Difference between socialism and liberalism
Socialism vs liberalism:
Socialism and liberalism are two political ideologies that have been talked about for centuries. Because of the frequency in which these two terms are discussed, people nowadays tend to get easily confused between the two, assuming the characteristics of one political theory to be as same as the other. However, in order to indulge in a conversation regarding the pros and cons of these two political movements, it is important to have an individual understanding of the two first. With this aim, the following article is being composed for the benefit of those who are eager to know the many factors which set socialism and liberalism apart.
What is socialism?
Socialism can be defined as a political and economic system that discourages private owning of property. According to socialism, every sort of goods, service and property is owned by the state alone. According to socialists, cooperation is the best possible way of coexisting and every profit that is gained from every sale is distributed amongst all the people of the society based on the work contribution of an individual to produce such wealth. Socialism encourages a classless system where no competition exists among individuals and everyone is considered as an equal. All resources are owned by the people and therefore, their opinions hold sway when it comes to deciding how and why these resources are used. Socialism believes in equality and in turn, does not promote the individual accumulation of wealth which will result in an imbalance between individuals. There are two kinds of property that a socialist can enjoy which can be stated as personal property that is allowed to be enjoyed by an individual personally and industrial property that is not allowed to be owned privately and should instead be dedicated to producing the goods and services of the society. For example, while one is allowed to own a car, he or she is not allowed to own a factory which produces cars. Such factories must belong to the society.
What is liberalism?
Liberalism illustrates individual freedom and it is a political ideology which harps upon the freedom of the individual from all imposed restrictions. In terms of economy, liberalism encourages free market and there exists a fine balance between individual and community responsibilities in liberalism as well. Liberalism focuses on the individual and each individual is considered as free from one another in terms of liberalism. Liberalism is divided in to two parts such as classical and modern liberalism.
What is the difference between liberalism and socialism?
Socialism preaches the necessity of a state that yields complete power over economy which thus controls the wages of the workers as well. Every citizen should comply with the rule of law and in return, the citizens will be provided with resources rationed by the government. However, while classical liberalism does not see any need of the government to interfere with the affairs of its citizens, modern liberalism states that in order to ensure economic and political security, the government should indeed interfere with the citizens’ day to day affairs. And yet, this does not indicate total and complete submission of the people to the state or the government as implied by the concept of socialism. It only suggests that by keeping a close watch on citizens and the economy of a country, the government can effectively uplift its status.
Classical liberalism believes that the state should only take over an institution to ensure that citizens can freely benefit from that particular institution’s services. In saying so, classical liberalism does not see the need of keeping the citizen under a tight rule of law. In that sense, modern liberalism is much closer to socialism which believes that all institutions should be taken over by the state in order to reach economic and social progress. Therefore, although modern liberalism is much more sophisticated and suavely put across than socialism, it still renders too much power to the government, thus hindering the freedom of the people in the process.
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