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Communism is a system or theory of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, with ownership being ascribed to the state or to the community as a whole. As theory, it is associated with the writings of Karl Marx, and it has been perceived as a corrupting force by westerners—most of whom are thoroughly committed to U.S. capitalism in its nascent and advanced forms, especially in the interior West. As praxis, communism in the western United States, though unpopular, has been a significant contributor to progressive changes in the living and working conditions of the West's disadvantaged people.

Socialist philosophies and practices served as a precursor to communism in the western states. Socialism's goal was to use government to even out the ...

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