Modern socialism like democracy is a political-ideological system that gets steeped in fostering equality and facilitating the equal distribution of resources through eliminating permanent system s of government and having power in the hands of few people. However, in seeking to do so, socialists have had to use unpeaceful means in the pursuance of political agenda. War is a means to an end and from the Clausewitz school of thought; it is the use of unpopular methods to achieve political outcomes. As a result, socialism is synonymous with revolutionaries such as Fidel Castro whose ascent to power was through war. After gaining control, the Cuban strongman embraced socialist photography to illustrate the political propaganda for which it is best known but also exploring its artistic value. According to Staging | Lens Culture, (n. d.), socialist cultural art typifies the day to day suffering of the masses, and it is a reflection of the life of the average citizen through powerful symbolism and mythology and idealizing the socialist lifestyle.
Socialist photography is associated with staging happiness and is responsible for several of commissioned works featuring beautified images of heroic men and women, cheerful pioneers, abundant produce as well as glorified depictions of the ideology it embraces. For instance, the iconic image of Fidel Castro with long beards and in military fatigues symbolizes the struggle for socialism, and it became more of a state-sanctioned model for the general population. Another image of the late Cuban leader was when he was a young man, in his late twenties and it signified the rigors of the Cuban revolution. The first attempt to gain power got met with resistance, and it seemed like a lame idea and in military doctrine, a poorly executed strategy as it failed. Many revolutionaries were killed, and Fidel got imprisoned. The image showed the Cuban leader holding a revolver, and it influenced the spread of similar posters as well as the use of photographs as a useful tool for propaganda. For instance as the fight to promote social equity was marred by bloodshed, Fidel Castro was considered by some a villain, nonetheless, during the papal visit to Cuba, he did not wear his usual military fatigues symbolizing that he is a responsible and respected leader (Shreeya, 2016).
Global Impact of Socialism
According to Einstein, (2009) the conflict of interest between the social nature of humankind and the solitary self is responsible for the chaos in the world. Human beings are social beings who are affected by the actual, implied or imagined presence of others; as a result, humanity seeks to gain the affection of others, enjoy in their well being, comfort them in their sorrows and improve on the well being of others. On the other hand, the solitary nature of human existences is responsible for man's selfishness through attempts to protect himself and those close to him, satisfy his interests and hone his or her capabilities. The different nature of humankind is therefore responsible for the extent to which he can fulfill the selfish and self-interest while balancing contributions to the society. Choosing either path is nonetheless the product of the community as it is what defines the way of living through rights and wrongs.
In the pursuance of self-interests, human beings became responsible for capitalism, a social, political and economic ideological system where it is permissible to exploiter their fellow human beings. Consequently, individuals became obsessed with wealth and could even use it to dominate others. The wealthy are owners of capital and are not only able to control the means of production but are also in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. Capitalism favors inequality as it enriches others at the cost of impoverishing the masses; the real value of work done does not determine the wages for providing labor, that is through goods produced and services offered. Instead, the value for money is determined by prevailing economic conditions, the laborer's minimum needs and by the capitalists' requirements for labor power concerning competition for job opportunities.
On the other hand, socialism attempt to solve the conflicts between the social and solitary nature of humankind by promoting the well being of others. In fact, according to The Regina Manifesto (1933), the socialism movement started after the industrial revolution and was intended to eliminate the ills propagated by capitalism, the power machinery and the production characterized by manufacturing using mechanism and division of labor (factory system) (The Regina Manifesto, 1933). While there is no specific definition of socialism as a plethora of authors and scholars have different thoughts on the ideology, socialism can get described as a class struggle between the bourgeoisie and proletariat. It is an opposition to individualism that seeks to foster equality through the sharing of resources and according to n. A (2008), it is an attitude of mind that seeks to ensure that the people care for each other's welfare. Nonetheless, the path to socialism has not been easy it has gotten characterized by wars with the capitalists or any others individual with a different point of view. However, the most significant impact has been the advocacy for equality.
Einstein, A. (2009). Why Socialism? Monthly Review . Retrieved from https://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism
SHREEYA, S. (2016). Castro's Revolution, Illustrated. New York Times [New York]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/26/world/americas/fidel-castro-cuban-posters.htm
The Regina Manifesto (1933). Co-operative Commonwealth Federation Programme. Socialist History Project. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.socialisthistory.ca/Docs/CCF/ReginaManifesto.htm
Staging | LensCulture. (n.d.). Staging Happiness: The Formation of Socialist Realist Photography - Curated byNailya Alexander | LensCulture. Retrieved from https://www.lensculture.com/articles/staging-staging-happiness-the-formation-of-socialist-realist-photography
Ujamaa - The Basis of African Socialism, Julius K. Nyerere - Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere. (2008, December 8). Retrieved from https://www.juliusnyerere.org/resources/view/ujamaa_-_the_basis_of_african_socialism_julius_k._nyerere
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