Communist states share similar institutions, which are organized on the premise that the Communist party is a vanguard of the proletariat and represents the long-term interests of the people. The doctrine of democratic centralism , which was developed by Vladimir Lenin as a set of principles to be used in the internal affairs of the communist party, is extended to society at large. 
During the reign of the Soviet Union , communist countries could be found in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. Communist countries in the twentieth century included Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Benin, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Congo, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Ethiopia, Hungary, Mongolia, Mozambique, Poland, Romania, Somalia, South Yemen, Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. Today, there are only five communist countries remaining in the world.