Because all good things apparently end in tragically ironic reversals, we've now got to take a look at the global regimes inspired by what began as Karl Marx's pretty common sense "treat workers better" tagline. While Marx never engineered a cohesive, blow-by-blow blueprint for a real-life governmental system, others took his theories and ran with them. They wielded the term "communist" that Marx deployed in 1848 when he published, "The Communist Manifesto" (via the Conversation).
Vladimir Lenin was the first to try to implement Marx's ideas in a practical sense. After a brief seven-year period of peace following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Lenin gave way to the absolute tyrant and mass-murderer Joseph Stalin in 1924, as History recounts. Stalin spearheaded the Soviet Union's ultimately short-lived 70-year-long existence, which in turn spawned other communist nations and dictators like China's Mao Zedong, North Korea's Kim Jong Il, Cambodia's Pol Pot, Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh, and many more, as Vintage News outlines. These men were responsible for untold suffering and millions upon millions of deaths, and all of them claimed to act in the interests of protecting the low, working-class members of society.
And all of these regimes? They were at least atheist, and sometimes anti-religious, as the Wall Street Journal discusses. Each of them substituted for the divine a single, charismatic, god-like leader who adopted the same role. Such is apparently the ultimately sad, horrible, and inadvertent consequence of, as Marx might put it, removing the opium from the people.