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Three major political philosophies viz. Capitalism, Communism & Socialism
along with several others have been affecting our world for a long time.
Here is a brief explanation of these philosophies:
1. CAPITALISM- It is also referred as Laissez-Faire Individualism

Private property is a natural right of man.

Individual knows best his own interest & how to pursue it.

In pursuing his own interest individual also serves the common


Govt. should not interfere in economic affairs.

Govt. should intervene to establish free trade in foreign commerce,

to promote competition.

Free competition in the pursuit of wealth is the only way of

conserving the effects of a natural selection & survival of the fittest.

Those who benefit from a competitive pursuit of economic gain are

more numerous than those who suffer.

2. COMMUNISM- The mode of production in material life determines the

general character of social, political & spiritual process of life. Since the
establishment of private property, the society has been divided into two
hostile economic classes.
The primary reasons for this antagonism is that the capitalist class, through
its ownership of means of production, is able to appropriate the surplus
value created by labour.
A social revolution is inevitable because of concentration of capital in fewer
hands & proliferation of the proletariats, who will at its climax overthrow the
capitalist class and a dictatorship of the proletariat, will follow resulting the
highest intensification of State.
Ultimately, the state will wither away, In the new society each man will

contribute to the social wealth by his labour as much he can, and will take
from it what he needs.
3. SOCIALISM- The Fabian Socialists [Recardian theory: The rent of a

given piece of landis in general the equivalent of its superior advantages- in

site, fertility or resources- over the worst available land].
Value is the creation of society rather than of labourers, under the
unregulated competitive system a capitalist retains the superior yield of his
capital, which is due not to his superior ability but to the location of his
business Investment alone confers no valid title to income.
The conflict is not between those who work for wages and those who
employ wage-workers; it is between the community and those who grow
rich through investment.
Thus the object of socialism is to obtain for members of the society the
values which society creates by gradually transferring land and industrial
capital to the community, while making the state fully representative of the

Major theoretical positions




Nature of State

Residual State








Totalitarian State


Explanation in Brief
1) Anti-collectivism

Freedom of the individual / Individualism.

Freedom to act in the market economy enables a person to stand on

ones own feet and then state welfare becomes unnecessary for the

Individual freedom is limited through the imposed burden of taxation

necessary to fund state welfare, by planning and rent control etc.

State welfare services are wasteful and inefficient since they do not
face any competition and are not controlled by any cost effective

State welfare bureaucracies have created self-interested groups of

professionals who demand that the growth of the welfare state be

Way out suggested are:

1. To provide privately based welfare.
2. Contracting out to the private sector of parts of the welfare services.
3. The application of market principles within state welfare provision.
2) Non-socialist Welfare Collectivism

They see warts on capitalisms face (Disease, Want, Ignorance,

Unemployment etc.) and believe that with judicious state warts can be

State intervention in this way is also seen as promoting stability and

maintaining capitalism more effectively.


Emphasize a mixed economy of welfare and decentralization and


3) Fabian Socialism

Their argument against capitalism is moral one: it is unethical, unjust

and undemocratic, but it can be transformed. Central to this
transformation is the welfare state, so for Fabian socialists, capitalism
is not an ugly face, but a tiger needs to be tamed and transformed.

Fabian socialists argue strongly for the state as the source of welfare
provision, as against the private sector, which they see as catering to
the rich rather than the poor.

4) Radical Social Administration

They Go beyond Fabian gradualism as their analysis implies the need

for transformation of social structure.

They employ a structuralist analysis of social problems. But at the

same time lean back to the idealism of the Fabian socialists to explain

5) The Political Economy of Welfare

The political economy approach sees the development of welfare

under capitalism as the result of conflict between the classes: the
working class and capitalist class.

An explanatory account of different welfare perspectives

1) Anti-collectivism
a) Social problems explained in terms of

Individual failure or inadequacy

Changes effected by Individual action

Method: Individualist


b) Principle of distribution of state welfare provision

Extremely selective,

Otherwise through choice in the private market

c) Relationship between economic policy and social policy

Freedom of the market dominates

2) Non-socialist welfare collectivism

a) Social problems explained in terms of

Individual failure plus dysfunctioning of economy

Changes effected by Pressure group action; fostering collective

commitment to national interest

Method: Idealist

b) Principle of distribution of state welfare provision

Some universalism, some selectivity

c) Relationship between economic policy and social policy

Social policy compensates for and supports economic policy

3) Fabian socialism
a) Social problems explained in terms of

Dysfunctions of capitalism, maladministration of welfare state

Changes effected by Fostering collectivist and moral values of

equality, fraternity, altruism

Method: Idealist

b) Principle of distribution of state welfare provision

Universal needs-based


c) Relationship between economic policy and social policy

Social policy influences economic policy to become more socially


4) Radical social administration

a) Social problems explained in terms of

Structure, class relations and misdistribution within capitalism

Changes effected by Transformation of state by fostering social values

to press for radical state action

Method: Idealist / structuralist

b) Principle of distribution of state welfare provision

Universal needs-based

c) Relationship between economic policy and social policy

Unification of social and economic policy through social planning to

redress inequality

5) Political economy of welfare

a) Social problems explained in terms of

Conflicting interests between working class needs and capitalists


Changes effected by Class struggles to change economic production

resulting from conflict between capital and labour

Method: Materialist / structuralist.

b) Principle of distribution of state welfare provision

Universal needs-based


c) Relationship between economic policy and social policy

Irreconcilable conflict under capitalism. Under socialism, economy to

serve human needs