I have been intending to write this article for about a month now. We play with many RL Westerners who still believe Socialism, as an ideology, is inherently evil. Much like right-wing ideologies, there are of course break-away sects to Socialism that have tarnished the roots of socialism. This has fueled propaganda created in the Cold War era that still exists strongly in today's society.
Many end up looking foolish when they use Stalinist regimes to judge the whole of the Socialist spectrum. I'd recommend doing reading before accusing things of being 'evil'. The Communist Party Manifesto by Karl Marx is a good place to start for the fundamentals of socialism.
This article is a short summary of what socialism is, and mostly, how it integrates with today's society.
In a nutshell, Socialism is just an economical system revolving around social ownership. State ownership, civil ownership, collective ownership - anything that basically puts the means of production in the hands of the people.
It was created to counter the effects that capitalist industrialisation and private ownership of important property had on society.
I'm not going to go in to too much detail about what Socialism is. If you're interested, there's thousands of works you can read to gain an insight in to it.
A Time Before Socialism
This is a short description of a time before socialism began to take an impact on society - it's based on true facts during Industrial-era Britain.
In England during the industrialisation of major English cities, factories and mills began to appear everywhere. In the clothing industry in particular, patenting of machinery was at the very top of the chain, then mill owners, then the managers of those mills, and the workers at the very bottom. Individuals would often own numerous mills and factories, and people flocked to the cities as their countryside life was becoming increasingly obsolete. They heard of a new wealth to be found working in factories.
Little did they know that these factories would exploit them. The owner would rake in huge profits from their misery. It was common to find factory workers toiling away in hot, dirty factory floors for 14 - 16 hours a day, with no daily rest break to ensure the owner earns his money. These workers had no chance of ever progressing, as the market quickly became saturated. They were sucked in to a way of life that nobody deserves.
In Liverpool, the life-expentency of males was in the 20s during the height of the industrial revolution. Families of 10 would live in small, 2-3 bedroom cottages living off little food, with very poor access to water & sanitation.
When workers were in short supply, factory owners didn't compete on wages as they would today. They recruited what amounted to slaves. These 'slaves' were infact orphans recruited from London churches, who would work 16 hour days and rarely live past 20. By the time they were 18, their bodies had become completely crippled as a result of their work.
The factory owners lived in high-end areas and enjoyed all of the luxuries that life back then had to offer.
Workers were completely powerless.
How Socialism Changed This
-Collectivism: Workers united to demand better pay & conditions.
-Public Ownership: Workers, under this idea, would no longer be at the whim of private individuals whose only goal is to turn a profit, with no other accountability.
-Revolution: In some countries, workers completely overthrew the imperialist regimes when they couldn't take any more.
-Life Quality: Healthcare, labour laws, public ownership all contributed to a better quality of life.
Ultimately, socialism recognised them as humans. The capitalists just saw them as gears of the profit-making machine.
The Inevitibility of Socialism
When people are treated in such a way, the feelings of hatred and anger build up collectively within communities. These communities then rise to change things for the better - we've seen this throughout history and continue to see it today.
Socialism isn't an evil political system - It's just the name given to the ideologies behind this revolution.
There's no hidden agenda behind socialism, no evil policies. These negativities come from abstract offshoots from the ideas of socialism. (which I'll go in to detail on below later) It amounts to a name given to the innevitable change in the imperialistic rule of capitalists, to a world where the workers are equal.
The workers often make up the bottom of the pyramid. If they're treated badly, they'll all unite. They can make up for up to 90% of this theoretical pyramid. In the middle, you have the 9% who manage the workers. They can be swung either way depending on how the injustice affects them. The top 1% are the owners of the factories, the controllers of production, the source of the workers' misery.
When these workers have had enough of poor treatment, they do what any human (or even animal) would do - they unite with others in their position and retaliate for a better life.
This revolution was socialism. Workers taking control of their fate.
As you can see, there's nothing evil about socialism!
What has Socialism brought us?
Things owned by the state, owned by the people for the people. The list is endless, but here are some:
-Unemployment/Low Income Subsidies
-Museums, Parks, Libraries
Socialism is the reason these things are available to everybody in the majority of western countries.
Austerity in recent times targets solely these social things - it's been proven that income disparity only grows. The poor get poorer, the rich get richer. Haven't we already seen that before in history?...
Why Socialism has a Bad Name
Walk around New York - tell people you're a socialist. Watch in amusement how a significant percentage will assume you're evil or something similar. Why does it send such a shiver down the spines of so many?
This was an abstract form of socialism - it used the theories behind socialism to fuel what amounted to a war machine. While it did bring universal healthcare, it also brought the deaths of many.
It often brings socialism, a positive, with a very distorted & irrational view on something. A certain German worker's party is a prime example of why insane people with messed up views on humanity should never be given power.
This dark offshoot of socialism is referred to mostly as fascism, or Nazism.
Stalinism was merely taking advantage of a worker's revolution. While it adopted some socialist policies, it's repressive and totalitarian policies made it possibly the most deadly economic-political system in history. Tens of millions died during the rapid industrialisation of the Soviet Union.
This is another lesson to humanity: Why totalitarian government's cannot work. The power drove Stalin to become extremely paranoid and manipulative over the Soviet people, and the overly powerful control of workers made whether this was socialism towards it's end questionable. Were the workers benefiting, or was Stalin benefiting?
This is one of the more prevalent forms of Communism. The result of political hatred after a war, much like Fascism.
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
References to communism were removed from North Korea's constitution in 1972, when it tried to break away from Marxism-Leninism.
It has universal education with a literacy rate of 99%, along with many of prime examples of a successful socially funded programs.
Unfortunately, they now have leaders who believe the propoganda they made themselves over the last 3 decades. They worship a man who is long since dead, and regularly air footage of North Korea destroying USA in some war.
Another example of a country being used to fund one man's military crusade against the world due to strange ideologies.
Following a recession caused by capitalism being taken to extremes, socialism is back on the rise around the world. Bankers have caused millions around the world to lose their jobs, and possibly destroyed a generation. Unfortunately, current governments continue to prop this level of greed up to paper over a failing system instead of reforming it in favour of something better for everybody. Individuals in USA now have more money than entire countries in Asia, Africa and even Europe.
The result? Collectivism is back on the rise, socialist party membership is back on the rise, revolutions are taking place. The wheels are in motion for socialism to sweep the world once more.
This proves socialism is the way forward to rescuing the world - the masses being at least semi-equal to those at the top. Everybody needs to be on board to finally bring about the Socialist Utopia, where we're all free to live our own lives. This obsession with acquiring as much money as possible, often more than you can ever spend, is crippling humanity.
An interesting 20 years await us...
Thanks for Reading!
In the end, socialism isn't bad - an unfortunate bunch of offshoots has been the fuel to capitalist propoganda by people strictly against those below them having their basic human rights.
In the end, it's about us all finally being equal - we're all humans after all.
What is this?You are reading an article written by a citizen of eRepublik, an immersive multiplayer strategy game based on real life countries. Create your own character and help your country achieve its glory while establishing yourself as a war hero, renowned publisher or finance guru.