What is Socialism?

2,161 Views Updated: 28 Dec 2017
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What is Socialism?

A lot of politicians and political systems run on ideology, but often they do not know the meaning behind the intellectual sounding words. If you among those who are uncertain about what is socialism, how does a socialist government function or whether socialism is better than democracy, then we have the answers for you!

Socialist system is a political ideology that calls for an egalitarian set up, the means of production work under public political ownership; this is also termed as common ownership. The sole purpose of socialism is to create a society where the distribution of wealth means equal benefit for both rich and poor. The type of governance for common ownership can range from technocratic, oligarchic, totalitarian, democratic or even voluntary rule.

Venezuela and China are an example of present socialist government, earlier this political ideology was followed by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. 

Image result for socialism

(Image Courtesy: The Daily Dispatch)

Some common features of socialism are:

#1. Public Ownership

The public controls the means of production, as well as distribution. All mines, farms, factories, financial institutions, shops, stores, modes of transport and communication are owned, controlled and governed by government departments and state corporations.

#2. Central Planning

In a socialist setting, the economy is centrally planned, and a central planning authority directs its functions. They decide upon the targets and objectives that have to be attained with the 5 W's and 1H in mind. This implies that central planning decides what, where, why, when and how to produce the goods, along with whom to produce them for after taking a detailed survey of the current economic system.

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(Image Courtesy: Economy Watch)

Definite Objectives- Socialist economy functions within a framework of specific socio-economic objectives. The objectives involve aggregate demand, full employment, the satisfaction of communal demand, distribution of the national income, economic development and more.

Freedom of Consumption- The preference of consumers is given more importance in a socialist economy. The sovereignty of customers in such an economy means that the choice of consumers determines production in state- owned industries.

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(Image Courtesy:  Lamb and Kiin Ministries)

Many regard socialism as a utopian or “post-scarcity” system as it poses too many challenges and has not shown an impressive result. There is an old slogan that sums up socialism’ from each according to ability, to each according to need.’ In such a setup production of goods is done for consumption rather than profit.

What are your views on socialism? Share them using the comment box below. 

(Featured Image Courtesy: Thought Catalog)

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