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Catholic Dictionary




The social doctrine that affirms the community of goods and denies the right to ownership of private property. As analyzed in numerous papal documents since Pope Pius IX in 1846, Communism is based on a philosophy, a theory of history, and a definable strategy or methodology. The philosophy is dialectical materialism, which claims that matter and not spirit, and least of all the infinite Spirit who is God, is the primary reality in the universe; and that material forces in conflict (dialectic) explain all progress in the world. The Communist theory of history claims that economics is the sole basis of human civilization, making all ethical, religious, philosophical, artistic, social, and political ideas the result of economic conditions. The strategy of Communism is a shifting expediency that defies analysis but has two constants that never really change: massive indoctrination of the people and ruthless suppression of any ideas or institutions that threaten totalitarian control by the Communist Party.