What Socialism is Today

Posted on November 2, 2011 by

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Although economists and politicians who favor capitalism create negative definitions for Socialism, sociologists and academics agree that Socialism is best defined as “a political ideology that endorses the equality of power.” While socialists describe themselves differently in terms of their disciplinary tendencies, all socialists share common goals. These goals are – democratic working arrangements, equitable distribution of wealth, equal opportunity, and balance in political influence.

The opponents of socialism insist that socialists want a central government to own the means of production. Indeed, socialist literature often argues for public ownership of the Commanding Heights of the Economy. This shared public ownership has already been accomplished through securities trading on the stock market. Nevertheless, socialists argue that the current capitalist model does not go far enough. Socialists point out that most corporate shareholders have very little influence on a company. Corporate executives predetermine what choices the shareholders will have. A shareholder’s choice is limited to endorsing options presented by the executive staff. And, the executive staff reserves the most important decision-making authority for itself. Socialists argue the process must become more democratic.

A Capitalist Version

In addition to true democratic control of publicly traded corporations, socialists argue employees too are joint owners in the business. The employees invest time and effort in making the business grow. The synergy of their efforts grow the business much more than what the capitalist “owner” could accomplish alone. Therefore, the employees investment is just as important to corporate growth, if not more, than the investment of capital investors.

Socialism’s critics also argue that socialists want to create a Welfare State. Welfare State is a derogatory reference to societies that provide social Safety-Nets to the most vulnerable members of the population. This negative connotation is used as an emotional appeal to reject the socialist notion of wealth redistribution. Socialists point out the negative connotation is unjustified. They point out: If capitalists created a society in which everyone that wanted a job could get one, and if capitalists paid the workers equitable portions of the profits that their labor produced, there would be no need to redistribute wealth. Socialists also point out that the only wealth that is redistributed is the wealth that was not correctly distributed by the capitalists in the first place.

Since capitalists tend not to distribute the profits equitably among those who contributed to producing those profits, wealth redistribution becomes necessary. The welfare state that critics complain of is a result of the government having to provide basic services for the population because the capitalists have not properly distributed profits amongst the workers, and because the capitalists – in pursuit of their illicit profits – have failed to provide adequate work for everyone who is living within the economy.

The method to extract the hoarded wealth in order to redistribute that wealth in the form of government services is Taxation. Socialists advocate a progressive tax code that imposes higher tax rates on higher amounts of income. As seen in the United States between 1933 and 1962, a 90+% tax rate not only stimulates economic growth, but creates a strong middle-class while reducing the upper and lower extremes.

Socialism’s critics often argue that socialism removes social freedoms. These critics point to failed dictatorships whose socialistic reforms have failed. These critics ignore the uncontroversial historical facts that most dictatorships were capitalist regimes. And, as these failed capitalist regimes demonstrate, it is centralized control that is destructive to an economy. Sweden, Iceland, and other socialized economies demonstrate that socialism is not only beneficial to the underclass, but to the over-class as well.

Capitalist-controlled Thugs suppress protests for fairness.
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