Socialism is a political theory derived from the teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It was developed during the second half of the 19th century. Socialism is a form of government in which all resources are owned and managed by the people. This political idea is profoundly different from the idea of capitalism, where individual creativity can be used for individual benefit and not just for the sake of country.
What Are the Basic Ideas of Socialism?
♦ The idea where everything is owned by everyone (and there is no gap between the rich and the poor) was mentioned long before these two great theorists.
♦ Even today, there are some small communes of people where everything is done for the benefit of the tribe, and not for the individual benefit. Alas, these secluded cultures are rare and they cannot be used as the examples of the successful socialism theory, because these people do not understand this political idea and are not familiar with other options.
♦ Equality of people was one of the maxims. One of the first attempts to make this idea work in practice (though it was not complete), could be found in Russia, after the great Bolshevik revolution in 1917. Albeit socialism and its extreme – communism – found its place in many countries, in the beginning this idea was considered with some reserve, because in his books, Marx expressed his opinion that, in order to introduce socialism, a strong revolution and even bloodshed would have to take place. Therefore, people would have to be in very hard situation and with no other choice but to take action into their own hands. This actually happened at the beginning of the 20th century in monarch-governed Russia.
♦ Socialism is still believed to be more democratic political system than democracy itself, because (at least in theory), everything is governed by people. In many countries where democracy is current political system, everything is decided by those with enormous financial power. But then, socialism presumes that all people are mentally equal and that is simply not the case. For what is worth, many democratic societies have taken socialism and incorporated it in some spheres of life.
♦ Socialism was supposed to be very convenient type of political system. Unfortunately, it seems to be in contrast with natural law, where you simply have to take what you need. It also seems to be much different from practical law, where there are people with greater needs and they want the chance to fulfill these needs. For them, socialism isn’t very suitable solution.