Thursday, August 27, 2009
Economic & Social Ideologies: Socialism
Socialism, according to dictionary.reference.com, is “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of ownership & control of the means of production & distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.” Karl Marx described socialism as the transition stage a society goes through when evolving from capitalism into communism.
Socialists believe capitalism places all the power in the hands of the wealthy. Their idea is to redistribute this power & wealth based on the amount of work employed. However, disagreements in how this should be performed has lead to many different types of socialism. “Some socialists advocate complete nationalization of the means of production, distribution, & exchange; others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy.” (Wikipedia) “Social democrats propose selective nationaliztion of key national industries in mixed economies, while maintaining private ownership of capital & private business enterprise. Social democrats also promote tax-funded welfare programs & regulation of markets.” (Wikipedia)
From what I understand, socialism is an attempt to make everyone in society equal. It sounds nice but cannot work. People are too lazy, selfish, etc for this type of lifestyle. Ideally, in a socialistic environment, the fellow frying up your French fries at your favorite fast food restaurant would be compensated the same as your doctor who spent 10+ years in college & who knows how much money.
Current Marxist-Leninist socialist countries include: People’s Republic of China (since October 1, 1949), Cuba (since January 1, 1959), Laos (since December 2, 1975), North Korea (since 1948), & Vietnam (in unified Vietnam since July 2, 1976, but in the north since 1954). Countries who reference socialism in their constitution & subscribe to many of the ideologies of socialism but do not necessarily follow Marxist-Leninist ideas include: Bangladesh (since December 16, 1972), Egypt (since September 11, 1971), India (since November 2, 1976), Libya (since September 1, 1969), Portugal (since 1976), Sri Lanka (since September 7, 1978), Syria (since 1973), & Tanzania (since April 26, 1964).