Difference Between Communism and Socialism

The main intention of production in communism is to meet basic human needs and distribution is of no charge, whereas the intention of socialism is to meet individual and social needs and distribution differs as per individual ability and contribution.

The major difference is that in communism government controls and people receive a portion of resources based on their needs. People cannot own a house in a communist state, they can’t own anything and everything is under government control.

People will just get what they need according to their necessities like food, medical care, education, etc.

Communism vs Socialism

The main difference between Communism and Socialism is that in communism, the government owns and controls all types of economic resources whereas in socialism, an individual can hold property but all other economic resources are communally owned and controlled by a democratically elected government.

Communism vs Socialism

In a communist state, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, you will just get the same amount of portion you are getting and this stops the ability to work harder and better. But in socialism, citizens can own their personal properties but the major means of generating wealth will be under an elected government.

In socialism, citizens can play their role in the government and the government is not involved in every aspect of the field. Citizens get necessities according to their contribution and ability in society.

In a socialist state, it does matter how hard you work because without working hard, you will not get anything in this and it motivates people to excel in their field.

Comparison Table Between Communism and Socialism

Parameter of ComparisonCommunismSocialism
PropertyCitizens cannot have their personal properties.Citizens can have their personal properties.
FreedomAll religions are abolished.Everyone has a right to practice religion.
Distribution of economic productionIt’s distributed according to their needs.It’s distributed according to this contribution.
Class distinctionAll classes are abolished.Classes exist but differences are made.
Economy planned byCentral government.Central government.
Political systemCan co-exist with the political systemOnly the political system

What is Communism?

Communism is a social and political ideology expressed by Karl Marx in the mid-18th century. The ultimate goal is to establish a society based on common ownership of the means of production and absence of social classes, money, and state.

The “Communist Manifesto” was published in 1848, and was a turning point in the French Revolution as the merchant class took over the “means of production” and overthrew the feudal power.

In the final stage, Marx and his followers abolished all class distinction, family and religion as everyone would live in a social equilibrium.

There will be no state, and people will get according to their needs and necessities, no matter how hard they thrive, and sooner enough, the Marxist slogan became as “to each according to his needs.” Prominent examples of communism are China, Egypt, etc.


What is Socialism?

Socialism is a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned by the community as a whole and there would be more equal distribution of goods and services.

Socialism creates equality and provides security. There are class distinctions and people have the freedom to practice whatever they believe.

There is no social equilibrium in society because you get things according to your ability and the contribution to society.

This help peoples to dream big and makes them work harder than before which is important for the country and themselves.

Main Differences Between Communism and Socialism

  1. Under communism, the people got what they need according to their necessities, nothing more or less than that. But in socialism, citizens get according to their ability and contribution and this can vary depending on their contribution to society.
  2. In communism, everything is publicly or governmentally owned. No one has personal properties. In socialism, citizens can have their personal properties but the chief means of generating wealth will be under government.
  3. Communist states reject all religions because they think it will reject their idea of equilibrium state due to religious wars and superiority. But in communism, everyone is free to practice their religion as they think religion makes society better and it’s the God who is running this world
  4. Communism abolishes class distinction as in the communist state, everyone is the same so every family is treated the same no matter from which background they are. But in socialism, there is a class distinction as one can own more than the other family and can have superiority over others.
  5. In communism, there will be only one political system and there will be no amendment in the system. But in socialism, the amendments can be made in political systems and they can co-exist with other political systems.
  6. The basic philosophy of a communist state is the distribution of assets/resources according to needs. But in the socialism distribution of assets/resources is according to the contribution.
Difference Between Communism and Socialism


Some countries wanted to adopt the idea of communism like China, the Soviet Union, Egypt, Vietnam, Cuba, and North Korea.

They are the closest to this idea, but none of these countries have fully achieved or yet achieved a purely communist structure.

The abolition of money, elimination of class system, and personal properties are all the areas where communism was never achieved even the closest of communist countries.

This is because everyone wants power nowadays. In communist states, you’re bound to government and cannot speak against them.

Socialist countries include Sweden, France, Norway, and Canada. They have many socialist policies but in reality, their economies depend upon the capitalist and traditional practices.

They have provided free health care and freedom of speech.

In socialist countries, you have the right to speak against the government. So, in my opinion, a person living in a socialist country is living a far better life, because he can live and earn on his own.

He doesn’t have to rely on the government for everything. He can fulfill his dreams in addition to his necessities.

Key Differences Between Communism and Socialism (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Communism and Socialism


  1. https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Communism.html
  2. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/socialism/
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