is a range of economic
and social systems
characterised by social ownership
of the means of production
and workers' self-management
, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public
ownership, or citizen ownership of equity
. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms
Socialist systems are divided into non-market and market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money with engineering and technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit 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. The socialist calculation debate concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system.
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 unions; and present in both industrialised and developing nations. Originating within the socialist movement, social democracy has embraced a mixed economy with a market that includes substantial state intervention in the form of income redistribution, regulation, and a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralised 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, social democracy and communism had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. By this time, socialism emerged as "the most influential secular movement of the twentieth century, worldwide. It is a political ideology (or world view), a wide and divided political movement" and 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. 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, some socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism, feminism and progressivism.
||Marxian morality is likewise of English origin. Marxism reveals in every sentence that the thought processes from which it sprang were theological and not political. Its economic theory is the outgrowth of a fundamental moral attitude, and the materialistic view of history is simply the final chapter of a philosophy with roots in the English Revolution, whose biblical moods have remained dominant in English thought.
That is why Marx’s basic concepts are felt to be moral alternatives. The words "socialism" and "capitalism" are terms for the good and evil of this irreligious religion. The "bourgeois" is the devil, the wage earner is the angel of a new mythology, and one need only sample the vulgar paths of the Communist Manifesto to recognize behind the literary mask the Christianity of the Independents. Social evolution is "the will of God." The "final goal," in an earlier age, was eternal salvation; the "collapse of bourgeois civilization" used to be called the Last Judgment.
|— Oswald Spengler, "Prussianism And Socialism", 1919
The celebration of the election of the Commune on 28 March 1871—the Paris Commune was a major early implementation of socialist ideas
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