Modern socialism originated in the eighteenth century intellectual and political movements of the working class and criticized the effects of industrialization and private ownership on society. The first socialists predicted a better world by harnessing technology and combining it with better social organization. Socialism appears as an antagonist of Capitalism, the existing system at the time of European powers.
In the nineteenth century scientific socialism, whose proposed theoretical understanding reality and transform it by analyzing the social and economic mechanisms of capitalism, thus constituting a revolutionary proposal of the proletariat arises.
The greatest theoretician of this current was the German philosopher and economist Karl Marx, author of the Communist Manifesto in 1848, outlines the propositions of scientific socialism, that would be defined comprehensively in Capital, Marx's most famous work, which would cause a revolution in economics and social sciences. Among the principles outlined in the book, highlight a socio economic interpretation of history, known as historical materialism, the concepts of class struggle, surplus value and socialist revolution.
Vladimir Lenin, based on ideas of Karl Marx defined socialism as a transitional stage between capitalism and communism and is the first to put into practice a socialist system in the world after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Since then the world would be divided into two socio political systems: Socialism x Capitalism.
These two systems have many differences, they are opposites. While in capitalism the government intervenes in the economy just under socialism there is a big government intervention. Capitalism favors those who have money, and gives freedom for business creation by individuals, but creates very distinct social classes and consequent social inequalities. Socialism's vision for the common good of all individuals in society, and the government provides what is necessary for citizens. A disadvantage of this system is that it is difficult to establish business when everything is controlled and limited government.
The height of antagonism between Socialism x Capitalism comes after World War II with the rise of two powers: it was capitalist in USA and the Soviet Union was Socialist. This conflict between systems of government and military powers, called the Cold War, lasted until the fall of the Soviet Union in the 90s with the victory of the United States and capitalism, which explains the predominance of this political system these days.