Communism may be defined as an economic system and a system of government in which the means of production and distribution are totally controlled by the state (government). Communism is the highest stage of socialism. Individual ownership of property is completely abolished in a communist state. A good example of such economy is North Korea.
FEATURES OF COMMUNISM
i) Total ownership of means of production and distribution by the state.
ii) Absence of classes – classless society.
iii) The use of force in achieving communist goal.
iv) One-party dominance in a communist state.
v) Centrally planned economy
ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNISM
1) CLASS STRUGGLE AND REVOLUTION: Communism is based on class struggle within the society. There are two classes:
i) Bourgeoisie: Those who own the means of production and exploit the workers whom they employ to operate these means of production.
ii) Proletariat: The class of industrial worker who do not own the means of production.
2) Redistribution of property.
3) Abolition of Government and State.
4) Dictatorship of the communist party.
5) Capitalism as Exploitative: The foundation of communism is the belief that the concentration of property in private hands is exploitative
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM
i) In socialism, there is collective or public ownership of the factors of production which are organized and controlled for the benefit of all while communism is a revolutionary system in which there will be elimination of capitalism, abolition of class and state and establishment of common ownership of the factors of production.
ii) Socialism may be attained by evolutionary or constitutional means, but communism must involve violent confrontation and revolution.
iii) Socialism gives to each worker according to his ability while communism gives to each worker according to his need.
Fascism may be defined as philosophy, principle and organization of the aggressive nationalist and anti-communist dictatorship. It was started in 1922 and dissolved in 1943 under Benito Mussolini. It condemns both capitalism and socialism and also repudiates peace, democracy, rule of law etc. and glorifies war.
FEATURES OF FASCISM
i) It encourages nationalism.
ii) It is an anti-communist movement.
iii) It denounces democracy.
iv) It rejects the laws of God and religion out rightly.
v) It rejects popular views.
Aristocracy is government by the best and most qualified people in the state or by those seen as superior citizens to whom people look upon for leadership.
MERITS OF ARISTOCRACY
i) Aristocracy is not a game of numbers. It emphasizes quality of ruler rather than quantity. It is a government by the best citizens.
ii) It is ruled by able and unselfish minority in contrast to rule by a selfish minority of oligarchy.
DEMERITS OF ARISTOCRACY
i) It is not democratic.
ii) Government is controlled by a few, thus it limit opportunity for political participation.
Totalitarianism may be defined as a form of government in which one supreme authority controls everything and where there is no form of opposition.
FEATURES OR CHARACTERISTICS OF TOTALITARIANISM
i) Supreme authority that controls everything.
ii) Absence of all forms of opposition.
iii) Existence of one dominant political party.
iv) State control of mass media.
v) Absence of the rule of law.