An essay on socialism with basic history and overview of different types of socialism including marxism, anarchism, and utopian societies

Essay by xwhydoyoureyesx January 2004

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The word socialism conjures up mixed ideas. On the one hand there is this utopia of mutual cooperation among men regardless of status. Equality. Not the equality expressed in our constitution. True equality. Equality of wealth - the only equality that matters. Socialism, the ultimate equalizer which will keep you on the same level regardless of your skill or lack thereof. On the opposite hand are vast conspiracies, secret police, millions of cold blooded murders by men who live in shadow. All this was done in the name of ideals. Sometimes these leaders ruled with iron fists in order to "effectively" bring about the revolution; other times they were unsure and delusional. But always, its leaders went on faith. Socialism in a sense was a new religion spread more quickly and effectively than the Muslim conquerors and fell within 100 years. However, it still has many followers around the world who practice it in its evolved states.

With all of socialism's horrible shortcomings, it has subtly worked its way into the places least expected by its founders.

The idea of an idyllic society lived in cooperation has plagued man since the ancients. Plato's Republic even has traces of socialism in it. The ruling body outlined in the philosopher's text had no property and shared everything. Christian Doctrine is definitely socialist in nature despite its many contradictions. The Middle Ages was essentially ruled by the Catholic Church in the vacuum left by the fall of the Roman Empire in the west. The Church tried to denounce the material world even as it became the richest organization in the world. The Renaissance saw the rebirth of a socialist movement as people became more rational and moved away from the church towards more scientific fields of thought. Thomas More's Utopia outlined the ideal...