These are the nations that have adopted socialism as their political ideology. To be considered a socialist state, there is no formal criterion or method. Having a nation declare itself socialist is all that’s needed.
Nations that claim to be socialist or have constitutions that indicate they are founded on socialism, even if they don’t strictly follow the economic or political systems associated with socialism, since socialism remains the cornerstone of their political and economic policies.
Even nations that seem to follow at least some socialist ideas but do not explicitly proclaim themselves socialist are not considered socialist.
To put it another way, the existence of even a substantial number of socialist components in a country’s government and/or economy does not always suggest that socialism is the country’s governing ideology.
There are several examples of “socialized” programs in nations that are not socialist, such as universal health care and free university/college tuition.
Is it possible to define a socialist state?
The word socialism has taken on a variety of meanings and interpretations, making it impossible to adequately identify a socialist nation.
Regarding politics and economics, socialism aims to reduce disparities between rich and poor by ensuring that all of the nation’s resources are publicly owned rather than privately owned.
This ensures that the profits of the nation’s businesses will be shared by everyone, rather than just a few wealthy owners. However, this fundamental definition of socialism incorporates a wide variety of real-world socialist variants.
Socialism, in its purest form, is progressive. Socialist nations may be progressive or conservative depending on the extent of corruption in the administration, and this is frequently the case in reality.
Several socialist nations have adopted a Marxist-Leninist model developed by the Soviet Union. The general public incorrectly sees them as communist nations because of this.
When it comes to socialism, communists want to eradicate private ownership, leading to an all-for-one society in which the government fades into the background and classes are abolished.
Many political analysts think that no nation has ever successfully implemented a wholly socialist or communist administration since some degree of capitalism and/or state overstepping inevitably appears.
This complicates matters even more. As a result, hybrid democratic socialist nations combine democratic governance with a socialist economy in which the people control production and wealth.
Many countries are socialist, but only five countries in the world are now called communist countries by the global community—and even these countries typically refer to themselves as socialist, but not communist.
By the year 2021, every country in the world will be communist:
- China (People’s Republic of China)
- North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)
- Cuba (Republic of Cuba)
- Vietnam (Socialist Republic of Vietnam)
- Laos (Lao People’s Democratic Republic)
Despite communism’s theoretical goal of equality so pure that governments aren’t required, communist nations generally have authoritarian, oppressive regimes that tightly manage their populace.
For example, the official name of North Korea can give the impression that its people are liberated and in control. Though the government claims otherwise, it has been accused of enormous human rights abuses and is an undercover dictatorship.
The World’s Socialist Nations
Eritrea, Guyana, India, Nepal, Nicaragua, Portugal, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania are all socialist states since they have constitutional references to socialism in their constitutions, which makes them socialist countries (United Republic of Tanzania).
It used to be considerably longer, with countries like Yugoslavia and the USSR under the control of governments based on socialist and communist ideologies.
But in the last half-century, many once socialist countries have grown to incorporate more features of capitalism and have started erasing socialism from their constitutions and economy. Several examples of countries have omitted the word Socialism from their constitutions.
Former socialist countries throughout the world
The following countries are former socialist countries:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Benin, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Congo (Republic of), Czechoslovakia (dissolved), Djibouti, East Germany (reunited with West Germany), Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Hungary, Iraq, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, North Korea, North Vietnam, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Yugoslavia, and Zambia.
States Currently ruled by Socialist or Communist Parties:
Although a country’s constitution may have been amended to remove all references to socialism or communism, the ruling political party in many countries continues to operate under socialist or communist principles.
Examples include Algeria and Angola, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bolivia, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Mauritius, and Mexico.
Also See: Schengen Countries 2022
As yet unrecognized states, the socialist territories.
As a final note, there are at least a handful of places in the world where the government has not yet declared a socialist system, such as Freetown Christiania in Denmark, the Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities in Mexico, Rojava in Syria, the Wa State in Myanmar, and Western Sahara in the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Morocco territory).