Socialism is a very complex concept that is hard to explain even by renowned scholars, economists or psychologists. In a very enlarged meaning, socialism is equal to an ensemble of social and political doctrines that fight against individualism, and defend the definitions of equality and solidarity.
The main principle of socialism is based on collectivity and the distribution of means, claiming everyone is entitled to the same rights and no one should be above. Socialism remains one of the most controversial ideologies even centuries after its creation so here are some of the most important things you need to know about it.
Theories and main followers
Amongst the most important theories based on the socialist ideology, one can recall the Marxist socialism, communism, anarchism socialism, and the reformist socialism.
The most popular socialist theory, the Marxist socialism, gets its name after its founding father, Karl Marx. Other important personalities who adopted the belief are economist Friedrich Engels, Paul Lafargue, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin or Leon Trotsky.
The theory of the Marxist socialism is based on the monetary conception of history and is characterized by the equal distribution of goods and the labor force. It fights for the emancipation of the working class, claiming that there shouldn’t be any difference between farmers, workers, and the upper social classes. In the end, Marx fights for the complete extinction of the market, capital, labor as a commodity, and money.
Communism represents another form of socialism that, based on its principles, wishes to create an ideal society based on abundance and equality. The main difference between the two doctrines is that communism doesn’t distinguish between social classes, between the rich and the poor. Communism mainly opposes capitalism and considers is as the root of all evil in the world.
Can socialism exist today?
Although we live in “a global village” as the author Samuel Huntington would put it, there are still huge discrepancies between countries and regions. Socialism as a theory is based on strong morals but its main flaw is that it is impossible to replicate in the modern society.
There are fewer countries in the world that manage to maintain a socialist regime and even they are facing the 21st-century realities.
China has opened its borders for years and is now one of the world leading economies with the fastest annual growth. North Korea cannot continue isolating itself from the world since it doesn’t have the means to support its own population.
Cuba has been failing for many years and other countries in Latin America like Venezuela are on the verge of collapse and civil wars because of their wicked and corrupt leaders. Unfortunately, equality between social classes remains but a utopia in a world fueled by money.