Communism

Article

August 13, 2022

Communism is a social, political and economic ideology aimed at the realization of a classless and socialist society, based on common ownership of the means of production and with public institutions, where everyone produces according to their ability and takes according to need (as expressed by the German philosopher and economist Karl Marx (1818-1883), who became the foremost proponent of what he himself presented as "scientific" communism, the advent of which in his view would be desirable not only for the good of humanity, but even according to a the law suggested to him was "historically unavoidable", expressed, among other things, in his writing Critique of the Gotha program). The word communism comes from the Latin communis, which means common and universal.

History (general)

More or less communist ideas have been around for centuries in human history. Over the years many philosophers and also critical Christian theologians had thought about the desirability of a social system in which poverty would no longer exist, including Thomas More. For centuries this usually remained with imaginary fantasies or utopias, without any serious real views appearing in which social critics actually tried more effectively to achieve a conscious and effective social change in which poverty, economic inequality and exploitation would come to an end. Already in the 18th century prior to the French Revolution, the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, among others, reflected on the possible causes of inequality in society. At the end of the 18th century, the French Revolution became a milestone in history, after which, following Rousseau (who had died 9 years earlier), several critical thinkers dared to state openly that inequality could not be combated without radical social improvements. However, liberals already believed before the French Revolution that a so-called "invisible hand" would bring prosperity: a theoretical economic concept with positive consequences that would be brought about by individuals who continued to act seriously in their own interests. This concept was first introduced by Adam Smith at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in his The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759. Both the "utopian socialists" and Karl Marx, who sharply distanced himself from it, rejected the concept of that "invisible hand". In theory, it would supposedly automatically bring prosperity to everyone, if everyone pursued his or her own self. Particularly during the industrial revolution, critics would start to stir, when that theoretically hopeful "invisible hand" turned out to lead to more inequality and large-scale social misery. These critics, on the other hand, argued for sweeping structural changes that needed to be implemented. This mainly concerned the transition from private enterprises and the private ownership of means of production by individuals to a form of joint ownership of a working collective (this was mainly the view of so-called utopian socialists), or even of a "social community". state as advocated by Karl Marx who presented this as a "scientific"" solution and advocated an entirely new polity. Karl Marx would later also become known for this striking and winged statement, among other things. which he is said to have done: "The philosophers have so far only interpreted the world in different ways. The point, however, is to change it." He wrote these words in notes for a later published work with co-author Friedrich Engels. In fact, it marked that he was no longer a pure philosopher with this