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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-S009-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 22, 2024, from

Article Summary

Communism is the belief that society should be organized without private property, all productive property being held communally, publicly or in common. A communist system is one based on a community of goods. It is generally presented as a positive alternative to competition, a system that is thought to divide people; communism is expected to draw people together and to create a community. In most cases the arguments for communism advocate replacing competition with cooperation either for its own sake or to promote a goal such as equality, or to free specific groups of people to serve a higher ideal such as the state or God.

Citing this article:
Sargent, Lyman Tower. Communism, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-S009-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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