A communist party
is a political party that seeks to realize the socio-economic goals of communism. The term "communist party"
was popularized by the title of The Manifesto of the Communist Party
(1848) by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. As a vanguard party, the communist party guides the political education and development of the working class (proletariat). As a ruling party, the communist party exercises power through the dictatorship of the proletariat. Vladimir Lenin developed the idea of the communist party as the revolutionary vanguard, when the socialist movement in Imperial Russia was divided into ideologically opposed factions, the Bolshevik faction and the Menshevik faction. To be politically effective, Lenin proposed a small vanguard party managed with democratic centralism which allowed the centralized command of a disciplined cadre of professional revolutionaries. Once a policy was agreed upon, realizing political goals required every Bolshevik's total commitment to the agreed-upon policy.