As this excellent article from Catholic World Report notes, knowledge of Communism is woeful, and, from the perspective of the Lampstand Foundation, completely misunderstood in relation to the ministry to criminals in prison, as I wrote in my book about it:

What is important—in the context of our apostolate work through The Lampstand Foundation—is not the theory of Communism, “to each according to need”, which many may support; but the influence on criminals from the system of government and its practice under Lenin and Stalin in Russia, Mao in China, and the lessor monsters of our world; practice continuing largely unchanged today except as modified within the constrictions created by the ability of global communications about governmental atrocities making it much more difficult to keep such atrocities hidden now than during the last century; and a governing practice diametrically opposed to the sacred doctrine of the Catholic Church, who Communism sees as its most dangerous enemy.

Communism—in addition to the countries under its capture—is experiencing resurgence among young leftists, as Goldberg (2013) writes:

For those too young to remember the Cold War but old enough to be trapped by the Great Recession, Marxism holds new appeal…

It’s too simple to say that Marxism is back, because it never truly went away. In the United States after the fall of the Berlin Wall, though, it was largely confined to university English departments, becoming the stuff of abstruse, inward-looking and jargon-choked cultural critique. Then came the economic crash, Occupy Wall Street, and the ongoing disaster of austerity in Europe. “Around the time of Occupy in particular, a lot of different kinds of lefties, working at mainstream or literary publications, sort of found each other, started talking to each other, and found out who was most interested in class politics,” says Sarah Leonard, the 25-year-old associate editor of Dissent, the social-democratic journal founded almost 60 years ago by Irving Howe. “We have essentially found an old politics that makes sense now.”

In the United States, of course, Marxism remains an intellectual current rather than a mass movement. Certainly, millennials are famously progressive; a much-discussed 2011 Pew poll found that 49 percent of people between 18 and 29 had a favorable view of socialism, while only 46 percent felt positively about capitalism. It’s hard to say exactly what this means—it’s not as if young people are sending Das Kapital racing up the best-seller lists or reconstituting communist cells. Still, it’s been decades since so many young thinkers have been so engaged in imagining a social order not governed by the imperatives of the market. (n.p.)

Encouraging this revival is a new venture by radical publishers Verso, publications called Pocket Communism, offering several new books on the emergence of the new interest in Communism, which can be seen at http://www.versobooks.com/series_collections/11-pocket-communism

Getting our mind wrapped around this historical atheistic evil requires a journey through the virtual hurricane of words used to describe it and another point: Communism is rarely believed in by the leaders of Communist countries as they are totalitarians and their operating narrative is power; but Communism is used as the operating narrative—virtually a faith system, though atheistic—for the people to believe in; important to keep in mind as we wend our way through the intersection of the Church, Communism and Fatima. (pp. 13-14)

Lukenbill, David H. (2013). Catholicism, Communism & Criminal Reformation. Chulu Press: The Lampstand Foundation, Sacramento, California.