Civics Class 9 .. Socialist State


A Socialist state is a hybrid of the Communist state and the Capitalist state. Therefore, it is essential to first understand the features of Communism / Communist State, and Capitalism / Capitalist state.


Communism / Communist state .. There are good and bad things about this political system.
Good side.. a. It takes care of each and every citizen’s living and welfare needs with respect to study, employment, healthcare, housing, food, recreation etc.
b. There is no distinction or discrimination on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, skin colour etc. All are treated equally. There are no communal riots, no strikes and no black flag demonstrations.
c. There is only one political party – the Communist Party. So, the chaos and crude public behavior we see in our country and in other democratic countries are not seen in a Communist state.
Bad side .. a. No one can own land, house, business, industries etc. Everything is owned by the state. After you retire, government will give you all that you need – house, healthcare, food etc. So, there is no encouragement to entrepreneurship. Everyone becomes a government employee directly or indirectly.
b. There is no freedom of expression. You can not say a word against the government or the leaders. Anyone doing this is punished very severely. At times, the government apparatus can become very oppressive and nasty.
c. The courts normally side with the government in cases brought before them.
d. You can not refuse employment offers / orders. You may be a qualified engineer, but the government might force you to work as a technician if suitable vacancies are not available. Similarly, no matter how hard-working and entrepreneurial you are, you can only aspire to be a managerial job in a government undertaking. Such restrictions stifle individual effort and creativity.
e. Because there is just one single political party, people have no choice to change governments. Thus, the government (state) becomes totalitarian and the rulers become dictatorial.
The Soviet Union (now defunct), China (now virtually capitalist), some east European countries like Poland, Czechoslovakia, Cuba and North Korea etc. were / are the Communist countries. In recent decades Communism has been in steep decline.
Karl Marx wasthe founder of Communism. Trotsky, Stalin, Lenin, Mao were the first prominent Communist leaders.

Capitalist system / Capitalist state …. Like Communism, it has got its good and bad points.

Good side .. a. There is no restriction on owning land, wealth, house, businesses, factories etc. In fact, the government encourages its citizens to acquire more wealth, get richer and expand their businesses. So long as you obey the rules, not resort to fraud and pay taxes honestly, no one can harm you in any way. People applaud those who become fabulously rich.
b. There are more than one political parties with clearly different political ideologies. Elections are held at periodic intervals where voters exercise their free choices. As a result, governments are voted in or voted out of power based on their past performance. This is true democracy.
c. There are courts that do not fear the government, and give judgments even if those go against governments and leaders. In the same way, newspapers and TV channels enjoy full freedom to express their views. No government can intimidate the media. Thus, freedom of expression is a guaranteed. One can have any religion. Thestyate does not interfere.
Bad side .. a. It does not care much about the poor and the backward sections of the people. There are no reservation, no subsidy or special schemes for poor people. So, we see neglect and discrimination of vast sections of people.
b. Too much freedom often leads to chaos as in the case of Brexit recently.
c. Some shrewd people fabulously rich exploiting others, often adopting very questionable methods.
The United States, Britain, France, Germany etc. are the leading capitalist countries.


Socialism / Socialist state .. It is equidistant between Communism and Capitalism. It allows individual ownership of property and businesses, but keeps some large industries under government control. It has special provisions for poor and backward classes. Reservation, job quotas, scholarships etc. are allowed to bring the poor people up. It allows freedom of speech, multiparty politics, elections and independent courts. It allows industrialists to become larger and larger acquiring more and more wealth, but there are many controls to moderate their growth. Thus, it is more caring, more responsive and more humane. It does not adopt coercive methods to acquire the property and wealth of individuals. When it does, it pays compensation.
India is a leading country following this system.

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