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Socialism is a political movement, and perhaps also a philosophic, economic and a cultural system, that seeks -in some versions- to construct a post-capitalist society where full Human self-actualization is the norm. To achieve that it advocates both the elimination of arbitrary authority and the end of exploitation of the powerless by the powerful. Socialists generally advoadvocate for the lower-class poor and redistributing unearned wealth.

This article is part of
the Political Philosophy
series.
Anarchism
Libertarianism
Conservatism
Liberalism
Communism
Socialism
Capitalism
Democracy
Republicanism
Popular sovereignty

What Socialism means

Socialists usually oppose large corporations and the ultra-wealthy. It's against giving rich people the Freedom to take advantage of the rest of us which is good. Dictionaries and encyclopaedias define socialism as an economic system where the means of production are communally owned with at most a small private sector. In practise Scandinavia and other social democratic systems are also sometimes called socialist.

Social democracy

Some types of socialism are like Social Democracy. That means having a welfare state which protects democracy. People who have their basic human needs met and a pleasing measure of personal Liberty don’t become involved in authoritarian movements.

Tea Party tax day protest 2010

A redneck who secretly believes Obama is an agent from an intergalactic empire to convert Humanity.

More radical socalism

Other types of socialism involve replacing the capitalist class alltogether. Advocates of this type of socialism wants to see production controlled by the state, by municipal authorities, alternatively they want to see workers running their own industry or consumer cooperatives.There is certainly scope for state enterprise, municipal enterprise workers cooperatives, consumer cooperatives in a social demoratic system that workes but replacing the whole of industry with such systems does not work in practise. Even countries like communist China find it better to keep or reintroduce a private sector.

What is wrong with the present society

Currently, the richest 1% of Americans own 37% of the wealth and the poorest 90% own only 28%, a massive unfair distribution of wealth created as a result of the corporate influence politicians receive -- sometimes to the point that some rich pay a lower tax rate than the poor.

To make the problems worse, Conservatives often blame poor people for being too lazy or dependent on welfare -- while in the real world, many have to work 2 or 3 jobs just to make their ends meet.

This kind of discrepancy is becoming apparent in the rest of the World as well.

Socialists (and Social Democrats) aim to fix the imbalance by either eliminating or reducing the private sector, getting rid of corporate influence and establishing laws that give the people equal care.

The rich don't always deserve that money, as many of them just drain the wealth from the poor and pass it to their offspring and refuse to share it with anyone that deserves it. It's hard to argue with a system that helps the poor and middle class (the vast majority of people are one of those two) and takes cash from the rich (who don't need it and never actually spend much of it).

Unfortunately, brainwashed conservative sheep have been tricked into thinking redistribution is a bad idea, denying themselves what they could gain from this type of system.

Socialists and Liberals

From the American definition of liberalism, liberals share quite a lot with the European Social Democrats, with liberals being more inclined towards supporting human, civil rights and equality and Social Democrats towards social freedoms and labor rights.

Socialists, in that manner, have similar (but usually more extreme) opinions on economical matters.

(The European definition of liberalism mostly excludes the economic factors, making it closer to libertarianism.)

Traditional socialism

Traditional socialism was a political and economic philosophy that advocated social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy, or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises, common ownership, autonomous public ownership or state ownership. As a form of social organization, traditional socialism was based on co-operative social relations and self-management; relatively equal power-relations and the reduction or elimination of hierarchy in the management of economic and political affairs.

Socialism and other political systems

Socialists and Liberals sometimes get along better than Liberals and Conservatives though the Liberal Democrats have been in coalition with the Conservative Party in the UK.

Communists and far right Conservatives, such as Fascists, have much more in common, including a tendency to revise history, run over people with tanks (see Poland), treat the lower class awfully, censor books, movies and works of art and feel it is the government's right to monitor people’s movements and communication. Far-right Conservatives like Fascists also have something else in common with Communists. When Science goes against their ideology Right wing conservatives and Communists both like to pretend science is wrong.

Right-wing scare tactics

Because many people think badly about Communism, conservatives often pretend socialists are communists. This is a right-wing scare tactic sometimes called Red-baiting. Something similar is calling Obama a Socialist which is not true. Conservatives often claim that Socialism makes people lazy because the wealth gets "spread around" so much. They may also claim that Socialism does not work, when in fact, the 4 countries in Europe with the highest work ethic are all run by democratic socialists or Social Democrats, the two ideologies sometimes overlap. Socialism IS NOT the same as COMMUNISM, and neither communism or socialism is the same as Orwellianism. (Orwell was in fact a socialist!) Communism is socialism taken to the extreme, and saying that socialism is as bad as communism (we're looking at you, conservatives) is just a bit like saying stubbing your toe is as bad as the Holocaust.

Also the right wing calls many ideas they oppose socialist to put people against those ideas. For example Universal Health Care is called socialist. Universal health care can be part of a socialist system but many capitalist nations also have universal health care. People in nations with universal health care are on average healthier and live longer than people in nations without it. Socialists want universal health care but you don't have to be a socialist to want it.

Popularity

Socialism seems to be becoming increasingly popular with young Americans, see:-

Awesome things Socialists can do that right-wingers can't do

This article is a bit subjective. If you don't like it ... sorry about that.
  • Free the people
  • Sing awesome revolutionary songs
  • Get justice for the hard-working (A lot of the rich are hard-working and they should keep some of the wealth they generate but not all. The hard-working majority of the poor deserve far more than they get.)
  • Get laid
  • Get nasty to Fascists like Nazis and Klansmen
  • Not commit human rights abuses
  • Be peaceful
  • Prove Neocons wrong in their imaginations
  • Ally with Liberals to save the world
  • Abolish the death penalty
  • Treat Women as equals (What Saudi Arabian women need by a magnitude)
  • Treat minorities and immigrants as equals
  • Treat Homosexuals as equals
  • End wars
  • Be sexy
  • Free Tibet
  • Listen to rock music
  • Refuse to commodify sex
  • Replace unrestrained, deregulated capitalism with something better
  • Tax the sh*t out of the extremely wealthy (If they work hard, they just get it back)
  • Introduce Universal health care. Social democrats can also introduce universal health care as can people who just want to improve capitalism.
  • Be social(ists)
  • Posses a brain All humans need to get smarter.
  • Be superior to communists (Oh wait, pretty much everyone including conservatives can do that, way too easy)

See also

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