The Socialism portal
is a political
and economic philosophy
encompassing a range of economic
and social systems
characterised by social ownership
of the means of production
and workers' self-management
of enterprises. It includes the political theories and movements associated with such systems. Social ownership can be public
or of equity
. While no single definition encapsulates many types of socialism
, social ownership is the one common element.
Socialist systems are divided into non-market and market forms. Non-market socialism substitutes factor markets and money with integrated economic planning and engineering or technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing a different economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws and dynamics than those of capitalism. A non-market socialist system eliminates the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system in capitalism. The socialist calculation debate, originated by the economic calculation problem, concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a planned socialist system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of socially owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them. Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend.
Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist in orientation; organised through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions and at other times independent and critical of them; and present in both industrialised and developing nations. Social democracy originated within the socialist movement, supporting economic and social interventions to promote social justice. While retaining socialism as a long-term goal, since the post-war period it has come to embrace a Keynesian mixed economy within a predominantly developed capitalist market economy and liberal democratic polity that expands state intervention to include income redistribution, regulation and a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism, with more democratic control of companies, currencies, investments and natural resources.
The socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production. By the 1920s, communism and social democracy had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement, with socialism itself becoming the most influential secular movement of the 20th century. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, many socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements such as environmentalism, feminism and progressivism.
While the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Academics, political commentators and other scholars tend to distinguish between authoritarian socialist and democratic socialist states, with the first representing the Soviet Bloc and the latter representing Western Bloc countries which have been democratically governed by socialist parties such as Britain, France, Sweden and Western social-democracies in general, among others.
||On January 2 the Leipziger Volkszeitung published an article by its Belgian correspondent entitled, Unity in Confusion, in which the writer expresses his ideas concerning the tactics of Social-Democrats towards the labouring masses who, without being socialistic, are creating various organisations independent of the bourgeoisie. In his opinion it is most practical, in such situations, where as yet no unified Social-Democratic Party exists, to unite all such organisations into one Labour Party, and he regards it as the duty of the Marxists, not to found an independent Social Democratic Party, but to enter the ranks of the general Labour Party. If thereby clearness of principle has to be sacrificed by the Social-Democrats this will be made up for by the fact of the masses being roused to independent political action; the experience they gain by such action will lead them to Socialism.
In Vorwaerts comrade M. Beer, in his discussion with our English comrade Askew (December 30, 1908, The British Labour Party and Socialism) expresses the same thought still more forcibly as follows: “The unity of the working class seems to me the most important condition on which the victory of Socialism depends. And if I had to choose between a small and efficient Socialist Party and a large non-Socialist, but politically and economically independent working class, I should decide, without hesitation in favour of the latter.”
The Belgian comrade prophesies that any other way than the one he recommends must lead to the formation of an orthodox sect. This opinion is shared by comrade Beer; although he describes the sect euphemistically as a “small but efficient Social Democratic Party,” the efficiency could surely, according to his opinion, only consist in its theoretic principles, it would obviously bring forth many words, but no deeds.
|— Karl Radek, The Unity of the Working Class, 1909
The following are images from various socialism-related articles on Wikipedia.
Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin opposed the Marxist aim of dictatorship of the proletariat in favour of universal rebellion and allied himself with the federalists in the First International before his expulsion by the Marxists
Barricades Boulevard Voltaire, Paris during the uprising known as the Paris Commune
The celebration of the election of the Commune on 28 March 1871—the Paris Commune was a major early implementation of socialist ideas
New Harmony, a utopian attempt as proposed by Robert Owen
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