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ChoicesDifferences between Socialism and Communism.

From our series Political Spectrum.

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Socialism

Communism

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It is socialism taken to an absolute extreme.

It stresses the importance of society as a whole and a strong government as an absolutely necessary tool to create a just society.

It believes that a just society can only be achieved if the government is in control of everything.

Major means of production must be under social control and owned publically or collectively.

Everything in society should be owned publically through collectivization of ownership, production, self-government and even communal living.

Governments should have control of the main means of production to guarantee the general welfare of society.

Governments must have absolute control over everything since it is the only way to guarantee the general welfare of society.

Is concerned with promoting equality among people (for example health care, housing and education) through the use of government control of the main means of production.

It is concerned with delivering equality among people through the total and complete government ownership of everything.

Political power must be exercised by the whole community to prevent private enterprises from avoiding the promotion of equality because such enterprises are selfish.

Absolute political power over everything must be exercised by collective self-government to avoid the exploitation and alienation of the workers by the base (or capitalists).

Typically operates within a democratic, conservative or liberal political system.

Typically rejects any coexistence or cooperation with any other political system; oftentimes making use of force or violence to achieve its goals.

Exercises power over citizens through laws within democratic systems. Allows for a large degree of political dissent as long as their goal of control over the main means of production is maintained.

Exercises power over citizens through the widespread use of political persecution, censorship, force and the intolerance of other points of view.

Tries to only restrict personal freedoms when its goals of promoting equality are at risk.

Restricts personal freedoms at all times.

Tries to convince citizens of the benefits of socialism within democratic systems.

Tries to bring about the collectivization of self-government even against the wishes of their own citizens.

Does not speak in terms of class struggles (base against superstructure) but in terms of inequalities.

Speaks in terms of class struggle (base against superstructure), this is, the exploitation of the "proletariat" by the "capitalist proprietors".

It believes that inequality originates in the selfishness or private enterprise owners.

It believes that inequality originates in the unjustness of the base (those with capital) exploiting and controlling the superstructure (the political, legal, cultural and social organizations of the people).

It believes that to achieve equality, it is sufficient to control the main means of production.

It believes that equality can only be achieved if everything belongs to the state because capitalism contradicts itself since it is unable to provide or fulfill people's expectations.

It believes that inequality is a problem that needs solving.

It believes that inequality due to the existence of classes creates alienation in people. This is the feeling or belief that people are separated from reality or are strangers to reality.

 

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