Communism derives its name from the Latin word communis, which means common, universal, or belonging to all. Today, communism is usually associated with Marxist thought. However, communist ideas have appeared outside Marxism, for example, in ancient Greece (for example, in Plato’s Republic) or in the socioreligious thought of some Christian sects (for example, the Shakers).

The specific, modern meaning of communism evolved in the thought of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and their successors. In Marx and Engels’s view, expressed in The Communist Manifesto (1848), communism became an economic and sociopolitical doctrine. In their writings, Marx and Engels formulated a view of history called historical materialism. According to their ideas, society is divided along class lines and develops through constant class struggle. This fight leads

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