Today’s isms include communism, fascism, capitalism and socialism. There are the main isms of the contemporary world.
Marx argues that social change becomes necessary if the level of technology outgoes the existing social, legal and political institutions. This is relation to production and means of production. Those who own the production means and the ruling class are likely to resist change because of fear to lose their power (Karolides 2006). Marxian class will always try its level best to change the existing conditions. However Marx failed to predict that proletarianization of society in a capitalist economy can lead to establishment of communism.
Communism is a situation where the economy and all business decisions are controlled by the government. It leads to development of two economic classes consisting of the rich government and the poor citizens (proletariat). The proletariats are the class in the society which depends entirely on selling their labor and do not get any profit. They come up with industrialization which was brought about by communism. Industrialization led to two social classes; the proletariat Bourgeoisie.
Communism has its weaknesses and strengths. Strengths include rapid industrialization, economic growth, education and science. The weakness of communism can be clearly seen through the effects it has on human. The people are exposed to a lot of stress which brought about by the need to conform to the new rules, political and intellectual orthodoxy and coerced adherence to policies (Karolides 2006). They were also stressed as they labored and the pay was not that good.
Karl Marx theoritized that communist will lead to dictatorship to proletariat. He went ahead to theoritized that proletariat will rise against Bourgeoisie and they will win since they are many.
Fascism is where the government and society is exposed to single party dictatorship. It also comprises of a lot of nationalism, racism, militarism and imperialism. It is both post democratic and postindustrial. It can lead to total control over power which can lead to dictatorship. It brings about two groups; the small groups of industrialists and landowners and lower middle class salaried group (Karolides 2006). The industrialists exert money power to countries with weak democracies. The low middle class seeks prestige and is jealous of the industrialists.
Fascism put emphasis on the sense of usefulness and belonging and mitigates the sense of disorientation and destruction of traditional values undermined by industrialization and urbanization. It is comprised of seven principles including (Karolides 2006) lack of reasoning instead of being reflective and open minded, lack of human equality, a life full of lies and violence, government of elite which does not recognize the capacity of all people, totalitarianism, racism and imperialism and opposition of international law and order.
There is link between capitalism and democracy which means freedom. Classical capitalism involves free press, free from political association, free from religion, thought and speech. The economy is free from the state and individuals own means of production which is a sign of power on these particular individuals (Karolides 2006) . Consumers have the right to choose what they want to buy which determines the amount to be produced. Capitalism also has the characteristics of competition, research and profit.
Modern capitalism separates ownership from management and collectivization. It has also incorporated organized labor, legislation, public opinion and increased responsibility to community (Karolides 2006). It has come up with welfare state which states that everybody has the right to minimum standards of living and full employment is a priority.
Socialism originated from the modern industrial capitalism. It is against inequality and the value given to money. In contrast to capitalism, socialism encourages production of property as a group. It believes that the right to own a property depends on ones effort not law, custom or birth. People are supposed to adjust to social conditions and incase a person’s property is destroyed, they should be compensated (Karolides 2006) . The European socialism and that of the developing countries is committed to improve living standards, health and education.
Nationalism can be defined in reference to two aspects. The first aspect is attitude which is member of a particular nation show when it comes to minding about their national identity. The second aspect is the actions and activities which members of a particular nation are likely to undertake hen they are to achieve self determination or political sovereignty. This brings about the issue of nation and national identity. Nation and national identity can be described in terms of one’s origin, ethnicity and cultural ties. Every nation has their own practices and members have the desire to be associated with these practices to consider themselves as real members. Membership to a nation can be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary members are those who originate from another nation but willingly acquired the nationality of another country. Involuntary members are those born in that nation and do not have the chance to change their nationality. About the political sovereignty the question arises whether one needs to have total authority for either domestic and international affairs or something less is required. Though sovereignty means being in total control, modern nationalism disagrees with this. There has a lot debate about nation and nationalism.
These debates have been among the nationalists, the Perennialists and postmodernists and Marxists. The nationalists describe nation as a phenomenon which is timeless which man started creating immediately he climbed out of primordial slime. The Perennialists argue that nations have been in existence for a very long time but they can take different shapes at different points in their history. The postmodernists and Marxists view nations as very modern and constructed. This is the most recent argument.
Nationalism can unite people from different classes and with different ideologies while at the same time creating harmony and linking the past to the present and give people a sense of identity. At the same nationalism can be used by dictators, despots and power hungry politicians to achieve their personal gains. It can still lead to violent and create differences among people of different geographical areas. In this case it can be concluded that nationalism has both positive and negative effects.
It has been difficult to differentiate imperialism and colonialism in their definitions. This is because like colonialism, it involves political and economic control over a country which is independent. It involves one country exercising their power over another country. This exercise of power can be in terms of settlement, sovereignty or indirect/direct use of mechanisms of control. Imperialism is used to describe situations in which foreign government administers a territory or a country without necessarily settling there. Imperialism is a concept which keeps on changing with time.
The traditional meaning of imperialism was a system of military domination and sovereignty over other territories. This traditional way of understanding changed after Leninist analyzed the issue of imperialism. Leninist analysis was that imperialism was a system whose main aim was to exploit the economy. According to Lenin and the Marxists imperialism was necessary as it was a stage of capitalism.
Colonization has a pole to play in the world we are living in today. It took place for many centuries during which the recent word was shaped and reshaped. During the colonialism era, there were many discoveries but at the same time it brought about many tragedies. It can be defined as the practice in which one person rules the other mostly in the country of the colonized (Kohn 2006). Colonialism involves economic and political control over a country which is dependent. It involves the transfer of people of one country to another new territory.
Colonialism is not a modern issue since there are so many cases in which a society extends its boundaries by including the adjacent territory to theirs and then settling their people to the newly acquired territory. It is also not restricted to time and place because we can see different countries being colonized while others colonized at different times. Some of the countries which were able to set up colonies included Greeks, Romans, Moors and Ottomans (Kohn 2006). Technological developments have been found to change colonization especially in the sixteenth century. For instance there was the introduction of the fast sailing ships which made it easier to move people from one territory to another.
It is a term used to describe the actions of the European countries in their settlement and political control over other nations including Americans, Australia and parts of Asia and Africa. It is form of conquest which was expected to have economic and strategic benefits to Europeans. This term colonialism is mostly used to refer to settlement areas that were controlled by permanent European residents.
Neocolonialism is worse than imperialism. It is an indirect form of control via economic and cultural dependence. In itself, it is the continued control of former countries. So the colonizers continue having control of the countries they once colonized even after the colonization period is over. The residents of that territory are exploited for their labor and resources for the benefit of metropole. Those who practice neocolonialism exercise power without any responsibility which those who it is practiced on are exploited without any redress.
According to Nkrumah neocolonialism has its effects. It continues to control a country even after acquiring its independent state. It mostly shows through economic and monetary measure. As a state continues to experience control from their former colonizers, they are likely to be subjected to imperial power by new actors. The new actors may include international financial and monetary organizations. Neocolonialism can result to limited wars and crucial issues like education, development and poverty might be ignored as all the focus is on neocolonial elites.
Neo-imperialism refers to a condition in which one nation dominates another by use of unequal conditions of economic exchange. It exists in a situation where one nation depends on another nation because it can survive economically on its own. This makes the weaker nation rely on a stronger nation. Its difference from imperialism is that use political power but money power to ensure that the poor countries do not go against the rules set for them. This is happening up to date. For instance there is neo-imperialism between the industrialized societies and the Third World. The third world relies on the industrialized countries for aid in which they can get necessities like food and shelter. In return the third word has to adhere to the foreign policies otherwise the aid will be withdrawn.
Neo-colonialism is happening allover in the modern world due to the modern economic policies. United Nations is leading in developing neo-imperialism with other countries. Neo-imperialism can be viewed as the way in which new issues are developing and will continue to develop as technology improves and communication between foreign countries become easier.
The three economic isms are capitalism, communism and socialism.
Majorly capitalism means freedom of choice and freedom in everything one needs to do. The means of producing and distributing goods are owned by individuals and not the state. This group which owns this is called the capitalist class. The working class earns their wages from their labor. Their labor is used to produce products sold for profit. The capitalists use these profits to get more wealth (Karolides 2006). Capitalism is in the world today and produces the two social classes existing today. The goods produced are for profit and not for satisfying people’s needs. It is assumed to produce a free market economy. The goods produced may benefit people if only they had enough money to buy them. Customers have a choice to make on what to buy. It leads to competition which makes goods cheaper
In communism, the government controls the economy and all business decisions. There is no competition therefore the probability of goods being cheap is low. This has lead to two economic classes; the rich government and the poor citizens (proletariat). The government is perceived as a dictator since it makes all the decisions (Karolides 2006). Communism also led to industrialization creating two social classes; the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Communism has its weaknesses and strengths. Strengths include rapid industrialization, economic growth, education and science. The weakness of communism can be clearly seen through the effects it has on human. The people are exposed to a lot of stress which brought about by the need to conform to the new rules, political and intellectual orthodoxy and coerced adherence to policies. They were also stressed as they labored and the pay was not that good.
Socialism emphasis on equality and people should share economy. It takes all people as equal when it comes to money and people should receive it according to their need. It does not have any social class and no completion is allowed (Karolides 2006) . People should acquire property as a group and it aims at improving people’s standards of living.
Political isms include communism, conservatism, democracy, fascism, liberalism, socialism and totalitarianism.
It abolishes private ownership and it is a political theory which favors collectivism in a classless society (Karolides 2006). The government controls everything including the economy and all business decisions. It is a kind of political system which involves dictatorship and individuals are not allowed to own property.
Conservatism is a political philosophy in which the aim is that the society should remain the way it is (Comfort 2010). It tries as much as possible to avoid any changes. It prefers political structure which has been stable for a long time. Conservatism does not agree with the idea that individuals can be improved through improved political and social change. They believe in the traditional way of living.
It is a political system in which individuals have freedom and right of choice. They are entitled to choosing their leaders (Comfort 2010). People are given their rights and have freedom of speech and religion among others.
This is opposed to democracy. It is a political structure in which authority is given to the leaders and the people are not given the opportunity to express themselves. It can lead to total control over power which can lead to dictatorship (Comfort 2010). There is no equality among people and the government does not recognize the capacity of people.
It is the kind of political philosophy that puts emphasis on reforms through change of laws but not through revolution. It encourages competition in the marketing while at the same time emphasizing self regulating market (Comfort 2010). It encourages the right s and freedom of the people and the power of the government are limited.
It is a kind of political theory which advocates state ownership of industry (Comfort 2010) . It vests the ownership and control production process and the products in the community as a whole.
In this political theory, the government is a real dictator and they are not restricted by rules or any constitution (Comfort 2010). The government exercises total power on the individuals and the citizens are not given the chance to express themselves.
The cultural isms include Hebraism, Hellenism, democratism and collectivism.
This has the aim of practicing Christianity. It is used as a characteristic of Hebrew language (Arnold 2011). It represents a system of religion which is associated to Hebrews. It can also describe their culture and way of living.
It is mostly used by historians to describe the period from the death of Alexander the great to the death of Cleopatra (Arnold 2011). It also describes the cultural tradition of Greek speaking by part of Roman Empire.
It is the cultural belief of equality and the right of people to participate in politics (Arnold 2011). Democratism creates a culture where people respect each other.
In collectivism all individuals are seen to have a single identity to one person (Arnold 2011). It emphasis on collective right and has a personality called culture which teaches people morals.
Religious isms include; first agnosticism which is a theory where there is no knowledge about god no proof whether God exists or not. The second isms are atheism where there is no belief that any god exists. People live in denial that there exists any God, gods or any supernatural being (Viklund 2011). The third is deism which involves belief based on a particular reason. It emphasizes on morality and belief in God the creator. The fourth is Gnosticism which describes religion which existed before Christianity. The fifth is humanism which puts concern on man’s capabilities (Viklund 2011). The sixth is panentheism which is a belief that universe is a part of God hence nature has a characteristic of divinity.
Arnold, Matthew, Cultural Isms, viewed 30th March 2011, http://www.lulucheng.com/2011/02/25/cultural-isms/, 2011.
Comfort, Judith, Definitions: Political Isms, viewed 30th March 2011 http://www.bestlibrary.org/ss11/2007/02/definitions_the.html, 2010.
Karolides, Nicholas, Literature suppressed on political grounds. Volume 1. New York, Facts on File Inc, 2006.
Kohn, Margret, Colonialism, viewed 30th March 2011, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/colonialism/, 2006.
Viklund, Andreas, Religious Belief Isms, viewed 30th March 2011, http://www.otweb.com/phramework/pw/module/blog/?id=655&t=_Religious__Belief_isms, 2011.