Saturday, 11 September 2010

CASE 050 - Socialism, communism and Capitalism

Socialism and communism are ideological doctrines that have many similarities as well as many differences. It is difficult to discern the true differences between socialism and communism, as various societies have tried different types of both systems in myriad forms, and many ideologues with different agendas have defined both systems in biased terms. Some general points distinguishing the two concepts, however, can still be identified. One point that is frequently raised to distinguish socialism from communism is that socialism generally refers to an economic system, while communism generally refers to both an economic and a political system. As an economic system, socialism seeks to manage the economy through deliberate and collective social control. Communism, however, seeks to manage both the economy and the society by ensuring that property is owned collectively, and that control over the distribution of property is centralized in order to achieve both classlessness and statelessness. Both socialism and communism are similar in that they seek to prevent the ill effects that are sometimes produced by capitalism. Both socialism and communism are based on the principle that the goods and services produced in an economy should be owned publicly, and controlled and planned by a centralized organization, take the photo above in a socialist country you get a choice whee and what to spend you're money on and the opposite in a communist country. Socialism asserts that the distribution should take place according to the amount of individuals' production efforts, however, while communism asserts that that goods and services should be distributed among the populace according to individuals' needs. Another difference between socialism and communism is that communists assert that both capitalism and private ownership of the means of production must be done away with as soon as possible in order to make sure a classless society, the communist ideal, is formed. Socialists, however, see capitalism as a possible part of the ideal state and believe that socialism can exist in a capitalist society. In fact, one of the ideas of socialism is that everyone within the society will benefit from capitalism as much as possible as long as the capitalism is controlled somehow by a centralized planning system.

The following countries are de facto one-party states whose ruling party currently declares official allegiances to communism.

People's Republic of China (since 1949); Communist Party of China; implemented Chinese economic reform in the 1980s

Cuba (Cuban Revolution in 1959, socialist state declared in 1961); Communist Party of Cuba

Laos (since 1975); Lao People's Revolutionary Party

Vietnam (since 1976); Communist Party of Vietnam; implemented doi moi in the 1980s

N. Korea (since 1948); Workers' Party of Korea.


These countries known as "Communist states" in the West, because their ruling parties generally use the name "Communist Party of [country]." However, the countries themselves are referred to as socialist republics, not communist, in their own constitutions. They are defined by a form of government in which the state operates under a one-party system and declares allegiance to the ideology of Marxism-Leninism. In accordance with Marxism-Leninism, the constitutions of these countries claim that all power belongs to the working class, that a democratic dictatorship of the proletariat has been implemented within their borders, and that they are building socialism, with the goal of achieving communism one day.
Western countries view Socialism and Communism as two distinct form of governmental economy. Concerning Socialism, it regards the welfare of its people like Capitalism does. In the sense that the wealth is redistributed the same way, while taxes would be higher. As for Communism, Western countries regards Communism as the opposite of Capitalism; in which the money itself is redistributed equally among everyone so that they may have a similar lifestyle. Whether their lifestyle is similar remains irrelevant in that sense.
Furthermore, the West views Communism as being a state run by the government for the greater good of all the people. As for those who see the difference between Communism and Socialism in the West, they view Socialism as being a state run by the government for the people.

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