<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Because of challenges in their economies, several of these communist countries have moved from central planning to letting market forces help determine many production and pricing decisions. Market socialism describes a subtype of socialism that adopts certain traits of capitalism, like allowing limited private ownership or consulting market demands. This could involve situations like profits generated by a company going directly to the employees of the company or being used as public funds (Gregory and Stuart 2003). Many Eastern European and some South American countries have mixed economies. Key industries are nationalized and directly controlled by the government; however, most businesses are privately owned and regulated by the government.

Organized socialism never became powerful in the United States. The success of labor unions and the government in securing workers’ rights, joined with the high standard of living enjoyed by most of the workforce, made socialism less appealing than the controlled capitalism practiced here.

A world map depicting the countries which have adopted a socialist economy, and the length of time which they adopted it for.
This map shows countries that have adopted a socialist economy at some point. The colors indicate the duration that socialism prevailed. (Map courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Socialism in practice

As with capitalism, the basic ideas behind socialism go far back in history. Plato, in ancient Greece, suggested a republic in which people shared their material goods. Early Christian communities believed in common ownership, as did the systems of monasteries set up by various religious orders. Many of the leaders of the French Revolution called for the abolition of all private property, not just the estates of the aristocracy they had overthrown. Thomas More's Utopia , published in 1516, imagined a society with little private property and mandatory labor on a communal farm. A utopia has since come to mean an imagined place or situation in which everything is perfect. Most experimental utopian communities had the abolition of private property as a founding principle.

Modern socialism really began as a reaction to the excesses of uncontrolled industrial capitalism in the 1800s and 1900s. The enormous wealth and lavish lifestyles enjoyed by owners contrasted sharply with the miserable conditions of the workers.

Some of the first great sociological thinkers studied the rise of socialism. Max Weber admired some aspects of socialism, especially its rationalism and how it could help social reform, but he worried that letting the government have complete control could result in an "iron cage of future bondage" from which there is no escape (Greisman and Ritzer 1981).

Pierre-Joseph Proudon (1809−1865) was another early socialist who thought socialism could be used to create utopian communities. In his 1840 book, What Is Property? , he famously stated that “property is theft” (Proudon 1840). By this he meant that if an owner did not work to produce or earn the property, then the owner was stealing it from those who did. Proudon believed economies could work using a principle called mutualism    , under which individuals and cooperative groups would exchange products with one another on the basis of mutually satisfactory contracts (Proudon 1840).

Questions & Answers

which founded sociology?
Gabriel Reply
who founded sociology
Gifty Reply
I can say Abdulrahman Ibn Khaldum
Emmurana
is sociology a science?
Cyrus
Yes
Polli
how so? @Polli Pol
Cyrus
Auguste Comte
Gabriel
It's because sociology has the same characteristics as that of a science. For instance in sociology:-- testing is possible. In science also testing is also possible. That also makes it a science. Objectivity is possible in both sociology and science. both, use of research methods is possible
Polli
Both are imperical Both are methodological Prediction is possible All of that makes sociology a science. However it is important to note that sociology is not a natural science but a social science. Also Objectivity is not high as in science Also a research cannot predict human behavior
Polli
Yes. Auguste Comte and Durkheim support that sociology is a science
Polli
However Marx Weber, disagrees with the view
Polli
what is the difference between crime and deviance
deborah Reply
who founded sociology
Gifty
what is social change?
Hrittika Reply
Changes with transforms social institutions
Saurabh
Which*
Saurabh
change in society....and change in culture is known social change
Shubham
change denotes any alternation or modification that takes place in any situation or any object change is dynamic process of society remains completely static.
Aman
What's the reference and citation for this information
malama Reply
which information
sumitra
feature of marriage
Sunita
function of marriage
Sunita
types of marriage
Sunita
merits of marriage
Sunita
features of marriage, function of marriage, types of marriage and merits of marriage
alois
functions of marriage
Margaret
types of cultures and it definations
Umar Reply
how has Covid 19 affected sociolization process
Glenn Reply
our communications translated into untouched greets
Cavs
which work can you do in company as a sociologst
Abel Reply
teaching
LAKEM
human resources manager
Shiikaa
can you think of people in your own life who support or defy the premise that access to technology leads to greater opportunities? how have you noticed technology use and opportunity to be linked,or does your experience contradicts this idea?
Swiftix Reply
we are witness positive and negative samples about it. Technology offers a lot of opportunities, however it's pretty possible that we confront a great many opponent in this phenomenology therefore system does always balance itself.
Cavs
point that's interesting us is make us think better than we were before. it's partially illusion
Cavs
guys can anyone please explain a well definition and meaning of gender in 30 to 35 words.... please guys its really urgent for me to find a well definition
Ritu Reply
role of culture in socialization
Malak Reply
what is sociology
YAKUBU Reply
sociology is the study of human behavior
Hashim
sociology is the scientific study of man and society
USMAN
sociology is the study of people behaviours who are interaction in different cultures and groups
Cavs
ethno methodology
USMAN
ethnomethodology and symbolic interaction are good inquiry but it's micro level studying, it's overlook grand theories.
Cavs
cultural diffusion
USMAN
What is social history?
Abir
mean scientific study about society
Ambrish
what is the difference between social science and social dicpline
AREN Reply
what is social transformation?
Shraddha Reply
Social transformation is a somewhat ambiguous term that has two broad definitions. One definition of social transformation is the process by which an individual alters the socially ascribed social status of their parents into a socially achieved status for themselves.
Taniza
social change in a consumer society
Sarah Reply
hi sarah
puneet
hi Sarah
Ambrish
consumers shifted from need based purchasing to want based purchasing
sumitra
guys can anyone please explain a well definition and meaning of gender in 30 to 35 words.... please guys its really urgent for me to find a well de...
Ritu

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play




Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Introduction to sociology 2e' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask