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 democratic control or 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 the many types of socialism
, social ownership is the one common element. Socialists disagree about the degree to which social control or regulation of the economy is necessary, how far society should intervene and whether government, particularly existing government, is the correct vehicle for change.
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. Anarchism and libertarian socialism oppose the use of the state as a means to establish socialism, favouring decentralisation above all, whether to establish non-market socialism or market socialism.
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 sometimes refer to Western Bloc countries which have been democratically governed by socialist parties such as Britain, France, Sweden and Western social-democracies in general as democratic socialist. (Full article...)
Richard Henry "R. H." Tawney
(/ˈtɔːni/; 30 November 1880 – 16 January 1962) was an English economic historian
, social critic
, ethical socialist
, Christian socialist
, and an important proponent of adult education
The Oxford Companion to British History (1997) explained that Tawney made a "significant impact" in all four of these "interrelated roles". A. L. Rowse goes further by insisting that "Tawney exercised the widest influence of any historian of his time, politically, socially and, above all, educationally".
||If it were possible to speak in any manner seriously with Radek on serious subjects, we would have made an attempt to explain to him that it is impossible, in 1932, in answer to the question whither does the development of U.S.S.R. lead to refer to the political “fundament” of the socialist construction. The insufficiency of this reference alone was exposed for the first time on a major scale in 1921 when the question of the reciprocal relations with the peasantry was posed point blank. The creation of the economic jointure between the city and the village was then proclaimed to be the creation of the genuine foundation of socialist construction. Of such nature was the basic task of the N.E.P. The theoretical formula of the jointure is very simple: the nationalized industry must provide the peasantry with products indispensable to it, in such quantity, of such quality and at such prices as would entirely eliminate or reduce to a minimum, in the reciprocal relations between the state and the basic mass of the peasantry, the factor of extra-economic force, that is, the administrative seizure of peasant labor. The discussion concerns of course not the kulaks, in relation to whom a special task is posed; to limit their exploiting activities and not to allow them to turn into the dominant power in the village. The establishment of a reciprocal relationship of voluntary “barter” between industry and rural economy, between the city and village would impart an immutable firmness to the political interrelation between the proletariat and the peasantry. To socialism, of course, in such a case, there would still remain a long and a difficult road. But on this fundament – on the fundament of a jointure between the city and the village acceptable to the moujik, the economic work could be confidently pushed ahead, without rushing apace or dropping back, by maneuvering on the world market and in accordance with the tempo of the development of the revolution in the Occident and the Orient. Not only would the road not have led to national socialism, but it would have been of use to nobody. It would suffice, if the still isolated economy of the Soviet Union became one of the preparatory elements of the future international socialist society. He who talks about “the fundament of socialism” in 1932 has no right to retreat to the line of 1918, without even making an attempt to hold to the line of 1921; i.e., without giving an answer to the question: Did we succeed, during the 12 years that elapsed since the introduction of the N.E.P. to realize the jointure, in the Leninist sense of the word? Did the 100 percent collectivization assure such reciprocal relations between the city and the village as would reduce the extra-economic force, if not to zero, then clearly approximately to it? In this is the whole question. And to this fundamental question one is still compelled to give a negative answer. The 100 per cent collectivization has come about not as the crowning and the fruition of an achieved jointure, but as an administrative screening of its absence. To keep mum on this question, to circumvent it, to beat around the bush with words, is to call the greatest danger’s upon the dictatorship of the proletariat ... But of course, it is not from Radek that one should except an analysis of the problem of the jointure.
|— Leon Trotsky, The Foundations of Socialism, 1932
The following are images from various socialism-related articles on Wikipedia.
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
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
New Harmony, a utopian attempt as proposed by Robert Owen
Arabic letters "Lam" and "Alif" reading "Lā" (Arabic for "No!") are a symbol of Islamic Socialism in Turkey.
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