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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. 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.

The following entry first briefly examines current versions of socialism, then reviews socialism through modern history, and ends with an assessment of the status of socialism today.

Current Versions of Socialism

Despite the fact that North Korea and Sweden both have socialist governments, they are at opposite ends of ...

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