Socialists believe in an economic system that promotes common property ownership and a political hierarchy government. Under socialism, people in positions of authority make the decisions for the collective group, according to About.com. Although far less intrusive, socialism is often confused with communism. The difference is that communism encompasses both the economic and political systems, whereas socialism is more subtle and flexible, and usually applies only to economic systems.Continue Reading
The original concept of socialism involved replacing private ownership of property with a market exchange. Over time, this has proven to be unsuccessful, as it is impossible to prevent people from competing for scarce resources. Today, most socialists believe in collectively planning market exchanges, and having their production and distribution controlled by the entire community.
Under socialism, the proceeds of a market exchange are divided according to each person's contribution to society, unlike communism, which divides resources according to need. Some examples of common socialist policies in modern times include worker benefits, such as universal health care, subsidized child care and employee vacation time.
Some countries that are influenced by socialist beliefs include Sweden, Norway, France and Canada. In addition to underlying socialist policies, these countries also incorporate a democratic political system and a capitalist economy.Learn more about Political Parties
John Locke's ideas about life, freedom, government and property ownership were major influences on Thomas Jefferson's writings, including the United States Declaration of Independence. In fact, the words "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" were borrowed almost in entirety from earlier writings by Locke who wrote treatises about government. Jefferson regarded Locke as one of the most important philosophers in regard to the subject of liberty.Full Answer >
The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that communism is an economic system in which private ownership of property and profit-based capitalism are replaced by public ownership and communal control of a society's natural resources and its major means of production. The doctrine of communism is jointly economic and political.Full Answer >
The Democratic Party operates according to a philosophy that emphasizes positive rights and the notion that people are entitled to certain things and that government is obliged to create the conditions in which people can achieve these things. Thus, Democrats tend to favor the expansion of government and its involvement in most areas of human activity.Full Answer >
A political factor is an activity having to do with government policy and its administration that has the potential to change or influence a business. New legislation is one example of a political factor because it can impact the company's operations by either requiring or prohibiting it to act in a particular way.Full Answer >