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Communism vs. Anarchism: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 3, 2024
Communism is a political and economic ideology advocating for a classless society through collective ownership, while anarchism seeks to abolish all hierarchical authority, including the state.
Communism vs. Anarchism

Key Differences

Communism, as theorized by Marx and Engels, envisions a classless, stateless society where resources are collectively owned. Anarchism, on the other hand, focuses on the dissolution of all forms of government and hierarchical structures, emphasizing individual autonomy.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024
In communism, the state is seen as a tool to achieve a classless society, eventually becoming obsolete. Anarchism rejects any form of centralized authority from the outset, advocating for decentralized, community-based decision-making.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024
Communism often involves a transitional state to manage the redistribution of resources, whereas anarchism insists on immediate state abolition and direct action against all forms of authority.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024
While communism has been implemented in various forms by countries like the Soviet Union and China, anarchism remains more a philosophical guide, with sporadic examples like the Spanish Civil War anarchists.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024
Communism's focus on class struggle contrasts with anarchism's broader opposition to all forms of hierarchy, including but not limited to class.
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Jan 03, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Goal

Classless society
Abolition of all hierarchies
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Jan 03, 2024

Means

State control, redistribution
Direct action, decentralization
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Jan 03, 2024

View on State

Transitional role
Immediate abolition
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Jan 03, 2024

Historical Examples

Soviet Union, China
Spanish Civil War, Zapatistas
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Jan 03, 2024

Key Principle

Collective ownership
Individual autonomy
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Communism and Anarchism Definitions

Communism

Ideology aiming to overthrow capitalism
Communism arose as a response to the inequalities of capitalism.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Anarchism

Principle of direct action against authority
Anarchists often engage in direct action to challenge existing power structures.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Communism

Political theory advocating classless society
Communism seeks to eliminate social classes and disparities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Anarchism

Movement seeking abolition of the state
Anarchists believe in self-governance without a central government.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Communism

Philosophy promoting communal living
Communism encourages people to live and work together for the common good.
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Dec 20, 2023
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Anarchism

Philosophy opposing all forms of hierarchy
Anarchism advocates for a society free from governmental control.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Communism

Economic system with collective ownership
In communism, factories and resources are owned by the community.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Anarchism

Belief in voluntary associations
Anarchism promotes the formation of voluntary, cooperative groups.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Communism

A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Anarchism

The theory or doctrine that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable and should be abolished.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Communism

A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Anarchism

Active resistance and terrorism against the state, as used by some anarchists.
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Dec 13, 2023

Communism

The Marxist-Leninist doctrine advocating revolution to overthrow the capitalist system and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat that will eventually evolve into a perfectly egalitarian and communal society.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Anarchism

Rejection of all forms of coercive control and authority
"He was inclined to anarchism.
He hated system and organization and uniformity" (Bertrand Russell).
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Dec 13, 2023

Communism

Any far-left political ideology or philosophy advocating holding the production of resources collectively, especially by seizing it through revolution.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Anarchism

A political and philosophical belief that all forms of involuntary rule or government are undesirable, unnecessary, or unethical, and as such that society would function without a state.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Communism

Any political social system that implements a communist political philosophy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Anarchism

A belief that proposes the abolition of hierarchy and authority in most forms.
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Dec 13, 2023

Communism

The international socialist society where classes, money, and the state no longer exist.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Anarchism

The doctrine or practice of anarchists.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Communism

A scheme of equalizing the social conditions of life; specifically, a scheme which contemplates the abolition of inequalities in the possession of property, as by distributing all wealth equally to all, or by holding all wealth in common for the equal use and advantage of all.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Anarchism

A political theory favoring the abolition of governments
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Dec 13, 2023

Communism

A form of socialism that abolishes private ownership
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Dec 13, 2023

Anarchism

Ideology emphasizing individual freedom
Anarchism places high value on personal liberty and autonomy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Communism

A political theory favoring collectivism in a classless society
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Communism

Movement for a stateless, moneyless society
Communism ultimately envisions a world without money or states.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What does anarchism stand against?

Anarchism opposes all forms of hierarchical authority, including the state.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024

Are communism and anarchism inherently violent?

Not necessarily; both have peaceful and militant factions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024

How do anarchists propose to organize society?

Through decentralized, voluntary associations and cooperatives.
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Jan 03, 2024

Did Marx and Engels influence both ideologies?

Primarily communism; anarchism has different philosophical roots.
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Jan 03, 2024

Are there successful examples of communism or anarchism?

There are debated examples, but no large-scale, long-term successes.
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Jan 03, 2024

What role does individual freedom play in anarchism?

It's a core value, with emphasis on personal autonomy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024

How do communists view class struggle?

As a central driving force in society that must be resolved.
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Jan 03, 2024

What is the basic principle of communism?

Communism seeks to establish a classless, stateless society with collective ownership of resources.
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Jan 03, 2024

How do communism and anarchism view the state?

Communism sees a transitional state as necessary, while anarchism advocates for immediate state abolition.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024

Can communism and anarchism coexist?

Theoretically, but their approaches to achieving a stateless society differ significantly.
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Jan 03, 2024

Has communism ever been fully realized?

Many argue that true communism, as Marx envisioned, has not been implemented.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024

How do communists propose to distribute resources?

Equally, based on need, through a communal system.
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Jan 03, 2024

Can anarchism work in large societies?

It's debated; critics say it's more suited to small communities.
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Jan 03, 2024

What's the anarchist stance on democracy?

Favorable, but they advocate for direct, participatory forms.
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Jan 03, 2024

How do both ideologies view equality?

communism through economic means, anarchism through abolishing hierarchies.
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Jan 03, 2024

What is a communist economy like?

It's based on collective ownership and absence of private property.
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Jan 03, 2024

What is direct action in anarchism?

It's taking immediate action to enact social or political change.
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Jan 03, 2024

Do communism and anarchism agree on capitalism?

Both oppose capitalism, but for different reasons.
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Jan 03, 2024

Do communists believe in personal property?

Personal possessions are allowed, but not private property that generates wealth.
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Jan 03, 2024

Is anarchism the same as chaos?

No, anarchists propose organized, non-hierarchical systems.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 03, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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