The Differences Between Capitalism and Socialism
The Differences Between Capitalism and Socialism
This article aims to describe the events that led to the establishment of different economic systems of capitalism and socialism. What socialist thinkers as Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels thought? Capitalism began in the fifteenth century onwards, but from the eighteenth century with the advent of steam power and new techniques of production had to Industrial Revolution.
In 1750, Britain became the symbol of the Industrial Revolution, the cradle of capitalism. Later in the nineteenth century other countries like the United States, Germany, France, Japan and others begin to adopt the system of Capitalism. The consequences of capitalism were drastic, caused a massive displacement of people from the countryside to the cities, creating urban concentrations. This led to much of the labour force men to the development of rail roads, women and children were used in textile factories and mines with long working hours and reduced wages.
With the growing of social inequalities, the socialist thinkers who were Karl Marx (1818-1883), Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) began to study the facts to explain the social phenomena that was occurring. According to Campos (2007), in Marxist theory, the state is the means by which one class dominates and exploits another.
The Communist Manifesto, written in 1848, the authors say, when communism was implemented, society would live in collectives, without division of social classes and not the presence of a coercive state.
The capitalist system that began in the fifteenth century until nineteenth century, the accumulation of capital through profits from the trade and exploitation of human labour, whether employed or slave, calling the Commercial Capitalism. From the mid eighteenth century with the advent of steam power, the power loom and other techniques comes the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution began in England in 1750, when the man came to buy the work of another man in exchange for wages.
In the social environment, the main change was the emergence of the working class, which are living in precarious conditions in cities, living in slums, undergoing wages, with long working hours and no labour law. Later comes the banking, lending money at interest, where the currency has become the main product of the capitalist system.
According Guareschi (2003, p.51), Capitalism is a system that separates the working capital and whose relations are of domination and exploitation, for there to be domination and exploitation is necessary for the work of production and capital are separated. For Marx, the mode of production is the way society organizes the production of goods necessary for survival.
The capitalist system can be characterized in three aspects:
- Private property or private means of production;
- Employment with low wages;
- Free enterprise over the state planning.
In view of the foregoing, it is observed that the capitalist society was divided into two classes: the bourgeoisie, who own the means of production, the proletariat, which only offers the workforce.
The social organization, and therefore, the forms of behavior and interaction between the men are, in fact, regulated by the relations between men entered in the production of goods necessary for their existence.
In the early twentieth century, capitalism was characterized by liberalism, a situation in which government interference in economic affairs was minimal. After the 1929 crisis, the state will interfere in economic activities in many countries, calling the new liberalism, for example, in the United States President Franklin Roosevelt implemented in 1933, the New Deal (new agreement), an economic and social program introducing the unemployment allowance, helps the needy, public works projects, etc..
In 1936, the British economist John Maynard Keynes published the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, which maintains a policy against unemployment sponsored by the government. According Kopelke (2007, p.22) Capitalism is now the main economic system in activity, although there are still some countries that adopt Socialism.
In the nineteenth century, there was the emergence of a new scientific method of study of society, which seeks to understand social change, its consequences for society and the future.
For Max Weber (2002, p.24) the modern State represents a complexity of harmonious action by individuals, because many people act on the belief that it exists or should exist to promote the legal validity of their orders.
Since ancient times, some people worried about the social life, thought of changing relationships that capitalism had been causing. According to Marx, he criticizes capitalism by definition of interest by money and material gains as the main reason for the survival of man.
As Singer (2002, p.174) the promise of socialism is to establish a society superior to capitalism in three aspects:
- The economy would not be subject to crises, unemployment, because it was planned, with a control by the community about the social process of production and distribution, so the individual would no longer be dominated by unpredictable forces of the market;
- The establishment of equality: the capitalist society would be the last class society, whose evolution simplify the social structure, transforming the majority of the population more or less homogeneous;
- Socialism would give to all members of society a greater degree of material well-being and freedom.
Some of the pioneers of the mental model of an ideal society was the Englishman Thomas Morus, who wrote in 1516 the work Utopia, which described an imaginary society run by an ideal State, free of internal contradictions and injustices unable to perform on its members (KOPELKE, 2007, p.23). But the founders of scientific socialism or communism was Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who left the contradictory relations of capitalist production for his own destruction through the action of workers.
According to Campos (2007) Marx did not consider the classes only one group that shares a certain social status, but shares in property relations. In Guareschi (2003, p.52) explains that the capital gain is the profit that remains after all expenses deducted. For Marx who had productive capital with which to expropriate surplus value, for which the exploiting class, on the other side were the employees, who do not own property, thus the proletariat (CAMPOS, 2007).
Bourgeoisie is defined as the class of modern capitalists, owners of means of social production, employing low wage labour. Proletariat, the class of modern low wages employees who do not have the means of production, are forced to sell their labour power to survive.
In 1917, the Russian Revolution installed in power the communist system, under the leadership of the Russian Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), and establishing the Dictatorship of the proletariat and the Communist Party. In view Kopelke (2007, p.25) the Russian Revolution destroyed the capitalist institutions of the country, but never got to complete the point of the disappeared, as predicted by Marx.
Socialist system can be characterized as a system where there is no private property or private means of production. The economy is controlled by the state in order to promote the fair distribution of wealth among all people in society. After the Second World War (1939-1945) other countries have become socialists, for example, China in 1949, led by Mao Zedong (1893-1976), Cuba in 1959 by Fidel Castro and others. However, this new system put in place had several problems:
- Lack of participation of the people in government decisions;
- Lack of freedom of thought and expression;
- Formation of a highly privileged politic group.
4. The Differences Between Capitalism and Socialism
Currently, most countries adopted capitalism. Globalization and the Information Age is making capitalist system more dynamic and constantly changing. Capitalism has some advantages:
- Low rate of illiteracy;
- High income per capita;
- High feeding level;
- Economic domination;
- Control of science and technology,
Looking at the data one can argued that in developed countries or first world countries, life expectancy is excellent, meanwhile developing countries, the situation is aggravated by the fact that there is a poor accessibility to basic needs. With the growth of neoliberalism, social inequality and social exclusion will increasing.
Socialism is still adopted in some countries such as Cuba, which is headed by Fidel Castro. Looking at the theory and practice in leading, the country ends up being closed, the people have no right to democracy and also does not provide a decent quality of life for citizens as was expected. Finally who benefits the most often is the government and its dome. According to Guareschi (2003, p.63) the countries that call themselves communist in practice reach the approach of Capitalism, because instead of there be some who own the means of production, there is only the State Party, which exploits in the same way the workers.
Nova (2004, p.42) understands that in underdeveloped societies, where social injustices are awakened in many, strong feelings of indignation, some looking at socialism a means of settling - not only for the scientific explanation and social problems.
It can be concluded that the differences of the two economic systems, which provide both advantages and disadvantages. That is, while one enriches the other impoverished. Capitalism present in most countries that have democracy, which gives right of choice to the people, but when it comes to market, the government is the one who makes the final decisions, and sometimes not possible for a growing portion of society. Socialism only in theory is good, because in practice it is totally different, each with their wishes, dreams in a different perspective of others.
As Paganatto (2007) the model of social structure is that it should be replaced by a more modern, cultural phases and perpetuating itself through the identification of individuals with their social contract and subsequent rules. Souza (2007) The modern neo-liberalism is the future of humanity, a single company, radically competitive substrate which results in a global free market, unified guaranteed by the natural impulse of man in the competition.
According to Paulini Silva (2005, p.17) Marx's dialectical method to the understanding of reality as contradictory and constantly changing. The company must check the internal laws of historical development through identification of contradictions in order to liberate man from his alienated consciousness. According Kopelke (2007, p.27) capitalist economies liberals accept the growing participation of the state in economic decisions, and the other countries of centrally planned economies in the hand of State accept the increasing participation of private, economic decisions.
In Singer (2002, p.186) the struggle for liberation movements not only adds to the struggle for socialism, but in fact, broadened the very latitude of Socialism, which is not limited to the elimination of economic exploitation of the proletariat, but proposes fight the kinds of exploitation and discrimination, both in business or in other institutions, including the family. Guareschi (2003, p.63) a big difference in reality between the capitalist and communist countries is that the communist-socialist majority of the population has guaranteed the basic sustenance - food, shelter, education, health, clothing etc.. Meanwhile in capitalist countries, where the holding is large, much of the population lacks such basic services and poverty is high, as can be seen on every corner.
Finally i let the phrase that Marx and Engels (1987, p.109) posing as reflection at the end of the book Communist Manifesto for the working people "Workers of all countries, unite!"