Soc2601

Topics: Socialism, Communism, Capitalism Pages: 5 (1078 words) Published: April 29, 2014
Table of contents Page 1. Introduction 1 2. Main features of capitalist liberal democracy. 1

3. Socialism as an alternative to Capitalism 1

4. Arguments for socialism 2

5. Socialism in the contemporary world 2

6. Social change and economic development in Zimbabwe 2

7. Conclusion 3

8. List of sources 4

1. Introduction
This assignment aims to explore capitalism versus socialism as the main options for progressive social change in Zimbabwe, a third world country. I will look closely at how socialist models of development have failed and how contemporary industrial societies are converging towards capitalist liberal democracy.

2. Main features of capitalist liberal democracy.

One of the main features of Capitalist Liberal Democracy is the nature of the political system which has gradually developed post the industrial revolution. This form of state is marked by a plurality of political parties competing for political or state power; such competition takes the form of electoral rivalry, settled by popular vote in regular elections open to all parties.

The society becomes civil, active and independent. In post-independence Zimbabwe the switch over of power from the white colonialists to the black majority paved way for the formation of political parties like ZANU (PF) and PU amongst others. The country saw its first free national elections in February 1980. This can be seen as a positive move towards Capitalist Democracy.

Francis Fukuyama argued that a remarkable consensus concerning the legitimacy of liberal democracy as a system of government had emerged through the world and that it may constitute the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the final form of human government

The government’s role is to protect the rights of the minority, particularly the individual. At the same time the government controls the economy, even though decisions concerning production are made by private business owners operating for profit, the labourers are free in the sense that they cannot be legally compelled to work for the owners of the means of production.

Conflict and social class exists within a Capitalist Liberal Democracy. Division of labour and the interdependence of individuals acting in their self-interest bring about social cohesion. The economic growth arises from a division of labour which does not result in the equitable distribution of wealth. Divisions can be seen amongst various classes of the society as some people become rich and some poor.

3. Socialism as an alternative to Capitalism

It can be argued that Socialism is the best alternative available for Capitalism; this is mainly brought about by discontentment of the masses with the existing government especially in third world countries. As people become discontent and seeing parliament as incapable of passing legislation that could...
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