Socialism is distinguished by being an economic and social system that establishes its ideological bases in accordance with the defense of the collective community in opposition to the concept of private property of the means of production and production.
According to what socialism expresses, its main objective is the achievement of a just and supportive society , free of social classes and that opts for an equal distribution of wealth. For this reason, the means of production should not be owned or private companies , since it is considered that in this way they end up belonging to a small group of capitalists who run the markets, abusing their position to control the worker and the consumer.
Generally, socialism proposes that the economy must be planned, and for this reason, the means of production must belong to the state, which is in charge of mediating in the markets and protecting citizens, trying to certify a situation of social justice. However, there are exceptions such as liberated socialism or market socialism .
For conceptual purposes, it is the opposite socio-economic position of socialism. And, according to several scholars in this area, it is the stage prior to communism.
Characteristics of socialism
Since the birth of socialism its principles have been:
- Wealth must not be solely in the capitalist employing class but must be equally distributed, ending the difference in social classes.
- Its basis is collective property in the means of production and distribution, in order to obtain a social good.
- Mediation of the state in the economic and social sphere, not allowing the market all the decision and control capacity. Basically more centralization than in capitalist systems.
The essence of a state based on socialism has a stable government or state structure with broad power at the time of decision-making in economic matters and in the same way of distribution of income and goods.
Over the years, the positions have progressed from their more traditional premises to a more open and accepting position of free trade (Ex: free trade agreement ). According to certain basic premises as well as the management of governments in the economic and financial aspect, and in turn the protection of the citizen to prevent situations of social abuse or inequality. It is based on mixed economic systems called market socialism or social democracy.
In theory, socialism is the stage prior to communism, a system in which the workers control the means of production in an absolute way and organize themselves in a classless society.
Examples of socialism
- Scientific socialism: acts according to historical materialism based on the critical and scientific analysis of capitalism. This term was used by Engels and comes from Marxism. Scientific socialism studies, among other elements, the class struggle as the main engine of social, economic and political change . In this way, a workers’ revolution is proposed as a tool for change.
- Utopian socialism : utopian socialism is a set of doctrines and currents of thought corresponding to the first socialism that settled on the growing social inequality as a result of the capitalist system.
It originated throughout the nineteenth century in Europe, after the industrial revolution, and tried to give answers to the problems caused by liberalism and industrialization. However, although its purpose was to achieve a society where justice prevailed, utopian socialism did not achieve it.
This term refers to the work of Tomás Moro Utopia , and the term of a form of social organization. In accordance with this, other authors who were given the task of analyzing and proposing in utopian socialism were Robert Owen and Henri de Saint-Simon . In another area, utopian socialism had great influence on later movements such as social democracy and environmentalism.
Examples of countries that applied socialism
- North Korea