What is socialism?I think socialism is just bogus.

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drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My understanding of socialism is that it is a form of government that controls economic enterprise so that all members of society receive at least minimal output regardless of how much they put into the system. Communism as I understand it is a similar governmental system but each member theoretically shares equally in the collective enterprise. I think that akannan makes an excellent point that socialism can be a complementary aspect of a capitalistic democracy. Pure capitalism would result in survival of the economic fittest; most people would not be able to stomach watching children of lazy or incapable parents starve and suffer from diseases that vaccination could have prevented. Those who would be disturbed by this would not necessarily be willing to contribute enough to church and private efforts to mitigate suffering.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There might be some validity to your beliefs. However, I will throw out the other side.  There is a compelling argument to be made that the tenets of socialism actually serve to strengthen capitalism, raising acute awareness of its flaws.  The idea of seeking to redress the disparities in capitalism is a very persuasive one.  While capitalism may be the only game in town, that does not mean that its flaws should go unnoticed.  Socialism's strength might not be in its actual execution, but rather in its analysis of capitalism and where its weaknesses lie.  In this light, socialism can only serve to make capitalism, already proven to be malleable and possessing a great deal of plasticity, stronger and more responsive to the needs of individuals.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Pure socialism and pure capitalism are two extreme system of governance of economies and nations. Socialism is based on the principle that all the means of productions should be owned and managed collectively by all the people. Capitalism, on the other hand, supports that means of production should be owned and operated by individuals. Each individual should own a part of the resources, and manage these resources. As per the concept of "invisible hand" first proposed by Adam Smith in his book Wealth of Nations, Each person pursuing his selfish motives, mysteriously, leads to the achievement of the whole economy or the society. In terms of the underlying theoretical underpinnings, both socialism and capitalism are excellent concepts. However, a problem with both the concept is that they do not, and can not, exist in reality in their pure and absolute form, and in their not so absolute form both can be bad. Thus the best system of governance is a proper combination of the two. Just as need proper combination of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins in our diet, we need need proper combination of socialism and capitalism. Just as it is not proper to call one component of food better than the other, it is not proper to either of socialism or capitalism better than the other.