Read and answer the following,
1 Socialism drives low profit margins within economic and social structure. In socialism, society is driven to produce for consumption rather than for profit. There is an attempt to provide everyone with an opportunity to develop within society by providing them essential human needs. This could be free healthcare, education, or even food and water and this could be at no cost to that society. Equality for one means equality for all as every person is as entitled to a place to sleep, food to eat, and justice. Now without cooperation then it would be difficult to attain equality. Competition is diminished in socialism because of the importance that is places in collaborating and working together to make everyone in the society better people. Socialism brings opportunities to collaborate to build strong communities. This building of communities and caring for one another builds wealth that can be redistributed to create an uplifting community. The community now takes the responsibility of ownership. Here is where there is a diminishing of individualism. This all leads to where there no longer is a division of the social classes. Everyone is working together to synchronize the society. “At its heart, socialism offers a unifying vision of human beings as social creatures, capable of overcoming social and economic problems by drawing on the power of the community rather than simply individual efforts” (Heywood 98). I think, for me included, we have difficulty distinguishing a country with socialistic policies with a country which is said to be socialist.
2. Socialism is a political ideology originally developed during the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century. “Socialism arose as a reaction against the social and economic conditions generated in Europe by the growth of industrial capitalism” (Heywood pg. 96). However, from it’s inception, socialism has had it’s problems, until some proclaimed the ‘death of socialism’ in the late twentieth century due to a number of spectacular reverses. The most notable of these reverses was the collapse of communism during the Eastern revolutions between 1989-91. Now this is my Segway into my point towards socialism. Robert Owen, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engles created this ideology as the only way to overcome capitalism was through revolution. The very existence of socialism was through anger and revolt. It’s curious to me, and no doubt a reason as to why socialism has not been successful as a major political ideology, but any belief that claims a continuing need for revolution cannot be successful.
How can the ideas of cooperation and equality assist the ideology of socialism become more successful?
3. In socialism, the social class is the essential aspect of assigning political division between groups. Social class is the basis for thinking about specific groups of people, and more often than not, social class is linked directly to socio-economic position. Heywood shows us that Socialist think of social class for two different reasons. First, in a society that is pre-socialist, socialist use social class demographics as a tool to analyze and break down groups to target. Secondly, focusing mainly on the working class, socialist leverage the struggles and differences between the social classes to achieve their goals. The end goal being a classless society of equals, at least in theory. The vehicle for the movement towards these ends is class warfare, pitting one class against another. We call this battle between classes, class politics.
How has the role of class politics changed over the past few decades?