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In political and social sciences, communism (from Latin communis, "common, universal") is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.

Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism and anarchism (anarcho-communism), as well as the political ideologies grouped around both. All of these share the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism; that in this system there are two major social classes; that conflict between these two classes is the root of all problems in society; and that this situation will ultimately be resolved through a social revolution. The two classes are the working class—who must work to survive and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class—a minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. The revolution will put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production, which according to this analysis is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism. Critics of communism can be roughly divided into those concerning themselves with the practical aspects of 20th century communist states and those concerning themselves with communist principles and theory.

Marxism-Leninism and social democracy were the two dominant forms of socialism in the 20th century; social democracy advocates economic reform through gradual democratic legislative action rather than through revolution.

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Emblem of the Fourth International.
The Fourth International (FI) (founded in 1938) is the communist international organization consisting of followers of Leon Trotsky (Trotskyists), with the declared dedicated goal of helping the working class bring about socialism. Historically, the Fourth International was established in France in 1938: Trotsky and his supporters, having been expelled from the Soviet Union, considered the Comintern or Third International to have become "lost to" Stalinism and incapable of leading the international working class to political power.

Trotsky's followers had been organised since 1930 as the International Left Opposition, which later became the International Communist League. By declaring themselves the Fourth International, World Party of Socialist Revolution, the Trotskyists, were publically asserting their continuity not only with the Comintern but also with the earlier Socialist International and the International Workingmens Association, the first international, which had been led by Karl Marx.

The International's rationale was to construct new mass revolutionary parties able to lead successful workers' revolutions. It saw these arising from a revolutionary wave which would develop alongside and as a result of the coming world war. The founding conference adopted the Transitional Program for Socialist Revolution as the International's political platform.

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Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping (pinyin: Xí Jìnpíng, pronounced [ɕǐ tɕînpʰǐŋ], born 15 June 1953) is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, the President of the People's Republic of China, and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. As General Secretary, he is also an ex officio member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body.

Son of communist veteran Xi Zhongxun, Xi Jinping rose through the ranks politically in China's coastal provinces. He served as the Governor of Fujian between 1999 and 2002, then as Governor and CPC party chief of the neighboring Zhejiang between 2002 and 2007. Following the dismissal of Chen Liangyu, Xi was transferred to Shanghai as the party secretary for a brief period in 2007. Xi was promoted to the central leadership in October 2007 and was groomed to become Hu Jintao's successor.

Xi is now the leader of the People's Republic's fifth generation of leadership. He has called for a renewed campaign against corruption, continued market economic reforms, an open approach to governance, and a comprehensive national renewal under the neologism "Chinese Dream".

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It must be said that the attitude of the crooks to us politicals had completely changed. They say that only twenty years ago the crooks used to call us fascists, rob us on prisoner transports and in transit cells, terrorize us in the camps, and so on. But now these same crooks used to volunteer to help me with my sacks of books on convoys and share their smokes and grub with me. They used to ask us to tell them what we were in jail for and what we wanted. They read the text of my sentence with enormous interest, and the only thing they couldn't believe was what we did all this for nothing, and not for money. They were absolutely astonished that people could go to prison just like that, deliberately and not for gain. In Vladimir Prison our relations with them were those of good neighbors: they constantly turned to us for answers to their questions, advice, and even help. We were the ultimate arbiters of all their quarrels, and we would help them to write complaints and explain the laws to them. And, of course, they questioned us endlessly on politics.

In prison even crooks read the newspapers, listen to the radio and-perhaps for the first time in their lives-get to thinking: Why is life such a mess in the Soviet Union? The overwhelming majority of them are violently anti-Soviet, and the word "Communist" is virtually an insult. Because of their lack of literacy and solidarity, they are incapable of sticking up for their rights. The administration takes advantage of their feuds and sets them against one another. Whenever a prison officer wants to break one of them, he does it by transferring him to a cell where the inmates hate his guts. Then it is merely a question of who would kill whom, and whoever did the murder would be sentenced to be shot.

— Vladimir Bukovsky (1942)
To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter , 1978

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