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Communist party

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A communist party rally.

A communist party is a political party based on the principles of communism and intended to constitute the working class into a party consistent with its class interests, with the abolition of private property as a main objective. The theoretical conclusions of the communist party are based on the existing relations of production and the class antagonisms that they create.

Many political parties have existed that styled or named themselves communists and advocated the maintenance of private property through various schemes, usually by advocating nationalization from above where the immediate producers continue to confront the means of production as their non-property.

Activities & Methods

Communist parties (especially of Marxist–Leninist positions) regularly involve themselves in mass work with the greater community, which often involves assisting those in poverty, protesting against the excesses of the bourgeois state, anti-fascism, etc.

Communist parties play a large role in the labor movement with many being very active within trade unions as well as working to develop class consciousness in their nation's working class population.

In countries where class struggle is intensifying and where the bourgeois state is begining to more strongly restrict the ability to be openly communist, anti-capitalist, or anti-state communist parties are forced to be much more clandestine in their work much in the way the parties of Europe would have been in the late 19th and early 20th century.


It is debatable whether the communist party is or should be a vanguard party. Leninism and its derivative trends argue that the communist party represents the leading political and revolutionary force for the proletariat and is required in order to make meaningful gains and transcend trade-union consciousness, whereas other Marxist trends believe that the communist party should serve a largely educational role.[1]

Mass or minority party

Debate exists as to whether the communists should try to form as mass political party and movement or focus on a minority or cadre party.


There is considerable debate about the most appropriate decision-making structure of the communist party. Democratic centralism, federalism and organic centralism are some proposed structures.


  1. Foundations of Leninism Joseph Stalin (1924) — VIII. THE PARTY Marx2Mao