Posted by / Monday 7 May 2018 / No comments

The characteristics of socialism

Moscow, Russia, Tsaritsyno, Palace
Socialism is a political and economic system. Unlike capitalism, the means of production and distribution of goods and services are controlled by the people through representatives. The proceeds from the management of the economy is shared among the people on the basis of equality. This type of polico-economic system is practiced in Russia, China and North Korea, to mention but a few.

There is a collective ownership of resources
One of the main features of a socialist economy is that all the means of production and the distribution of goods and services are owned and operated by the state in the interest of the society as a whole. There are individuals at the helm of affairs who manage production and distribution on behalf of the people. This is unlike capitalism where same is owned by private individuals.

State control
Another feature of socialism is that the planning and general direction of the economy is in the hands of the state. Every economic decision emanates from the central government. In the former Soviet Union for example, the economy was planned from Moscow. In present day Russia, the Kremlin is in charge of most economic decisions.

The focus is not on profit
In a socialist economic system, the main focus is not to make profit. The main focus is on how to satisfy the needs of the citizens in general. The resources that are generated through the operations of the economy are allocated in a manner that is equitable to all and sundry.

Price control
The socialist system does not allow the forces of demand and supply to determine the prices of goods and services. The prices are determined in a way that makes the goods and services affordable for every citizen. In other words, the prices of goods and services are determined by the state.

Long-term planning
It is a feature of socialist economies to design long-term plans to achieve specific national goals. There could be for example, a twenty-year national plan to direct the country toward the achievement of particular goals. These plans become the blue-print to be followed and state activities are directed based on the blue-print.

Only one party exists
In a socialist state, only one party is allowed to operate. The leaders are mostly strong and try to or manage to stay in power for a very long time. Most dissenting views are silenced and the state spews out what it wants people and the world to hear. 

1. What are the main characteristics of socialism?
2. a. What is socialism?
    b. Highlight six features of socialism.

The main features of capitalism

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