Government » Socialism

what is socialism

Last class, we discussed about ““what is capitalism”“, I believed you know what it is now, and yes today’s topic is “What Is Socialism?”


Socialism is defined as a political cum economic system in which all or a large part of the means of production and distribution are collectively owned and controlled by the state, yea, the government (as opposed to capitalism).

In socialism, all the non-human materials of production and distribution are controlled and operated by the government on behalf of the citizens.

In this economic system, the government own every goods and services produced by the public corporations or the productive firm of such country and the system is only allowed in order to produce the goods and services with the sole aim of satisfying the wants and the demands of the citizens of the country as opposed to the income and revenue.

In socialist country, citizens work collectively for the advancement and improvement of the country and also the government on the other hand, caters for every citizens need.
And goods and services are produced according to the needs and distributed according to individual’s contributions and wants.

In socialist, private ownership of means of production and distribution and accumulation of wealth are virtually non-existent in a centrally-planned or socialism.

Examples of the countries that practise socialism, which are also known as Second World are China, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Soviet Union, The German Democratic Republic, Albania, etc. And this type of economic system is based on the central planning of all economic activities as opposed to capitalist market price mechanism.

So that is the answer to “what is socialism?”, now let talk about its history:

History Of Socialism

Karl Marx who was born on may 5 1818 and died on March 14 1883, who was the founder of modern socialism and experimented in different parts of the world such as Africa, countries like Guinea, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, etc.

Friedrich Eagles who was born in 1820 and died in 1895 was one of Karl Marx collaborator in developing and experimenting socialism.

Vildmir Lenin, also one of Karl Marx collaborators led his Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social-Democratic Party which is now styled the Communist Party of Russia to practise the first Socialist Revolution in the world in 1917 in the defunct Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

Attributes Or Features Or Characteristics Of Socialism

a] In socialism, there is absence of economic rivalry among producers on one hand and consumers on the other hand.

b] In socialism, there is non-market economy, all production is socialism is not intended for sale, that is, all production are not established and purchased in the market.

c] Socialism is democratic in nature and therefore, greater number of the citizens participate in taking decisions on what and how to produce and also who get what, how and why. So basically, socialism gives the citizens a say.

d] In socialism, all the means of production and distribution are owned and control by the government, I.e the state.

e] In socialism, there is equitable distribution of income, that is, not according to people’s ability to grab but according to their contributions and needs.

f] In socialism, private organizations play little or no role in the production and distribution of goods and services.

g] In socialism, goods and services are not produced mainly to yield profit but to satisfy the needs of the citizens as opposed to capitalism.

h] In socialism, there is non-price competition, involving sales promotion devices such as advertising and others.

I] In socialism, all factors of production and distribution are fully employed in order to produce and distribute enough goods and services to meet people’s wants.

j] In socialism, Labour is not a marketable commodity, that is, no group of people earn their living entirely and solely from the sale of their labour power.

Advantages Of Or Arguments For Socialism

1] Socialism guarantee the rule of law in a country where it is adopted.

2] Socialism acts as a unifying factor among those who participate in economic activities.

3] Socialism prevents economic exploitation of the masses by few economic desperadoes.

4] Socialism guarantee availability of job opportunities.

5] Socialism leads to and encourage equitable distribution of resources.

6] In socialism, private monopoly are prevented from participating in order to protect the interest of the citizens not the interest of the private firms, I.e socialism caters for the interest of the citizens.

7] Socialism bridges the gap between the rich and the poor.

8] Socialism is democratic in nature, meaning that, it gives the citizens a say. Given a sense of belonging to the citizens.

9] In Socialism, more goods and services are readily available to the citizens of a country adopting this practise.

10] Socialism guarantee the stability of a government.

11] In socialism, economic rivalry, especially unhealthy ones are virtually absent.

12] Socialism prevents hoarding from happening in a country.

Hoarding means to hide resources.

Disadvantages Of Or Arguments Against Socialism

1] Due to the absence of economic competition in socialism, it tends to lower the quality of goods and services.

2] Socialism does not encourage invention and innovation of new ideas because of the absence of competition.

3] Socialism suppresses individual initiatives.

4] Socialism does not provide alternative choices to the citizens of the country adopting the idea as it is not self regulating and self functioning as in case of capitalism.

5] Socialism encourages laziness and unenterprising of people in a country.

6] Socialism does not encourage specialization and faster economic development of a country.

7] Socialism leads to state monopoly which gives rise to inefficient and ineffective production and distribution of goods and services.

Differences Between Capitalism And Socialism

a] Capitalism allows private or individual ownership to participate in the production and distribution, while Socialism does not, all factors of production and distribution are owned by the government.

b] Capitalism allows and encourages free enterprise and market economy directed by the forces of demand and supply, while Socialism does not, it has a centrally-planned economy system.

c] Capitalism allows two or more system, variable and organized opposition and entrenchment of one rule of law, while Socialism is usually totalitarian, it does not allows any opposition and violates of fundamental human rights of the citizens.

d] In Capitalism, there are duplicated economic resources which leads to competition and waste, while In Socialism, there are no duplicated economic resources due to the fact that, “it is centrally planned”.

e] Capitalism operates with a decentralized political administration, while Socialism operates with centralized political administration.

f] Capitalism breeds unequal distribution of wealth, while Socialism aim at reducing inequalities of wealth and opportunity.

g] In Capitalism the bourgeoisie that is, the capitalist class, dominates the working class I.e the proletariat while In Socialism there is establishment of the proletariat by the dictatorship.

h] In Capitalism, the main goal in practising capitalism is profit, while In Socialism the goal is not profit but welfare of the people of the country.

That is all on “what is socialism” and capitalism till next class where we be talking more about economic system.
So if you ran into someone and the person just ask you “what is socialism?” You should know the answer by now

Question Of The Day

From this session and from your own perspective, Which one of these pratise do you think is the best for a country and Why? and which one is your own country adopting and how does it effect on your country economy.

You already know how to drop your answer, in the comment box or in the activity channel. Yea, thank you for always reading and don’t forget to share.

-- Download Government » Socialism as PDF --

Leave a Reply