Take a look at the following site for the american

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Take a look at the following site for the American Libertarian Party: IV.Socialism A. Introduction Socialism is a general term for the political and economic theory that advocates a system of collective or government ownership, management, and regulation of the means of production and distribution of goods and services. The idea of collective ownership is the core of socialism. Because of the collective nature of socialism, it can be contrasted to the doctrine of the sanctity of private property that characterizes capitalism. Where capitalism stresses competition and profit, socialism calls for cooperation and social service. In a broader sense, the term socialism is often used loosely to describe economic theories ranging from those that hold that only certain public utilities and natural resources should be owned by the state to those holding that the state should assume responsibility for all 5
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Power, Authority, and Exchange – ISS 225 Ideology economic planning and direction. In the past 150 years there have been innumerable differing socialist programs. For this reason socialism as a doctrine is ill defined, although its main purpose, the establishment of cooperation in place of competition remains fixed. Socialism is often associated with the development of the welfare state, which emphasized efforts to reduce the gap between the rich and poor and ease the harsher aspects of capitalism. The New Deal policies of the United States (as well as some of President Obama’s recent policies) are often used as examples of socialist policies. Pure Socialism goes beyond the welfare state and calls for public ownership of the means of production (nationalization and cooperatives) with the intent of freeing individuals from material dependence and seeks economic equality. B. Some Common Characteristics of socialism according to the textbook 1. Opposition to Capitalism Socialism and communism both condemned capitalism as oppressive and producing inequalities. 2. Commitment to Democracy Democratic socialism will replace capitalism through democratic processes (differs from communism). 3. Government Ownership and regulation The transfer of private property to government ownership must be accomplished in a democratic fashion. 4. Central Planning Central planning of economic activity should be accomplished through the government. 5. Nationalization The government should takeover major industries from private owners. 6. Welfare State Government should be responsible for the welfare of its citizens. C. Socialism in the United States Socialism has always been more influential in Europe than in the United States. In Europe society is based more upon separate established classes. Political parties often represent trade unions (Labour Party – Britain). There is a longer history of aristocracy, peasants, and strong class distinctions.
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