A Comparison of Socialism and Capitalism

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Category: Government and Political Science Essay
Subcategory: American Government and Politics
Words: 1692
Pages: 3
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Document details
Category: Government and Political Science Essay
Subcategory: American Government and Politics
Words: 1692
Pages: 3

Socialism and Capitalism are irreconcilably opposed. How far is this a persuasive criticism of social democracy? Social Democracy (SD) is a form of society in which democratic political methods are used to create greater social equality through the redistribution of resources. Social democracy has developed from originally strong socialist ideals, towards being proponents of more moderate programs of social change. They are now attempting to create a more fair way to make capitalist economies work within the system of parliamentary democracy. That Socialism and Capitalism are irreconcilably opposed may be true. However, this is not a persuasive criticism of social democracy, but instead this gives credit to social democracy by showing that it is a successful compromise between two systems which each have their merits. At the beginning of the 20th century, social democracy was virtually the same as socialism. After the break with communism in the 1920s however, SD parties were distinguished by having moderate, less extreme programmes of social change. SD advocates gradually abandoned their commitment to public ownership of industry seeking instead to make capitalist economies work in a fairer way by implementing equality of opportunity and by using forms of taxation to provide social security and welfare programmes for the poorer members of society. Social Democratic ideals have evolved in order to suit the requirements of todays modern society. Consequently, most Western societies since World War II have adopted social democratic policies to some degree, with the Scandinavian countries going furthest in this direction. That the use of Social Democratic ideals are thriving, thus demonstrates that a compromise between the two major ideals of Socialism and Capitalism, each being at the two opposite extreme ends of the ideological spectrum, is a successful method of managing society. To understand how Social Democracy is a compromise between Socialism and Capitalism, we must understand some of the systems used within SD. Firstly, the idea of Capitalism on its own...

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