Socialism, Communism, and Social Democracy

By Ian Ziller

History Major

Communism and socialism are two different but related philosophies. Although in economics

they share similar ideas, true communism has never existed. Communism is a utopian idea that

there will be no government and that people will simply help one another. Socialism, on the

other hand, is where the government controls the resources and distributes the resources fairly; in

most cases with basic human nature it is not done fairly. However, there are some governments

that claim to be communist like China and the Soviet Union. They, however, are closely linked

to socialism and are not really communist, but actually tend to be authoritarian governments.

We also must consider social democracies in which the government retains capitalism but

the economy is heavily regulated and the government is very much involved in the lives of

people. It is a system in which there are heavy taxes on people but at the same time the

government provides many social services and programs for the people. Complete socialism is

where you eliminate capitalism and have the government in complete control of the economy

and distributing all resources. These are the main differences between communism, socialism,

and social democracy.

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