Which countries practice socialism
Socialism is a worldview. You can also call it a political ideology. The basic values of socialism are equality, justice and solidarity, i.e. standing up for others and their support.
Socialism, liberalism and conservatism
Socialism emerged in the first half of the 19th century. Other political ideologies that emerged during this period were liberalism and conservatism. Liberals stand up above all for the freedom and self-determination of the citizen, conservatives want to preserve old values and traditions and, if need be, slow changes.
Theory of socialism
Above all, industrialization and the associated exploitation of the workers led to the spread of the socialist idea. The most famous theory of socialism developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It is therefore also called Marxism. The expression through the Soviet Union and Lenin is called Marxism-Leninism. Here socialism is viewed as a phase in the transition from capitalism to communism. What does that mean again?
Capitalism and communism
Capitalism and communism denote two opposing economic and social systems. In capitalism there is mainly private property and the economy is regulated by the "market", by supply and demand. There is a "market economy" like in the Federal Republic of Germany. In communism there should be no more private property, everything belongs to the state or therefore to the people, it is public property. There is a planned economy (see also economy): a plan determines in advance what and how much will be produced. In communism there should be no more "classes", the goal is a classless society without "above" and "below".
If all people were the same, that would be nice, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, that didn't work. The "real existing socialism", that is how it was actually practiced in the Soviet Union or the GDR, was anything but equal, fair and free. The state party ruled all areas of life, people were oppressed and imprisoned. The planned economy did not work as expected either. Economically, the communist states were doing pretty badly.
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