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 3

Revolution #020, October 30, 2005, posted at

Revolution is running this FAQ in four parts. Go to the Set the Record Straight website at for the full FAQ.

8). Where can you find socialism in the world today?

There are no longer socialist countries. The Soviet and Chinese revolutions were turned back and defeated by the guardians of the old order. But there are Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations in many parts of the world committed to the principles of communism and building on the experience of the “first wave” of socialist revolutions of the 20th century. The Revolutionary Internationalist Movement brings many of these groups together. A Maoist people’s war is being waged in Nepal. In the United States, there is the Revolutionary Communist Party led by Bob Avakian.

9). Isn’t Marxism a dogma?

Marxism is a creative, self-critical, and developing science. People should check out the writings of Bob Avakian. He has been critically summing up the profound lessons of past socialist societies, analyzing vast changes in the world since, and has been extending the horizons of Marxism. He is developing a model of vibrant socialism and communism for the 21st century.

10). But isn’t communism outdated—with globalization and new technologies leveling social differences and eliminating the working class?

The need and basis for communist revolution is greater than ever. The gap between rich and poor in the world has widened enormously since Marx wrote “The Communist Manifesto.” The three richest Americans have assets that exceed the combined gross domestic product of the 48 least developed countries. Ten million children die each year of preventable disease and malnutrition. AIDS plagues the world while pharmaceutical companies guard their intellectual property rights and profits. An exploited working class is definitely not disappearing, including in the U.S. Look at the labels on your sneakers and shirts, or at the components of your computer. They are produced by exploited and superexploited labor in all corners of the world.  

11). How can communism be relevant to a wealthy and advanced technological society like the United States? 

America has a large middle class. But for many, life is alienating; and the system thwarts people from applying their skills and expertise to benefit society and humanity. Hurricane Katrina revealed the deep faultlines of class exploitation and racial discrimination in the U.S. America is a society with many impoverished (40 million) and working poor…a society with horribly inadequate and unequal health care…a society with a prison system that warehouses huge numbers of young Black and Latino men. For all its advanced technology and store of knowledge—the system can’t mobilize people to deal with basic problems like hurricane disaster relief. And it has a president who doesn’t even accept evolution as a scientific fact!

Read Part 4 in the next issue of Revolution: What about human nature and selfishness? Will people be able to practice religion and have personal possessions under socialism? Will there be democracy and elections, and will dissent be allowed?

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


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