A Communist country is a country that is governed by a single party based on the Marxist-Leninist philosophy. Under this political theory, private property and an economy centered on profits is replaced with public ownership. Communal control of natural resources and means of production including mills, factories and mines are characteristics of communism. Communism is seen as a form of socialism.
Communist countries adhere to the teachings of Karl Marx. In his writings, Marx identified two phases of communism. The first would be when the working class would have control of the economy and the government. However, people would still have to be paid based on the quality and quantity of their work. After this, the second phase would be fully realized communism, where class divisions or government would no longer exist.
During the 20th century, about one-third of the world’s population lived under communist rule. Probably the most prevalent was the Soviet Union, which had an inefficient economy that led to its collapse in the early 1990s. Under these regimes, a single party rules and there was generally no opposition. Party leaders operated under a command economy where the state determined wages, production goals and prices. While many of these economies failed, communism is still in practice in several countries. These countries are China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam.
Former countries that were part of the Soviet Union were Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Soviet-controlled bloc countries were Bulgaria, Czech Republic, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
The group of countries known as the Balkans were also under communist rule. These countries were Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Servia and Slovenia.
Asian countries that once were communist include Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia and Yemen. African countries include Angola, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Mozambique.