Intro to Politics – Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, Fascism


A series of images that represent each of the economic systems.

Karina Shah, Photojournalist

In a world full of diversity, a large variety of political ideas have developed. Drashti Vasoya (12) , says “I have seen many different people begin to be involved in politics.” Historically there have been different types of governmental systems and policies, but arguably one of the most debated topics is the economic systems. Out of the various economic systems, we see four main systems – communism, socialism, capitalism, and fascism. These are still very prevalent topics in modern-day politics that spark controversy when brought up. As there is with any popular topic, the misinformation for all four of these is quite common. This article will be demonstrating the textbook accurate definition, pros, and cons of each of these systems. 



Communism is defined as “a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed; a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxist ‘common good and power of the people’” ( Communism extends to philosophical, social, and economic ideology whose ultimate goal is to transition into a communist society. Within this advocated society, means of production are owned and controlled by the public/people because communist theory argues that private ownership encourages greed and motivates people to value money over lives. In addition to no private ownership, they advocate for a classless society; a classless society’s goal is to eliminate the gap between the rich and poor for total economic equality. Overall, communism was rooted in fixing and replacing the problems of capitalism. The origination of the Communist Party in 1848, and a further reading that reinforces the advocates for a communist society, is the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Those who argue against communism say that your individual rights are restricted because everyone is working toward a community goal, violence has been historically prominent, earnings are limited, sometimes employment becomes meaningless, and there is no competition amongst the labor field. Those in favor of a communist society advocate that point out that everyone is given the same chances, everyone is employed, everyone is educated, there is a strong social community, women and men are equal, and the economy is stable (



Socialism is defined as “a collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of good; a transitional phase between communism and capitalism.” ( Socialism is an economic system in which public ownership is encouraged. In addition, income and wealth is distributed throughout society in the form of a triangle. In other words, the more money you make, the more money you give back because you have the money to give. Socialism argues that after a certain point of having enough money for yourself comfortably, your income will be taxed for the community. Some of the policies that are enacted because of these taxes are free healthcare for everyone, less gap between the rich and the poor (still a gap contrary to communism), access to cheaper education, and minimizing homelessness. In socialist theory, all production is produced by everyone who contributes; therefore, everyone who contributes is entitled to a share in it. The goal of socialism is to help fix the flaws of capitalism. Those who are against socialism say that there are higher taxes to people who earn the higher salaries, this harms big companies the most, there is lower incentive to start big business, and investors may refrain from socialist countries. Those who advocate for socialism say that the redistribution of wealth and income benefits those who are in need, the gap between the poor and rich is lessened, you are assured of healthcare, everyone is educated, there is basic income for everyone, there is less exploitation of workers, there are environmental benefits, and overall less poverty ( 



Capitalism is defined as “an economic system with corporate ownership of capital goods; by investments and private decisions; a free market.” ( Capital is wealth, money and goods, that are produced to increase money and goods for the producers. Producers refers only to those who own the businesses within the market. Private owners make decisions about what and when to produce and how much it will cost the people. Capitalism argues that people should compete freely without the interference from government. It assumes that “the most deserving person will win” ( Supply and demand falls under the capitalism idea that how many goods are produced is how many goods are needed. Capitalism allows the private ownership to do what they want in order to produce their capital. Those who argue against capitalism say that firms can gain monopolies which allows them to exploit the consumers, firms can pay low wages to workers, it can cause damage to the environment when unchecked, leads to large inequality between the rich and the poor, and only some will succeed under capitalism. Those who advocate for capitalism say that it incentivises to be rich, it encourages innovation to earn capital, it prevents big government, and it allows business to be free. 



Fascism is defined as a “movement that exalts nation and sometimes race above the individual; often stands for a centralized autocratic governments by a single leader.” ( Although fascist parties and movements are significantly different from one another they are characterized by there extreme militaristic and nationalistic ideals. They encourage capital as a means of production for the individual’s contribution to the country. Everyone is individualized by their economic status as their place and value to the country. Fascism is a complex ideology that is individual to the party. Most commonly, it presents itself as extreme nationalism. This sometimes extends to race as well. Propaganda techniques have historically been anti-liberal, anti-socialist, and exclusionary. Those who argue against fascism say that there is a limit in freedom of speech, it enhances political power abuse, poor governmental ethics, and it disregards international law. Those who have argued in favor of fascism say that it has unrivaled security due to military emphasis, a high amount of nationalism and patriotism, less crime, and straightforward decisions by the government.