Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Communist systems were historically shaped in the 20th century and based on oppressive centralized political power aiming at control over a usually nationalized economy, culture, and society. Such systems appeal to a communist ideology according to which a fully communist system ensures the liquidation of exploitation and equality in a classless society. Because this ideology remained an unfulfilled utopia, the term communist systems refers to existing systems based on the characteristics mentioned above: oppressiveness and striving for control over a nationalized reality. According to communist ideology, such systems are supposed to be only transitional forms on the path to full communism, while in reality they are the only form of communism in existence. Although this entry discusses communism considered as a system rather than an ideology, it should be remembered that the communist ideology caused the deaths of tens of millions of victims of communist repression. This ideology was Communism ...