Communism vs. Socialism

What is the difference between communism and socialism?

Communism and socialism are both collections of ideological principles. Although they share similarities there are also differences between them. The most basic difference lies in the nature of each one.  Socialism focuses on the economic system, but communism focuses on the political system.

The main aim of socialist governments is collective social control. The main aim of communist government is the abolition of distinction between classes. However, in both economic growth is important. The difference is in the manner in which each of them goes about establishing control over economic growth. In socialism, the economy is managed through planned social control. Communism also involves this type of control but it does it through centralized organizations whose job it is to establish stability.

The principles of socialism hold that in order to have complete economic control, as many people as possible must be involved in the set up. The principles of communism are completely the opposite. In this system of government, the concentration is on small groups of people in order to bring about economic control.

Goods and services are distributed to people in socialism based on their hard work, but in communism they are distributed according to the needs of the people.

A classless society is the goal of both ideologies, but they have different methods of approach.  Under communism, the only way to achieve this goal is to bring an end to capitalism and private ownership. However, these two ideologies are part of socialism.


  1. Socialism and communism are two different sets of ideological principles.
  2. Socialism is completely focused on economic control by means of large groups of people involved in capitalism and private ownership. Communism focuses on both economic and political control.
  3. Communism believes in a classless society and that the only way to achieve this is to abolish capitalism and private ownership. It also believes that it can only be attained through organizing small groups of people in the set up.