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Socialism 101

Socialism 101

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Socialism and capitalism. chokkicx/Getty Images hide caption

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chokkicx/Getty Images

Socialism and capitalism.

chokkicx/Getty Images

Socialism. For many, particularly in the United States, the word evokes some pretty dark images. Dictators. The Cold War.

But socialism started as an attempt to improve on capitalism. And, by the way, capitalism was really a reaction and criticism of feudalism. Back when society was divided into kings and peasants.

Whether you support socialism or staunchly oppose it, there's no debate it's a major economic theory in the world. And the U.S. does have some socilaist policies already, think police departments, public schools, medicare — those are all a little socialist. And while we at Planet Money have talked about socialism in certain aspects, we haven't done The Socialism Episode.

Today on the show: Socialism 101. How it started, what versions exist today, and where it goes from here.

Music: "We Don't Care," "Don't Look Down," and "Get And Give It."

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