Based on emails I receive on shows we do on the economy or on my column, there are some who are not clear on the concept of the difference between Communism and Socialism, and in some cases, the difference between Socialism and Capitalism.
With the fairly recent BBC survey showing that 1 in 4 people today believe that Capitalism is failing and that Socialism is a good alternative, we need to all engage in this conversation...with the facts:
Difference between Socialism & Communism: In a nutshell, Socialism, the cousin of Communism, refers to an economic system, which seeks to control the market for "the redistribution of wealth." While communism refers to both an economic and a political system, which seeks to manage both the economy and the society by controlling the distribution of property and more in order to "achieve both classlessness and statelessness". Socialism seeks to manage the economy through "deliberate and collective social control." Communism on the other hand, seeks to manage both the economy and the society by controlling the working person, (their slogan: "Workers of the world unite!"), who is paid "according to their abilities and needs." In other words, as determined by the government. Private property is not valued. Both socialism and communism are anti-capitalism.
Capitalism: Is an economic system based on the free exchange of goods and services without fraud, theft and breech of contract; it is a free market economy.
In their Communist Manifesto Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels outlined the goals of Marxism, which is a vision of "a future society free from class antagonism, which will purportedly be brought about by the establishment of communism and the demise of oppressive capitalism." Thus the end goal of Marxism is a future one-world communist, capitalistic-free Utopian state.
Back to the BBC survey -- this is not the first time a country rethinks it's economic policies when dealing with a huge financial crisis. It is also not the first time that Marxist/Socialist advocates are extolling their view and criticizing capitalism, using their main argument -- "FAIRNESS." But is Marixm fair? Is life fair?
© Sharon Hughes 2009