From Set the Record Straight

Frequently Asked Questions:
What Is Communism?
What Is Its Real History?
What Does It Have to Do with the World Today?

Part 1

Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at

Revolution is running this FAQ in four parts. Contact Set the Record Straight for the full FAQ.

Q What is communism?

A Communism is a worldwide society in which all classes and class distinctions have been overcome; all systems and relations of exploitation abolished; all oppressive social institutions and relations of social inequality, like racial discrimination and the domination of women by men, put an end to; and all oppressive and backward ideas and values cast off. Communism is a world of abundance where people together hold all of society’s resources in common. Communism also refers to the comprehensive outlook and scientific method of the proletariat for understanding and changing the world.

Q But I always hear that communism is dull and dreary.

A Imagine a society where people consciously learn about and transform the world…where people are no longer imprisoned by the chains of tradition and ignorance…where people not only cooperatively work to produce the necessities of life, but get into art and culture and science--and have fun doing it…where the scientific outlook and the flight of imagination strengthen and inspire each other...where there is unity and diversity, far-ranging debate, and ideological struggle over the direction and development of society--but no longer stamped by social antagonism…where people interact with each other based on mutual respect, concern, and love for humanity. A world that takes care of the environment. That is communism.

Q How is socialism different from communism?

A Socialism is the crucial step in getting towards communism, which has yet to be achieved in the world. A socialist revolution overthrows the capitalist class and establishes the system of political rule of the working class: the dictatorship of the proletariat. The proletariat, together with its allies making up the great majority of society, begins to transform society. Socialist revolution creates an economy based on social ownership and meeting social need. But socialism also inherits social and economic inequalities from capitalism. It still contains classes. There is still class struggle over the direction of society. And for some time, socialist societies will be confronted by hostile capitalist powers. Socialism is a historical period of continuing revolution, and the worldwide advance towards communism is a complex and protracted process of revolution and counterrevolution.

Part 2: Stalin and socialism in the Soviet Union; Mao and the Cultural Revolution

To Learn More About Socialism and Communism

Read the Writings of Bob Avakian

"Dictatorship and Democracy, and the Socialist Transition to Communism," at

Phony Communism Is Dead... Long Live Real Communism, at

Observations on Art and Culture, Science and Philosophy, at

"REVOLUTION: Why It’s Necessary • Why It’s Possible • What It’s All About" DVD at

Contact Set the Record Straight:

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Chicago, IL 60690-0981

Come hear Raymond Lotta speak on why and how "Socialism Is Much Better than Capitalism, and Communism Will Be a Far Better World"

Tour dates and locations at