Theoretically, the advantages of socialism are both multiple and relative. Advantages concern mainly the lower social classes. Still, I think it`s more appropriate to talk about advantage of socialism rather than advantages. With advantage I refer to what, in my opinion, proved to be vital for the spread of socialism in the second half of the 20th century: colonialism.
Countries such as China, India, Cuba and Algeria are some of the largest countries to have adopted socialism in the XX century and they are all related to colonialism either directly or indirectly. Vietnam and Tanzania, ex-french and British colonies respectively, are two other good examples of countries that have adopted socialism in the second half of the XX century.
The end of the colonial empires caused the formation of new states which also included a large number of colonists. In most of these new born states, prior to independence, most of the business sector was run by colonists. As independence neared, political parties competed for favor among local population by promising to shift the wealth of the country from foreign to local hands.
The first challenge for many of these recently independent countries was poverty. The new governments, in their campaigns, blamed foreigners for making them poor. In response, they claimed socialism was a fair and effective means. Socialism would bring justice and prosperity as wealth would be equally shared by everyone. Nobody would be exploited anymore and there would be wealth for everyone.
It is now easy to see why socialism was adopted by the vast majority of the poor countries, many of which had previously been either colonies or puppet states or empires. Socialism appeared to be the antidote to their problems.
The Cold War, the belief that technology brought prosperity and the apparently better science of the Soviet Union, a symbol of socialism, also influenced the spread of socialism. The adoption of socialism couldn`t be accomplished though if there was not enough domestic support. The fact that the new governments of most poor countries turned to socialism shows that the people believed to what the politicians claimed. Admittedly, the first decades of the second half of XX century have been golden years for the spread of socialism.
Now I would like to conclude with a brief question: would socialism have gone so far without the resentment of the apparent prosperity of the colonists?
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