Socialism is a term that was coined in the late eighteenth century. Robert Owen and Henri De Saint Simon were the first to use and introduce this term in order to bring an understanding of another economic system. This modern concept was viewed by Robert Owen and Henri De Saint Simon as an economic Utopian formula in response to the development of industrial capitalism throughout Europe.
What is Socialism? It is an economic system that is the precursor to Communism. The economic stage between Capitalism and Communism. In Socialism the people through the government control the economic system for the good of the community, state, or country. Basically the government owns and runs the entire economic system. Karl Marx describes Socialism as an economic system where recognition comes from “each according to his ability, to each according to their work”; the government would determine payment for work accomplished. Socialism was regarded in the late eighteenth century as an equalizer between the classes where the distinction between classes would be less and based upon accomplishments for the good of the community. The government would be the one determining who works where, what occupation, and for how much. The government in Socialism is in charge of the entire economy. All forms of business, health-care, banking, marketing, stock market, and so forth is government owned and overseen. The government was viewed as “a Big Brother” (George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four). Webster’s Dictionary defines Socialism as an “economic system aiming at public or government ownership by means of production, etc.” In this economic system there is no such thing as “privately owned”.
What form of political system can support Socialism? Any type of government can support Socialism, i.e. dictatorship, democracy, republic, monarchy, parliamentary, etc. The type of government (political system) does not matter for the support of this economic system, because the government is completely in charge of the economy. That was why the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) had a Republic similar to the United States and was able to support the economic system known as Socialism. Why the citizens of the USSR called themselves “socialists”. It was the economic system that was completely different, not the government type which determined the vast difference and Cold War between the USSR and United States 1945 through
1995. In the twentieth century, the USSR and China implemented Socialism as their economic system (not Communism). To date there have been no countries with a Communism economic system. Communism is similar to Socialism with one huge difference. Communism has no form of political system, no government. The entire economic system is solely in-charge due to the voluntary “withering away of the government” (per Karl Marx who is the father of Communism and who first introduced the ideology of Communism by the publication of his most famous book “The Communist Manifesto”).
Winston Churchill viewed Socialism as “inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police.”
Wikipedia.org at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
Wikipedia.org at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_republic
Webster’s Dictionary, edited by John Gage Allee, PH.D,1977, Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc.
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Penguin, reprinted 1975