Socialism, as an alternative to capitalism, has the widest appeal. A Swedish king once remarked to his minister, “If one is not a socialist up to the age (If twenty-five, it has that he has no heart; but if he continues to be a (socialist after the age of
25, he has no head”social seems to have caught the imagination of youth all over the world For a long time the definition of realism a given by the Webbs was accepted by a majority of the socialists. They definition runs thus: “A Socialised industry is one in which the national instruments of production arc by public authority or voluntary association and operated not with view to profiting by sale to other people but for the direct service of those whom the authority or voluntary , as association represents”. This definition docs not correspond to the present notion of socialism. because it docs not imply any idea of planning. The definition given by Dickinson seems to be better. According to him, socialism is an economic organisation of society in which the material 1 of production arc owned by the whole community and operated by the organs unrepresentative of, and responsible’ to. the community according to general plan. all members of the community being entitled to benefits from the results of such socialist planned production on the basis of equal rights.’ According to another definition which brings out the implications of socialistic more clearly. “Socialism refers to that movement which aims at vesting in society as a whole. rather than in individuals. ownership and management of all nature-made and man-made producers’ goods used in large-scale production to the end that an increased national income may be more equally distributed without marenally destroying the individual’s economic motivation or his freedom of occupational and consumption choices.’? In Morrison’s words, “the important essentials of socialism are that all the great industries and the land should be publicly or collectively owned, and that they should be conducted (in conformity with a national economic plan) for the common good instead of private profit.
From the definitions given above, we are in a position to understand the b sic idea/Ideas underlying socialism. In simple words; socialism implies social ownership of means of production, But besides social owner hip of instruments of production, socialism implies several other things. It implies equality of incomes and equality of opportunity for all. Socialism does not mean that all productive resources should be owned by the State, only the major instruments of production should be under the State control so that economy is run for social benefit rather than private profit. Socialism wants to change the old capitalistic structure of society and replace it by a new economic _ order based on equality and social justice. Instead of special prerogatives and vested interests, socialism lay
2. Loucks and Weldon Hoot-Comparativ’e Economic
3. Readings in Economics. edited by P.A.
Samuelson. Second Edition. p. 430.
4. The Quarterly Review. July 1924, p. 2.
emphasis on work and ability and equal opportunities for all regardless of caste, class and inherited privileges.