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communism a political and economic doctrine that advocates that the state should own all property and organize all the functions of PRODUCTION and EXCHANGE, including LABOUR. Karl MARX succinctly stated his idea of communism as ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’. Communism involves a CENTRALLY PLANNED ECONOMY where strategic decisions concerning production and distribution are taken by government as opposed to being determined by the PRICE SYSTEM, as in a market-based PRIVATE ENTERPRISE ECONOMY. China still organizes its economy along communist lines, but in recent years Russia and other former Soviet Union countries and various East European countries have moved away from communism to more market-based economies.