Critical analysis of three discussions of socialism

Essay by ZingRCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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Socialism has been a controversial ideology from its very conception. It is a revolutionary theory which details the overthrow of bourgeois capitalist democracy and its replacement with a dictatorship of the proletariat. Socialism views the capitalist economic structure as exploitative and inequitable as private property and profit are accumulated in the hands of a minority of private individuals. Instead property such as factories, land and businesses should be collectivised, run and owned by those who engage in the production or supply of services, and that profit should not exist except as increased shared wages between the owner/workers.

In his article "The End of History" Fukuyama states that socialism is not a viable political or economic solution for universal organisation of society, whereas liberal democracy is superior. Fukuyama primarily uses historical precedent to substantiate his assertion. Socialist states that have been established have either failed, collapsing internally such s the USSR, or ideologically deteriorated as the leadership implements economic changes like those currently occurring in China.

Fukuyama concludes that socialist economic principles are inefficient and that central planning and a command system of allocation are the critical weaknesses in a socialist system.

He also condemns the political and social organisation of socialism. Fukuyama cites the loss of individualism as restricting the satisfaction of human needs to accumulate material possessions and to be able to compete for recognition. He examines the political aspects of socialism and determines that because "the central theme of Lenin's democratic centralism was centralism" it is not fully representative whereas liberal democracy allows for competitive progress and liberal rights.

Fukuyama presents liberalism and liberal democracy as a superior alternative and finds that the main tenets of socialism will not fulfill the role of universal ideology as they are flawed and proven unworkable.

Socialism is not confined to the...