Both socialism and capitalism are two different political ideologies, adopted by various states in the world, as a means of social and economic development. One emphasizes more on egalitarian approach by focusing need of the society as a whole. Whereas, other rewards merits of individuals to accelerate the pace of progress. Both seems contradictory to each other in terms of ideas. So, let’s see the difference between socialism and capitalism for better clarity.
Meaning and definition of ideology
Ideology is a set of political or economic ideals used as a means by a group or state to achieve prescribed goals through elections or any form of change. Nowadays, there are various types of ideologies are used by states, like socialism, democratic socialism, communism, Marxism, capitalism, etc.
What is mean by socialism
Socialism as a mainstream political ideology was emerged in the 19th century through the ideas of great thinker Karl Marx. Basically, socialism is propounded to address the issue of inequality in the society. But, it is quite moderate compare to communism.
Communism advocates the idea of “proletariat dictatorship” to attain greater equality in the absence of personal liberty and private property institutions. On the other hand, socialism do not opposes the idea of personal liberty and private property. It largely focuses on the reduction of inequality by nationalisations of core industries, imposition of progressive taxes, and provide affordable social services like health and education.
Nevertheless, like capitalism, it doesn’t rewards ability of individuals but needs of group or society. It is also well-known for price control and can’t hand over the responsibility on the private players to provide employment. But, the example of China is a typical case where single communist party is ruling with greater support for private property institutions.
What about capitalism
Capitalism is somehow contrary to the ideals of socialism. As I stated earlier that capitalism mainly relies on the private players to determine prices, jobs, and growth. It openly rewards individuals merits and personal liberty. It advocates the idea of free market and greater degree of economic progress.
In this system, there is greater scope for innovation and economic growth in the absence of restrictions and lesser taxes. But, chances of inequalities, and monopolies cannot be ruled out. For example, in the USA where handful technological giants are controlling huge chunk of economy, living little room for others. At the same time, the chances of unemployment remains high in the time of recession.
In short, both ideologies have their own strengths and weaknesses in the course of time.