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Under this ideology, social and economic surplus achieved through socialist philosophy is allocated to labourers in the working class equitably and where political and corporate systems become decentralised. Thus, under this practical definition of socialism, equality not only plays a powerful role in socialist doctrine, it is the foundational imperative of the ideology.
Equality, both socially and economically, underpins the foundation of socialist thought. Under most socialist models, the philosophy is an evolution from attempts to block or otherwise emerge from capitalist ideology which, during the 19th Century, began to dominate many international economies experiencing economic growth born of the Industrial Revolution. Capitalism, by design, applauds the emergence of the profit-seeking corporation in which capital assets, including industrial machinery and factories, are controlled by either private citizens or private businesses (Degen 2008). Gains on capital assets and paid labour are then allowed to accrue to serve the utility of private ownership supported by various pricing mechanisms as the foundation of allocation of capital goods (products and services) which is unequal depending on economic resources of the consuming public.
Socialist ideology, on the other hand, especially with the more revolutionary Marxist school of thought, considers capitalism to be extravagant and utterly inefficient as allocation of capital goods produced is disproportionate to satisfying the needs of a broader society and labourers are deemed to be exploited to ensure surplus of production is available for private owners. Socialists reject disparate allocation of produced and natural resources and prefer social ownership of capital assets to maximise the utility of majority society (Degen 2008). This is akin to a form of act utilitarianism in which maximising majority utility, even when requiring some self-sacrifice, are mandates (Hooker 2001; Kagan 1991). Thus,
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