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To what extent has socialism been defined by its opposition to capitalism?

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Introduction

To what extent has socialism been defined by its opposition to capitalism? Socialism views human nature as co-operative, positive and altruistic. They believe that humans are born equal and that differences in their success are created by society and nurture, not nature. As such they believe that equality within human society is both normal and should be encouraged as humans are collaborative and that co-co-operation will create the most progress for everybody than individualistic competition advocated by Liberal theories. So this reinforces the argument that for some socialists that there should be equality of outcome for humans as well as equality of opportunity. However within the present system of economics and society there is vast inequality. As such Socialism has been linked with the removal of capitalism as it's the present system of economics. Capitalism is a system of economics which relies upon consumption and the creation of wealth. It believes that the market based upon demand and supply will provide everybody with what they need in the most efficient manner, and that competition will spur individuals to create wealth for their own individual use and that overall the combined effect of everybody aiming to create wealth for themselves will result in overall greater prosperity for everybody. ...read more.

Middle

people who have power and wealth oppressing the majority and forcing their ideology onto the majority, This is achieved because the ruling class own the means of production and the workers who actually produce the finished product don't as such the ruling class can extract the "surplus value" that workers create by reforming inputs into more valuable outputs "Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology, and the combining together of various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original sources of all wealth - the soil and the labourer". As such this creates in the inequality which is unfair in human society, but this hasn't been overthrown by the majority because the capitalist system creates a "false conciousness" which means that any individual can see their life's slowly improving and can find people who are worse off than they are and as such they believe that their position within society is deserved and just, when in fact its the abuse of capitalism that means they don't have just rewards. Marx says that due to this inbuilt inequality and due to the need to consume and produce to create wealth the market will always over compensate which will result in ...read more.

Conclusion

These socialists value social justice, equality of opportunity and shared ownership of industry through the state more than the removal of the capitalist system. These socialists are known as evolutionary socialists as they do not wish for a revolution but believe in progressive change through legitimate democratic systems that are already in place. However these socialists still have a clear opposition to the normal working of an unregulated capitalists state and as such can still be considered hostile to the premise of capitalism and the inequality it makes. Overall however socialism hasn't been defined by its opposition to capitalism as only parts of the socialist movement considers the removal of capitalism as a necessity. Instead the clear defining feature of socialism is its consistent view of human nature and the belief that humans are equal and therefore equality is the only way to be free. Obviously this means the majority strongly disapprove of capitalism but it is a second order ideas as if they can view a system whereby they can achieve equality without capitalism it would be seen as satisfactory it's due to the nature of capitalism that it stands in the way of the majority of socialists aims that they view it with hostility. ...read more.

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