Socialists and capitalists have been clashing since the late 1800s when Karl Marx wrote that the capitalist system was a “polluting stage in history.” The difference between these two is that socialists want to overthrow capitalism, while capitalists believe they can improve society by making it more competitive. This post will explore why socialism has always been an enemy of capitalism and how this conflict has shaped our world today.
What is a Socialist?
Socialists believe in the philosophy of socialism “is a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole” [Source]. Socialism exists to work against capitalist tendencies found in society, which means that socialists propagate policies aimed at dissolving social classes and the oppression of workers.
Under socialism, there is an intense confrontation between workers and capitalists due to inequality, ownership of means of production, privatization, and distribution of wealth. The public approach to property or natural resources ownership or control, in which individuals live together in collaboration. Simply stated, everything produced by a socialist state is a social product. As a result, everyone who aided in its production has the right to a share of it.
In a socialist community, every person contributes to the economy and benefits based on one’s contribution. There is also freedom of religion, and equality is the core objective. It involves central planning whereby only central planes are tasked to craft what the community needs. Social stratifications are prohibited in a socialist community, and terms like the rich and poor are not used because they propel people’s inferiority/superiority complex.
Socialist policies tend to cater to the public and put the welfare of people first.
What is a capitalist?
Capitalists feed on capitalism, which is defined as an “economic system whereby private individuals own and control means of production” [Source]. Under capitalism, the private players are economic drivers needed to grow the economy. They are entrusted with the task of running society’s major businesses. Marxists argue that this private sector will be opened to a public forum after equality is implemented.
Capitalists do not shy away from social classes. They make sure that there is a clear distinction of these classes, with the most visible ones being ‘poor,’ ‘rich,’ and ‘the workers’. A Karl Marx perspective notes that these classes will be eradicated when the workers rebel against the capitalist system.
Capitalists are seen as selfish because of their conduct which supports individual growth instead of societal or community growth. Individual freedom and a private ownership structure are part of a capitalist world.
Difference between socialist and capitalist
A capitalist support private ownership of means of production, but a socialist suggests that means of production must be owned by the government or cooperatives [Source]. With capitalism, income is determined by free markets forces where-areas socialism denotes that income should be equally distributed to those in need.
Socialists argue that the government should regulate consumer prices, but for capitalists, the prices are determined by supply and demand. The private sector provides healthcare, and it is usually expensive in a capitalist community. In contrast, for the socialist, healthcare is given for free to the public, or the government subsidizes prices.
Socialism is an economic system in which taxes are generally high, with the goal of offering a wide social safety net for services such as education, healthcare, and public pensions. On the other hand, under capitalism, taxation is determined by one’s earnings. Because of a free market competition propelled by capitalists, there will be improved efficiency and innovation as businesses compete to become the best. The government-owned companies under socialists lack any incentive for efficiency and innovation.