Simple Definition of Socialism
This article provides a simple definition of Socialism. Socialism is a political theory focused on economics. Socialists critique capitalism as a system of private ownership where the capitalists own the means of production and extract surplus value (profit) off the back of workers labour. Capitalists do this by paying workers less than the value of their work, keeping the difference between this amount and the price they sell commodities for. This difference or ‘profit’ is regarded by socialists as theft.
Socialism promises to distribute wealth evenly and fairly across the economy. There are different theories about the best way to create a socialist society.
Under capitalism those who own corporations and the means of production earn much more than those who have nothing to sell but their labour. However, socialists believe that everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Therefore society as a whole should own, or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.
Types of Socialism
Forms of socialism range from Democratic Socialism (a mixed economy where the public owns key industries, like coal, electricity, water and gas, etc and shares the income, but allows private enterprise to operate elsewhere) to State Socialism (where the state controls all of the means of production and decides what to produce and how to produce it).
Since the beginning of the epoch of destruction of the natural world known as the Anthropocene’ Eco-Socialism has gained increasing prominence. Eco-Socialism brings together the philosophy of ecology and socialism. It promotes a society without class divisions that lives in balance with nature.
The unsustainable nature of capitalism is more obvious than ever. World systems will continue to self-destruct due to capitalism’s destructive forces. This destruction sees the emergence of new diseases and global heating causing climate change. This brings droughts bushfires and sea level rise. Crop failures, disruption of food supplies and mass starvation may also result is stronger action is not taken.
Ecosocialism provides a vision to mobilise people around the world, to prevent ongoing human socioeconomic and environmental destruction.