Dialed-Down Dictatorship


An economic and political system based on public or collective ownership of the means of production. Socialism emphasizes equality rather than achievement, and values workers by the amount of time they put in rather than by the amount of value they produce. It also makes individuals dependent on the state for everything from food to health care.


  • While capitalism is based on a price system, profit and loss and private property rights, socialism is based on bureaucratic central planning and collective ownership. Proponents of socialism believe that it creates equality and provides economic security and that capitalism is an inferior system that exploits workers for the benefit of a small, wealthy class. Critics of socialism believe that it is based on faulty principles and ignores human nature and the role of incentives in economic transactions.

  • Socialism takes the ownership, responsibility, and benefits of resources and the means of productions out of the hands of the elite few and puts them under the collective hands of the people. Contrary to popular belief, this actually increases the quality of goods produced, etc. After all, are you going to work harder to produce a better product or service to make someone else rich or for your own company of which you have a vested interest? With socialism the workers themselves own the companies, resources, and means of productions so they have a very real connection and vested interest in the well being of said companies, etc.
    • Socialism creates community values. Socialism reinforces the idea that "we are all in this together" instead of each man fending for himself at any cost. This tends to have positive social benefits while equally distributing the work load.
    • Socialism creates an egalitarian (equal) society.
    • Socialism allows workers to reap the full benefits of their own efforts and ends the institutionalized robbery of the very workers who are producing the wealth in the first place.
    • Socialism, when done right, raises the standard of living for the entire nation as a whole.
    • Socialism would free workers from wage slavery.
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    Robert Owen and his sons advocated the transformation of society into small, local collectives without such elaborate systems of social organization (utopian socialism). Owen was a mill manager from 1800 to 1825. He transformed life in the village of New Lanark with ideas and opportunities which were at least a hundred years ahead of their time. Child labor and corporal punishment were abolished, and villagers were provided with decent homes, schools and evening classes, free health care, and affordable food.


    China, Vietnam and Cuba are examples of modern-day socialist societies. Twentieth-century socialist governments were overthrown in Czechoslovakia, East Germany and the U.S.S.R.