Difference Between Socialism and Liberalism

In the world, the human race has evolved so much, and with this evolution, certain terms and movements have risen or been introduced for making the quality of life better and easier.

All of these terms are similar in providing equality to people. Example of such terms is Socialism and Liberalism. Both of these provide rights and equality along with opportunities to the citizen.

Due to their similarities, people tend to misunderstand both of them as the same. This is not correct. Using these interchangeably can sometimes lead to misinterpretation.

To avoid them following are all possible differences between Socialism and Liberalism, along with other information.

Socialism vs Liberalism

The main difference between Socialism and Liberalism is that both of them are based on different values, socials being based on equality while Liberalism is on freedom. Providing equality does not mean the same as providing freedom, and freedom can be different for every individual. Both equality and freedom are important for development. Socialism is mainly based on group decisions and matters; it does not encourage innovation and competitiveness, whereas Liberalism is based on innovation and individualism.

Woman vs Girl 1

Socialism is an ideology according to which people are provided equality in various elements of life. The main motive being social equality, but that does not mean it is restricted to that only.

There can be a different definition of this based on different aspects and on based on it.

Socialism can be of different types, such as Democratic Socialism, Revolutionary Socialism, Libertarian Socialism, Market Socialism, and Green Socialism.

Liberalism is an ideology based on the equality and liberty of the people in a country. This focuses on making everyone equal in all environments.

It has much meaning. Focusing on equality remains constant in both modern and older versions of it. This has a certain advantage such as the growth of the economy, making the life of citizens easier, etc.

along with all of these, some people might misuse this to their benefit and, in general, also have major drawbacks.

Comparison Table Between Socialism and Liberalism

Parameters of ComparisonSocialism  Liberalism
Basic ValueEqualityFreedom
View of SocietySociality or SolidarityIndividualism
EconomyCollective OwnershipPrivate Property
CultureUniversal Rights and InterestsPlurality of interests and worldviews
Political Struggle AgainstCapital interests, exploitations, ideology, capitalist stateRegulating State

What is Socialism? 

There are different meanings of Socialism. Overall it means providing social equality to everyone in work, society, politics, etc.

Following are some advantages of Socialism:

  • Absence of Exploitation: under Socialism, the exploitation is terminated completely. Exploitation is not healthy for any country.
  • In this situation, people are not given equal rights and are used for several heavy activities and some work. This also results in discrimination among people.
  • Rejection of Discrimination: as mentioned above, discrimination is the most disgusting insect that can eat up the peace and equality in a country. And in a democratic country, every person expects to be equal to everyone. Under this, the people do whatever they find is right and not hurt the feeling or rights of anyone else.

The disadvantage of Socialism:

  • Dependence on Cooperativeness: one of the major disadvantages of Socialism is that it does not encourage the competitiveness of the people but appreciates and depend on the cooperativeness of other people.
  • Therefore, if a single person is right in a group of wrong, the single person might not get the opportunity to speak or will be ignored.
  • Lack of innovation: as mentioned above, it does not encourage competitiveness. Therefore, there is a lack of innovation. Innovation does not get a reward, and therefore old things are being repeated.

What is Liberalism? 

It is based on liberty, equality before the law, and consent of the government. The liberal system emphasis on equality of everyone in terms of society, industry, employment, etc. Following are the benefits of Liberalism:

  • Economic Growth: this contributes to making economic growth by providing everyone equal opportunity in the work environment, and this further results in contributing to the economy.
  • Elimination of Slavery: this also eliminates slavery. Slavery sometimes causes the feeling of discrimination among people. And to avoid this issue, Liberalism eliminates slavery so that everyone has equal status.
  • Preservation of Human Rights: this is one of the most important results of Liberalism in that it preserves and protects human rights from getting exploit.

Other than these, it also provides collective security.

Drawbacks of Liberalism:

  • Market Inconsistency: sometimes, Liberalism can result in market inconsistency.
  • Unfair Wages: sometimes just to lift some section of society, provide different rates of wages to people who cause a feeling of discrimination among the rest of the section of society.

Hence, it is cleared how Liberalism contributes to society. Although it has some drawbacks still the benefits it has are more important.

Main Differences Between Socialism and Liberalism

  1. Both of them have different basic values. The basic value of Socialism is equality, meaning its main focus is to provide equality to all sections of the society so that no one will feel discriminated against and have equal opportunity, whereas the basic value of Liberalism is freedom, its main focus is to provide freedom to everyone in the country to do the things they like and love without hurting anyone’s feeling.
  2. Both of these ideology view society in a different perspective, in case of Socialism it views society and sociality and solidarity, it relies on cooperativeness of the people in society and providing equal opportunity to the ideas accepted by them whereas liberalism view society as individualism, it also promotes competitiveness by an individual and does not relies on cooperativeness as much.
  3. When compared in terms of economy, Socialism is more collective ownership of people together in the society; the person is not given much importance, whereas Liberalism is entirely based on private property.
  4. Socialism emphasis on universal rights and interests of people, for example, it eliminates the slavery in the economy by the low caste people, and several reservations are made for lower caste people to provide them more opportunities, whereas; liberalism emphasis more on a plurality of interests and worldviews, it provides an opportunity to people to represent on global as well.
  5. Socialism is more based on providing equality to people in society, whereas Liberalism is a broader term and works to protect the rights of the people. These rights could be the right to speech, the right to freedom, etc.
Difference Between Socialism and Liberalism


Therefore, with the help of the above information, there should not be any confusion between them. They are not applicable wherever some countries might support them, but some might not.

These ideologies do play an important role in improvising the life of people in society and the workplace both. These have changed the life of many people and contributed to the development of the country.

Both of these are mostly practised in a democratic country where the government is elected by the people, for the people, and to the people.

In these countries, the government is answerable to them and working for making their quality of life better.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2137463
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03085149300000020
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