In the aftermath of the financial crisis, many commentators on both sides of the Atlantic began to regard Europe as increasingly socialist. In their view, Europe’s economies had moved decisively leftward and become more like Scandinavia. Journalist Thomas L. Friedman in his 2011 book “Supercapitalism” described Europe as now perhaps being super-socialist rather than capitalistic. In light of these claims, it is natural to ask whether they are true. Is Europe socialist? If so, how has this come about? Has socialism increased in recent years? In this article, we will look at what socialism means and whether European countries are becoming more socialist.
Is Europe Socialist?
No, Europe is not socialist. Most of the countries on the continent are very capitalist and believe in the free market economy. The exception is Scandinavia, which is the most socialist region in the world.
What Is Socialism?
The term socialism is used to refer to a range of economic and political systems. In its economic sense, socialism refers to an alternative economic system. In political terms, socialism refers to a particular way of organizing and governing a country. Most commonly, European countries are described as socialist if they have an economic system based on state ownership of the means of production, such as state-run banks, state-owned industries, and collective farms. In political terms, European countries are often described as socialist if they have a democratic political system with a strong emphasis on civil rights, civil liberties, and social welfare.
How Does Socialism Work?
- Socialism is a failed economic system that has been tried in many countries. It is an economic system in which the means of production are owned by the government, and the people work for their government.
- Socialism controls the distribution of wealth in society through a central planning board called a dictatorship. This board decides how much money to give to each person, and what they can buy with it.
- The people who run the country have total control over everything that goes on there: They decide who gets hired or fired, what kind of benefits they get, how much money they get paid, etc… They also decide how much money should be spent on public services like schools and hospitals. Finally, they decide what kind of products should be produced and sold to people in the country so that everyone can have enough food and shelter to live comfortably (or at least comfortably enough).
- Socialism is often criticized for having two main problems: 1) It does not provide any incentives for people to work hard or produce things efficiently; 2) It does not allow anyone to make lots of money because there is no way for them to profit from their own hard work or ideas/products/services (the government will take it all).
- In order to solve these problems, many countries that have tried socialism have changed their system into a different kind of government. For example, Germany and other European countries, have become a democracy where the people make decisions for themselves through a representative form of government that allows them to vote on how the country is run.
- Socialism is not very popular in the world today because it has been tried and failed so many times throughout history. For example, from 1917 to 1991, over 100 countries tried socialism but only one (the Soviet Union) actually worked for anyone (the rest were all failures).
- The USSR is probably the most famous socialist country in history because it was ruled by Communist leaders for more than 70 years and it had an enormous impact on the whole world: The USSR controlled much of Eastern Europe, China’s Communist Party was inspired by the Soviets, Russia itself was ruled by Communists until 1991, Cuba became a Communist country after Castro took power there in 1959 etc.
- Many people think that Communism is still around today in places like Cuba or North Korea or Vietnam or Laos and Cambodia…but this is not true: Communism has been completely abandoned in almost all the countries that tried it and it has not been adopted by any other country since the 1960s.
- The USSR was one of the biggest economic and military powers in the world from the 1960s to 1991, but it became a very weak state after its leader, Joseph Stalin, died and its economy was devastated by World War II.
- People who lived under Communism often thought that everything would be better once Communism got rid of all its problems: They thought that if they were not allowed to make money or own property then they would never have any problems with making money or owning property because they could simply steal what they needed from other people instead!
Is Europe Becoming More Socialist?
- The European Union (EU) was formed to promote peace and prosperity throughout Europe. The EU has 27 member states that are considered members of the European Economic Community (EEC).
- In 1958, the Treaty of Rome was signed by six countries: France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The treaty created the first “European” institution: the European Economic Community (EEC). While some countries were reluctant to join this new organization because of their nationalistic feelings toward other nations in Europe, it became a reality in 1968 when Spain joined.
- In 1992, ten more countries joined the EEC: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, the UK, Greece, and Spain. At this time there were 15 member states within the EEC.
- Today there are 27 member states within the EU and we have seen many changes since its formation in 1958. We have seen a decrease in poverty as well as an increase in wealth throughout Europe as a whole through an increase in terms of GDP per capita and GDP growth rates over time. One way that this can be seen is by comparing data between 1960-1970 with data between 1990-2000 for each individual country.
- The year 1960 saw a GDP per capita of $7,895 in 1960. This rose to $13,312 in 1970 and was $21,599 in 1990. In comparison, the GDP per capita at the end of 2010 was $19,657 and by 2020 it is expected to rise to $26,948. This means that we have seen an increase in GDP per capita for each individual country as well as an increase in the average income for all European countries.
- Another way that we can see this is through GDP growth rates between 1960-1970 with data between 1990-2000 for each individual country. In 1960 all countries had growth rates greater than 2%. However, by 1970 only five countries had growth rates greater than 2% and by 1990 only five countries had growth rates greater than 2%. By 2010 only seven countries had growth rates greater than 2% and by 2020 it is expected that this number will be 12 out of 27 member states within the EU. Therefore we can see that there has been a decrease in the number of countries that are growing at a higher rate over time as well as a decrease in the amount of these states who are growing at a lower rate over time.
- .The EU is currently a very important political and economic force within the world. It has been described as the “most influential international organization in the world” (Baldwin et al., 2009: 1) and has a significant impact on global affairs. The European Union is currently involved in several political issues such as migration, trade, climate change, and defense. In terms of trade, it is one of two major free trading blocs along with Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay), which has about half of its members in South America (Mercosur). This group has a free trade agreement with Canada and an FTA with South Korea. In terms of climate change, it has signed the Paris Agreement on climate change which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels (“In-Depth”, 2017).
- When we look at the EU’s involvement in global affairs we see that it is a very influential organisation that can have an effect on many countries around the world. It can be seen as an economic bloc or a political bloc or both depending on what you are looking for. Its involvement in global affairs is what I believe makes the EU such a powerful organisation in today’s world.
Socialism is a type of economic system that is based on state ownership of the means of production. It is typically associated with high tax rates and generous social welfare programs. Europe is not becoming more socialist. The rise of the extreme right in many European countries is a reaction against the growth of socialism. The rise of the extreme right in Europe is a reaction against the growth of soft-core socialism. The rise of the extreme right in Europe is a reaction against the growth of socialism.