12. Communism

According to Websters New World Dictionary, Communism means : “It is theory or system based on the ownership of all property by the community as a whole.”
From this definition of communism its following characteristics may be derived.
Communism is a theory based on community ownership of property. Therefore, it is against the capitalist system of individual ownership of property.
Communism envisages a classless and stateless society.
Communism asks for an equal distribution of economic goods.
Distinguishing the programme of the communist party from the programme of other political parties Marx and Engles wrote, “The Communists are distinguished from the other working class parties by this only:
In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality.
In the various stages of development which the struggles of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movements as a whole.”
Progressive ideal
Laying down the outline of the progressive political ideal of the communist party, Marx and Engels wrote, “The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advances and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.”
Immediate aim
According to Marx an Engels, “immediate aim of the communists is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties—formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.”
Abolition of private property
According to Karl Marx and Engles, capital is not a personal but social power. Therefore, it should be converted into common property. In their words, “We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruits of a man’s own labour, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence…” When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. The social distinguishing feature of commu-nism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. Modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonism, on the exploitation of the many by the few.
Abolition of exploitation
Therefore, communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society, all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation. This has been called expropriation of expropriators.
Abolition of the family
The most important charge against the communist view of human society is their concept of abolition of the family. Explaining this idea, Marx and Engels have written, “On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based on capital, on private gain?” In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeois. But this state of things finds it complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians and in public prostitution. The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty. But, you will say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.

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