Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are not controlled by individuals but by the state or by a community of people. Socialism believes in the fair distribution of wealth among the people. The conflict between the working class and the capitalist class leads to a crisis resulting in the collapse of the capitalist system. The means of production will then pass into the hands of the working class. The working class would own all the resources, and profits would be equally divided among the people. This system came to be known as ‘Marxist Socialism’.
- Karl Marx was a German political philosopher and an economist. Along with Frederick Engels, he wrote the ‘Communist Manifesto’ which was published in 1848. Karl Marx wrote another famous book ‘Das Capital’.
- Marx believed that the capitalist society is divided into two classes—the working class, which toils and does all the work, and the capitalist class, which owns all the resources. He said that the capitalists exploit the working class.
- This results in conflict between the two classes. This class struggle leads to a crisis resulting in the collapse of the capitalist system. The means of production will then pass into the hands of the working class. The working class would own all the resources, and profits would be equally divided among the people. This system came to be known as ‘Marxist Socialism’.
- In socialism, when production takes place not for earning profits but for satisfying human wants, it establishes a communist society.
- Bernstein, another socialist, advocated that socialist objectives should be achieved through democratic means.
Socialism in the World
- The Russian Revolution in 1917 aimed at the establishment of socialism in the state. Russia became a socialist country in 1917. Lenin and Trotsky were the chief architects of the Russian Revolution.
- China became a communist nation on 1 October 1949 under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung.
- Many socialist parties emerged in India too. In 1934, the Socialist Party was established under the leadership of Narendra Dev, A. Patwardhan, Jayaprakash Narayan, and Dr. Rammanohar Lohiya.
- Currently, socialism implies that governments should work to uplift the working and depressed classes in society and aim to promote a just and welfare state.
- India has adopted the word, ‘Socialist’ in the Preamble of the Constitution and aims at the welfare of undeveloped and underdeveloped sections of society.
Also, Read Modern age in Europe – Industrial Revolution