Socialism in the Developing World

As a cure for capitalism, socialism was popular in many European countries. The system granted ownership of production to the public and created a strong social welfare system for those who did not own any capital. Marginalized imperial or colonial countries developed a weak form of capitalism, however, they had their own interest in adopting socialism. First, socialism could provide a steady economic growth that would help developing economies to survive on their own. Second, socialism offered the freedom from exploitation that was the primary need of the third world countries. Eventually, the efforts of the Soviet Union to influence the developing world led to the development of socialism there.
Though developing countries viewed socialism positively, there were a few limits to its transition. The first problem was the characteristics of the international system. The dominance of capitalism excluded socialist countries from participation in global trade, finance, and investment. Therefore, the socialist developing world could hardly advance economically. The second problem was that peripheral economies heavily depended on developed countries. It was difficult for developing countries to squeeze their traditional culture shaped by Western lifestyle into a socialist worldview. And last, the third world countries lacked practical socialist theory to make a transition. Marxism, Leninism, or Maoism did not fit to other developing countries, which limited the spread of socialism.
Besides the Soviet Union and China, Cuba, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya, and North Korea all succeeded at adopting socialism in the 20th century. In a while, most socialist regimes collapsed. However, scholars do not suppose that the failure of socialism in those countries will put an end to the movement at large. Some countries may prefer public benefits and extensive social welfare to the power of capital.

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