It’s understandable that people, especially those of the Anglosphere, don’t know what communism is. It’s been the target of propaganda since around the late 40s, and the word has effectively lost all meaning. To some people it means the ideology of free healthcare and caring for the elderly, to others it means being anti-America, or anti-Britain or otherwise; and to others it means anything they don’t like. None of these are communism. The first is socialism, the second is a result of nationalism, and the last is incorrect.
Communism is an economic ideology that gives the workers the power over the means of production, as opposed to Capitalism, which gives the power over the means of production to the highest bidder, which results in the highest bidder getting higher and higher and higher until nobody can compete with them and they’re effectively a dictator. This is obviously simplified, and perhaps biased, but the main tenets remain intact. Capitalism exploits the poor by limiting their options and then bumping prices up – for example, you can’t buy from a true tailor as easily as buying from a sweatshop-powered corporation, by way of putting the true tailors out of business, or out-advertising them, etc. This phenomenon happens to other industries, such as groceries, food, toys and video-games.
In communism, all property and goods would be owned by the community, and would be distributed based on how much of something you need. For example, if a family needs 3 loaves of bread per week, they would be given 3 loaves of bread per week. A common opposition to this is “who would pay for it?”. The answer is nobody; the issue of having to earn enough currency to support your family is one created by capitalism, and as such it can be removed. Each person would work to support their community, for example farmers would work to fulfil the dietary needs of the people, and tailors would work to provide clothes, etc. Another common opposition is “what if someone just slacks off?”. This is a good question to ask. One of the main reasons people want to slack off in a capitalist society is because they don’t like their job, probably because they chose to get it only for the money. Again, in a communist society money is not required, so anyone who would normally choose a well-paid job they don’t like could easily get the job they like under communism. With this, there is the issue of people not wanting to do “dirty jobs”, such as being a janitor, or someone who works in a sewer, or other disgusting and generally unliked jobs. A solution to this is the following idea: have people on a rotation of doing jobs they like and jobs they don’t like. It’s like if you have 3 people in a flat, and it’s your turn to do the dishes, you do the dishes for the good of the household. If you don’t do the job, everyone is worse-off, including you. Another, harsher approach would be to deny those who don’t do dirty jobs for the good of the community access to what the community gives them in return, i.e. food, water, etc.
“What about the Soviet Union/China?”
Neither executed communism well enough for it to be a true representation of it. Communism has never been pulled off as intended. In the case of the Soviet Union, they let thousands of Ukrainians starve by restricting food imports, because of political issues. Communism shouldn’t be entangled in the web of politicism. It is strictly economic, and is separate from authoritarianism/libertarianism. In the case of China, they do not even execute communism. They still practice capitalism, and are as much “communist” as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are “democratic”. It’s true that they were more socialistic in their early days after their civil war, but the nation has changed to become more of a ruthless and exploitative regime.