Some of the major weakness of socialism are as follows:
Socialism aims at the eradication of not merely unhealthy forms of competition but also the whole of capitalism. It wants to end economic inequalities, and aims at the establishment of a new type of social order free from exploitation of man by man. However, in-spite of such noble aims that Socialism has, it has not been free from shortcomings.
Weaknesses of Socialism:
1. Socialism Stands for an excessively powerful government:
It is pointed out by the critics that Socialism stands for authoritarianism and bureaucratic control on a big scale. State control over means of production and distribution is a thesis for giving strength to the bureaucracy.
It is most likely to lead to corruption. Increase in the power and role of state can make it a bureaucratic state. The accept limited and state regulated ownership of means of production and distribution by private companies or organisation. In other words, nepotism, red-tapism and favoritism, which are considered to be the evils of capitalist system, are likely to crop up in socialism as well because Socialism expects much from the government or the social organisation which they want to set up.
Socialism cannot be fully put into practice. The evils of misery and inequality are so widespread that socialism cannot be really able to remove these Socialism looks good only on paper. It has an idealistic outlook when it talks of total equality.
3. State is incapable of owning and managing Business and Industry:
It is argued by critics that the State cannot manage the enterprises as efficiently as it done in the case of private enterprises. Because the paid employees of the State never take so much interest in their work as the private entrepreneurs do. Moreover, the sense of duty is also often lacking in them. The experience with our public sector reflects the truth involved in this point.
4. Socialism is wrong in opposing Private Property:
Socialism aims at abolishing private property. The critics point out that private property is a great incentive. If this incentive is taken away from the people, they will not work whole-heartedly and efficiently. Consequently, the progress of the society is bound to get retarted under socialism.
5. Socialism negates Liberty:
Socialism denies individual liberty. The socialists make loud claims that their system will lead to freedom and equality for all the people. This is simply absurd because the system of state management of industry will bring dependence on state rather than freedom. The workers will have to obey state regulations and do their jobs, even if they do not like these. It will make workers wage slaves. Moreover, under Socialism liberty enjoys a secondary place.
6. Socialism limits individual initiative and enterprise:
Socialism discourages inventions and creativity because nobody is willing to make a serious attempt at inventing new machinery or industrial techniques for the simple reason that such attempts will not bring any reward to the inventor.
7. A Harmful theory of Reward:
Socialism is most likely to fail in practice. The socialists advocate distribution of rewards of industry according to the share of each worker in production. But the question is how to determine the contribution of each worker. All workers do not belong to same grade and calibre. Labour based rewards cannot be easily determined.
8. Moral argument against Socialism:
Socialism is condemned on ethical grounds also. It is said that it is utilitarian, opportunistic, unduly materialistic and devoid of any eternal law of truth and right. Morality stands for full individual freedom and reward based on ones work.
9. Socialism is not based on the realities of with Human Nature:
Critics point out that Socialism goes against the human nature itself. Man is a social animal, but some selfishness is also there. No one can be expected to work only for social service social profit and social development. Human beings cannot become as perfect as socialism demands. No person can really get away from the institution of private- property and prosperity.
Thus there are several weaknesses of the ideology of Socialism. In-spite of these short-comings, Socialism is, nevertheless, deemed good by a large number of people. It continues to remain a popularism with many scholars.
Even today several thinkers regard it as essential because it alone can be a source of real and extensive socio-economic development. It can also bring economic prosperity for the whole country. Several persons still believe that the solution of the present day wide-spread poverty in the world lies in socialism.
In contemporary era, almost all communist/socialist regimes all over the world have suffered a collapse. The principles of liberalism, liberalisation, decentralisation, democratisation, market economy, open competition free trade and human rights, have received a universal acceptance. However, still many scholars continue to have faith in the ideals of Socialism; though they now prefer to secure it through democratic means and competitive economic systems.
India, for example, is now trying to secure Socialist goals through economic liberalisation. China believes in market socialism instead of socialism. Socialism still kindles a hope in the hearts of many scholars and people living in various parts of the world, particularly in the developing countries.