The Basics Of Socialism

On the other hand, socialist society is supposed to be ruled by the working class, so it is called the dictatorship of the proletariat, as in “rule of the working class.” The dictatorship of the proletariat only exists in socialist society, however. In communist society, which is classless, there is not a dictatorship of any particular class. What socialism is, actually, is a political and economic theory of social organisation which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned and regulated by the community as a whole, rather than by private individuals. Structurally, a free market system and socialism can be distinguished based on rights to property, as well as control of the production process. Under a capitalistic economy, enterprises and private individuals control the means of production, together with all the profits. Under a socialistic structure, a central authority controls the resources used in the production process.

This reading guide was put together by the founder of Socialism101, azureScapegoat. It is aimed at those who have done little to no reading of Marxist theory, but want to give it a shot. But rather than trying to argue for one side or another, I’m going to recommend a couple of books that argue for different viewpoints on the matter that you can read. is based on historical and dialectical materialism, rather than Hegelian dialectics. This means it is founded on an evidence based materialist understanding of society, and the conflicts that arise from different class interests – manifesting as physical conflict as opposed to ideological battles. Marxism is the social equivalent of the scientific method, it is analytical and advances and changes its analysis based on the changes in society. Socialism does not reward entrepreneurial ventures or competitiveness.

Anarchism saw not just capitalism but government as harmful and unnecessary. Social democracy held that socialist aims could be achieved through gradual political reform rather than revolution. The intellectual roots of socialism go back at least as far as ancient Greek times, when the philosopher Plato depicted a type of collective society in his dialog, Republic (360 B.C.).

For this reason, individuals in a socialistic society tend to work very hard. Members of the community receive a share of the national pie once a percentage is taken off for the purpose of communal development. The areas into which resources are channeled include defense, education, and transportation. Karl Marx’s economic theory critiques capitalism and how it is unjust because there is a struggle between social classes when it comes to labor, production, and economic development. His theory suggests that communism may be a more just economic system.