Portal:Socialism

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Socialism is a left-wing economic philosophy and movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to private ownership. As a term, it describes the economic, political and social theories and movements associated with the implementation of such systems. Social ownership can be state/public, community, collective, cooperative, or employee. While no single definition encapsulates the many types of socialism, social ownership is the one common element. Different types of socialism vary based on the role of markets and planning in resource allocation, on the structure of management in organizations, and from below or from above approaches, with some socialists favouring a party, state, or technocratic-driven approach. Socialists disagree on whether government, particularly existing government, is the correct vehicle for change.

Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist; 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.

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, several scholars posit that in practice, the model functioned as a form of state capitalism. Several academics, political commentators, and scholars have distinguished between authoritarian socialist and democratic socialist states, with the first representing the Eastern Bloc and the latter representing Western Bloc countries which have been democratically governed by socialist parties such as Britain, France, Sweden, and Western countries in general, among others. However, following the end of the Cold War, many of these countries have moved away from socialism as a neoliberal consensus replaced the social democratic consensus in the advanced capitalist world. (Full article...)

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The connection between left-leaning ideologies and LGBT rights struggles has a long and mixed history. Prominent socialists who were involved in early struggles for LGBT rights include Edward Carpenter, Oscar Wilde, Harry Hay, Bayard Rustin, Emma Goldman and Daniel Guérin among others.


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KLiebknecht.jpg
Karl Liebknecht, c. 1911

Karl Paul August Friedrich Liebknecht (German: [ˈliːpknɛçt] (listen); 13 August 1871 – 15 January 1919) was a German socialist and anti-militarist. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) beginning in 1900, he was one of its deputies in the Reichstag from 1912 to 1916, where he represented the left-revolutionary wing of the party. In 1916 he was expelled from the SPD's parliamentary group for his opposition to the political truce between all parties in the Reichstag while the war lasted. He twice spent time in prison, first for writing an anti-militarism pamphlet in 1907 and then for his role in a 1916 antiwar demonstration. He was released from the second under a general amnesty three weeks before the end of the First World War.

During the November Revolution that broke out across Germany in the final days of the war, Liebknecht proclaimed Germany a "Free Socialist Republic" from the Berlin Palace on 9 November 1918. On 11 November, together with Rosa Luxemburg and others he founded the Spartacist League. In December, his call to make Germany a soviet republic was rejected by the majority of the Reich Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' Councils (German: Reichsrätekongress). At the end of 1918, Liebknecht was one of the founders of the Communist Party of Germany. Shortly after the suppression of the Spartacist Uprising in which he played a leading role, he and Rosa Luxemburg were killed by members of the Guard Cavalry Rifle Division after they had consulted with Gustav Noske, who was a member of the Council of the People's Deputies, Germany's interim government, and had responsibility for military affairs. Although two of the men directly involved in the murders were prosecuted, no one responsible for ordering their deaths was ever brought to trial. (Full article...)

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