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Capitalism and Socialism: Crisis and Potential
A financial system in which three conditions-private ownership of the means of production, personal profit, and competition- are found is called a capitalist system of economy. The sole object of the capitalist system is profit. Capitalism has been under fire by the critics due to the economic and social crisis it entails. This essay will explain the nature of the economic and social crisis that has been witnessed over time. Additionally, the core features of socialism and its potential as an alternative solution in a capitalist world will be highlighted.
Over time, critics have attributed capitalism for social inequality, lopsided wealth distribution, poor conditions of the workers, economic uncertainty, and unemployment. They consider the system to be unthoughtful, containing many contradictions, and generating inconsistencies. The world has seen seven official recessions till now, but the one that was witnessed in 2007-2008 remains unprecedented. This was like no other recession as it had detrimental economic repercussions. Employee wages came to a standstill, an increase in unemployment was witnessed, and a surge in the cost of living was documented. The social consequences were not hidden from anyone. As the recession gripped more strongly, economies grappling with the crisis slashed funds that were previously earmarked for public services.
On the contrary, socialism is defined as the system in which the modes of productions, dispensation, and their interchange is in the possession of the community or the government. Karl Marx and Fredric Engles in their book, The Communist Manifesto, first coined the term of socialism. The core tenets of a socialist financial system include the welfare of the general public and economic equality among the citizens.
To look at socialism as the alternative to the capitalist, one has to look at the countries that have established socialist welfare economies. Countries like China, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Canada have a socio-welfare model of governments. The social indicators of these countries project a happy picture as far as the welfare of the citizens is concerned. Hence, it would not be brainless to say that socialism possesses huge potential as the economic organization in the 21st century.
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