In context to today’s world and economies, socialism may appear as a primitive thought, but it was one of the few radical notions which came into existence due to the effects of modern industrial revolution. Ironically, the fertilizer for the growth of socialism was nothing, but the negative impacts of capitalism born out of industrial revolution. Though, Marxist and Non-Marxist socialists agree on this fact, they seldom agree to the actions of each other. Socialism was portrayed as a villain, an evil idea and the antonym to development by the western capitalist powers during the Cold War era. Still it marked a huge presence in both pre-war and post wars periods and continued to hold strong till the end of the last century.
It was the advent of Lenin and his call for “All power to the soviets” that kick started the rise of socialism as a political power. In the post war period, many countries adopted socialism along with its sibling communism into their governments. Capitalism widened the divide of rich and poor in many economies. As such, socialism was seen as a tool to terminate this divide. However, unfortunately, it was also the radical nature of socialism that led to its downfall. After the downfall of U.S.S.R and enormous economic growth in the capitalist countries, socialism has primarily taken a back seat. Many socialist ruling parties have become more liberal or left socialism completely. In the following lines, we have listed pros and cons of this radical political and economic theory. Have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of socialism!
Advantages Of Socialism
A Fair System
Socialism gives equal distribution of national wealth and provides everyone with equal opportunities, irrespective of their, color, caste, creed or economic status. Socialism, in its truest sense, means equality by all means.
Socialism reduces the social, economic, and political inequalities that exist within capitalist societies. By taking the ownerships of production units from the rich and presenting them to the workers, the government gives the workers a chance to earn more profits and thus rise to levels of economic well being
More Humane & True
The effort to make everybody equal in economic, social, and political terms makes socialism more morally worthwhile than capitalism. It reinforces the fact that everyone was created equally and it was only through human actions that disparities arose.
Eliminates Social Evils
Socialism reduces poverty with eatable wealth distribution. It also eliminates ill health, as it lays the foundation for the availability of proper health facilities for everyone. Socialism eliminates other forms of social deprivation too, by caring for everyone.
Improved Standard Of Living
The idea behind socialism is to bring up the living standards of the poorest. It actually works towards raising the living standards to similar levels, as the better-off members of the respective societies.
Creates Better Human Resources
As all people, irrespective of their differences, are provided extensive public services and better facilities, they achieve their full potential. Better education facilities for all also help in creating better human resource. Manpower doubles, thus doubling the country’s economic growth, as everyone works towards a life of betterment.
As people work for a common cause and all the profits are shared equally, the feeling of selfishness is eliminated and a united feeling is gained. Plus, since socialism bars the difference caused on the grounds of color, sex, creed or religion, harmony and unity become the keywords for the countrymen.
Disadvantages Of Socialism
True socialism is an imaginative theory and cannot be implemented as it is. Today, socialism is not adopted in the same way, as it was advocated by Karl Marx and other socialists. The original form of socialism is neither preached nor practiced.
In socialist countries today, there are a handful of bureaucrats who control and use the power of the state. They redistribute and regulate wealth and decide on taxation for the people. Thus, in reality, people do not have control over wealth. This limits people’s political freedom and reverses the overall concept.
Negatively Influences Growth Of Economy
Socialism is actually economically inefficient, as it puts off entrepreneurs from generating wealth, because they usually have to pay higher taxes.
Poverty & Social Evils Are Not Eliminated
Socialism might redistribute some of the wealth of the richest members of the society to the poor, but this move does not eliminate poverty as a whole. The overall growth of economy suffers considerably. If there is not enough wealth, then distribution can be hampered.
No Real Increase In Standard Of Living
Instead of improving the living standards for all, socialism actually lowers the income of the richest to reduce the divide and make them fall close to the income levels of the poorest.
As socialism provides the poorest with higher levels of income via social security payments, it deters them from working hard, if at all. It also creates a negative feeling in the minds of hard working fellows, as they gain no extra incentives for working hard. Adding to their woes, lazy people get paid equally as they do. This negatively impacts productivity and thus economic growth.