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In political and social sciences, communism (from Latin communis, "common, universal") is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.

Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism, anarchism (anarchist communism), and the political ideologies grouped around both. All these share the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism, that in this system, there are two major social classes: the working class—who must work to survive, and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class—a minority who derives profit from employing the working class, through private ownership of the means of production, and that conflict between these two classes will trigger a revolution. The primary element which will enable this transformation, according to this analysis, is the social ownership of the means of production.

The term Communism was first coined and defined in its modern definition by the French philosopher and writer Victor d'Hupay who, in his 1777 book "Projet de communauté philosophe", pushes the philosophy of the Enlightenments to principles which he lived up to, during most of his life in his bastide of Fuveau (Provence). This book can be seen as the cornerstone of communist philosophy as d'Hupay defines this lifestyle as a "commune" (a "communal") and advises to 'share all economic and material products between inhabitants of the "commune", so that all may benefit from everybody's work'.