Difference Between Socialism and Communism

Socialism and Communism are two ideological systems that emerged in response to the Industrial Revolution. During this revolution, many capitalist factory owners became extremely wealthy by exploiting their workers; to whom they paid an unfair salary while they worked tirelessly for long working hours, sometimes without lunch and adequate ventilation. It is in this context that these two ideological systems emerge, which were aimed at improving the situation of workers and promoting economic growth through different strategies. Difference Between Socialism and Communism

Although they have certain similarities, there are many differences between communism and socialism. Next we will see what they are.

SOCIALISM  Difference Between Socialism and Communism

Socialism is a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution of the capital, land throughout society as a whole.

It is less extreme and more flexible than communism.

The main difference between these two systems is that socialism focuses especially on the economic aspect , while communism is more related to the political system. Both are production systems that focus on central planning and the use of public property as a means of production.

Socialism believes that planned social control must be implemented to run the economy.

It arises from capitalism itself as a form of new society. He believes in achieving a classless society through capitalism and private property. That is, it does not necessarily reject these last two elements.

Socialists believe that economic control can be achieved by involving as many people as possible in starting a classless society. According to the socialist ideal, production should be distributed according to the work of the people, the quantity and the quality of the work done. However, they consider it important to have enough production to cover everyone’s needs.

Some examples of socialist states, which have socialist policies in combination with a capitalist economy and a democratic political system are:

  • Guyana
  • Tanzania
  • Sri Lanka
  • Portuguese Republic
  • India

These countries have incorporated some socialist ideas into their economic systems. These include increased benefits for workers.


The word “communism” comes from the Latin “communis”, which means “common” or “belonging to all.” The ideal of the communist system is a free society, without division or alignment; where people are freed from oppression and scarcity. It is a theory and a system of social organization based on the exploitation of all common goods. Instead of being private, the property belongs to the community or the State.

In this case, all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state; dominated by a single and self-perpetual political party.

As previously stated, communism is associated with the political system; it is not limited to economics. The communist idea is that centralized organizations must manage the economy to achieve a classless society, in which everyone is equal.

Unlike socialism, communism believes that only by ending capitalism and private property can a classless society be achieved; for this reason they say that all properties, factories. must be owned by the state or the central government.

Communists believe that a small group of people should have the responsibility of managing the means of production.

Another thing that differs from socialism is that in this case production is distributed according to the needs of the people; not for the quantity or quality of each one’s work.

The communist ideal affirms that people go to work in communist society, not because they feel it as an obligation, but because they see it as a responsibility.

In conclusion, communism and socialism emerged as methods designed to improve the lives of ordinary people , to distribute equally wealth among the people and therefore; create a classless society . In a practical sense , however, neither of them has been able to achieve their ideal goal .

l socialism and communism have been criticized by the capitalists who claim that the two systems have distorted prices and sustained technological progress slow or stagnant , also they criticize them reducing incentives , prosperity and the limited viability.

In modern terminology , communism has become synonymous with the policies of states controlled by communist parties , regardless of the practical content of the current economic system . Some examples of such states include the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the People’s Republic of China , the Soviet Union, Cuba , Cambodia, and Laos.

[*] It is important to clarify that there is a lot of confusion about which states should be considered socialist or communist. In some cases certain states are pigeonholed in both systems and in other cases it is said that they do not belong to either of the two. This is because the terms socialism and communism have acquired new meanings over time.

Key differences between communism and socialism

  • Socialism focuses especially on the economic system and its main objective is to distribute resources to each person according to their work. On the other hand, communism is an economic and political system that aims to distribute resources to each person according to their needs.
  • Socialism arises within capitalism and is not opposed to private property, while communism seeks to put an end to capitalism and private property.
  • In socialism it is proposed that the entire society as a whole be involved in its construction and in the management of the means of production, while communism proposes that only a select group (representing the State) controls the means of production.

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