Types of communism


Taking into account the different social and historical approaches that it has gone through, the communist vision has undergone a continuous evolution until the emergence of a series of different types of communism.

Since its beginning with the first writings of Marx and Engels, the communist movement has grown and developed adapting to the new changes that each historical time has brought.

Due to this evolution, it is possible to distinguish the different approaches or types of communism that exist and the nuances that distinguish them.

Main types of communism

Taking into account the different approach to the class struggle and the role of capitalism and its effects on society, it is possible to understand different phases of development of the communist ideology:

  • Primitive Communism: The one existing at the origin of the greatest Marxist character of the movement. Its basis was the collaboration or cooperation between workers, who were organized in a collaborative system without private ownership of the means of production and creating what was necessary only for subsistence.
  • Egalitarian communism: This typology refers to the state prior to Marxist thought, going to the origin of communist thought and closer to utopia. They are closely related to the theory of utopian socialism. The importance of the organized coexistence group prevails over individualism.
  • Utopian communism: It is an evolution of the previously described typology, with the development of the capitalist world and the appearance of the Industrial Revolution, the utopian communist thinkers reached ideological conclusions close to the pure egalitarianism of goods and means of production, annulling private property. That is, a type of society absolutely free of exploitation and social inequalities.
  • Scientific communism: As with scientific socialism, communist theories were ordered and structured following the scientific method. It is the moment in which criticism and the formal, rational and scientific study of history and economics took over communist thought, in the face of the utopian tendencies described above.
Difference between socialism and communism

Other approaches derived from communist thought

Apart from the conceptions of communism, important phases that facilitated its evolution and expansion, especially in the Western world, there have been other diverse visions of this ideological phenomenon.

  • War communism: In the middle of the Russian Revolution the communist and socialist approach was put in check due to the ideological positions of both sides of this civil war conflict. As a result of this, there was an excessive and total control by the military and political elite of all resources or means of production, completely eliminating any vestige of capitalism or liberal openness present until then. From that point of view, the total communist intervention was justified by the warlike climate and the need to avoid outside interventionism.
  • Marxism-Leninism: Although this trend is more related to classical Marxism, the positions of Vladimir Lenin were a step forward for communist thought. The existence of a personalized elite in the Communist Party and a political centralism that did not leave the struggle of the working class solely in the unionization of the workers was imposed as basic. Followers of Leninism claim that Marxism is to Leninism what Utopian socialism is to scientific socialism.

Subsequently there were other approaches based on earlier trends. Examples of this are Trotskyism or Stalinism, variations of Marxism-Leninism in the URRS or Maoism in the People's Republic of China.

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