The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that communism is an economic system in which private ownership of property and profit-based capitalism are replaced by public ownership and communal control of a society's natural resources and its major means of production. The doctrine of communism is jointly economic and political.
Communism bears a strong resemblance to socialism. The two are distinguished from one another mostly based on communist adherence to the revolutionary socialistic theories of the 19th-century German thinker and economist Karl Marx, co-author of "The Communist Manifesto." According to the Library of Economics and Liberty, the political practice and theory of Vladimir Lenin was essential to the divergence of socialism and communism.