Socialism is a type of economic system, a political movement, and a social theory. Socialism is based on the idea that governments should own and control a nation's resources rather than individuals.
Socialism was first used to describe opposition to the free enterprise and market economies. The Industrial Revolution was the cause of many social problems. Long work hours, low pay, and poor working conditions caused Americans to first consider socialism. With government involvement in business, fairer treatment for all was feasible. Most countries today have socialist parties, many have socialist governments, and others who are in between have adopted socialist ideas.
Communism and socialism are often associated together. Socialism is a stage of government usually leading up to communism. Government must first control businesses if it is to be considered a communist nation. Democratic socialists believe some government control is necessary to force people to become good citizens, but too much can lead to not enough freedoms.
Socialism is seen as an efficient form of government. Capitalism, on the other hand, leads to unemployment, poverty, business cycles, and conflict between owners. Through socialism a nations wealth can be distributed more equally. Socialism is therefore based on cooperation rather than competition. Socialist believe that by creating an economic plan, farmers, manufacturers, workers, and government officials can properly adjust the production of goods to meet the needs of the people. Some socialist believe that government should go so far as to pay for education and Medicare. It is disagreement among socialists that has made for a wide spectrum of ideas, possibly making it more difficult for socialism to exist.
Socialism and Karl Marx are two words that belong together. Marx was the most influential socialist of the 1800's. Marx expressed his ideas in the Communist Manifesto. He believed that all history...