The goal of socialism is to minimize people’s suffering through public control of industry and social services; socialism rejects class-based society (TheFreeDictionary, 2010). Socialism promises prosperity, equality, and security to the people. However, in many cases socialism has brought poverty, misery, and tyranny to the people; equality is achieved in the sense that everyone is equal in misery (Perry, 1995, June). Key characteristics of the socialist system in Sweden and Russia are described in this paper, and advantages and disadvantages of the system are discussed.
In 1917 the Russian Revolution overthrew the czarist regime that ruled the Russian Empire. The new leaders created the Soviet Union and attempted to establish a socialist state based on the writings of Karl Marx. However, Marx did not explain how the socialist system would function. Without a blueprint for establishing the socialist system, the leaders of the new regime of Russia struggled to invent one. Under its socialist system, the government of Russia declared its ownership of most businesses and forced peasants to turn over a share of their output to the government. This “war communism” allowed the government to take control of production and distribution of goods (Rittenberg & Tregarthen, 2009, April).
The new government replaced elected officials with its own, “took over” land, banks, insurance companies, and large factories. The new regime destroyed the pre-revolutionary legal structure of the Russian economy. The program of “war communism” devastated the economy and the people lived in poverty, tyranny, and misery. In 1921 Soviet communist leader Vladimir Lenin restored the legal basis necessary for the Russian economy to function, and he ordered that the government draft and enact a civil code based on western European civil law (Maggs, 2010).
Russia and Sweden are socialist countries governed by European civil law. Socialism is an...