Communism as a political and economic ideology dominated the 20th century. In one way or another, it has affected nearly every nation and institution in the world—and it persists in some nations today. Communism claims that a materially abundant and peaceful world can be created by abolishing private property and allowing the collectivity, through the mediation of the state, to plan and direct all aspects of society along scientific and rational lines. It is a Utopian idea that sacrifices individualism for the collective good. Ideologically, it is the antithesis of individualism and laissez-faire economics. During the preceding century, communist regimes arose in Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, and elsewhere, capturing nearly one half of the world's population and landmass. Intellectually, communism also captured many ...

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