Communism is a term that can refer to one of several things: a certain social system, an ideology which supports that system, or a political movement that wishes to implement that system.
As a social system, communism would be a type of egalitarian society with no state, no private property and no social classes. In communism, all property is owned by the community as a whole, and all people enjoy equal social and economic status. Perhaps the best known principle of a communist society is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
As an ideology, the word communism is a synonym for Marxism and its various derivatives (most notably Marxism-Leninism). Among other things, Marxism proposes the materialist conception of history; there are four stages of economic development: slavery, feudalism, capitalism, and communism. These stages are advanced through a dialectical process, refining society as history progresses. This refinement is driven by class struggle. Communism is the final refinement as it will result in one class.
As a political movement, communism is a branch of the broader socialist movement. The communist movement differentiates itself from other branches of the socialist movement through various things - such as, for example, the communists' desire to establish a communist system after the socialist one, and their commitment to revolutionary strategies for overthrowing capitalism.
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