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What is the difference between communism and socialism? They get used interchangeably in our culture, but do they really mean the same thing?

In this episode, we’ll give a textbook definition of each and then see how those ideas change in the wild. Our guests today are my friend Brian Faehnrich, Professor Barbara Engel (author of “Russia in World History“), and Roland Elliott Brown (author of “Godless Utopia“).

The basic difference between communism and socialism is where the profit goes:

  • In communism, the profits go to the government
  • In socialism, the profits can go to the people

Also, communism is inherently atheistic, in keeping with the vision of Karl Marx.

Select Links:

  • President Trump’s speech before the United National General Assembly on September 24, 2019 (CSPAN)
  • Russia in World History – by Barbara Engel
  • Godless Utopia – by Roland Elliott Brown
  • New York Times article about the potato harvest

Topic Covered:

  • What is the difference between communism and socialism?
  • Who was Karl Marx?
  • Who invented communism?
  • What was the first communist country? (Russia)
  • How did Vladimir Lenin rise to power?
  • Does communism work?
  • Is communism a utopian idea?
  • What did Karl Marx have against the Christian church?
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