In 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto, a writing that predicted class war, the overthrow of capitalism and a classless society. It was to prove most influential in the development of revolutionary ideas. These happenings would result in the "abolition of private property" to instate communism, which Marx believed was the key to solving Russia's problems.

Communism, also known as Marxism, is a concept or system of society in which the community rather than individuals owns major resources and means of production. Work is shared equally throughout the nation according to ability, and everyone has equal rights, standard of living and class. Run by and for the people, the economy would produce what the people needed, instead of what was profitable. Marx prophesised abundance and the disappearance of inequalities and coercive government.

Marx postulated that capitalism -- an economic model representing the Western economic systems as one in which money and power are progressively concentrated in the hands of a few -- was flawed and therefore bound to destroy itself. He argued that with the more goods a capitalist nation accumulated, the less use it would have for these goods; the more people it trained, the less it could utilise their talents.

With the collapse of capitalism, socialism would emerge as teh natural result, as a transition period before the ultimate very long-term goal of communism. Marx did acknowledge, however, that socialism could be built only under conditions of abundance. A poor country becoming a planned, egalitarian society would only succeed in generalising poverty and creating new conflicts over the distribution of society's resources. He figured that their system of government would spread over Europe, and that Europe would then assist Russia with money, resources and expertise.

Revolutionary groups, like Lenin's Bolsheviks, trusted Marx's judgement and tended to base most of their plans on his teachings.