What Is Socialism? [Explained]

Socialism is an economic theory of government, which states that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be managed and operated by a group of individuals not only by a single individual.

Socialism is the most popular and renowned commercial and legislative ideology which is based on the collective ownership agenda. This ideology or system aims to satisfy the needs of every human instead of concentrating only on sing individual. This is the reason Socialism is also renowned by names like public ownership, collective ownership, or common ownership.

Several socialists had also claimed that collective ownership results in providing the equal distribution of goods, services and even it offers a more fair, stable & unbiased society to live.

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What Is Socialism?

Socialism is considered as a co-operative system, under which all the resources, services, and goods are equally distributed among all the groups and individuals of the particular society.

The factors of production are getting distributed equally; this is taken care of by the elected government. The government who will withhold this ownership is elected either democratically, or by the body in which everyone has the shares. Socialists consider the needs of both individuals and also social needs like defense, education, medical care, and transportation.

Everyone in society deserves the best and according to the quantity they contributed to the production. Socialism enables the same. Everyone receives according to their contribution to production. It also provokes people to work more so that they can receive more.

Types of Socialism

Socialism is further divided into 8 broad categories based upon three aspects. The two aspects upon which socialism is categorized are as follows:

  • The methods through which capitalism can be converted into socialism.
  • Based on the elements of socialism.
  • Based on these 2 aspects, socialism is divided into eight categories.

These categories are:

Democratic Socialism

Democratic planning is operated by the democratically elected government.

This government operates and manages the production sources with the help of working people.

Democratic planning is done and executed for the production of common goods, like energy, housing, and mass transit.

Revolutionary Socialism

Revolutionary Socialism is executed to drag out capitalism completely from Socialism. Under this category, the factors which are necessary for production are operated and retained by them.

Libertarian Socialism

Libertarian socialism is all about the human nature of being self-determined, rational, and free. Once socialism attains the state where capitalism is not involved, then it will be stabilized.

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Market Socialism

Market socialism is all about the production and distribution of the products and goods. As production is self-governed by its workers, so they distribute accordingly within themselves.

Even after the complete distribution, the sources or products are left then it is offered to the free market.

Green Socialism

This type of socialism is responsible for the maintenance of natural resources. It also takes care of public transit and locally sourced food.

Christian Socialism

Socialism is important so that everyone learns brotherhood instead of being self-determinant.

Utopian Socialism

This type of socialism focuses more on promoting and practising equality.

Fabian Socialism

This socialism was established by British Organization. And, it implemented several laws, elections, and other peaceful means through which the face of Socialism was completely changed.

Theories about Socialism

Socialism is all about operating and managing economic means, and it is difficult to understand economic theories.

Not every economic planning is practical and applicable.

There are always some theoretical advantages and disadvantages of economic systems.

However, certain socialism theories originated and sustained for a certain period. These theories are:

  1. Criticism of Capitalism.
  2. Marxism.
  3. Role of the state.
  4. Utopian versus scientific.
  5. Reform versus revolution.

Advantages of Socialism

There are several advantages to implementing socialism. Some of them are as follows:

  1. The exploitation of workers gets reduced
  2. Everyone receives their share according to the contribution made. Even the profits are divided equally
  3. Under Socialism, even the person who does not work can cover their basic needs
  4. Discrimination is eliminated. It offers equal accessibility to everyone for education and health care
  5. Preservation of natural resources is done
  6. Higher compensation is made to accomplish the jobs in which no one is interested or if no one is willing to do
  7. Jobs are assigned according to will and choices

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Disadvantages of Socialism

Even after numerous important advantages, socialism also has serious disadvantages. The disadvantages are as follows:

  1. Constant struggle
  2. Competition is eliminated
  3. There is no source of personal development
  4. Socialism assumes that several theories of capitalism do not even exist
  5. Socialism also does not appreciate or reward ambitious people
  6. The government itself is in power
  7. Pure socialism is unsustainable (see list of failed socialist countries)
  8. Socialism kills innovation

Socialist Countries

According to the statistics and reports of the Socialist Party of the United Kingdom, there is no single country that implemented and exhibit pure socialism.

So, in short, no country in the world is 100% socialist. That is because the states that did try and implement it ultimately failed.

Most of the countries mixed economy system which also includes socialism with capitalism and communism both.

Although, certain countries follow socialism strictly. Result in which the maximum percentage of their economy is spent on public welfare, education, and housing.

5 Nordic countries have implemented socialism strictly. These are:

  1. Denmark
  2. Finland
  3. Iceland
  4. Norway
  5. Sweden.

Socialism Verdict

Socialism is political, social, and economic theories that are implemented to give the collective ownership of the means of production instead of giving them to any single entity or individual.

The Socialist system is again divided into 2 forms.

These are market form and non-market form.

Non-market socialism produces monetary mechanisms which are operated according to the economic law.

However, market socialism enables workers to manage all on their own starting from the management of the sources to the division of the profit and shares.

Whilst this article aims to give an unbiased view on socialism as a whole we are not advocates for socialism, as it us undoubtably unsustainable as proven by numerous failed states.

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