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What is the Impact of Socialism in a Capitalist Society?

The twenties century had two major opposing schools of thought regarding economy and sociology – capitalism and socialism. Both these types of systems have been successful at some times in the different societies; nevertheless they were not so prosperous at the other times when regarding the world history. I would like to add that both socialism and capitalism include pros and cons.

However, it is becoming more and more obvious that Socialism failed and nowadays there are far more countries with the capitalism ideology. To know the reasons of the impact of socialism in a capitalism society we should examine these two schools of thought separately and then we can compare them and see the visible results of socialism transfer to capitalism.

So, socialism is considered to be a social and economic doctrine, which supports public rather than the private ownership. Thus, the property and natural resources should be controlled by public and not by several private owners. Besides, people are not supposed to live or work separately, but they are likely to live and work in a close cooperation. What’s more, by cooperating together it may be said that people produce “social products”. As a result, the one contributing to the good’s production should have an equal share in it. Therefore, the society has to own and to control all the property to benefit all its members. As a result, every individual is entitled to the basic necessities, such ass food, shelter, clothing as well as a job. (Encyclopædia Britannica)

Capitalism, in its turn is also referred to free market economy, or as it may be also called the free enterprise economy. However, according to the capitalism supporters, most of the means of production should be privately owned. What’s more, the goods’ production should be controlled and almost all the income to be distributed mainly among the operation of markets. Hence, everybody has the right to live his or her life the way it is chosen, until he or she violates the rights of other members of the society.

Everybody has a chance to run his or her businesses in a free market the way he or she wants and can become rich. So, depending on somebody’s hardworking, he or she may become wealthy. What’s more, the government should protect its citizens from force or fraud. Capitalism has become a dominant school of thought in the Western world since the feudalism breakup. (Encyclopædia Britannica) It should be mentioned that capitalism is a major condition of democracy.

At first glance it may seem that these two schools of thought may be prosperous at the same time in different societies. However, Socialism turned out to be the twenties century’s Great Lie as it promised its society members such important things as prosperity, security and equality. Unfortunately it brought poverty and tyranny. What’s more, there was only one sense of equality achieved, and it was a bad one as everybody was equal only in misery.

Meanwhile, capitalism continues to be successful. Of course, it also has a number of problems, such as worker exploitation as the capitalism society doesn’t feature the government intervention that can protect workers, the everlasting racism in the workplace as it doesn’t have a minimum wage set to prevent the poor people from leading a normal life. As a result, the companies are trying to hire minority workers as they do the same work but are paid less. And the government can do little when the employer has the economic self-interest in hiring a lower-paid worker.

However, the capitalism continues to develop and a lot of mistakes have been already resolved. What’s more, after the Soviet Union breakup a number of post soviet countries tried to get away of socialism and wanted to become capitalist as they had lost their hope in a successful socialism.

It is important to mention that the transition from socialism to capitalism occurred to be a hard task. Firstly, there were a number of Civil Wars in those countries and people were divided into two large parts -for and against capitalism. Those who were for capitalism hoped for the better future and having in mind the examples of developed capitalist countries, such as the USA and France, thought that capitalism could bring them that.

On the other hand, people who were against capitalism supported the socialism and it was not a surprise as they had lived and grown up according to the rules of socialism. What’s more, they even couldn’t imagine their life in a capitalist society as they had been told a number of years that capitalism would bring them only bad.

The other important problem, to my point of view, was that even in a socialist country there were poor and rich people due to their position in a society and a number of “friends “in the government, and during the transition to the capitalist society the rich people simply grabbed almost all the property and natural resources and the rest of the population had to start creating something for themselves without any reserves. Once again, people didn’t know what to do and how to survive and support their families. As a result, at that time there were a lot of crimes and some countries, such as Russia, Ukraine and Poland suffered a lot as there was a complete chaos. That is why, even now one of the most important tasks today is the peace maintaining. (Staatsbürgerkunde 10)

In addition, even now the results of a socialist society can be clearly seen. The good example to support my view is that the post Yugoslavia nations can not succeed with each other in social, political and economical cooperation. Furthermore, such common to a Western Civilization requirements as insurance and health care, the technology and automobile industries and even the retail mega-stores hardly have any chance for a start-up and further development. (Opinion Center. Capitalism & US Citizens Survey.)

Practically all post socialist countries, even trying hard to reform a capitalistic society, are still continuing to suffer from the socialist influence. As a result, they cannot take away the corruption, crimes, and an inability to build and to develop a business base with a healthy economy.

Finally, it should be also said that as time passes and people who previously were brought up according to the rules of socialism, are now beginning to think in a capitalist manner. Hence, the world will see that the previous exploitive order, shaping people’s social life for many years, is likely to be absolutely abolished soon. As a result, all disasters and maladies, connected to socialism will be also eliminated.

Needless to say that by the socialism transition the basic dreams of people can be realized now – to live and work without exploitation and war, to avoid poverty and to have a chance to choose what to do and how to do it.

To sum up, both capitalism and socialism has advantages and disadvantages. However, people are more like to choose a capitalist society rather than a socialist one because the capitalism involves freedom and a chance to follow your own dream and what’s more, you are not told what to do and how to work. In addition, the world history showed us that socialist promises of the “shared wealth” proved to be false. It was only an illusion that was created by those who thought that individuals can’t have the right and the ability to work for themselves and to choose how to achieve this. (Stein)

AS a result, many post socialism countries tend to become capitalist. However, there may appear a number of problems when a post socialist society tries to become capitalist.


Works Cited

“Capitalism.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. 01 Nov. 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/93927/capitalism>.
“Capitalism Succeeds. Socialism & Communism Fail,” Opinion Center. Capitalism & US Citizens Survey, Opinioncenter.com. Web. 01 Nov. 2011.
< http://www.opinioncenter.com/capitalism/index.htm>
“Socialism.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. 01 Nov. 2011. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/551569/socialism>.
“Staatsbürgerkunde 10” (Berlin: Volk und Wissen Volkseigener Verlag, 1988), pp. 4-33. Translation by Katherine Lynch. Final page copyright © 2000 by Randall Bytwerk. Web. 01 Nov. 2011.
< http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/sbk.htm>

Stein, Rene, “Why Socialism Fails”, Usobserver.com, 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2011. <http://www.usobserver.com/archive/april-10/why-socialism-fails.html>