysics is rejected. Freedom of religion, but usually promotes secularism.
Key Proponents Karl Marx, Fredrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky. Robert Owen, Pierre Leroux, Karl Marx, Fredrick Engels, John Stuart Mill, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Thorstein Veblen, Emma Goldman.
Economic Coordination Economic planning coordinates all decisions regarding investment, production and resource allocation. Planning is done in terms of physical units instead of money. Planned-Socialism relies principally on planning to determine investment and production decisions. Planning may be centralized or decentralized. Market-socialism relies on markets for allocating capital to different socially-owned enterprises.
Economic System The means of production are held in common, negating the concept of ownership in capital goods. Production is organized to provide for human needs directly without any use for money. Communism is predicated upon a condition of material abundance. The means of production are owned by public enterprises or cooperatives, and individuals are compensated based on the principle of individual contribution. Production may variously be coordinated through either economic planning or markets.
Political System No leader, directed directly by the people. This has never been actually practiced, and has just used a one-party system. Can coexist with different political systems. Most socialists advocate participatory democracy, some (Social Democrats) advocate parliamentary democracy, and Marxist-Leninists advocate "Democratic centralism".
Philosophy From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Free-access to the articles of consumption is made possible by advances in technology that allow for super-abundance. From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce to complement individual wages/salaries.
Political Movements Leninism, Trotskyism, Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, Left-Communism. Democratic Socialism, Communism, Libertarian Socialism, Anarchism, Syndicalism.
Private Property Abolished. The concept of property is negated and replaced with the concept of commons and ownership with "usership". Two kinds of property, personal property, such as houses, clothing, etc. owned by the individual. Public property includes factories, and means of production owned by the state but with worker control.
Free Choice In a communist society, where a leader does not exist, everything is chosen freely.In those that have been practiced though, all choices, including education, religion, employment and marriage, are controlled by the state. All choices, including education, religion, employment and marriage, are up to the individual. All health care and education is provided free to everybody.
Social Structure All class distinctions are eliminated. Class distinctions are diminished.
Key elements An enhanced form of the principle of "Production for use". Economic activity and production especially are adjusted to meet human needs and economic demands. "Production for use": useful goods and services are produced specifically for their usefulness.
Discrimination In theory, all members of the state are considered equal. The people are considered equal, laws are made when necessary to protect people from discrimination.
Way of Change Government in a Communist-state is the agent of change rather than any market or desire on the part of consumers. Change by government can be swift or slow, depending on change in ideology or even whim. Workers in a Socialist-state are the agent of change rather than any market or desire on the part of consumers. Change by the workers can be swift or slow, depending on change in ideology or even whim.
Definition A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the community or state. A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of most property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the workers.
Ownership structure The means of production are commonly-owned, meaning no entity or individual owns productive property. Importance is ascribed to "usership" over "ownership". The means of production are socially-owned with the surplus value produced accruing to either all of society (in Public-ownership models) or to all the employee-members of the enterprise (in Cooperative-ownership models).
Examples Hypothetical system based on material abundance and free-access. Small-scale examples exist such as the open-source and peer-production process. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR): Although the actual categorization of the USSR's economic system is in dispute, it is often considered to be a form of centrally-planned socialism.

Contents: Communism vs Socialism

Economic differences between socialists and communists

In a Socialist economy, the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. On the other hand, in a communist society, there is no centralized government - there is a collective ownership of property and the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

For a Capitalist society to transition, the first step is Socialism. From a capitalist system, it is easier to achieve the Socialist ideal where production is distributed according to people's deeds (quantity and quality of work done). For Communism (to distribute production according to needs), it is necessary to first have production so high that there is enough for everyone's needs. In an ideal Communist society, people work not because they have to but because they want to and out of a sense of responsibility.

Political differences

Socialism rejects a class-based society. But socialists believe that it is possible to make the transition from capitalism to socialism without a basic change in the character of the state. They hold this view because they do not think of the capitalist state as essentially an institution for the dictatorship of the capitalist class, but rather as a perfectly good piece of machinery which can be used in the interest of whichever class gets command of it. No need, then, for the working class in power to smash the old capitalist state apparatus and set up its own—the march to socialism can be made step by step within the framework of the democratic forms of the capitalist state. Socialism is primarily an economic system so it exists in varying degrees and forms in a wide variety of political systems.

On the other hand, communists believe that as soon as the working class and its allies are in a position to do so they must make a basic change in the character of the state; they must replace capitalist dictatorship over the working class with workers’ dictatorship over the capitalist class as the first step in the process by which the existence of capitalists as a class (but not as individuals) is ended and a classless society is eventually ushered in.

Video: Socialism vs. Communism

This is a very opinionated video that explains the differences between communism and socialism.


Comments: Communism vs Socialism

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July 27, 2011, 10:24pm

Socialism is communism with lipstick on and is the stepping stone of losing your rights of proprietorship. Thats right,no more owning your own business or private property. Opportunities to Free Market Capitalism will be annihalated and there will be no more poor,middle or rich class people. The Socialists and Communists will tell you that its the best society and there will be no more racism or poverty.Try telling that to the 4.5 million people in the U.S.S.R who lost there lives as a direct result of Karl Marx' "Utopia". You would have to be a blithering idiot to co-sign on any form of socialism or communism. Capitalism may not be perfect but nothing on Planet Earth is,everything has pros and cons. There will always be greed,people who are homeless and hungry. At least Free Market Capitalism gives us an opportunity to become what we want to instead of having it dictated to us.

— 98.✗.✗.138

February 21, 2011, 3:31am

In theory there may be some differences in the way the sentences are structured.

In practice socialism and communism are the same. They are identical.

— 71.✗.✗.233

March 23, 2014, 4:47am

To the person making the cow joke:

A corporate factory farm owns 10,000 cows, which are kept locked up in a tiny stall for their entire lives, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and fed genetically modified corn which produces its own insecticide. An immigrant worker is paid minimum wage to care for more cows than he has time for, leading to beatings and horrible animal abuses. The CEO bribes state legislators to pass an agricultural gag law which criminalizes the recording of animal abuse, and which classifies the person recording the abuse as a "terrorist." A giant manure pit pollutes the groundwater, which goes unnoticed by an understaffed EPA which is rendered impotent by regulation loopholes written by corporate lobbyists. Got milk?

— 76.✗.✗.223

March 23, 2014, 3:51am

Socialism is a non-profit system in which people pay only for the cost of something, without paying extra to enrich a shareholder who didn't actually do any work. Imagine replacing corporations with nonprofit cooperatives. The workers benefit, because they keep the money they receive for their labor. The consumers benefit, because they get things at cost. We already do this for certain services, like public roads, police and fire departments, libraries, and public parks. Socialism is compatible with democracy and freedom.

Corporate capitalism is an insane system that adds a third party into the transaction who overcharges the consumer, underpays the workers, and pockets billions for himself. Those billionaires use the money they steal to bribe politicians and hire lobbyists who then write the rules to benefit the billionaires and harm you. Billionaires also hire armies of propagandists to get gullible rubes to vote against their own interests, and support policies that give the billionaires more control over the economy. (Some of the comments here are rantings from the brainwashed minions of Roger Ailes.) This is why capitalism is not compatible with democracy and freedom. It degrades into a plutocracy (or oligarchy of the wealthy) in which the masses serve the needs of the elite few. Workers in the US have steadily increased in their productivity since WWII, while their standard of living has decreased. All of the benefit of that extra productively has been siphoned off to create a parasitic class of billionaires. (Billionaires are not something to be proud of, but rather a symptom of a failed economic system in which profits are distributed according to authority, rather than contribution.)

Marx believed that socialism was a transition to communism, but he was wrong about that, and many other things. Communist movements have all quickly degraded into facist dictatorships. Stalin for example executed the communists and hijacked the Russian revolution. Communism is not a realistic system for any group larger than a small tribe.

— 76.✗.✗.223

November 27, 2013, 6:04am

You guys are so funny, that it gives me some hope for the future of humanity! Communism is simply not possible, even in theory, whereas Socialism powers Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and some other prosperous European countries with very high standard of living and economical stability. One disadvantage - people there are like zombies and life is boring. Read about Jante Law.

— 89.✗.✗.247

November 6, 2013, 12:53am

And to comment on 109, those are all true, but you forgot one. In America, you have 2 cows, the government takes them, and promises to pay you fair price for them, then goes bankrupt.

— 192.✗.✗.2

June 27, 2013, 10:31am

Hi! I don't know if anyone's mentioned it but Marx (expert? founder?) used the words Socialism and Communism interchangeably. There's a few hints that in its early stages Socialism/ Communism would be different in character from later on. Rock on!

— 81.✗.✗.158

June 2, 2012, 2:47pm

Our republic should provide basic laws that generally protect the public harm, Capitalism provides the greatest freedom, who among us want to give up our free will to another man, not I. Every step away from capitalism to a socialistic/communistic system is simply tranferring some degree of our our freedom to another person or group and a step toward human rights violations that are prevalent in places like China (slavery).

Human nature dictates that individuals will prefer freedom over the other systems if they are educated to know the difference, this is why liberals prefer the poor don't get a useful education hence inner city grades.

Some people will never be a doctor because the are either not smart enough or are not interested or generally does not suit that person, yet due to their individual likes may become very succsseful in ways no one could predict much less some bureaucrat.

— 70.✗.✗.158

October 8, 2010, 1:00am

Socialism is a transition period from capitalism to communism. So it is a low stage of communism.
That I learned in Russia and I am Russian born

— 170.✗.✗.49

April 24, 2010, 2:24am

There are many reasons why the Soviet Union lagged behind the west: moving from a feudal agrarian society to an industrialized one, and the expenditures of WWII and the cold war. But what was it that ultimately prevented the creation of a viable economy? Why was production always of such poor quality, and goods interminably scarce? The USSR certainly had natural resources and an educated workforce. The answer lies in the deincentivization of productivity. When you take away from the productive to give to the unproductive, you punish initiative and reward idleness. The economy stagnates, and a corrupt kleptocracy develops. This is a cautionary tale for the socialists/progressives/liberals of our day. The road to economic hell is paved with the good intentions of those that equate "social justice" with the distribution of private capital (or perhaps even its abolition) rather than its creation. These are the historical facts of the 20th century.
~ Dr. Juan R. Cespedes

— 76.✗.✗.58

March 1, 2014, 9:11pm

Actually, political terms are always somewhat ambiguous and are used in different ways by different people, often in very self serving ways. To some extent this is true of economic terms as well. I would agree that there are no "pure" systems.

— 71.✗.✗.50

March 1, 2014, 8:58pm

There are NO countries in which "all choices are left up to the individual", even in the listed categories, otherwise you could marry your dog or sister or have 6 husbands, send your kids to a school that bans reading, and practice a religion that involves cannibalism after smoking crack.

— 71.✗.✗.50

October 30, 2013, 10:43am

Wonder about Communism? Welcome to Cuba.
Wonder about Socialism? Welcome to Scandinavia.

— 109.✗.✗.202

July 18, 2013, 12:39am

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbor.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

— 24.✗.✗.48

April 17, 2013, 12:24pm

Socialists has been in america since the late 1800s and has played an important role in organizing strikes and unions in the country. With out them there may have been a lot more starving people during the great depression

— 165.✗.✗.67

March 20, 2013, 2:48pm

to the guy who said why socialism aka communism doesn't work.

Socialism and communism are not at all the same thing as they differ in many ways. A socialism has never existed. as a true socialism is one that the government fully regulates major companies and still lets there be private industry still alive to allow growth as well as the stability of a well controlled industry

— 209.✗.✗.251

February 28, 2013, 4:29am

All of you ignore the basic instincts of human nature. If any of you would understand that, you would also understand why socialism aka communism simply does not work and is simply an utopia. Acording to marx, capitalism unevitably will lead to socialism, and socialism to communism. Is like fore play and sex, one lead to the other. At least thats how it was suposed to be through marx's eyes. Yes, there is a socialist tendency in this country, is been here ever since the 50's if I'm not mistaken. Just take a look back and see the violent manifestations in the past of socialist suporters in this country. Marx also promotes that. When it became a big deal to identifie oneself as socialist in this country, and the socialist party went under ground, its members went under the umbrela of the democratic party, and were forced to change their estrategy. now they are tring to indoctrinate kids in schools and universities whith out them even noticing what they are being indoctrinated with. For all of you that want to know about marxism, you need to get your hands on marx and engels books and read them. Then see how such line of thinking have worked in the past for socialist and communist countries and how is working for europe, which is on the verge of total bankrupcy and economic desaster. Also check how is working for this country. Do you see total disaster coming for this country should socialists continue to get a hold to the government? I do. Is just a mater of time. Wake up and be realistic and pragmatic. because of our very nature, it is totaly impossible to have a socialist sistem all perfect as discribed by marx utopia, because we are all corrupt. Power corrupts. Capitalism may not be perfect, even corrupt if you will, but is, with out room for doubts, the best sistem there is and this great nation speaks loudly to that reality. Socialism aka communism(is all the same thing) takes everything away from the rich and turns the poor into a slave. socialism paves the road for totalitarism in time. I know, for I,ve lived it and studied it; very well indoctrinated with marx and engels books and dialectical materialism. As far as I'm concerned I would domp all of marx books in the septic tank for what they are worth.

— 98.✗.✗.6

January 1, 2013, 2:47pm

Socialistic ideologies aren't as bad as you would think. I believe that one if the first societies to use it was the Roman Empire. They flourished under socialist ideas. I'm not saying the country should be 100% socialist, but rather take some ideologies and put them to work in our society.

— 107.✗.✗.178

October 2, 2012, 8:51pm

Disgusting analysis performed by undereducated American sychophants. Communism produces a stateless society.There is no government, no currency, nothing of the nature of capitalist economics. The reason you have no understanding of it is that you attempt to put it under economic models ascribed to analyze capitalism. You cannot say that there is a single party in communism, because communism has no government.

— 76.✗.✗.33

June 21, 2012, 4:01am

Of course, capitalism hampers the freedoms of everybody except the capitalist class just as much as the other systems; people work because they have to, their jobs are largely determined by economic mandates, not personal preference, and without stringent regulations, human rights abuses are as common and as severe as in communism. No system is perfect.

— 168.✗.✗.19

May 7, 2012, 10:08pm

You have got this completely wrong Trotsky was a socialist you make socialism sound weak well it is not we believe in all the ideals you put forward for

— 86.✗.✗.215

May 19, 2011, 12:15am

A Republic isn't the freest from of government! The freest is total anarchy or total democracy. A republic has representatives to make decision for the people. Even though they are chosen by the people that doesn't mean they're decisions reflect exactly what every person they represent wants. Anarchy has no rules whatsoever so total freedom, Democracy has everyone vote on every decision so nearly total freedom. Also no one compares Communism and Socialism with a republic because they are not on the same field. A republic is how a government is run. Communism, Capitalism, Fascism are how business is run by in the country (sometimes they r views too). Liberal, Conservative are views(also parties) of how the current government system should make decisions. So for example the US is a mix of Republic and Democracy, with Capitalism, and the two parties. The USSR was totalitarian and Communist. Also Rome and China both call themselves republics, which they were once, but we no that changed.

— 173.✗.✗.199

May 15, 2011, 3:19am

One common trait shared between communism and socialism is the significant absence of freedom of choice among the individuals. I like how some try to focus the comparison of communism and socialism with capitalism rather than making the comparison with a Republic form of government. A Republic is by far offers the most freedom to individuals and the protection of individuals rights.

— 98.✗.✗.150

September 5, 2010, 5:47pm

No political system works the way it should because in every system there are always going to be those who have the power and change the system to make themselves more powerful. That is the way of Humanity. Politics is a twin to religion in that no person agrees with every tenet of their party/group/sect and has their own views as to how things should be, or what is the truth. People thrive on conflict/competition and because of that there is no "system" that will work for everyone, or in every situation, because we all seem to "agree to disagree" about almost all issues. Everyone wants more...most cannot be content just being content and need to feel "better" than someone to feel good about their own situation. Political leaders are usually in it for the power that comes with the office, not to really make a change for the good of the many. NO decision is for the good of everyone, except possibly the "keep the stupid from breeding" thing, but, good luck with that!

— 98.✗.✗.193

June 9, 2010, 5:10pm

ts people. And hopefully these people realize they have the ability to mold it into a form in which it does this.

— 98.✗.✗.49

June 9, 2010, 5:09pm

ss do not have to be at odds. Socialist ideas have been implemented successfully in our society all throughout they 20th century, resulting in improved working and living conditions for its constituents not born into a privileged class. Anyone belonging to a labor union has Socialism to thank for his or her job security and safe working conditions. Anyone not belonging to one can thank the principles of socialism for instilling the fear of unionization into the hearts and minds of management. For anyone working in a factory, remember that the line can never move too fast for the free market. Each form of society has benefits to go along with its detriments, and hopefully one day people won’t regard socialism or communism with the negative connotations instilled in us in elementary school history class. And hopefully we’ll realize that capitalism doesn’t have to be “just the way it is”, but rather part of a societal system that is capable of evolving to meet the needs of all i

— 98.✗.✗.49

June 9, 2010, 5:08pm

In practice, communism and socialism haven’t produced the flawless, utopian societies they purport to foster. Humankind is too diverse, too rife with the self-interest inherent in the human condition. At the same time, it’s ignorant to argue that free-market capitalism bears no responsibility for perpetuating injustice, both in the states and abroad. If it were merely a domestic problem, we could sit here all day and argue amongst ourselves, knowing that we partly have ourselves to blame. However, due to unregulated globalization, a product of the free market, we continue to secure poverty’s chokehold on the third world, making it impossible for our neighbors abroad to import The American Dream at the same time they export our excesses amid squalor. None of the three governmental systems being discussed here are without flaws, but in combining some of the better points of each, we can create for ourselves and each other a society in which social justice and the pursuit of happine

— 98.✗.✗.49

May 3, 2010, 3:12pm

Oh my God. I just read where somebody was saying how the people in Cuba are better off than Americans. Now there's a good Democrat for ya.

Look this guys a Nazi!

— 204.✗.✗.253

April 22, 2010, 8:06pm

have you ever lived in a roomate situation. where there are more than 2 people living in the house. it gets very frustrating when only one person is doing all of the dishes and buying all of the food. that is socialism. well the effects of socialism. in laymans terms. who the hell wants to pick up the slack for those who want a free ride. it's all good if everyone puts in. in a utopian society we would all be happy and cared for. reality bites though. nothing is free.

— 63.✗.✗.30

April 14, 2010, 12:22am

If Cuba is so much better than the United States why don't you move there? Of course you have to remember that once you get there you might not be able to leave but what the hell? Don't let that little minor thing get in the way.

— 68.✗.✗.122

April 13, 2010, 10:03pm

Oh my God. I just read where somebody was saying how the people in Cuba are better off than Americans. Now there's a good Democrat for ya.

— 68.✗.✗.122

April 5, 2010, 6:31pm here, sorry, just noticed this is communism vs socialism, not socialism vs capitalism. Sorry for going off topic myself

— 24.✗.✗.146

April 5, 2010, 6:30pm , not sure if your are trying to contribute some sort of point or just elongating the list there. More on topic, I believe socialism relies on human good will, but our history has shown that greed, selfishness, and self gain serve as greater sources of motivation. Workers rallying and union protests for better wages and equal pay are themselves against socialist ideal because most of them want greater or distributed pay to increase their own benefit or atleast not to see others benefit more than them. Everyone wants something, capitalism works to exploit it for progress. Capitalistic monopolies however can impied on that desire so I agree with regulation to that extent and lack of a heavy "anti-fire" market means we do infact need fire departments. However these public services purchasing from a capital markets is what allows a better fire engine, or a powerful water pump, or lightwieght ladders.

— 24.✗.✗.146

March 30, 2010, 12:58pm

"These ideologies are used in powerplays, much like religion and racism, by those that believe they are more intelligent than everyone and want to feed on the labor of others like Clinton, Pelosi and Reid want."...and Nixon, and Reagan, and Bushes, and Greenspan, and Gingrich, and Limbaugh, Beck, Leiberman, Palin, McCain...

— 72.✗.✗.130

March 26, 2010, 2:19pm stated the following on 2009-10-12 23:05:18 "I wish Americans would become more educated and less slaves to the false idea that everyone can be rich. It is entirely illogical and immoral." IT ISN'T "EVERYONE" CAN BE RICH -- IT IS "ANYONE" CAN BE RICH!!

— 64.✗.✗.90

February 6, 2010, 6:36am stated the following on 2009-10-12 23:05:18 "I wish Americans would become more educated and less slaves to the false idea that everyone can be rich. It is entirely illogical and immoral."

I wish that fellow human beings would become more educated, and stop becoming slaves to their own misconstrued generalizations of an entire population.

— 67.✗.✗.133

December 24, 2009, 7:02am

It is a terrible thing when the educational system leaves people wondering which of these are better. The fact is that neither is good for anyone. They are vitually the same except for the manner in which they take control of the population, as Marx said when he chose to use "Communism" because someone else used "socialism" for their movement. Communism uses force and socialism uses deception because no population will voluntarily accept systems that are designed to enslave everyone with no individual freedoms. They are both a modern fuedal system that allows the "ruling class" to make all decisions and dispose of those they feel are not productive for the whole.
These ideologies are used in powerplays, much like religion and racism, by those that believe they are more intelligent than everyone and want to feed on the labor of others like Clinton, Pelosi and Reid want. It is parasitic.

— 98.✗.✗.178

December 16, 2009, 10:33am

@ who says: Which system do you think offers you a better chance? One where an all-powerful government tells you what to do and when and for how long, or you being able to chose your own path through a free-market system.

Except that in a Social Democracy, the PEOPLE are the government -- perhaps you are referring to a Social tyranny, and then I'd agree with you. Since I am the vehicle of my own power in a Social Democracy, and I along with a majority favor, say, government building roads, then that is majority rules. There is no big bad bugaboo government because WE are the government.

— 71.✗.✗.106

December 3, 2009, 6:17pm on 2009-11-18 07:23:18 states that "the poorest individual in the US is better off than any proletariat(look it up) from any Socialist/communist country you can name." Well I would like to compare the homeless population of the US (123,833 people officially, though believed by many to be a lot higher), to the that of Cuba, which successfully houses 100% of it's citizen's. You can also compare the access working class Americans have to Healthcare, and compare it with 100% free and equal care in Cuba. Cuba also has a lower infant mortality rate the United States, and, when compared with the infant mortality rate of only the working class population of the US, Cuba wins out with a hugely larger gap.

— 137.✗.✗.232

November 30, 2009, 7:15am

hello i am bharath from india hyderabad
its very nice to read your points
the political difference i feel wrong. politically socialism is the dictator ship of working class over capitalists. and the communism is simply class less society i.e. no capitalists or workers. so no question of class rule. no question of oppression. regarding overthrough of capitalist rule after the great paris commune karl marx said that with the ready made state of capitalists we can not built socialim hence we have to demolish the system to build a new. and the process in not sudden. we will have to build the socialist administrative peoples committees in capitalism itself as soviats in ussr during the period of com.lenin

— 118.✗.✗.247

November 18, 2009, 7:23am

First, I agree with on "all those "this is bullsh*t" and "this is dumb" people should be taken out and shot, or at least prevented from reproducing." good job on that, I say-if you have nothing substantial to offer shut your pie hole.
Second, your view is a little skewed here-

"capitalism is worse than both" because," the rich have all the power" well allow me to retort. in socialism-which you say you prefer- Government has all the power. How does that help you gain "the power?" Which system do you think offers you a better chance? One where an all-powerful government tells you what to do and when and for how long, or you being able to chose your own path through a free-market system.

You think that the rich screw the poor in your version of Capitalism, but you fail to realize that the poorest individual in the US is better off than any proletariat(look it up) from any Socialist/communist country you can name.

— 98.✗.✗.147

November 11, 2009, 3:34pm

capitalism is worse than both, the rich have all the power, despite what you might think, the poor are fucked over by the rich people, the rich people in power give the other rich people more power and money. in socialism the poor and rich would be equal, the harder working poorer people would have a larger share, the people who in capitalism enherit their wealth would become poor because of their lack of skill and motivation. communism is unfair to all parties. i think i prefer socialism.

— 206.✗.✗.253

November 10, 2009, 4:31am

two things: One, all those "this is bullsh*t" and "this is dumb" people should be taken out and shot, or at least prevented from reproducing. That being said, both systems are based on the philosophy that man is basically good-and as overwhelming evidence shows-nothing based on that can ever be succesful.

— 72.✗.✗.0

November 8, 2009, 3:54am

Ugh, it's just that communism and socialism both sound great in theory but then when you try them in practice, both fail miserably. I can't figure which one Marx and Engels favored more, though. My textbook says they agreed with them both, but they're different when it comes to important issues. This is really frustrating.

— 99.✗.✗.217

November 4, 2009, 5:56am

Though communism utterly failed in the Soviet Union and was a horrible combination of Socialistic ideals. People should not throw out the idea of a state reformed with capitalist and socialist theories. Rather than communist a socialist combination. No form of government is perfect. We must continue to change and reform our countries, to try to prevent corruption and decay.

— 216.✗.✗.9

November 4, 2009, 3:34am

Very interesting, but more information could have been added. Like their impact on history.

— 68.✗.✗.161

October 20, 2009, 1:24am

The first colony settled in America tried to use a socialistic approach to get through the first winter...........pooling their resources. The colony was all but wiped out, so they decided to use a capitalistic approach (personal responsibility) to get through the next winter
...........the survival rate was significantly higher. My elementary school teacher described socialism as everyone putting all of their wages in one basket and distributing it equally among everyone despite their contribution. Why would anyone become a doctor, engineer, or a steeple painter if they will receive the same as those that do little or nothing. Capitalism serves as the catalyst to making America the greatest country on earth. Europe has finally learned that socialism does not work and they are turning toward capitalism as we blog. Don't let democrats sell you on the virtues of socialism, or you will eventually lose your freedom and right to live the American dream.

— 74.✗.✗.203

October 12, 2009, 11:05pm

I wish Americans would become more educated and less slaves to the false idea that everyone can be rich. It is entirely illogical and immoral.

— 24.✗.✗.143

October 12, 2009, 11:03pm

- "Socialism is the down fall of all great society. Communism never really became reality in Russia it was more a combination of Socialism and very little Communism, and it still failed miserably. The only thing that works is Capitalism, with hard work and vision. If Capitalism was easy, it would be called Socialism! Nothing worth it, is easy. Its hard to make it. If it was easy, then anyone could do it, and it wouldn't be great, it would be nothing. And that is what you are going to get with Obama's health care when the money runs out fast! Nothing!"

The above statement is flatly an uneducated one. The Soviet Union perverted communism. It wasn't really communist. It was a dictatorial socialist society that under Marx is against the very purpose of socialism. Marx says that socialism is by nature democratic. The Soviet Union feel for two primary reasons: 1) They overspent on their military while trying to provide needs to all of their people. You cannot have both.

— 24.✗.✗.143

October 12, 2009, 7:56pm

this is an interesting topic but i would also like to know why in the dictionary socialism can be a synonym for communism too?

— 99.✗.✗.130

October 4, 2009, 8:38am

The average American couldn't tell you the difference between socialism and communism. They equate them as one and the same, mutually interchangeable. They have (in my opinion), either an unreasonable fear of both or such an unrealistic positive view that it almost borders on utopia. (a.k.a. Workers paradise etc.)
I've lived in and/or have visited several "communist/socialist" countries. Some of them had some good points, but generally I've found them lacking in several areas. Capitalism will always have its' faults, but human nature, self-interest, and/or basic greed will almost always triumph over any chance of socialism/communism taking root in a democratic society. In my years of living in Eastern Europe, I've talked to a lot of people. I can count on one hand the individuals that admitted to believing in communism. The average citizen wasn't stupid. They could see past their government's controlled news media, and resented the restrictions and/or controls forced on their lives.

— 98.✗.✗.187

September 10, 2009, 6:28am

Socialism is the down fall of all great society. Communism never really became reality in Russia it was more a combination of Socialism and very little Communism, and it still failed miserably. The only thing that works is Capitalism, with hard work and vision. If Capitalism was easy, it would be called Socialism! Nothing worth it, is easy. Its hard to make it. If it was easy, then anyone could do it, and it wouldn't be great, it would be nothing. And that is what you are going to get with Obama's health care when the money runs out fast! Nothing!

— 173.✗.✗.70

August 7, 2009, 8:31pm

Mankind are too unique to stay together to achieve the socialist or communism state... in the believe of common good.. even if we do, there are always culprits and con-men and greedy a$$holes and villains to abrupt this concept.. Capitalist with a Mixed economy with a concern for the people are the one which will work.. anyways, sorry for going out of topic.. buddy down there:
this supposed to be Comm vs Socialism.. WTF.. how to VS if U can't/don't compare between them?!?!

— 203.✗.✗.101

July 12, 2009, 8:39pm

Communism/socialism..........won' Both assume that people are somewhat homogeneous. They are not. Substantially different ambition, energy, work ethic, sense of duty and obligation, sense of right and wrong, willingness to share and be charitable, ability to perceive and/or care about a greater community purpose, etc. Factor in peoples emotions and a persons own sense of what constitutes fairness, and communism/socialism are both dead before they get out of the theory stage.

— 64.✗.✗.180

June 21, 2009, 3:22am

Any one system that all agree on will work. This is not achievable due simply in part to human nature. It is our nature to strive and succeed for a better life regardless what realm you are looking at. But there will always be those who take advantage and reap the benefits of anothers hard work. While it sounds really great in theory to give everybody this and that, not all are going to contribute and not all are going to agree. This is a fact, not a theory.If it were really possible to create a perfect society, whether it be communist, socialist or any other, why have a currency system at all? Afterall, we all agree to help each other. It cannot be done. Utopia would never last just as communism and socialism will never last without genocide to keep from having a revolution. We naturally want what we feel we deserve for the work done and to not have it given away. Having said all this, our system of not only democracy but also capitalism is not perfect either, but it allows change.

— 158.✗.✗.227

June 13, 2009, 7:15am

The muddling of definitions between communism and socialism is caused by frightened capitalists. They like to lump things together and confuse definitions so that one can just easily accept their view. Not to go on about capitalist rhetoric and more to the point, from what I understand Socialism is characterized by "each according to their ability", while Communism is characterized by "each according to their need". Both economic systems, as Socialism and Communism are only economic systems, are theorized to be most effective under two governmental systems: Pure Democracy and Anarchy. Any literature of Communist or Socialist character freely explains this. Research, not only Marx and Engles but alsos Rosa Luxemburg.

— 67.✗.✗.89

May 20, 2009, 1:12am

I believe that the main issues here are that the people, in either classification, socialism or communism, are no longer working on behalf of there own benefit. The reason we should care about this is that (and this is in really basic terms) there are some really lazy people out there. If working no longer benefits the individual, and the general population knows that they will be provided for regardless, where is the incentive to strive? If no one ever advances, why do well in your work? Communism frightens me because of potential lack of a central agency to enforce, and thereby protect. Socialism scares me because I think we can all count on one hand the politicians that actually have our best interests at heart. If they controlled everything, who is to say they would do right by the people? Everything sounds good during a campaign, but when the power is transferred, what happens?

— 70.✗.✗.185

May 15, 2009, 11:34pm

Can someone explain it in English? I'm completely confused about the whole Communism/socialism thing. Is Socialism better than capitalism? Why is Socialism sometimes a synonym for communism? Why am I bothered about it all? Should I be bothered? I don't think i care anymore.

— 93.✗.✗.70

May 2, 2009, 3:51pm

in an article titled socialism vs communism u compare socialism and, stick 2 topic

— 76.✗.✗.81

January 17, 2014, 7:16am

Funny, under the POLITICAL MOVEMENTS section:

Communism isn't listed under the Communist section but it's listed under the Socialist section. Typical Socialist/Communist logic.


Now hide and watch the outright DENIAL of Socialist king HITLER.



In that case, he wasn't a dictator either, he just had a "serious wardrobe malfunction"... Hey what's in a name?

Socialism ALWAYS turns into Communism, ALWAYS. READ YOUR HISTORY. ALWAYS!


Nearly ALL of the problems that have been brought about in the U.S. are due to SOCIALISM.

Our government is destroying any last forms of Democracy and replacing it with total government control. IE Socialism.

HALF of the manufacturing jobs in the US were sent overseas between 2000-2010. HALF. Meanwhile HALF of the population is on some form of SOCIALIST Welfare.


Anyone who is lucky enough to have a job, THAT'S WHO. They pay to support THE OTHER HALF. Most people who work can't afford to have kids, people on Welfare can "afford" to have as many kids as they want though. They even get BIGGER CHECKS for it.

Did I mention how almost HALF of the population of the US was DUMPED on us from Mexico in the last 30 years? Gee, I wonder why.

To eliminate the middle class maybe? Make 99% of the people slaves and the other 1% the masters.

"Free" Socialist money for anyone who doesn't want to work! Hurray!

Looks like everyone who doesn't own their own corporation is broke now, time to go FULL RETARD and make this a full blown Communist hell on earth... just like we've done all throughout history...

Socialism SUCKS. It always HAS SUCKED and it always WILL SUCK. The more powerful and unaccountable our governments become, the worse it gets. They are in the business of creating problems and then offering "solutions"... for just a "small" price... The price of your property, your freedom, and probably even your life.

And if you are still sitting there shaking your head "NO! That's not what they told me in CCComunity CCCollege!" Guess what? You're one of the millions that DESERVE to be lying face down in a MASS GRAVE with the other 100,000,000+.

Now slap on that armband and start marching kiddies. Those mass graves aren't going to dig themselves.

— 71.✗.✗.103

November 6, 2013, 12:46am

#209 is completely correct. Throw away Marx. Anarchy-communism is the way to go. As far as I'm concerned, neither matter because power crazed people are put in charge, and/or promised change never comes.

— 192.✗.✗.2

June 10, 2013, 5:06am

After seeing PRISM, years of illegal wiretapping, unlawful detainment, ad nauseum, as well as the destruction the "freedom" of capitalism has caused to the world and lives of individuals (most notably in other countries other than the US so I guess it's OK to shit on your neighbours) these comments look so misguided and asinine it's sickening. All you need to do is actually educate yourself about current events and see that the economic system as it is is unsustainable and destructive.
But the people that read the difference between socialism and communism still believe propaganda and equate the two. Just pathetic. Typical to squabble over pennies while the rich rake in billions and horde it all for themselves even though they do a minor fraction of the actual work. The poor and middle class do virtually all the work and are owned by the rich simply because the rich have more numbers in their accounts.

— 198.✗.✗.213

January 19, 2013, 7:43pm

To the person in 'Anonymous Comments' who said, "liberals don't want to see the poor get education". Are you kidding me? What country do you live in? Remember it's the liberals/left who fight for everyone to have an equal chance at education.
It's the right/Repubs who stop at nothing to prevent any sort of funding to assist people to help them get better education!
Have you been smoking dope or something?

— 66.✗.✗.110

January 19, 2013, 7:30pm

Indeed, there has never been a true communist state. Remember, in true communism everyone is equal across the board. But in every so called communist country certain members of society received special favor ... in the USSR you got a bigger apartment if you were an Olympic star for example. That is not communism.
Bottom line, there has never been any true pure form of any communism, socialism or capitalism based country ever.
In America it's schools, mail system, police and fire departments are all forms of socialism.
These numbskulls who scream that Obama is a Nazi Socialist or Communist haven't a clue. Yet at the same time scream "if you don't believe like me... you're un-American" and "my country right OR wrong". If anything these types of viewpoints that most right-wingers have are exactly the types that helped fuel the Nazi movement in Germany. How ironic ( read, scary) is that?

— 66.✗.✗.110

January 2, 2012, 1:43am

On 3/26/11 there was a comment that the free market system nearly brought down the world economy in 2008. I beg to differ! There are many who, through the propaganda spread by the left wing main stream media, believe that the present economic woes of the US and world are to be blamed on the Republicans and Capitalists. The problem started with the collapse of the mortgage industry which was brought on by our government sticking its nose into the free market system. As Republicans in congress were warning of the dangers of the subprime mortgage loans that were being made in 2008 and earlier, Barney Frank stood before the House and insisted that it was"WORTH THE RISK" to get more minorities into their own homes ----- whether or not they were credit worthy! Too many today want to blame the banks, forgetting that it was the government who twisted the arms of the banks to make these risky loans under the threat of hefty penalties if they did not comply. They forget that Obama himself, working for ACORN, sued Citibank over this very issue and Citibank caved in due to laws that had been put in place by an over-reaching Federal Government. And besides, the banks were safe as the risk was really being put on Fanny and Freddie -----THE TAX PAYERS! The banks, left to their own business wisdom would never have engaged in such shaky practices. It was the fault of the Democratic left wing Socialists, playing up to their base and trying to garner support, who believed that they should "spread the wealth". Obama has often said that he inherited this economy from Bush but Bush was not running Congress ----- it was being run by the Democrat majority. Then the Morons in this country voted in the very people who caused the economic crash in the first place. There will always be the rich and the poor because there will always be the industrious and the slackers. Socialism/Communism always fails. Look at the Plymouth Plantation in 1620. They nearly died from starvation under communism and only prospered when they shifted to "every man for himself". The Soviet Union collapsed because their economic engine had the constant drag of apathy caused by hopelessness ----- lack of opportunity to prosper. They could not compete with our economic engine ------ capitalism. Look at what is happening to the economies of Europe ------ they're imploding ------ too much consumption and not enough production.

— 24.✗.✗.237

March 26, 2011, 7:21am

All of you who rave on the glory of capitalism and how it's the only structure that has 'worked' seem to conveniently FORGET how the free market system virtually brought down the world in 1929 and 2008 (or the next crash that just may be the end of life as you lavishly and richly know it). And you seem to neglect all the greed, crime and corruption due to capitalism. Do you really think that a relatively young system like captialism will succeed forever? There has been no political/economical structure that has stood the test of time - they all fall for one reason or another. Do you really believe the few 'haves' will continue to rule over the numerous 'have-nots' because it's such a wonderful system? Just wait, it wont be much longer now. But there might be a better way...a blend of the best of all three systems. PS> just the other day I told someone that I think Palin is the antichrist!!

— 71.✗.✗.59

March 24, 2011, 5:46am

A difference between communism and socialism that i've noticed is that communism usually has a dictator (i think this was started by Stalin, i don't see Lenin as a dictator) and socialism is intended to be democratic (as Marx wanted, don't remember if today's socialist countries were or not). With a dictatorship its easier to have more problems by getting a selfish dictator that could be a reason why communism seems to not work. Besides that they both seem about the same to me.

P.S. Stop calling us Socialist-Nazis! The Nazis weren't socialist they were fascist, they were even against all things socialist, communist, and Jewish. The Nazi party just put socialist in their name because the government helped the "master race" and i think to manipulate the people into joining them since socialism was growing at this time period. They're Fascist-Nazis.
P.P.S. Yes, I am a Communist and I would like to be dictator of America without the public noticing. I also think Palin is the Anti-Chris

— 173.✗.✗.182

February 13, 2011, 8:48pm

Rampant capitalism is bad for everyone. Capitalism with some regulation makes sense, this way we do not have to use tax payers money to bail out crooks that manipulate the markets, banks, and trade agreements. So capitalism as it is practiced in a democratic society like the USA, undermines democracy, it favors those in power and keeps the underclass sinking to the bottom. Socialism and Communism could work in theory if humans were more evolved and cared about the things that work for the common good. To get there we need several million years of evolution and a bigger brain to get all members of the society to agree what is good for the common good and decide to practice it with reverence and diligence.
I say good luck! perhaps if aliens showed up and threatened our planet, then we would all have to work for the common good.

— 174.✗.✗.247

June 8, 2011, 12:45pm

Making a comment such as - "Yes taxes are higher" and then saying that you have "Free" programs like schooling etc is the epitomy of ignorance. Nothing is free. For every free porgram or entitlement its paid for by others via Gov Taxes. I choose to work to earn for msyelf as much as I can in a free market Capitalistic environment

— 208.✗.✗.36

March 25, 2011, 1:04pm

To say that it is impossible to succeed in a socialistic country is painting the world black and white. Yes the taxes are high but the costs are low. In Denmark - it is in Europe, we have socialism and we have free schools, the government actually encourage people to get an education by offering free tutoring, and we have free health care. Just because socialism helps people with less money it does not pull others down from succeeding in the global world. United States - who always has favored capitalism, had a debt on $13,050,826,460,886.97 in 2010. When a country keeps lowering taxes to keep the people happy it will increase the debt since spendings keeps going up. The U.S import in 2010 was $497.8 billion which was way higher than the export.

— 216.✗.✗.13
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