Socialism is an ideology that places great emphasis on eliminating, or reducing, the disparity between social classes, largely through the more equal distribution of resources, including property. Variations of socialist thought have existed for hundreds of years, evidenced by Plato's Republic and even the Book of Acts in the New Testament. In a socialist society, the means of production are owned and controlled by the community as a whole. In a capitalist society, however, the resources and businesses are owned and operated by private parties. Furthermore, at the heart of capitalism is the belief in a free market that operates with minimal restrictions.

This entry will briefly examine current versions of socialism, followed by a review of socialism through modern history, and will end with an ...

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