Socialism

During class the other day, as we were reading through the various definitions of socialism, we came up with a variety of meanings using words such as “central”, “cooperation”, “everyone”, and “equal distribution”. These definitions surprisingly struck an interesting chord with me, because although many people viewed socialism as something negative, all of these words seemed quite positive. As children, we were taught the importance of equality or having equal opportunity, or how to cooperate amongst several individuals within society. Yet, as children we never learned that the term “equal” can never be achieved. In a socialist government, there is a central ownership of property, meaning that there is a public instead of private ownership of property. A socialist system also stresses the need for people to live in cooperation with one another, meaning that everyone works as a whole in order to benefit one another (social product). However, these policies of socialism do not coincide with the tendencies of nature and therefore, socialism will inevitably fail. An individual’s need to compete with other individuals will triumph over the socialist strains of uniting and working to benefit not only oneself, but also by benefiting others. Yet the question remains, why would society instill the values of equality and cooperation at a young age, when this type of behavior will always allow a government to fail?

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2 Responses to Socialism

  1. KelseyO says:

    You make an interesting point. However, upon reflection, I think that when we are taught the values of equality it tends more toward the concept of legal equality. Little kids aren’t really judging people on the amount of money that their families have, they are just taught that everyone should be treated the same no matter what their differences might be. These concepts of all people being treated equally do lead to a successful government. One of the greatest things about the US government is that all people have the same legal rights. So, the ideas of equality that are instilled in us as children do not apply as much to the economic system, but more toward the core principles of the government.

  2. Elliot F says:

    I agree with Kelsey on the nuance of how equality is viewed in America: that legal equality is both a necessary and guaranteed liberty, but also that equality of condition will almost never be completely achieved. But the main point that I wanted to pick on was the inherent taboo that is ultimately tied to socialism. Chiefly, this is actually just a general misunderstanding of the differences between Communism and Socialism, which are not fully understood by a good majority of Americans. Second, the reason that Communism, not socialism, is seen in such a negative light is that during the Cold War, communism was associated with the “nefarious” Russians, and ever since that time, Communism has not been able to shake that association. Communism is now not normally judged by its actual values, but rather by the the actions of the people who are said to represent it.

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