In light of widespread misinformation about the realities of left-wing ideologies, below is a helpful cheat sheet outlining socialism, anarchism and communism.
With the current smear campaign being waged against anti-fascist forces in the U.S. by the Trump administration, the police force, and its loyal liberal following, it is especially important to have some basic knowledge about the differences between communism, socialism, and anarchism as broadly left-wing ideologies that have been historically important to anti-colonial struggles of the 20th century, and which continue to shed light on various social possibilities for the present.
Unsurprisingly, right-wing ideologues and the large swathe of liberals that protect and sustain their agenda often purposefully conflate, simplify, or paint over these concepts with a broad brush stroke. Any sort of ideology related to communism or socialism must be bad, since it is associated with Stalin and the “evil Soviets” of the 1960’s and 70’s. And any concepts related to anarchism or anti-fascism must be hell-bent on the destruction of property and nothing else.
These are some of the uneducated myths that swirl around the collective conservative-liberal consciousness, and they are myths that are rooted in a blind adherence to the status quo and fear of any sort of structural change to the way in which society is organized (which, under capitalism, depends on an extremely unequal distribution of resources and a system that exploits the labor of the majority so that a small number can benefit from the wealth this labor creates).