Q:

Why is socialism important?

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Quick Answer

Socialism places the process of production and the edifices of government in the hands of the people and helps to ensure economic parity between people, eliminating social castes based on income and resources. Socialism is a tool for encouraging and enforcing equality.

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Socialism prevents individuals or single groups from accruing enough resources to oppress other groups. It was designed with social equality in mind, intended to serve as a system by which all human beings were provided with security throughout their lives and with the freedom to work and to be supported if they could not. This is achieved by removing executives, managers and other lopsidedly compensated production roles from the industrial structure.

Socialism can be effected either through a government structure or in direct community organization. When a central government is present, more opportunities for enforcement exist, but corruption is a larger potential problem. Without a central government, organization can be a significantly greater challenge but the access people possess to their materials and to determining their own lives is much more direct.

Socialism is distinct from Communism in that it is not predicated on violent upheaval and revolution. Socialism is designed to effect change during long periods and to reshape societies using the democratic process and measured debate.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where did socialism originate from?

    A:

    The term socialism was first introduced by Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825), the French social theorist also credited with the advent of Christian socialism and what would later become labelled as "utopian socialism." The term itself refers to a collective mode of production and political economy.

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  • Q:

    What are the advantages of socialism?

    A:

    The advantages of a socialist economy include better social welfare systems, more efficiency and absence of monopolies. In a socialist economy, the people are taken care of before anything else is.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between socialism and communism?

    A:

    The primary difference between communism and socialism is that communism is a political system and socialism is chiefly an economic system. Communism focuses on putting the working class in charge of society by having the government control the means of production, whereas socialism focuses on making sure that all individuals have their basic needs met.

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  • Q:

    What is a list of countries under socialism?

    A:

    As of 2015, there are only four countries in the world that formally identify themselves as socialist: China, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos. There is no formal criteria for socialist classification, however, and there is great debate about other nations with governments that closely embrace socialist practices.

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