Socialism is the idea of a social organization that supports production, distribution, and trade that should be controlled within the community itself. There are many aspects of socialism that are unique, setting it apart from other social systems in the world. The ‘social’ aspect of socialism gives evidence to the fact that in the system, everyone in society is expected to contribute to the economic production of the state. In socialized health care, everyone pays the government and those who need care, get it without paying extra.
Citizens all have to pay the same amount and have access to the same benefits. The problem this system runs into, however, is that there often is not enough money to go around. People tend to become greedy when they see that some things are free and then start to abuse the system. According to Einstein the real purpose is “…precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development, economic science in its present state can throw little light on the socialist society of the future.
Although, these are just some of the essential ideas of basic socialism, there have been several different types of socialism that have sprung out of this basic idea, including Western European Democratic Socialism, Latin American socialism, Eastern European Socialism, and African socialism. These forms of socialism saw varied amounts of success, but there are two types that have had the greatest global impact, and have been the most significant in shaping the history of the world in the last one hundred years.
Western European Democratic Socialism and Eastern European Socialism were the two forms of socialism that have had the most global impact. Western Democratic Socialism demonstrates to the world what a feasible, arguably successful form of socialism looks like. Conversely, the economic, political, and social challenges of Eastern European Socialism eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev, demonstrating a form of socialism that proved incapable of being maintained.
Some would say that the USSR was not an impactful form of socialism because it did not last into the 21st century. However, you cannot judge the impact of socialism based on how long that it lasted; instead, judgment of the impact can be based on what was accomplished while this form of socialism existed. In the time that the Soviet Union existed, the USSR was able to implement socialism and major changes were made. These two poles of socialism have sparked a debate about the advantages of socialism, as well as its possible obsolescence or viability.
Due to this discussion, they are the most impactful forms of socialism. One form that had a great global impact is Western European Democratic Socialism. Democratic socialists trust that both the economy and society should run democratically, to help open needs. This is different than communism because socialism is decentralized which gives more tolerance of setting rules and standards. To achieve more of an objective society, there must be changes made radically to convert to a greater economy and social democracy.
France is an example of Western Democratic Socialism proving how socialism is effective and impacting. As Halsall puts it, “That is why France – refusing to let Europe get bogged down, becoming bogged down herself in a guileful undertaking that would have stripped States, misled peoples and prevented the independence of our continent – took the initiative of proposing to her five partners of the Rome Treaty a beginning for the organization of their cooperation. This made a global impact because France overthrew European states and made many northern European countries appreciate economic equality due to the policies utilized by social democratic parties.
Also, according to Halsall, in a different article, “The least that can be said of this great demonstration is that the French people proved to themselves and to the entire world their determination for renovation, and that, at the same time, a hundred million men decided to build their future together in Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. This demonstrates how France was impactful and overtook these nations by using their correlative wealth to assure high standards of living for their citizens. France wanted to create the ideal citizen much like Robert Owen did when he created a town in Indiana called New Harmony, a new utopian community, where he not only cared about his employees, but about how they lived. Most importantly, social democratic parties supported labor movements, which became central in decision-making economically.
It is apparent that France demonstrated an impacting form of Western Democratic Socialism as they overthrew European states. The second form that had a global impact is Eastern European Socialism. It began in Russia when Gorbachev became general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985. His first alteration he wanted to implement was to change the personnel of the government administration by a complete break of custom. When Gorbachev asked Gromyko, the prime minister in the Soviet Union to resign after fifty years, it was a huge demotion.
This event was uncommon considering his age and his duration of reign. They soon replaced him with Eduard Shevardnadze who was an old friend of Gorbachev’s, which was questionable, as he established no credibility by not obtaining experience with foreign affairs. One of the biggest succeeding changes in Shevardnadze’s rule was that he represented essential alterations in the Soviet foreign policy of the Soviet’s leadership and establishment.
Gorbachev thought it was also necessary to replace the communist conservative Viktor Grishin with Boris Yeltsin. According to Marcy, “Gorbachev’s big mistake was to let Yeltsin take over the post. Yeltsin was able to utilize it for factional purposes, to such an extent that he later could demonstratively resign from the Central Committee. ” Yeltsin’s job was to utilize pressure measurements and to oversee the district committee’s decisions based on their individual dispositions. His new ideology allowed him to become very popular to the public.
The Gorbachev administration faced another issue in 1988, which was the struggle between the nationalities. After Yeltsin became the Russian president he attempted to resolve the dispute. He showed that he had no authoritative qualities, which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is important to see what Gorbachev did to know why the USSR collapsed. According to the Constitution of the USSR, it is explained to be “The social basis of the USSR is the unbreakable alliance of the workers, peasants, and intelligentsia.
Gorbachev’s dismissal of the long reigning prime minister, Gomyko, was not only an error, but it was an intervention in the foreign affairs. On another note, the missile crisis brought much damage to the world, it was the greatest threat to arise and it also presented the threat of counter-revolution in the USSR. Even though the USSR did not last into the 21st century, it is still evident to see the impact of socialism based on what was accomplished while this form of socialism existed.
In conclusion, Western Democratic Socialism and Eastern European Socialism had a major global impact on France and the Soviet Union. Western Democratic Socialism proved effective, as France was able to overthrow European states. Although, the USSR collapsed, Eastern European Socialism was still impactful through Gorbachev’s ability to implement changes in the Soviet Union. There are many forms of socialism, but Western Democratic Socialism and Eastern European Socialism are both evident examples that socialism can be globally impactful.