Concept of Socialism and its Features

Concept of Socialism and its Features

Last updated: November 27, 2019


  • Socialism is an economic system based on state ownership of capital.
  • An alternative system for Capitalism.
  • Socialism is an economic system that is controlled and regulated by the government.

According to Karl Marx:

  • It is a slogan of socialism.
    • “From each according to his ability to each according to his work” – China (Socialistic Model)
    • “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”
  • Socialism is a system of social organization that advocates the visiting of owner and control of the following: –
    • Mean of production
    • Distribution
    • Capital
    • Land
    • Community as a whole

Meaning of Socialism:

  • Socialism as an alternative to capitalism has the widest appeal.
  • A Swedish king once said to his council of ministers that – “if one is not a socialist up to the age of twenty-five, it shows that he has no heart; but if he continues to be a socialist after the age of 25, he has no head.”
  • At present socialism seems to have caught the imagination of the youth all over the world.

Definition of Socialism:

  • According to Mr. Webb:
    • “A socialized industry is one in which the national instruments of production are owned by the public authority or voluntary association and operated not with a view to profiting by sale to other people but for the direct service of those whom the authority or association represents.
    • ”This definition does not correspond to the present notion of socialism.
    • Because it does not imply any idea of planning.
  • According to Prof. Dickinson:
    • “Socialism is an economic organisation of society in which the material means of production are owned by the whole community and operated by representatives of the people, who are responsible to the community according to a general plan, all the members of community being entitled to the benefits from results of such socialized, planned production, on the basis of equal rights.”
    • There is no complete agreement as to what exactly socialism is. But the definition given by Prof. Dickinson seems to be better.
    • Economist has compared socialism as a hat which has lost its shape because everybody wears it.

Features of socialism:

  • The features of socialism are as follows: –
    • Means of production are collectively and socially owned.
    • There is no private ownership on the property.
    • Economic decisions regarding the allocation are to be taken by the central authority.
    • The pricing process does not operate freely or does not decide to depend on market forces.
    • It depends on central planning.
    • The main objective of socialism is to increase the material and cultural standards of people.
    • To attempt full employment
    • To achieve economic equality
    • Production for use lesser than the profit.
    • Equitable distribution of wealth and material
    • Sources among all the people
    • Public ownership
    • Central planning
    • Definite objective
    • Freedom of consumption
    • Equality of income distribution
    • Planning and pricing processes

Merits of Socialism:

  • Prof. Schumpeter has advanced four arguments in favor of socialism:
    • greater economic efficiency
    • welfare due to less inequality
    • absence of monopolistic practices
    • absence of business fluctuations
  •  Greater Economic Efficiency:

    • Economic efficiency under socialism is greater than under capitalism.
    • The means of production are controlled and regulated by the central planning authority towards chosen ends.
    • The central planning authority makes an exhaustive survey of resources and utilizes them in the most efficient manner.
    • Increased productivity is secured by avoiding the wastes of competition and by undertaking expensive research and production processes in a coordinated manner.
    • Economic efficiency is also achieved by utilizing resources in producing socially useful goods and services that satisfy the basic wants of the people, like cheap food, cloth, and housing.
  • Greater Welfare due to Less Inequality of Income:

    • In a socialist economy, there is less inequality of income as compared with a capitalist economy because of the absence of private ownership of the means of production, private capital accumulation, and private profit.
    • All citizens work for the welfare of the state and each is paid his remuneration according to his ability, education, and training.
    • All rents, interests, and profits from various sources go to the state which spends them for public welfare in providing:
      • Free education
      • Cheap and congenial housing
      • Free public health amenities
      • Social security to the people
  • Absence of Monopolistic Practices:

    • Another advantage of socialism is that it is free from monopolistic practices to be found in a capitalist society.
    • Since under socialism all means of production are owned by the state, both competition and monopoly are eliminated.
    • The exploitation by the monopolistic is absent.
    • Instead of private monopoly, there is the state monopoly of the productive system but this is operated for the welfare of the people.
    • In the state-owned factories, socially useful commodities are produced which are of high quality and are also reasonably priced.
  • Absence of Business Fluctuations:

    • A socialist economy is free from business fluctuations.
    • There is economic stability because the production and consumption of goods and services are regulated by the central planning authority in accordance with the:
      • Objectives
      • Targets
      • Priorities of the plan
    • Thus there is neither overproduction nor unemployment.

Demerits of Socialism:

  • The demerits of Socialism are as follows: –
  • Loss of Consumers’ Sovereignty:

    • There is a loss of consumers’ sovereignty in a socialist economy.
    • Consumers do not have the freedom to buy whatever commodities they want.
    • They can consume only those commodities which are available in department stores.
  • No Freedom of Occupation:

    • There is also no freedom of occupation in such a society.
    • Every person is provided a job by the state.
    • But he cannot leave or change it.
    • Even the place of work is allotted by the state.
    • All occupational movements are sanctioned by the state.
  • Misallocation of Resources:

    • Under socialism, there is an arbitrary allocation of resources.
    • The central planning authority often commits mistakes in resource allocation.
  • Bureaucratic:
  • There is no doubt that a socialist economy is better than a capitalist economy because of its overwhelming merits. 

Historically Socialism is of two types:

  • Utopian Socialism
  • Scientific Socialism

Utopian Socialism: (Before 1845)

  • The main advocates of utopian socialism are Saint Simon, Charles Fournier, and Robert Owen.
  • According to Saint Simon:
    • Born in 1760.
    • Follower of Christianity.
    • He motivated rich people to be trusty of poor people.
    • Saint Simon purpose that production and distribution be classical out of the state.
    • Believed that solutions to poverty need illiteracy lazy attitude is to the rational use of means.
    • It focuses on skill, efficiency, and hard work.
    • He faith in mass welfare of people.
  • According to Charles Fouriers:
    • Born in 1772.
    • Known as the prophet of a little man.
    • Described the life settings of unsuccessful, exploit middle-class people in a proper way.
    • Follower of the ideology of skill of efficiency.
    • He believes that if we remove injustice and inequality in have to be proper logistic distribution goods + plus.
  • According to Robert Owen:
    • Born in 1771.
    • Known as the caption of industries.
    • He said that the ideas and the character of a person affected by these social situations and circumstances.
    • Believes that all people have a good attitude.
    • If provide then proper opportunity and directions.
    • So we can increase production with the help of a positive attitude, proper use of mean, good behavior with labor.

Scientific Socialism: (After 1845)

  • The main advocate is Scientific Socialism are Karl Marx and Lenin.
  • It is the term first used by Friedrich Engels to describe the social-political-economic theory first pioneered by Karl Marx.
  • The purported reason why this form of socialism is “Scientific socialism” (as opposed to “utopian socialism”) is that it is said to be based on the scientific method, in that its theories are held to an emprirical standard, observation are essential to its development, and these can result in changes and/or falsification of elements of the theory.
  • According to Karl Marx:
    • He does not want to change in the capitalist political system.
    • It creates a new direction of socialistic ideology.
    • Stressed the role of prolitraits.
    • He did not follow idealism.
    • The purpose of Max was to change the world. Marx explains Historical Materialism with the help of the dialectical method.
    • It means that matter can change the history or world.
    • Marx tries to prove the approach ( Historical Materialism ) scientific regarding the world. History, society, and human life.
    • He said that the production system and the process has an important place in every social and economic organization.
    • Karl Marx says that proletarians class change their economic structure of society

Concept of Socialism and its Features

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Concept of Socialism and its Features Introduction Meaning of socialism Characteristics of socialism Merits and Advantages of socialism Demerits and Disadvantage of socialism Definitions of socialism According to Karl Marx Slogans related to socialism Types of historical socialism Utopian socialism Scientific socialism Conclusion Concept of Socialism and its Features

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