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Economics: Socialism vs. Liberal Capitalism Essay

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Updated: May 9th, 2021

Introduction

Socialism is the economic system that advocates for community-based means of production. Throughout history, the economic ideologies of both capitalism and socialism have dominated the economic and political environment (Amhara 401). The common argument involves the determination of a superior economic system. While some economic experts argue that capitalist economies are inherently superior, others believe that socialist economic collectivism is the hallmark of a successful society (Li 268).

Karl Marx, a great proponent of socialism, refers to the ethical, economic, and political contribution of socialism to the welfare of the society in asserting his position on the debate of the best economic model (Amhara 401). In this case, this essay asserts that socialism is superior to capitalism as it avoids the use of competition as a means of survival, balances consumer markets, improves productivity, eradicates social conflicts, preserves human rights, improves social welfare, and promotes sustainable development.

Ethical Superiority

Accommodative Economic System

Marx’s concept of ethical superiority of socialism revolves around the advancement from individualism to the comprehensive view of social coexistence. Ethical concepts encompass sustainable production, non-exploitation of employees, and opportunities for everyone. Economakis and Papalexiou hold that socialism builds a strong relationship between members of a society and the society itself to maintain a healthy association (35).

The Socialist government provides community regulation schemes for the protection of collective interest that include employment, healthcare, and support of minority groups such as the disabled. As a means of production, socialism provides equal opportunity for everybody and significantly controls the selfishness of human nature, which thrives in the capitalist system of material incentives. In production, socialism eradicates biases by promoting equal employment for everybody, including women and the disabled.

Additionally, the accommodation of people in the development eliminates slavery and child abuse in the labor market. The socialist governments impose restrictions to limit business activities and ensure the conservation of the environment (Amhara 411). This strategy depicts the accommodative nature of socialism on the welfare of the environment and future generations, which is in line with the sustainable development goals.

Egalitarian

Marx’s view on equality focuses on the achievement of a standard quality of life for everyone. Based on this concept, socialism is ethically superior to capitalism as it fosters the protection of the needs of each member irrespective of gender, race, and physical condition. Marx perceives socialism as an opportunity for equal distribution of resources, development, and employment (Amhara 406). In the aspect of equality, socialism is superior because it creates and maintains a classless society without social and gender oppression. Marx opines that socialism enables the inclusivity of women in economic activities as equal partners with a significant contribution to social development. Hence, socialism projects control production, development, and market, leading to social uniformity, a fundamental factor in nurturing mutual coexistence.

Environmental concerns

Environmental conservation involves the adoption of non-harmful technologies, the use of renewable sources, and the efficient use of resources. Capitalism creates risky and deprived working conditions through the privatized production, which amasses wealth and causes harm to the environment while endangering the health and well-being of society. Conversely, Marx’s perception of socialism comprises the government’s regulations of production, which value ecological considerations and address the negative effects of environmental pollution (Amhara 408). Given this concept, socialism is more ethical as it fosters the development of measures to addresses these environmental concerns through a planned economy enhancing sustained development. Additionally, centralized decision-making processes in a socialist economy promote the adoption of green interventions such as solar technology.

Economic Superiority

Planned Development

In a socialist economy, the government controls the means of production and strategies of resource distribution. Li argues that socialism is a flexible development tool that promotes rational planning through equitable distribution of resources and efficient adoption of innovative production technologies (267). The government employs all workers and determines wages and job duties. This power of autonomy enables the government to tailor products and services for the common good without regard to profits and losses.

Distribution of Income

Socialism provides true economic equality since government collects taxes and takes the responsibility to distribute them to the planned development and provision of social amenities such as education, healthcare, and public transport. Smart maintains that the socialist economic system provides equal opportunity for training workers (403). This aspect allows the government to control income-generating facilities and respond rapidly to the economic crisis through policy adjustment, and thus, cushioning the country from economic instabilities.

Cooperation

Since socialism assumes that the basic nature of human beings is cooperation, it fosters equal ownership of factors of production, which promotes education, the development of health care, and the preservation of natural resources. By allowing equal participation by citizens, a socialist economy controls the exploitation of workers but enhances the equitable distribution of revenue essential in eliminating poverty and socio-economic conflicts.

Political Superiority

Improved Democracy

The socialist strategy involves a centralized system of leadership in which democratically elected individuals and bodies make political decisions that bind all members of a party. According to Busygina et al., socialism promotes the passion for equal freedom and appropriate management of democratic challenges through the protection from abuse of power and individual rights (62). In this view, it creates a slight difference in the authority of various groups of citizens. This political strategy allows the government to plan its economic activities and social development without much interference from private developers, which would limit efficiency.

Citizen Welfare

Since the government controls markets, production, and resource distribution, socialism creates social equality and limits the development of social classes of the rich and the poor. Busygina et al. explain that equal employment facilitates the involvement of women in the production and contribution to the utilization of diverse talents in the development (68). Additionally, planned development and controlled production enable the government to prevent social conflicts that arise from labor exploitation, unbalanced development, and oppression of the poor by the rich class. The socialist concept of politics accords all the citizens equal treatment and creates a unified political agenda, which promotes a balanced and sustainable development.

Benefits of the Socialist Economic System

Marx’s argument that socialist economies are better than capitalist economies is convincing because the socialist economic model promotes collective human development, which is in line with the current global sustainable development initiative, which aims to improve the quality of life for everyone. Socialism addresses social differences, achieves balanced development, and resolves social injustices (Naughton 17). In this economic model, the government promotes population quality of life through the elimination of competition, economic planning, production, controlled market, and preservation of rights

Elimination of Competition as a Means of Survival

Competition breeds greed and facilitates the development of class society. The elimination of competition returns the human family to the condition of rational coexistence through the inculcation of ethical concepts of survival. Greed is a risk social behavior that endangers human lives. Competition for employment, market share, and maximization of production through profits leads to the utilization of inappropriate risk processes that cause harm to the entire population and individual lives (Busygina et al. 64).

In production, individuals and companies may fail to adopt appropriate standard operation processes, leading to the availability of harmful or non-protective products in the market and the destruction of the environment. Additionally, competition creates financial disparity among groups due to unregulated rewards for services, causing the creation of social classes of the rich and the poor. Social classes promote social oppression and exploitation, which compromise individuals’ quality of life (Economakis and Papalexiou 42). Therefore, in socialist-controlled production, the shared property is essential to eliminate class barriers, improve the organization of production, and streamline sharing of resources.

Controlled Market

An uncontrolled consumer markets lead to a large volume of production aimed at maximization of profit that results in economic inflation and recession. Smart argues that market depression makes companies lay off workers, resulting in the development of social conflicts, crimes, and insecurity that compromise the quality of life (404). However, socialism ends the recession and financial depression through the rational planning of the economy based on human needs. This model allows the government to balance needs and control the lives of both the poor and the wealthy. Furthermore, socialism enables workers to gain control over their workplaces within the framework of the economy, prioritization of human needs, and environmental sustainability.

Moreover, socialism is superior in controlling market forces as it ends intellectual property rights utilized by a small sect of society in oppressing the markets. According to Li, patenting gives the opportunity to companies to steal from the public through exclusive rights to produce and control the pricing of their commodities (265). In other cases, companies steal the rights from employees who develop these unique processes and deny them the chance to enjoy their individual efforts. However, socialism eliminates property rights and allows experts to work together, leading to the achievement of high-quality product output. In this model, the property belongs to the people through the agency of the state but not competing capitalist corporations.

Improved Productivity

An unplanned economy contributes to the environmental destruction, gender abuse, and commodification of sexuality. The privatization of production contributes to environmental destruction through unregulated utilization of resources and profit-based decision-making, leading to irreversible changes in the environment (Economakis and Papalexiou 45). A planned economy facilitates control over environmental damage through the promotion of people’s economy that allows workers and elected representatives to regulate resource utilization and production objectives collectively to meet human needs and promote environmental conservation.

Abolition of Social Conflicts

Nationalization of the development processes facilitates the adoption of social health-oriented market goals that allow the state to direct and control production, fairly distribute income, and extend benefits of research and technological improvement to the whole population. This strategy regulates the control of the economy by few elite citizens through the collective utilization and equal distribution of resources among all citizens that enhance the flexibility of money flow. This social development strategy eliminates the development of social classes, oppression, and exploitation, resulting in the abolition of social conflict, revolts, strikes, and insecurity.

Preservation of Rights

The capitalist system prioritizes profit while promoting growing inequality between the rich and the poor with the destruction of the environment to the point that it threatens the existence and sustainability of resources. The privatized economic system promotes injustices through racial profiling, gender discrimination and oppression, child abuse, and tax evasion by corporations. In social environments, under capitalist markets, women suffer a great deal of oppression due to the lack of equal wages, restricted dress code, social violence, unpaid leave days due to childbearing, and oppression in job growth.

Conversely, socialism eliminates gender inequality through the creation and support of a strong feminist conscious environment. Moreover, equality is a crucial part of socialism, for it does not accommodate restrictions on individual lifestyles or discredits the value of one’s labor due to gender. Overall, socialism liberates the means of wealth creation in the society by reshaping the economic foundations in the society, which leads to the realization and preservation of rights.

Sustainable Development

The Socialist economic model guarantees the essentials of life and supports the creation of human history, where people determine their future and shape their own destiny. This model puts people in control of productive forces rather than allowing their lives driven by social and economic forces beyond their control. Socialist production satisfies material needs and cultural requirements of the current and future generations through the planned economy with the objective to enrich and promote equal development in all areas of the society (Amhara 405).

For sustained development, the aims of economic decisions involve ending stakes in production and business activities. Socialism grants the power of economic decisions to collective good under public authorities mandated to determine the potential social effects of any process without considering the profitability of the venture.

Improvement of Social Welfare

Since a nation is not after profits, it ensures that public interest takes precedence over the interest of private profit. The moral authority of socialism is an improvement of social welfare through the development and adoption of a robust justice system. The framework introduces equality into the social and economic system by fostering the rights of the minority groups such as the disabled, eradication of child abuse, and promoting gender equality. Additionally, the implementation of an egalitarian regulation system enhances the adoption of a common level of economic progress with the aim of collectively improving people’s quality of life.

Conversely, the recognition of income differences based on productivity and merit in socialism creates a humane society that promotes social ethics such as liberty, cooperation, and comradeship. This social structure appreciates that extreme inequalities are politically undesirable, socially unjustifiable, and economically harmful to the citizens. Hence, socialism improves social welfare through the promotion of individual rights, balanced distribution of opportunities, and equal development as it seeks to achieve a state’s responsibility for social justice.

Conclusion

Socialism is an economic system that advocates for community-based means of production. Socialism is superior to capitalism in ethical, economic, and political aspects as it promotes sustainable development with the goal of ensuring an improved quality of life. In this form of the economic system, the government takes all the basic decisions for the control and regulation of the economy with strategic functions performed, according to a definite plan and long-term goal. On the contrary, capitalism is a profit-oriented market-based system that institutes competition as the only means of survival and achievement of life goals.

Hence, this economic model promotes material gain as a motivational structure with disregard to human nature and social welfare. Therefore, socialism is a better form of the economic system than capitalism as it strives to achieve a balance social development for both current and future generations through the elimination of competition, controlled market, nationalization of resources, improved productivity, conservation of the environment, and improvement of social welfare.

Works Cited

Amhara, Larry. Political Questions: Political Philosophy from Plato to Pinker. 3rd ed., Waveland Press, 2015.

Busygina, Irina, et al. “To Decentralize or to Continue on the Centralization Track: The Cases of Authoritarian Regimes in Russia and Kazakhstan.” Journal of Eurasian Studies, vol. 9, no. 1, 2018, pp. 61-71.

Economakis, George, and George Papalexiou. “Environmental Degradation and Crisis: A Marxist Approach.” Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, vol. 27, no. 1, 2016, pp. 34-51.

Li, Minqi. “Barbarism or Socialism: 1917–2017–2050?” Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy, vol. 6, no. 2, 2017, pp. 263-286.

Naughton, Barry. “Is China Socialist?” Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol 31, no. 1, 2017, pp. 3-24.

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