The Differences Between Capitalism and Socialism


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Often some of us happen to say that we are becoming more and more capitalist due to the burgeoning industry while the number of poor are increasing. While the economists are best suited to respond, we should also know what it means. It becomes easier to participate in discussions with our friends and relatives. Knowing about the difference between socialism and capitalism allow us to improve our self-esteem in front of others.

Let us comprehend what is the difference between socialism and capitalism. On one hand we have a free economy with a great environment for the economy. On the other hand, we have equality for all sections of society and importance is given to all people equally. However, some of us have problems in comprehending the meaning of these terms. We should know the meaning of such terms to be able to participate in debates. In this article, we will compare and contrast capitalism and socialism.

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Definition of Capitalism

While comprehending the differences between capitalism and socialism, we must know that capitalism is an economic model where the industry is controlled by the individuals. The individuals are the entrepreneurs who opened their own businesses with their capital. The government usually does not meddle in the financial affairs of the country. The difference between the rich and poor is also high as the distribution of income is not uniform. However, because of the thriving industry, the employment rate is also high. The businessmen do businesses to make profit. However, the businesses only make those products that have any need in the market. So, the industry is need-based. There are laws to ensure free market for everyone to have their own businesses.

Definition of Socialism

We have looked at one part of the difference between capitalism and socialism. What is socialism? It emanates from the belief that all people are born equal and should have equal access to resources. The production means are controlled centrally by the authorities nominated by the government. The resources are managed centrally by the government and required to be divided amongst all people.

In such a scenario, the prices are not controlled by any external sources but by the government. The final aim is to have a welfare state where all people have equal rights and equal means to reach the resources. However, it also gives rise to nepotism and laxity on the part of the officials to ensure the resources reach all the people. Let us now learn how are capitalism and socialism different. Capitalism vs socialism comparison table. We will now look into differences between socialism and capitalism in a tabular form.

Capitalism Socialism

  • What it means: The resources are owned by private individuals The resources are owned by the government.
  • What about prices: Determined by the demand from the target market Price is controlled by the authorities.
  • What it encourages Individualistic desire to achieve goals but also improves overall quality of life: Supposed to ensure equality in society but difficult to ensure a thriving society.
  • What about competition: Highly competitive business scenario No competition leading to laxity in a will to progress.
  • Sharing the wealth: High difference in wealth among all people Equal distribution of wealth.
  • What are issues: Failure to keep up with the competition; inequality amongst the masses The authorities are lax in providing the resources; few incentives for growth.


We have gone through the details about what is the difference between capitalism and socialism. Capitalism allows the industry to thrive and flourish leading to high overall growth in the economy of the country. On the other hand, socialism allows equality of all people and ensures anyone gets the same amount of resources. However, the agencies are usually lacking in knowhow and the will to ensure growth. Usually, there is no incentive to ensure a thriving economy. While on one hand, we expect sharing of resources equally; on the other hand, we find concentration of resources amongst few people but a thriving economy. In this article, we have delved in detail about the variance in the meaning of these terms. We hope that you could understand the variance and able to ensure the correct usage of these terms. We will look forward to your suggestions and comments in future.

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