The political system which underpins centrally planned economies . Until 1989 communist governments maintained power across Eastern Europe, Russia and the Central Asian republics. China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba remain communist inspired though with varying degrees of liberalisation in their economic organisation.
Communist countries are characterised by the repression of political opposition, limitations on human rights and a considerable degree of economic control on the part of the government, even where some decisions are market determined.
Communist ideology was inspired by the work of Karl Marx . It was originally intended to improve the standard of living of ordinary people by restricting the power of private sector businesses.