What is socialism?
Socialism is an ideology that can be defined as a way of organizing society where all means of production (e.g. factories, banks and roads) are controlled or owned by the state. In this way, the state can control what is being produced and ensure that all citizens enjoy equal opportunities from the country resources.
Socialism emerged in the early 19th century as a criticism of liberalism which changed society through industrialization. Socialism is often characterized by red color.
Socialism is based on the idea that human beings can afford to pursue their dreams, and it is only possible if there is freedom in society and equality between people. If you are socialist, you believe that economic equality will lead to freedom. The word socialism comes from the Latin word “socius“, which means “comrade,friend,ally“.
Socialism in Practice
Socialism wants the material and social benefits of society to be distributed fairly among all citizens. In order to achieve the greatest possible economic equality between them, socialism aims to abolish private property and make all property commonplace.
The values of society are jointly produced by the workers and the owners of the companies. Therefore, everyone must be entitled to an equal share of what comes from production. Since socialism wants to give more opportunities to the workers, it has primarily been the working class ideology in the industrial community.
The state’s role is to guarantee basic human rights and provide free access to education, governmental assistance and medical treatment. In order to fulfill this goal; the citizens who earn the most are also the ones who pay the most in taxes.
Some socialists believe that the way to a socialist society is only possible through revolution. Others believe that it could be achieved through gradual reforms of the social system.
Karl Marx (1818-1883) is the most significant thinker in the history of socialism. He believed that all societies should undergo a development from capitalism over socialism to communism and a classless society. He urged the workers to join forces and take over the power of the means of production. See more in the article Marxism.
The Humanity of Socialism
Socialism sees human beings as a social being. Man is neither good nor evil by nature, but is largely a product of his environment. All people are considered equal, even if they do not come from the same family/nation or community.
National Socialism (Nazism) is a political movement and ideology that is very similar to fascism in many aspects. It flourished in Europe after World War I and builds inter alia on the idea that the Aryan race is over all other races. National Socialism’s ideas formed the core of the German Nazi Labor Party, NSDAP, which took over power in Germany when Adolf Hitler was elected Chancellor in 1933. The party created the dictatorial “Third Empire” between 1933 and 1945, which was dissolved when World War II ended. Read more in the article Nazism .
Modern socialism often combines traditional socialist ideas with “green” views about better ecology and environment. There is a strong focus on common welfare and the fact that everyone should have equal opportunities in society. Socialism today generally has a positive attitude towards the integration of foreigners and neighbors.
Socialism in general
|State role||Protecting citizens, promoting welfare.|
|People||Man is a social being in a strong community. People are equal.|
|Economy||Economic equality between people.|