Socialism

Socialism

Overview
Socialism icon is an economic system
Economic system
An economic system is the combination of the various agencies, entities that provide the economic structure that defines the social community. These agencies are joined by lines of trade and exchange along which goods, money etc. are continuously flowing. An example of such a system for a closed...

 characterized by social ownership of the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

 and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative
Cooperative
A cooperative is a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit...

 enterprises, common ownership
Common ownership
Common ownership is a principle according to which the assets of an enterprise or other organization are held indivisibly rather than in the names of the individual members or by a public institution such as a governmental body. It is therefore in contrast to public ownership...

, autonomous public ownership or state ownership. As a form of social organization, socialism is based on co-operative social relations and self-management
Workers' self-management
Worker self-management is a form of workplace decision-making in which the workers themselves agree on choices instead of an owner or traditional supervisor telling workers what to do, how to do it and where to do it...

; relatively equal power-relations and the reduction or elimination of hierarchy in the management of economic and political affairs.

Socialist economies are based upon production for use
Production for use
Production for use is a defining criterion of a socialist economy and distinguishes socialism from capitalism...

 and the direct allocation of economic inputs to satisfy economic demands and human needs (use value
Use value
Use value or value in use is the utility of consuming a good; the want-satisfying power of a good or service in classical political economy. In Marx's critique of political economy, any labor-product has a value and a use-value, and if it is traded as a commodity in markets, it additionally has an...

); accounting is based on physical quantities
Calculation in kind
Calculation in kind is a type of accounting based on physical magnitudes and physical quantities rather than a common unit of accounting for economic calculation. Calculation in kind, or valueless calculation, is often described as the form of calculation that would supersede monetary calculation...

 of resources, some physical magnitude, or a direct measure of labour-time
Time-based currency
In economics, a time-based currency is an alternative currency where the unit of exchange is the man-hour.Some time-based currencies value everyone’s contributions equally. One hour equals one service credit...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Socialism'
Start a new discussion about 'Socialism'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Quotations

The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency.

Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 1991

The Idiots of socialism are slaves, but they are no one's property and therefore no one's loss.

Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (1996) George Reisman

Under communism (socialism), there is no incentive to supply people with anything they need or want, including safety.

Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (1996) George Reisman
Encyclopedia
Socialism icon is an economic system
Economic system
An economic system is the combination of the various agencies, entities that provide the economic structure that defines the social community. These agencies are joined by lines of trade and exchange along which goods, money etc. are continuously flowing. An example of such a system for a closed...

 characterized by social ownership of the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

 and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative
Cooperative
A cooperative is a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit...

 enterprises, common ownership
Common ownership
Common ownership is a principle according to which the assets of an enterprise or other organization are held indivisibly rather than in the names of the individual members or by a public institution such as a governmental body. It is therefore in contrast to public ownership...

, autonomous public ownership or state ownership. As a form of social organization, socialism is based on co-operative social relations and self-management
Workers' self-management
Worker self-management is a form of workplace decision-making in which the workers themselves agree on choices instead of an owner or traditional supervisor telling workers what to do, how to do it and where to do it...

; relatively equal power-relations and the reduction or elimination of hierarchy in the management of economic and political affairs.

Socialist economies are based upon production for use
Production for use
Production for use is a defining criterion of a socialist economy and distinguishes socialism from capitalism...

 and the direct allocation of economic inputs to satisfy economic demands and human needs (use value
Use value
Use value or value in use is the utility of consuming a good; the want-satisfying power of a good or service in classical political economy. In Marx's critique of political economy, any labor-product has a value and a use-value, and if it is traded as a commodity in markets, it additionally has an...

); accounting is based on physical quantities
Calculation in kind
Calculation in kind is a type of accounting based on physical magnitudes and physical quantities rather than a common unit of accounting for economic calculation. Calculation in kind, or valueless calculation, is often described as the form of calculation that would supersede monetary calculation...

 of resources, some physical magnitude, or a direct measure of labour-time
Time-based currency
In economics, a time-based currency is an alternative currency where the unit of exchange is the man-hour.Some time-based currencies value everyone’s contributions equally. One hour equals one service credit...

. Goods and services for consumption are distributed through markets, and distribution of income is based on the principle of individual merit
Meritocracy
Meritocracy, in the first, most administrative sense, is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their "merits", namely intelligence, credentials, and education, determined through evaluations or...

/individual contribution
To each according to his contribution
To each according to his contribution is considered by socialists and Marxist socialists as a characteristic of society directly following the transition to socialism, but preceding the final step to communism...

.

As a political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

, socialism includes a diverse array of political philosophies, ranging from reformism
Reformism
Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a society can ultimately change a society's fundamental economic relations and political structures...

 to revolutionary socialism
Revolutionary socialism
The term revolutionary socialism refers to Socialist tendencies that advocate the need for fundamental social change through revolution by mass movements of the working class, as a strategy to achieve a socialist society...

. Proponents of state socialism
State socialism
State socialism is an economic system with limited socialist characteristics, such as public ownership of major industries, remedial measures to benefit the working class, and a gradual process of developing socialism through government policy...

 advocate for the nationalisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange as a strategy for implementing socialism; while social democrats
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

 advocate public control
Economic interventionism
Economic interventionism is an action taken by a government in a market economy or market-oriented mixed economy, beyond the basic regulation of fraud and enforcement of contracts, in an effort to affect its own economy...

 of capital within the framework of a market economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

. Libertarian socialists
Libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production...

 and anarchists
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 reject using the state
Central government
A central government also known as a national government, union government and in federal states, the federal government, is the government at the level of the nation-state. The structure of central governments varies from institution to institution...

 to build socialism, arguing that socialism will, and must, either arise spontaneously or be built from the bottom up utilizing the strategy of dual power
Dual power
Dual power is a concept that has taken on a broad meaning in the hands of anarchists and Libertarian socialists who use it to refer to the concept of gradual revolution through the creation of "alternative-institutions" and "counter-institutions" in place of and in opposition to state and corporate...

. They promote direct worker-ownership of the means of production alternatively through independent syndicates
Syndicalism
Syndicalism is a type of economic system proposed as a replacement for capitalism and an alternative to state socialism, which uses federations of collectivised trade unions or industrial unions...

, workplace democracies
Workplace democracy
Workplace democracy is the application of democracy in all its forms to the workplace....

, or worker cooperative
Worker cooperative
A worker cooperative is a cooperative owned and democratically managed by its worker-owners. This control may be exercised in a number of ways. A cooperative enterprise may mean a firm where every worker-owner participates in decision making in a democratic fashion, or it may refer to one in which...

s.

Modern socialism originated from an 18th-century intellectual and working class political movement that criticised the effects of industrialisation and private property
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

 on society. Utopian socialists
Utopian socialism
Utopian socialism is a term used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought as exemplified by the work of Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, and Robert Owen which inspired Karl Marx and other early socialists and were looked on favorably...

 such as Robert Owen
Robert Owen
Robert Owen was a Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement.Owen's philosophy was based on three intellectual pillars:...

 (1771–1858), tried to found self-sustaining communes by secession from a capitalist society. Henri de Saint Simon (1760–1825), who coined the term socialisme, advocated technocracy
Technocracy (bureaucratic)
Technocracy is a form of government where technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields. Economists, engineers, scientists, health professionals, and those who have knowledge, expertise or skills would compose the governing body...

 and industrial planning. Saint-Simon, Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

 and Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 advocated the creation of a society that allows for the widespread application of modern technology to rationalise economic activity by eliminating the anarchy
Anarchy
Anarchy , has more than one colloquial definition. In the United States, the term "anarchy" typically is meant to refer to a society which lacks publicly recognized government or violently enforced political authority...

 of capitalist production that results in instability and cyclical crises of overproduction
Overproduction
In economics, overproduction, oversupply or excess of supply refers to excess of supply over demand of products being offered to the market...

.

Socialists inspired by the Soviet model of economic development
Economy of the Soviet Union
The economy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was based on a system of state ownership of the means of production, collective farming, industrial manufacturing and centralized administrative planning...

, such as Marxist-Leninists, have advocated the creation of centrally planned economies
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

 directed by a single-party state
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

 that owns the means of production. Others, including Yugoslavian
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

, Hungarian
People's Republic of Hungary
The People's Republic of Hungary or Hungarian People's Republic was the official state name of Hungary from 1949 to 1989 during its Communist period under the guidance of the Soviet Union. The state remained in existence until 1989 when opposition forces consolidated in forcing the regime to...

, East German and Chinese communist governments
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

 in the 1970s and 1980s, instituted various forms of market socialism
Market socialism
Market socialism refers to various economic systems where the means of production are either publicly owned or cooperatively owned and operated for a profit in a market economy. The profit generated by the firms system would be used to directly remunerate employees or would be the source of public...

, combining co-operative and state ownership
State ownership
State ownership, also called public ownership, government ownership or state property, are property interests that are vested in the state, rather than an individual or communities....

 models with the free market exchange
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

 and free price system
Free price system
A free price system or free price mechanism is an economic system where prices are set by the interchange of supply and demand, with the resulting prices being understood as signals that are communicated between producers and consumers which serve to guide the production and distribution of...

 (but not free prices for the means of production).

Philosophy



The socialist perspective is generally based on a materialist outlook (usually historical materialism
Historical materialism
Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

, but early socialists favored strict positivism
Positivism
Positivism is a a view of scientific methods and a philosophical approach, theory, or system based on the view that, in the social as well as natural sciences, sensory experiences and their logical and mathematical treatment are together the exclusive source of all worthwhile information....

) and an understanding that human behaviour is largely shaped by the social environment. In particular, scientific socialism
Scientific Socialism
Scientific socialism is the term used by Friedrich Engels to describe the social-political-economic theory first pioneered by Karl Marx. The purported reason why this socialism is "scientific socialism" is because its theories are held to an empirical standard, observations are essential to its...

 holds that social mores
Mores
Mores, in sociology, are any given society's particular norms, virtues, or values. The word mores is a plurale tantum term borrowed from Latin, which has been used in the English language since the 1890s....

, values, cultural traits and economic practices are social creations, and are not the property of an immutable natural law
Natural law
Natural law, or the law of nature , is any system of law which is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law Natural...

. The ultimate goal for Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 socialists is the emancipation of labour from alienating work
Marx's theory of alienation
Marx's theory of alienation , as expressed in the writings of the young Karl Marx , refers to the separation of things that naturally belong together, or to put antagonism between things that are properly in harmony...

. Marxists argue that freeing the individual from the necessity of performing alienating work in order to receive goods would allow people to pursue their own interests and develop their own talents without being coerced into performing labour for others. For Marxists, the stage of economic development in which this is possible is contingent upon advances in the productive capabilities
Productive forces
Productive forces, "productive powers" or "forces of production" [in German, Produktivkräfte] is a central idea in Marxism and historical materialism....

 of society.

Socialists argue that socialism is about bringing human social organization up to the level of current technological capability to fully take advantage of modern technology. They argue that capitalism is either obsolete or approaching obsolescence as a viable system for producing and distributing wealth in an effective manner. Socialists generally argue that capitalism concentrates power and wealth within a small segment of society that controls the means of production and derives its wealth through a system of exploitation
Exploitation
This article discusses the term exploitation in the meaning of using something in an unjust or cruel manner.- As unjust benefit :In political economy, economics, and sociology, exploitation involves a persistent social relationship in which certain persons are being mistreated or unfairly used for...

. This creates a stratified society based on unequal
Social equality
Social equality is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in a certain respect. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and the...

 social relations that fails to provide equal opportunities for every individual to maximize their potential, and does not utilise available technology and resources to their maximum potential in the interests of the public, and focuses on satisfying market-induced wants as opposed to human needs. Socialists argue that socialism would allow for wealth to be distributed based on how much one contributes to society, as opposed to how much capital one holds.

Socialists hold that capitalism is an illegitimate economic system, since it serves the interests of the wealthy and allows the exploitation
Exploitation
This article discusses the term exploitation in the meaning of using something in an unjust or cruel manner.- As unjust benefit :In political economy, economics, and sociology, exploitation involves a persistent social relationship in which certain persons are being mistreated or unfairly used for...

 of lower classes. As such, they wish to replace it completely or at least make substantial modifications to it, in order to create a more just society that would guarantee a certain basic standard of living. A primary goal of socialism is social equality
Social equality
Social equality is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in a certain respect. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and the...

 and a distribution of wealth
Distribution of wealth
The distribution of wealth is a comparison of the wealth of various members or groups in a society. It differs from the distribution of income in that it looks at the distribution of ownership of the assets in a society, rather than the current income of members of that society.-Definition of...

 based on one's contribution to society
To each according to his contribution
To each according to his contribution is considered by socialists and Marxist socialists as a characteristic of society directly following the transition to socialism, but preceding the final step to communism...

, and an economic arrangement that would serve the interests of society as a whole.

Economics



As an economic-system, socialism is structured upon production for use – the direct allocation of resources toward useful production. In some cases, financial calculation is replaced with calculation-in-natura
Calculation in kind
Calculation in kind is a type of accounting based on physical magnitudes and physical quantities rather than a common unit of accounting for economic calculation. Calculation in kind, or valueless calculation, is often described as the form of calculation that would supersede monetary calculation...

 – such as energy accounting or physical quantities. The output generated – goods and services for consumption – is distributed through markets.

This is contrasted with capitalism, where production is carried out for profit, and thus based upon indirect allocation. In an ideal capitalism based on perfect competition
Perfect competition
In economic theory, perfect competition describes markets such that no participants are large enough to have the market power to set the price of a homogeneous product. Because the conditions for perfect competition are strict, there are few if any perfectly competitive markets...

, competitive pressures compel business enterprises to respond to the needs of consumers, so that the pursuit of profit approximates production for use through an indirect process.

Market socialism
Market socialism
Market socialism refers to various economic systems where the means of production are either publicly owned or cooperatively owned and operated for a profit in a market economy. The profit generated by the firms system would be used to directly remunerate employees or would be the source of public...

 retains the process of capital accumulation
Capital accumulation
The accumulation of capital refers to the gathering or amassing of objects of value; the increase in wealth through concentration; or the creation of wealth. Capital is money or a financial asset invested for the purpose of making more money...

, but subjects investment to social control, utilizing the market to allocate the factors of production
Factors of production
In economics, factors of production means inputs and finished goods means output. Input determines the quantity of output i.e. output depends upon input. Input is the starting point and output is the end point of production process and such input-output relationship is called a production function...

. The profit generated by publicly owned firms would fund a social dividend
Social dividend
A social dividend is a proposal for allocating surplus value, or economic profits, generated by publicly-owned enterprises in a socialist economic system...

, which would be used for public investment or public finance. Market socialist theories range from libertarian
Libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production...

 theories like mutualism
Mutualism (economic theory)
Mutualism is an anarchist school of thought that originates in the writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who envisioned a society where each person might possess a means of production, either individually or collectively, with trade representing equivalent amounts of labor in the free market...

, to theories based on Neoclassical economics
Neoclassical economics
Neoclassical economics is a term variously used for approaches to economics focusing on the determination of prices, outputs, and income distributions in markets through supply and demand, often mediated through a hypothesized maximization of utility by income-constrained individuals and of profits...

 like the Lange Model.

The ownership of the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

 can be based on direct ownership by the users of the productive property through worker cooperative
Worker cooperative
A worker cooperative is a cooperative owned and democratically managed by its worker-owners. This control may be exercised in a number of ways. A cooperative enterprise may mean a firm where every worker-owner participates in decision making in a democratic fashion, or it may refer to one in which...

; or commonly owned
Common ownership
Common ownership is a principle according to which the assets of an enterprise or other organization are held indivisibly rather than in the names of the individual members or by a public institution such as a governmental body. It is therefore in contrast to public ownership...

 by all of society with management and control delegated to those who operate/use the means of production; or public ownership by a state apparatus. Public ownership may refer to the creation of state-owned enterprises, nationalisation or municipalisation. The fundamental feature of a socialist economy is that publicly owned, worker-run institutions produce goods and services in at least the commanding heights
Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy
The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy is a book by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, first published as The Commanding Heights: The Battle Between Government and the Marketplace That Is Remaking the Modern World in 1998...

 of the economy.

Management and control over the activities of enterprises is based on self-management and self-governance, with equal power-relations in the workplace to maximize occupational autonomy. A socialist form of organization would eliminate controlling hierarchies so that only a hierarchy based on technical knowledge in the workplace remains. Every member would have decision-making power in the firm and would be able to participate in establishing its overall policy objectives. The policies/goals would be carried out by the technical specialists that form the coordinating hierarchy of the firm, who would establish plans or directives for the work community to accomplish these goals.

Planned economy



A planned economy combines public ownership of the means of production with centralised state planning
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

. This model is usually associated with the centralised Soviet-style command economy
Economy of the Soviet Union
The economy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was based on a system of state ownership of the means of production, collective farming, industrial manufacturing and centralized administrative planning...

. In a centrally planned economy, decisions regarding the quantity of goods and services to be produced are planned in advance by a planning agency. This type of economic system was often combined with a single-party political system, and is thus associated with the Communist states of the 20th century.

In the economy of the Soviet Union
Economy of the Soviet Union
The economy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was based on a system of state ownership of the means of production, collective farming, industrial manufacturing and centralized administrative planning...

, state ownership of the means of production was combined with central planning, in relation to which goods and services were to be provided, how they were to be produced, the quantities, and the sale prices. Soviet economic planning
Economic planning
Economic planning refers to any directing or planning of economic activity outside the mechanisisms of the market, in an attempt to achieve specific economic or social outcomes. Planning is an economic mechanism for resource allocation and decision-making in contrast with the market mechanism...

 was an alternative to allowing the market (supply and demand
Supply and demand
Supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers will equal the quantity supplied by producers , resulting in an...

) to determine prices for producer and consumer goods. The Soviet economy utilized material balance accounting in order to balance the supply of available inputs with output targets, although this never totally replaced financial accounting. Although the Soviet economy was nominally a centrally-planned economy, in practice the plan was formulated on-the-go as information was collected and relayed from enterprises to planning ministries.

Socialist economists and political theorists
Political economy
Political economy originally was the term for studying production, buying, and selling, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth, including through the budget process. Political economy originated in moral philosophy...

 have criticised the notion that the Soviet-style planned economies were socialist economies. They argue that the Soviet economy was structured upon the accumulation of capital
Capital accumulation
The accumulation of capital refers to the gathering or amassing of objects of value; the increase in wealth through concentration; or the creation of wealth. Capital is money or a financial asset invested for the purpose of making more money...

 and the extraction of surplus value
Surplus value
Surplus value is a concept used famously by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. Although Marx did not himself invent the term, he developed the concept...

 from the working class by the planning agency in order to reinvest this surplus in new production – or to distribute to managers and senior officials, indicating the Soviet Union (and other Soviet-style economies) were state capitalist economies. Other socialists have focused on the lack of self-management
Workers' self-management
Worker self-management is a form of workplace decision-making in which the workers themselves agree on choices instead of an owner or traditional supervisor telling workers what to do, how to do it and where to do it...

, the existence of financial calculation and a bureaucratic elite based on hierarchical and centralized powers of authority in the Soviet model, leading them to conclude that they were not socialist but either bureaucratic collectivism
Bureaucratic collectivism
Bureaucratic collectivism is a theory of class society. It is used by some Trotskyists to describe the nature of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, and other similar states in Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere .- Theory :...

, state capitalism
State capitalism
The term State capitalism has various meanings, but is usually described as commercial economic activity undertaken by the state with management of the productive forces in a capitalist manner, even if the state is nominally socialist. State capitalism is usually characterized by the dominance or...

 or deformed workers' state
Deformed workers' state
In Trotskyist political theory, deformed workers' states are states where the bourgeoisie has been overthrown through social revolution, the industrial means of production have been largely nationalized bringing benefits to the working class, but where the working class has never held political power...

s.

Self-managed economy



A self-managed decentralized economy is based upon autonomous self-regulating economic actors and a decentralized mechanism of allocation and decision-making. Historically, this manifested itself in proposals for worker-cooperatives and bottom-up planning through workplace democracy
Workplace democracy
Workplace democracy is the application of democracy in all its forms to the workplace....

. A degree of self-management was practiced in the economic system of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

, which contrasts to the centralized planning of enterprises in Soviet-style planned economies.

One such system is the cooperative economy, a largely free market economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

 in which workers manage the firms and democratically determine remuneration levels and labour divisions. Productive resources would be legally owned by the cooperative
Cooperative
A cooperative is a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit...

 and rented to the workers, who would enjoy usufruct
Usufruct
Usufruct is the legal right to use and derive profit or benefit from property that either belongs to another person or which is under common ownership, as long as the property is not damaged or destroyed...

 rights.

Another form of decentralized planning is the use of cybernetics
Cybernetics
Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. Cybernetics is closely related to information theory, control theory and systems theory, at least in its first-order form...

, or the use of computers to manage the allocation of economic inputs. The socialist-run government of Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende Gossens was a Chilean physician and politician who is generally considered the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in Latin America....

 in Chile experimented with Project Cybersyn
Project Cybersyn
Project Cybersyn was a Chilean attempt at real-time computer-controlled planned economy in the years 1970–1973 . It was essentially a network of telex machines that linked factories with a single computer centre in Santiago, which controlled them using principles of cybernetics...

, a real-time information bridge between the government, state enterprises and consumers.

Another, more recent, variant is participatory economics
Participatory economics
Participatory economics, often abbreviated parecon, is an economic system proposed primarily by activist and political theorist Michael Albert and radical economist Robin Hahnel, among others. It uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and...

, wherein the economy is planned by decentralised councils of workers and consumers. Workers would be remunerated solely according to effort and sacrifice, so that those engaged in dangerous, uncomfortable, and strenuous work would receive the highest incomes and could thereby work less.

A contemporary model for a self-managed, non-market socialism is Pat Devine
Pat Devine
Pat Devine is a radical economist concerned mainly with industrial economics and comparative economic systems. He made one of the most thorough descriptions of a future economy where allocation is done by democratic planning and social ownership without any social division of labour...

's model of negotiated coordination. Negotiated coordination is based upon social ownership by those affected by the use of the assets involved, with decisions made by those at the most localized level of production.

Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens is a Belgian Peer-to-Peer theorist and an active writer, researcher and conference speaker on the subject of technology, culture and business innovation.-Biography:...

 identifies the emergence of the open software movement and peer-to-peer production as a new, alternative mode of production
Mode of production
In the writings of Karl Marx and the Marxist theory of historical materialism, a mode of production is a specific combination of:...

 to the capitalist economy and centrally-planned economy that is based on collaborative self-management, common ownership of resources, and the production of use-values through the free cooperation of producers who have access to distributed capital.

Anarchist communism
Anarchist communism
Anarchist communism is a theory of anarchism which advocates the abolition of the state, markets, money, private property, and capitalism in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy and a horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers' councils with...

 is a theory of anarchism
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 which advocates the abolition of the state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

, private property
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

, and capitalism in favor of common ownership
Common ownership
Common ownership is a principle according to which the assets of an enterprise or other organization are held indivisibly rather than in the names of the individual members or by a public institution such as a governmental body. It is therefore in contrast to public ownership...

 of the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

, direct democracy
Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy"...

 and a horizontal network of voluntary association
Voluntary association
A voluntary association or union is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement as volunteers to form a body to accomplish a purpose.Strictly speaking, in many jurisdictions no formalities are necessary to start an association...

s and workers' council
Workers' council
A workers' council, or revolutionary councils, is the phenomenon where a single place of work or enterprise, such as a factory, school, or farm, is controlled collectively by the workers of that workplace, through the core principle of temporary and instantly revocable delegates.In a system with...

s with production and consumption based on the guiding principle: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need is a slogan popularised by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. In German, "Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!"...

".

De-centralized planning is associated with the political movements of social anarchism
Social anarchism
Social anarchism is a term originally used in 1971 by Giovanni Baldelli as the title of his book where he discusses the organization of an ethical society from an anarchist point of view...

, anarcho-communism, Trotskyism
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

, council communism
Council communism
Council communism is a current of libertarian Marxism that emerged out of the November Revolution in the 1920s, characterized by its opposition to state capitalism/state socialism as well as its advocacy of workers' councils as the basis for workers' democracy.Originally affiliated with the...

, left communism
Left communism
Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the communist left, which criticizes the political ideas of the Bolsheviks at certain periods, from a position that is asserted to be more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views of Leninism held by the Communist International...

 and democratic socialism
Democratic socialism
Democratic socialism is a description used by various socialist movements and organizations to emphasize the democratic character of their political orientation...

.

State-directed economy



A state-directed economy is a system where either the state or worker cooperatives own the means of production, but economic activity is directed to some degree by a government agency or planning ministry through coordinating mechanisms such as indicative planning
Indicative planning
Indicative planning is a form of central economic planning implemented by a state in an effort to solve the problem of imperfect information in economies and thus increase economic performance...

 and dirigisme
Dirigisme
Dirigisme is an economy in which the government exerts strong directive influence. While the term has occasionally been applied to centrally planned economies, where the state effectively controls both production and allocation of resources , it originally had neither of these meanings when...

. This differs from a centralised planned economy (or a command economy) in that micro-economic decision making, such as quantity to be produced and output requirements, are left to managers and workers in the state and cooperative enterprises rather than being mandated by a comprehensive economic plan from a centralised planning board. However, the state will plan long-term strategic investment and seek to coordinate at least some aspects of production. It is possible for a state-directed economy to have elements of both a market and planned economy. For example, investment decisions may be semi-planned by the state, but decisions regarding production may be determined by the market mechanism.

State-directed socialism can also refer to technocratic socialism; economic systems that rely on technocratic management over the means of production and economic policy.

In western Europe, particularly in the period after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, many socialist and social democratic parties in government implemented what became known as mixed economies, some of which included a degree of state-directed economic activity. In the biography of the 1945 UK Labour Party Prime Minister Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS was a British Labour politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, and as the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955...

, Francis Beckett states: "the government... wanted what would become known as a mixed economy". Beckett also states that "Everyone called the 1945 government 'socialist'." These governments nationalised major and economically vital industries while permitting a free market to continue in the rest. These were most often monopolistic or infrastructural industries like mail, railways, power and other utilities. In some instances a number of small, competing and often relatively poorly financed companies in the same sector were nationalised to form one government monopoly for the purpose of competent management, of economic rescue (in the UK, British Leyland, Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Limited
Rolls-Royce Limited was a renowned British car and, from 1914 on, aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce on 15 March 1906 as the result of a partnership formed in 1904....

), or of competing on the world market.

Nationalisation in the UK was achieved through compulsory purchase of the industry (i.e. with compensation). British Aerospace
British Aerospace
British Aerospace plc was a UK aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was in the Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire...

 was a combination of major aircraft companies British Aircraft Corporation
British Aircraft Corporation
The British Aircraft Corporation was a British aircraft manufacturer formed from the government-pressured merger of English Electric Aviation Ltd., Vickers-Armstrongs , the Bristol Aeroplane Company and Hunting Aircraft in 1960. Bristol, English Electric and Vickers became "parents" of BAC with...

, Hawker Siddeley and others. British Shipbuilders
British Shipbuilders
British Shipbuilders Corporation was a public corporation that owned and managed the shipbuilding industry in England and Scotland from 1977 and through the 1980s...

 was a combination of the major shipbuilding companies including Cammell Laird
Cammell Laird
Cammell Laird, one of the most famous names in British shipbuilding during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, came about following the merger of Laird, Son & Co. of Birkenhead and Johnson Cammell & Co. of Sheffield at the turn of the twentieth century.- Founding of the business :The Company...

, Govan Shipbuilders
Govan Shipbuilders
Govan Shipbuilders Ltd was a British shipbuilding company based on the River Clyde at Glasgow in Scotland. It operated the former Fairfield Shipyard and took its name from the Govan area in which it was located.-History:...

, Swan Hunter
Swan Hunter
Swan Hunter, formerly known as "Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson", was one of the best known shipbuilding companies in the world. Based in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, the company was responsible for some of the greatest ships of the early 20th century — most famously, the RMS Mauretania which...

, and Yarrow Shipbuilders
Yarrow Shipbuilders
Yarrow Limited , often styled as simply Yarrows, was a major shipbuilding firm based in the Scotstoun district of Glasgow on the River Clyde...

; the nationalisation of the coal mines in 1947 created a coal board charged with running the coal industry commercially so as to be able to meet the interest payable on the bonds which the former mine owners' shares had been converted into.

Market socialism



Market socialism consists of publicly owned or cooperatively owned enterprises operating in a market economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

. It is a system that utilizes the market and monetary prices
Price system
In economics, a price system is any economic system that affects its distribution of goods and services with prices and employing any form of money. Except for possible remote and primitive communities, all modern societies use price systems to allocate resources...

 for the allocation and accounting of the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

, thereby retaining the process of capital accumulation
Capital accumulation
The accumulation of capital refers to the gathering or amassing of objects of value; the increase in wealth through concentration; or the creation of wealth. Capital is money or a financial asset invested for the purpose of making more money...

. The profit generated would be used to directly remunerate employees or finance public institutions. In state-oriented forms of market socialism, in which state enterprises attempt to maximise profit, the profits can be used to fund government programs and services through a social dividend
Social dividend
A social dividend is a proposal for allocating surplus value, or economic profits, generated by publicly-owned enterprises in a socialist economic system...

, eliminating or greatly diminishing the need for various forms of taxation that exist in capitalist systems. Yugoslavia implemented a market socialist economy based on cooperatives and worker self-management.

The current economic system in China is formally titled Socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics. It combines a large state sector that comprises the 'commanding heights' of the economy, which are guaranteed their public ownership status by law, with a private sector mainly engaged in commodity production and light industry responsible from anywhere between 33% (People's Daily Online 2005) to over 70% of GDP generated in 2005. However by 2005 these market-oriented reforms, including privatization, virtually halted and were partially reversed. The current Chinese economy consists of 150 corporatized
Corporatization
Corporatization refers to the transformation of state assets or agencies into state-owned corporations in order to introduce corporate management techniques to their administration...

 state enterprises that report directly to China's central government. By 2008, these state-owned corporations had become increasingly dynamic and generated large increases in revenue for the state, resulting in a state-sector led recovery during the 2009 financial crises while accounting for most of China's economic growth.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has adopted a similar model after the Doi Moi economic renovation, but slightly differs from the Chinese model in that the Vietnamese government retains firm control over the state sector and strategic industries, but allows for private-sector activity in commodity production.

However, the lack of self-management in economic enterprises and the increasing role of privatization
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

 suggests that these economies actually represent state capitalism
State capitalism
The term State capitalism has various meanings, but is usually described as commercial economic activity undertaken by the state with management of the productive forces in a capitalist manner, even if the state is nominally socialist. State capitalism is usually characterized by the dominance or...

 instead of genuine market socialism.

Social and Political theory



Marxist and non-Marxist social theorists agree that socialism developed in reaction to modern industrial capitalism, but disagree on the nature of their relationship. In this context, socialism has been used to refer to a political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

, a political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 and a hypothetical form of society these movements aim to achieve. As a result, in a political context socialism has come to refer to the strategy (for achieving a socialist society) or policies promoted by socialist organisations and socialist political parties; all of which have no connection to socialism as a socioeconomic system.

Marxism




In the most influential of all socialist theories, Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 and Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

 believed the consciousness of those who earn a wage or salary (the "working class" in the broadest Marxist sense) would be molded by their "conditions" of "wage-slavery", leading to a tendency to seek their freedom or "emancipation" by throwing off the capitalist ownership of society. For Marx and Engels, conditions determine consciousness and ending the role of the capitalist class leads eventually to a classless society in which the state would wither away.

Marx wrote: "It is not the consciousness of [people] that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness."

The Marxist conception of socialism is that of a specific historical phase that will displace capitalism and precede communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. The major characteristics of socialism (particularly as conceived by Marx and Engels after the Paris Commune
Paris Commune
The Paris Commune was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and Marxists had taken place, and it is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class during the Industrial Revolution...

 of 1871) are that the proletariat
Proletariat
The proletariat is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian...

 will control the means of production through a workers' state
Socialist state
A socialist state generally refers to any state constitutionally dedicated to the construction of a socialist society. It is closely related to the political strategy of "state socialism", a set of ideologies and policies that believe a socialist economy can be established through government...

 erected by the workers in their interests. Economic activity would still be organised through the use of incentive systems and social classes would still exist, but to a lesser and diminishing extent than under capitalism.

For orthodox Marxists, socialism is the lower stage of communism based on the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution
To each according to his contribution
To each according to his contribution is considered by socialists and Marxist socialists as a characteristic of society directly following the transition to socialism, but preceding the final step to communism...

" while upper stage communism is based on the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need is a slogan popularised by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. In German, "Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!"...

"; the upper stage becoming possible only after the socialist stage further develops economic efficiency and the automation of production has led to a superabundance of goods and services.

Marx argued that the material productive forces (in industry and commerce) brought into existence by capitalism predicated a cooperative society since production had become a mass social, collective activity of the working class to create commodities but with private ownership (the relations of production or property relations). This conflict between collective effort in large factories and private ownership would bring about a conscious desire in the working class to establish collective ownership commensurate with the collective efforts their daily experience.

"At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or – this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms – with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. Then begins an era of social revolution. The changes in the economic foundation lead sooner or later to the transformation of the whole immense superstructure." A socialist society based on democratric cooperation thus arises. Eventually the state, associated with all previous societies which are divided into classes for the purpose of suppressing the oppressed classes, withers away.

By contrast, Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

 posits that socialism is rooted in the desire to bring the state closer to the realm of individual activity, in countering the anomie
Anomie
Anomie is a term meaning "without Law" to describe a lack of social norms; "normlessness". It describes the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and their community ties, with fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values. It was popularized by French...

 of a capitalist society, considering that socialism "simply represented a system in which moral principles discovered by scientific sociology could be applied". Durkheim could be considered a modern social democrat for advocating social reforms, but rejecting the creation of a socialist society.

Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

 sought socialism based on the rural peasantry rather than the urban working class, attempting to inspire the peasants of Bolivia by his own example into a change of consciousness. Guevara said in 1965:

Socialism cannot exist without a change in consciousness resulting in a new fraternal attitude toward humanity, both at an individual level, within the societies where socialism is being built or has been built, and on a world scale, with regard to all peoples suffering from imperialist
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 oppression.


In the middle of the 20th century, socialist intellectuals retained considerable influence in European philosophy. Eros and Civilisation (1955), by Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse was a German Jewish philosopher, sociologist and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory...

, explicitly attempted to merge Marxism with Freudianism. The social science of Marxist structuralism
Structuralism
Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague and Moscow schools of linguistics. Just as structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in linguistics, structuralism...

 had a significant influence on the socialist New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 in the 1960s and the 1970s.

Utopian versus scientific


The distinction between "utopian
Utopian socialism
Utopian socialism is a term used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought as exemplified by the work of Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, and Robert Owen which inspired Karl Marx and other early socialists and were looked on favorably...

" and "scientific socialism
Scientific Socialism
Scientific socialism is the term used by Friedrich Engels to describe the social-political-economic theory first pioneered by Karl Marx. The purported reason why this socialism is "scientific socialism" is because its theories are held to an empirical standard, observations are essential to its...

" was first explicitly made by Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

 in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific
In the year 1878, Friedrich Engels published Anti-Dühring, a polemic against philosopher Eugen Dühring.In 1880, a booklet composed of the introduction and Part 3, Chapter 2 of the work was published in French...

, which contrasted the "utopian pictures of ideal social conditions" of social reformers with the Marxian concept of scientific socialism. Scientific socialism begins with the examination of social and economic phenomena—the empirical study of real processes in society and history.

For Marxists, the development of capitalism in western Europe provided a material basis for the possibility of bringing about socialism because, according to the Communist Manifesto, "What the bourgeoisie produces above all is its own grave diggers", namely the working class, which must become conscious of the historical objectives set it by society.

Eduard Bernstein
Eduard Bernstein
Eduard Bernstein was a German social democratic theoretician and politician, a member of the SPD, and the founder of evolutionary socialism and revisionism.- Life :...

 revised this theory to suggest that society is inevitably moving toward socialism, bringing in a mechanical and teleological element to Marxism and initiating the concept of evolutionary socialism. Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Bunde Veblen, born Torsten Bunde Veblen was an American economist and sociologist, and a leader of the so-called institutional economics movement...

 saw socialism as an immediate stage in an ongoing evolutionary process in economics that would result from the natural decay of the system of business enterprise; in contrast to Marx, he did not believe it would be the result of political struggle or revolution by the working class and did not believe it to be the ultimate goal of humanity.

Utopian socialists establish a set of ideals or goals and present socialism as an alternative to capitalism, with subjectively better attributes. Examples of this form of socialism include Robert Owen
Robert Owen
Robert Owen was a Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement.Owen's philosophy was based on three intellectual pillars:...

's New Harmony
New Harmony, Indiana
New Harmony is a historic town on the Wabash River in Harmony Township, Posey County, Indiana, United States. It lies north of Mount Vernon, the county seat. The population was 916 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Evansville metropolitan area. Many of the old Harmonist buildings still stand...

 community.

Reform versus revolution


Reformists, such as classical social democrats
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

, believe that a socialist system can be achieved by reforming capitalism. Socialism, in their view, can be reached through the existing political system by electing socialists to political office to implement economic reforms.

Revolutionaries
Revolutionary socialism
The term revolutionary socialism refers to Socialist tendencies that advocate the need for fundamental social change through revolution by mass movements of the working class, as a strategy to achieve a socialist society...

, such as Marxists and Anarchists, believe such methods will fail because the state ultimately acts in the interests of capitalist business interests, and a socialist party will either be subsumed by the capitalist system or find itself unable to implement fundamental reforms. They believe that spontaneous revolution is the only means to establish a new socio-economic system. The task of socialist organizations or parties is to educate the masses to build socialist consciousness. They do not necessarily define revolution as a violent insurrection, but instead as a thorough and rapid change.

By contrast, Leninists and Trotskyists advocate the creation of a vanguard party, led by professional revolutionaries, to lead the working class in the conquest of the state. After taking power, Leninists seek to create a socialist state
Socialist state
A socialist state generally refers to any state constitutionally dedicated to the construction of a socialist society. It is closely related to the political strategy of "state socialism", a set of ideologies and policies that believe a socialist economy can be established through government...

 dominated by the revolutionary party, which they see as being essential for laying the foundations for a socialist economy.

Revolutionary Syndicalists argue that revolutionary trade or industrial unions, as opposed to the state or worker councils, are the only means to establish socialism.

Other theorists, such as Joseph Schumpeter
Joseph Schumpeter
Joseph Alois Schumpeter was an Austrian-Hungarian-American economist and political scientist. He popularized the term "creative destruction" in economics.-Life:...

, Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Bunde Veblen, born Torsten Bunde Veblen was an American economist and sociologist, and a leader of the so-called institutional economics movement...

 and some of the Utopian socialists, believed that socialism would form naturally and spontaneously without, or with very limited, political action as the capitalist economic system decays into obsolescence.

Socialism from above or below


Socialism from above refers to the viewpoint that reforms or revolutions for socialism will come from, or be led by, higher status members of society who desire a more rational, efficient economic system. Claude Henri de Saint-Simon
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, often referred to as Henri de Saint-Simon was a French early socialist theorist whose thought influenced the foundations of various 19th century philosophies; perhaps most notably Marxism, positivism and the discipline of sociology...

, and later evolutionary economist
Evolutionary economics
Evolutionary economics is part of mainstream economics as well as heterodox school of economic thought that is inspired by evolutionary biology...

 Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Bunde Veblen, born Torsten Bunde Veblen was an American economist and sociologist, and a leader of the so-called institutional economics movement...

, believed that socialism would be the result of innovative engineers, scientists and technicians who want to organise society and the economy in a rational fashion, instead of the working-class. Social democracy is often advocated by intellectuals and the middle-class, as well as the working class segments of the population. Socialism from below
Socialism from below
Socialism from below , founded in 1997 and disbanded in 2007, was one of two socialist groups in France based on the International Socialism tradition of the Trotskyist movement...

 refers to the position that socialism can only come from, and be led by, popular
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 solidarity and political action from the lower classes, such as the working class and lower-middle class. Proponents of socialism from below – such as syndicalists
Syndicalism
Syndicalism is a type of economic system proposed as a replacement for capitalism and an alternative to state socialism, which uses federations of collectivised trade unions or industrial unions...

 and orthodox Marxists — often liken socialism from above to elitism
Elitism
Elitism is the belief or attitude that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously or carry the most...

 and/or Stalinism
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

.

Allocation of resources


Resource allocation is the subject of intense debate between market socialist
Market socialism
Market socialism refers to various economic systems where the means of production are either publicly owned or cooperatively owned and operated for a profit in a market economy. The profit generated by the firms system would be used to directly remunerate employees or would be the source of public...

s and proponents of economic planning
Economic planning
Economic planning refers to any directing or planning of economic activity outside the mechanisisms of the market, in an attempt to achieve specific economic or social outcomes. Planning is an economic mechanism for resource allocation and decision-making in contrast with the market mechanism...

.

Many socialists advocate de-centralized participatory planning
Participatory economics
Participatory economics, often abbreviated parecon, is an economic system proposed primarily by activist and political theorist Michael Albert and radical economist Robin Hahnel, among others. It uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and...

, where economic decision-making is based on self-management and self-governance and a democratic manner from the bottom-up without any directing central authority. Leon Trotsky held the view that central planners, regardless of their intellectual capacity, operated without the input and participation of the millions of people who participate in the economy and understand/respond to local economic conditions; such central planners would be unable to effectively coordinate all economic activity.

On the other hand, Leninists
Leninism
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism...

 and some State socialists
State socialism
State socialism is an economic system with limited socialist characteristics, such as public ownership of major industries, remedial measures to benefit the working class, and a gradual process of developing socialism through government policy...

 advocate directive planning where directives are passed down from higher planning authorities to enterprise managers, who in turn give orders to workers.

Equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome



Proponents of equality of opportunity
Equal opportunity
Equal opportunity, or equality of opportunity, is a controversial political concept; and an important informal decision-making standard without a precise definition involving fair choices within the public sphere...

 advocate a society in which there are equal opportunities and life chances
Life chances
Life chances is a political theory of the opportunities each individual has to improve his or her quality of life. The concept was introduced by German sociologist Max Weber. It is a probabilistic concept, describing how likely it is, given certain factors, that an individual's life will turn out...

 for all individuals to maximise their potentials and attain positions in society. This would be made possible by equal access to the necessities of life. This position is held by technocratic socialists, Marxists and social democrats. Equality of outcome
Equality of outcome
Equality of outcome, equality of condition, or equality of results is a controversial political concept. Although it is not always clearly defined, it is usually taken to describe a state in which people have approximately the same material wealth or, more generally, in which the general conditions...

 refers to a state where everyone receives equal amounts of rewards and an equal level of power in decision-making, with the belief that all roles in society are necessary and therefore none should be rewarded more than others. This view is shared by some communal utopian socialists and anarcho-communists.

Politics


The major socialist political movements are described below. Independent socialist theorists, utopian socialist authors, and academic supporters of socialism may not be represented in these movements. Some political groups have called themselves socialist while holding views that some consider antithetical to socialism. The term socialist has also been used by some politicians on the political right
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

 as an epithet against certain individuals who do not consider themselves to be socialists, and against policies that are not considered socialist by their proponents.

Anarchism



Anarchism features the belief that the state cannot be used to establish a socialist economy and proposes a political alternative based on federated decentralized autonomous communities. It includes proponents of both individualist anarchism
Individualist anarchism
Individualist anarchism refers to several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and his or her will over external determinants such as groups, society, traditions, and ideological systems. Individualist anarchism is not a single philosophy but refers to a...

 and social anarchism
Social anarchism
Social anarchism is a term originally used in 1971 by Giovanni Baldelli as the title of his book where he discusses the organization of an ethical society from an anarchist point of view...

. Mutualists
Mutualism (economic theory)
Mutualism is an anarchist school of thought that originates in the writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who envisioned a society where each person might possess a means of production, either individually or collectively, with trade representing equivalent amounts of labor in the free market...

 advocate free-market socialism, collectivist anarchists workers cooperatives and salaries based on the amount of time contributed to production, anarcho-communists advocate a direct transition from capitalism to libertarian communism
Libertarian communism
Libertarian communism is a theory of libertarianism which advocates the abolition of the state and private property, and capitalism in favor of common ownership of the means of production, a direct democracy and self-governance....

 and anarcho-syndicalists worker's direct action
Direct action
Direct action is activity undertaken by individuals, groups, or governments to achieve political, economic, or social goals outside of normal social/political channels. This can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action...

 and the General strike
General strike
A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants...

.

Democratic socialism


Modern democratic socialism
Democratic socialism
Democratic socialism is a description used by various socialist movements and organizations to emphasize the democratic character of their political orientation...

 is a broad political movement that seeks to propagate the ideals of socialism within the context of a democratic system. Many democratic socialists support social democracy
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

 as a road to reform of the current system, but others support more revolutionary tactics to establish socialist goals. Conversely, modern social democracy emphasises a program of gradual legislative reform of capitalism in order to make it more equitable and humane, while the theoretical end goal of building a socialist society is either completely forgotten or redefined in a pro-capitalist way. The two movements are widely similar both in terminology and in ideology, although there are a few key differences.

Democratic socialism generally refers to any political movement that seeks to establish an economy based on economic democracy
Economic democracy
Economic democracy is a socioeconomic philosophy that suggests a shift in decision-making power from a small minority of corporate shareholders to a larger majority of public stakeholders...

 by and for the working class. Democratic socialists oppose democratic centralism
Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties, and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist policy inside a political party...

 and the revolutionary vanguard party of Leninism
Leninism
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism...

. Democratic socialism is difficult to define, and groups of scholars have radically different definitions for the term. Some definitions simply refer to all forms of socialism that follow an electoral, reformist
Reformism
Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a society can ultimately change a society's fundamental economic relations and political structures...

 or evolutionary path to socialism, rather than a revolutionary one.

Leninism


Leninism
Leninism
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism...

 promotes the creation of a vanguard party, led by professional revolutionaries, to lead the working class in the conquest of the state
Proletarian revolution
A proletarian revolution is a social and/or political revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by socialists, communists, and most anarchists....

. They believe that socialism will not arise spontaneously through the natural decay of capitalism, and that workers by themselves are unable to organize and develop socialist consciousness, therefore requiring the leadership of a revolutionary vanguard. After taking power, Leninists seek to create a socialist state in which the working class would be in power, which they see as being essential for laying the foundations for a transitional withering of the state towards communism (Stateless society). The mode of industrial organization championed by Leninists and Marxism-Leninism is the capitalist model of scientific management
Scientific management
Scientific management, also called Taylorism, was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management...

 inspired by Fredrick Taylor. Leninism branched into Marxism-Leninism
Marxism-Leninism
Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology, officially based upon the theories of Marxism and Vladimir Lenin, that promotes the development and creation of a international communist society through the leadership of a vanguard party over a revolutionary socialist state that represents a dictatorship...

, Trotskyism
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

, Stalinism
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 and Maoism
Maoism
Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought , is claimed by Maoists as an anti-Revisionist form of Marxist communist theory, derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong . Developed during the 1950s and 1960s, it was widely applied as the political and military guiding...

.

Libertarian socialism


Libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism
Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production...

 is a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society
Stateless society
A stateless society is a society that is not governed by a state. In stateless societies, there is little concentration of authority; most positions of authority that do exist are very limited in power and are generally not permanently held positions; and social bodies that resolve disputes through...

 without private property in the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

. Libertarian socialists oppose all coercive forms of social organization, promote free association
Free association (communism and anarchism)
In the anarchist, Marxist and socialist sense, free association is a kind of relation between individuals where there is no state, social class or authority, in a society that had abolished the private property of means of production...

 in place of government, and oppose the coercive social relations of capitalism, such as wage labor. They oppose hierarchical leadership structures, such as vanguard parties, and most are opposed to using the state to create socialism
State socialism
State socialism is an economic system with limited socialist characteristics, such as public ownership of major industries, remedial measures to benefit the working class, and a gradual process of developing socialism through government policy...

. Currents within libertarian socialism include Marxist tendencies such as left communism
Left communism
Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the communist left, which criticizes the political ideas of the Bolsheviks at certain periods, from a position that is asserted to be more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views of Leninism held by the Communist International...

, council communism
Council communism
Council communism is a current of libertarian Marxism that emerged out of the November Revolution in the 1920s, characterized by its opposition to state capitalism/state socialism as well as its advocacy of workers' councils as the basis for workers' democracy.Originally affiliated with the...

 and autonomism
Autonomism
Autonomism refers to a set of left-wing political and social movements and theories close to the socialist movement. As an identifiable theoretical system it first emerged in Italy in the 1960s from workerist communism...

, as well as non-Marxist movements such as Left anarchism
Left anarchism
Left anarchism or left-wing anarchism refer to left-wing forms of anarchism. It posits a future society in which private property is replaced by reciprocity and non-hierarchical society...

, Communalism
Communalism (Political Philosophy)
Communalism is a libertarian socialist political philosophy coined by author and activist Murray Bookchin as a political system to complement his environmental philosophy of social ecology....

, Participism
Participism
Participism is a libertarian socialist political philosophy consisting of two independently created economic and political systems: participatory economics or "parecon" and participatory politics or "parpolity"...

, and Inclusive Democracy
Inclusive Democracy
Inclusive Democracy is a political theory and political project that aims for direct democracy, economic democracy in a stateless, moneyless and marketless economy, self-management and ecological democracy...

.

Social democracy



Traditional social democrats advocated the creation of socialism through political reforms by operating within the existing political system of capitalism. The social democratic movement sought to elect socialists to political office to implement reforms. The modern social democratic movement has abandoned the goal of achieving a socialist economy, and instead advocates for social reforms to improve capitalism, such as a welfare state
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

 and unemployment benefits. It is best demonstrated by the economic format which has been used in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland in the past few decades. This approach been called the Nordic model
Nordic model
The Nordic model refers to the economic and social models of the Nordic countries . This particular adaptation of the mixed market economy is characterised by "universalist" welfare states , which are aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, ensuring the universal provision of basic human...

.

Syndicalism



Syndicalism is a political movement that operates through industrial trade unions and rejects state socialism
State socialism
State socialism is an economic system with limited socialist characteristics, such as public ownership of major industries, remedial measures to benefit the working class, and a gradual process of developing socialism through government policy...

. Syndicalists advocate a socialist economy based on federated unions or syndicates of workers who own and manage the means of production.

History



The term socialism is attributed to Pierre Leroux
Pierre Leroux
Pierre Henri Leroux , French philosopher and political economist, was born at Bercy, now a part of Paris, the son of an artisan.- Life :...

, and to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud
Marie Roch Louis Reybaud
Marie Roch Louis Reybaud , French writer, political economist and politician, was born at Marseille.After travelling in the Levant and in India, he settled in Paris in 1829...

; and in Britain to Robert Owen
Robert Owen
Robert Owen was a Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement.Owen's philosophy was based on three intellectual pillars:...

 in 1827, father of the cooperative movement. Socialist models and ideas espousing common or public ownership have existed since antiquity. Mazdak
Mazdak
Mazdak was a proto-socialist Persian reformer and religious activist who gained influence under the reign of the Sassanian Shahanshah Kavadh I...

, a Persian communal proto-socialist, instituted communal possessions and advocated the public good. And it has been claimed, though controversially, that there were elements of socialist thought in the politics of classical Greek philosophers Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 and Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

.

The first advocates of socialism favoured social levelling in order to create a meritocratic or technocratic society based upon individual talent. Count Henri de Saint-Simon is regarded as the first individual to coin the term socialism. Saint-Simon was fascinated by the enormous potential of science and technology and advocated a socialist society that would eliminate the disorderly aspects of capitalism and would be based upon equal opportunities. He advocated the creation of a society in which each person was ranked according to his or her capacities and rewarded according to his or her work. The key focus of Simon's socialism was on administrative efficiency and industrialism, and a belief that science was the key to progress.

This was accompanied by a desire to implement a rationally organised economy based on planning and geared towards large-scale scientific and material progress, and thus embodied a desire for a more directed or planned economy
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

. Other early socialist thinkers, such as Thomas Hodgkin and Charles Hall, based their ideas on David Ricardo
David Ricardo
David Ricardo was an English political economist, often credited with systematising economics, and was one of the most influential of the classical economists, along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill. He was also a member of Parliament, businessman, financier and speculator,...

's economic theories. They reasoned that the equilibrium value of commodities approximated to prices charged by the producer when those commodities were in elastic supply, and that these producer prices corresponded to the embodied labour – the cost of the labour (essentially the wages paid) that was required to produce the commodities. The Ricardian socialists viewed profit, interest and rent as deductions from this exchange-value.

West European social critics, including Robert Owen
Robert Owen
Robert Owen was a Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement.Owen's philosophy was based on three intellectual pillars:...

, Charles Fourier
Charles Fourier
François Marie Charles Fourier was a French philosopher. An influential thinker, some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become main currents in modern society...

, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was a French politician, mutualist philosopher and socialist. He was a member of the French Parliament, and he was the first person to call himself an "anarchist". He is considered among the most influential theorists and organisers of anarchism...

, Louis Blanc
Louis Blanc
Louis Jean Joseph Charles Blanc was a French politician and historian. A socialist who favored reforms, he called for the creation of cooperatives in order to guarantee employment for the urban poor....

, Charles Hall
Charles Hall (economist)
Charles Hall was a British physician, social critic and Ricardian socialist who published The Effects of Civilization on the People in European States in 1805, condemning capitalism for its inability to provide for the poor. In the book, Hall argued that inequalities in wealth and the production...

 and Saint-Simon
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, often referred to as Henri de Saint-Simon was a French early socialist theorist whose thought influenced the foundations of various 19th century philosophies; perhaps most notably Marxism, positivism and the discipline of sociology...

, were the first modern socialists who criticised the excessive poverty and inequality of the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

. They advocated reform, with some such as Robert Owen advocating the transformation of society to small communities without private property. Robert Owen's contribution to modern socialism was his understanding that actions and characteristics of individuals were largely determined by the social environment they were raised in and exposed to. On the other hand Charles Fourier
Charles Fourier
François Marie Charles Fourier was a French philosopher. An influential thinker, some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become main currents in modern society...

 advocated phalansteres
Phalanstère
A phalanstère was a type of building designed for an utopian community and developed in the early 19th century by Charles Fourier. Based on the idea of a phalanx, this self-contained community ideally consisted of 1500-1600 people working together for mutual benefit...

 which were communities that respected individual desires (incluiding sexual preferences), affinities and creativity and saw that work has to be made enjoyable for people. The ideas of Owen and Fourier were tried in practice in numerous intentional communities around Europe and the American continent in the mid-19th century.

Linguistically, the contemporary connotation of the words socialism and communism accorded with the adherents' and opponents' cultural attitude towards religion. In Christian Europe, of the two, communism was believed the atheist
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 way of life. In Protestant England, the word communism was too culturally and aurally close to the Roman Catholic communion rite, hence English atheists denoted themselves socialists.

Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

 argued that in 1848, at the time when the Communist Manifesto was published, "socialism was respectable on the continent, while communism was not." The Owenites in England and the Fourierists in France were considered "respectable" socialists, while working-class movements that "proclaimed the necessity of total social change" denoted themselves communists. This latter branch of socialism produced the communist work of Étienne Cabet
Étienne Cabet
Étienne Cabet was a French philosopher and utopian socialist. He was the founder of the Icarian movement and led a group of emigrants to found a new society in the United States.-Biography:...

 in France and Wilhelm Weitling
Wilhelm Weitling
Wilhelm Weitling was an important 19th-century European radical.Both praised and critiqued by disciples of the growing Marxist philosophy during the 19th century, Weitling was characterized as a "utopian socialist" by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, although Engels also referred to Weitling as the...

 in Germany.

First International and Second International



The International Workingmen's Association
International Workingmen's Association
The International Workingmen's Association , sometimes called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class...

 (IWA), also known as the First International, was founded in London in 1864. The IWA held a preliminary conference in 1865, and had its first congress at Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

 in 1866. Due to the wide variety of philosophies present in the First International, there was conflict from the start. The first objections to Marx's came from the Mutualist
Mutualism (economic theory)
Mutualism is an anarchist school of thought that originates in the writings of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who envisioned a society where each person might possess a means of production, either individually or collectively, with trade representing equivalent amounts of labor in the free market...

s who opposed communism and statism
Statism
Statism is a term usually describing a political philosophy, whether of the right or the left, that emphasises the role of the state in politics or supports the use of the state to achieve economic, military or social goals...

. However, shortly after Mikhail Bakunin
Mikhail Bakunin
Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin was a well-known Russian revolutionary and theorist of collectivist anarchism. He has also often been called the father of anarchist theory in general. Bakunin grew up near Moscow, where he moved to study philosophy and began to read the French Encyclopedists,...

 and his followers (called Collectivists
Collectivist anarchism
Collectivist anarchism is a revolutionary doctrine that advocates the abolition of both the state and private ownership of the means of production...

 while in the International) joined in 1868, the First International became polarised into two camps, with Marx and Bakunin as their respective figureheads The clearest differences between the groups emerged over their proposed strategies for achieving their visions of socialism. The First International became the first major international forum for the promulgation of socialist ideas.

As the ideas of Marx and Engels took on flesh, particularly in central Europe, socialists sought to unite in an international organisation. In 1889, on the centennial of the French Revolution of 1789, the Second International was founded, with 384 delegates from 20 countries representing about 300 labour and socialist organizations. It was termed the "Socialist International" and Engels was elected honorary president at the third congress in 1893. Anarchists were ejected and not allowed in mainly because of the pressure from marxists.

Revolutions of 1917–1936



By 1917, the patriotism of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 changed into political radicalism
Political radicalism
The term political radicalism denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways...

 in most of Europe, the United States
Socialism in the United States
Socialism as an organized political movement in the United States began with utopian communities in the early 19th century and later became closely tied to the Socialist Labor Party and the Socialist Party of America...

, and Australia. In February 1917, revolution exploded in Russia
February Revolution
The February Revolution of 1917 was the first of two revolutions in Russia in 1917. Centered around the then capital Petrograd in March . Its immediate result was the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the end of the Russian Empire...

. Workers, soldiers and peasants established soviets
Soviet (council)
Soviet was a name used for several Russian political organizations. Examples include the Czar's Council of Ministers, which was called the “Soviet of Ministers”; a workers' local council in late Imperial Russia; and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union....

 (councils), the monarchy fell, and a provisional government convoked pending the election of a constituent assembly
Constituent assembly
A constituent assembly is a body composed for the purpose of drafting or adopting a constitution...

.

In April of that year, Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 arrived in Russia from Switzerland, calling for "All power to the soviets." In October, his party, the Bolsheviks, won support of most soviets at the second All-Russian Congress of Soviets
All-Russian Congress of Soviets
The All-Russian Congress of Soviets was the supreme governing body of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1917–22 and of the Soviet Union until 1936. The 1918 Constitution of the Russian SFSR mandated that Congress shall convene at least twice a year...

, while he and Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 simultaneously led the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

. As a matter of political pragmatism, Lenin reversed Marx's order of economics over politics, allowing for a political revolution led by a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries
Revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

 rather than a spontaneous establishment of socialist institutions led by a spontaneous uprising of the working class as predicted by Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

. On 25 January 1918, at the Petrograd Soviet
Petrograd Soviet
The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies , usually called the Petrograd Soviet , was the soviet in Petrograd , Russia, established in March 1917 after the February Revolution as the representative body of the city's workers.The Petrograd Soviet became important during the Russian...

, Lenin declared "Long live the world socialist revolution!" He proposed an immediate armistice on all fronts, and transferred the land of the landed proprietors, the crown and the monasteries to the peasant committees without compensation.

On 26 January 1918, the day after assuming executive power, Lenin wrote Draft Regulations on Workers' Control, which granted workers control of businesses with more than five workers and office employees, and access to all books, documents and stocks, and whose decisions were to be "binding upon the owners of the enterprises". Governing through the elected soviets, and in alliance with the peasant-based Left Socialist-Revolutionaries
Left Socialist-Revolutionaries
In 1917, Russia the Socialist-Revolutionary Party split between those who supported the Provisional Government, established after the February Revolution, and those who supported the Bolsheviks who favoured a communist insurrection....

, the Bolshevik government began nationalising banks, industry, and disavowed the national debts of the deposed Romanov
Romanov
The House of Romanov was the second and last imperial dynasty to rule over Russia, reigning from 1613 until the February Revolution abolished the crown in 1917...

 royal régime. It sued for peace, withdrawing from World War I, and convoked a Constituent Assembly
Constituent assembly
A constituent assembly is a body composed for the purpose of drafting or adopting a constitution...

 in which the peasant Socialist-Revolutionary Party
Socialist-Revolutionary Party
thumb|right|200px|Socialist-Revolutionary election poster, 1917. The caption in red reads "партия соц-рев" , short for Party of the Socialist Revolutionaries...

 (SR) won a majority.

The Constituent Assembly elected Socialist-Revolutionary leader Victor Chernov President of a Russian republic, but rejected the Bolshevik proposal that it endorse the Soviet decrees on land, peace and workers' control, and acknowledge the power of the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies. The next day, the Bolsheviks declared that the assembly was elected on outdated party lists, and the All-Russian Central Executive Committee
All-Russian Central Executive Committee
All-Russian Central Executive Committee , was the highest legislative, administrative, and revising body of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Although the All-Russian Congress of Soviets had supreme authority, in periods between its sessions its powers were passed to VTsIK...

 of the Soviets dissolved it.

The Bolshevik Russian Revolution of January 1918 engendered Communist parties worldwide, and their concomitant revolutions of 1917-23
Revolutions of 1917-23
The Revolutions of 1917–23 formed a revolutionary wave precipitated by the end of World War I in general and the Russian Revolutions of 1917 in particular. Some authorities date the wave as ending in 1919 or 1921.-Russia:...

. Few Communists doubted that the Russian success of socialism depended upon successful, working-class socialist revolutions in developed capitalist countries. In 1919, Lenin and Trotsky organised the world's Communist parties into a new international association of workers the Communist International, (Comintern), also called the Third International.
By 1920, the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

, under its commander Trotsky, had largely defeated the royalist White Armies. In 1921, War Communism was ended and, under the New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
The New Economic Policy was an economic policy proposed by Vladimir Lenin, who called it state capitalism. Allowing some private ventures, the NEP allowed small animal businesses or smoke shops, for instance, to reopen for private profit while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade,...

 (NEP), private ownership was allowed for small and medium peasant enterprises. While industry remained largely state-controlled, Lenin acknowledged that the NEP was a necessary capitalist measure for a country unripe for socialism. Profiteering returned in the form of "NEP men" and rich peasants (Kulak
Kulak
Kulaks were a category of relatively affluent peasants in the later Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, and early Soviet Union...

s) gained power in the countryside.

In 1922, the fourth congress of the Communist International took up the policy of the United Front
United front
The united front is a form of struggle that may be pursued by revolutionaries. The basic theory of the united front tactic was first developed by the Comintern, an international communist organisation created by revolutionaries in the wake of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.According to the theses of...

, urging Communists to work with rank and file Social Democrats while remaining critical of their leaders, who they criticised for betraying the working class by supporting the war efforts of their respective capitalist classes. For their part, the social democrats pointed to the dislocation caused by revolution, and later, the growing authoritarianism of the Communist Parties. When the Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
The Communist Party of Great Britain was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991.-Formation:...

 applied to affiliate to the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 in 1920 it was turned down.

In 1923, on seeing the Soviet State's growing coercive power, the dying Lenin said Russia had reverted to "a bourgeois tsarist machine... barely varnished with socialism." After Lenin's death in January 1924, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

  then increasingly under the control of Joseph Stalin rejected the theory that socialism could not be built solely in the Soviet Union, in favour of the concept of Socialism in One Country
Socialism in One Country
Socialism in One Country was a theory put forth by Joseph Stalin in 1924, elaborated by Nikolai Bukharin in 1925 and finally adopted as state policy by Stalin...

. Despite the marginalised Left Opposition
Left Opposition
The Left Opposition was a faction within the Bolshevik Party from 1923 to 1927, headed de facto by Leon Trotsky. The Left Opposition formed as part of the power struggle within the party leadership that began with the Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin's illness and intensified with his death in January...

's demand for the restoration of Soviet democracy, Stalin developed a bureaucratic, authoritarian government, that was condemned by democratic socialists, anarchists and Trotskyists for undermining the initial socialist ideals of the Bolshevik Russian Revolution.

The Russian Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 of October 1917 brought about the definitive ideological division between Communists as denoted with a capital "С" on the one hand and other communist and socialist trends such as anarcho-communists
Anarchist communism
Anarchist communism is a theory of anarchism which advocates the abolition of the state, markets, money, private property, and capitalism in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy and a horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers' councils with...

 and social democrats, on the other. The Left Opposition
Left Opposition
The Left Opposition was a faction within the Bolshevik Party from 1923 to 1927, headed de facto by Leon Trotsky. The Left Opposition formed as part of the power struggle within the party leadership that began with the Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin's illness and intensified with his death in January...

 in the Soviet Union gave rise to Trotskyism
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 which was to remain isolated and insignificant for another fifty years, except in Sri Lanka where Trotskyism gained the majority and the pro-Moscow wing was expelled from the Communist Party.

After World War II


In 1951, British Health Minister Aneurin Bevan
Aneurin Bevan
Aneurin "Nye" Bevan was a British Labour Party politician who was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1959 until his death in 1960. The son of a coal miner, Bevan was a lifelong champion of social justice and the rights of working people...

 expressed the view that, "It is probably true that Western Europe would have gone socialist after the war if Soviet behaviour had not given it too grim a visage. Soviet Communism and Socialism are not yet sufficiently distinguished in many minds."

In 1951, the Socialist International
Socialist International
The Socialist International is a worldwide organization of democratic socialist, social democratic and labour political parties. It was formed in 1951.- History :...

 was re-founded by the European social democratic parties. It declared: "Communism has split the International Labour Movement
Labour movement
The term labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and governments, in particular through the implementation of specific laws governing labour...

 and has set back the realisation of Socialism in many countries for decades... Communism falsely claims a share in the Socialist tradition. In fact it has distorted that tradition beyond recognition. It has built up a rigid theology which is incompatible with the critical spirit of Marxism."

In the postwar years, socialism became increasingly influential throughout the so-called Third World
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

. Countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America frequently nationalised industries held by foreign owners. The Soviet Union had become a superpower through its adoption of a planned economy, albeit at enormous human cost. This achievement seemed hugely impressive from the outside, and convinced many nationalists in the former colonies, not necessarily communists or even socialists, of the virtues of state planning and state-guided models of social development. This was later to have important consequences in countries like China, India and Egypt, which tried to import some aspects of the Soviet model.

Social democrats in power



The Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

, the first social democratic labour party in the world, was formed in 1891. In 1904, Australians elected the first Labor Party prime minister in the world: Chris Watson. In 1945, the British Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, led by Clement Attlee
Clement Attlee
Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS was a British Labour politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951, and as the Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955...

, was elected to office based upon a radical socialist programme. Social Democratic parties dominated post-war politics in countries such as France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Norway. In Sweden, the Social Democratic Party held power from 1936 to 1976, 1982 to 1991, and 1994 to 2006. At one point, France claimed to be the world's most state-controlled capitalist country. The nationalised public utilities included Charbonnages de France (CDF), Electricité de France (EDF), Gaz de France (GDF), Air France, Banque de France, and Régie Nationale des Usines Renault. Post-World War II social democratic governments introduced social reform and wealth redistribution via state welfare and taxation.
United Kingdom


In the UK, the Labour Party was influenced by the British social reformer William Beveridge
William Beveridge
William Henry Beveridge, 1st Baron Beveridge KCB was a British economist and social reformer. He is best known for his 1942 report Social Insurance and Allied Services which served as the basis for the post-World War II welfare state put in place by the Labour government elected in 1945.Lord...

, who had identified five "Giant Evils" afflicting the working class of the pre-war period: "want" (poverty), disease, "ignorance" (lack of access to education), "squalor" (poor housing), and "idleness" (unemployment). Unemployment benefits, national insurance
National Insurance
National Insurance in the United Kingdom was initially a contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment, and later also provided retirement pensions and other benefits...

 and state pensions were introduced by the 1945 Labour government. Aneurin Bevan
Aneurin Bevan
Aneurin "Nye" Bevan was a British Labour Party politician who was the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1959 until his death in 1960. The son of a coal miner, Bevan was a lifelong champion of social justice and the rights of working people...

, who had introduced the Labour Party's National Health Service
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

 in 1948, criticised the Attlee government for not progressing further, demanding economic planning and criticising the implementation of nationalisation for not empowering the workers with democratic control of operations.

The UK Labour Government nationalised major public utilities such as mines, gas, coal, electricity, rail, iron, steel, and the Bank of England. British Petroleum, privatised in 1987, was officially nationalised in 1951, and there was further government intervention during the 1974–79 Labour Government Anthony Crosland
Anthony Crosland
Charles Anthony Raven Crosland , otherwise Tony Crosland or C.A.R. Crosland, was a British Labour Party politician and author. He served as Member of Parliament for South Gloucestershire and later for Great Grimsby...

 said that in 1956, 25 per cent of British industry was nationalised, and that public employees, including those in nationalised industries, constituted a similar percentage of the country's total employed population. The Labour government, however, did not seek to end capitalism, and the "government had not the smallest intention of bringing in the 'common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange'", Labour re-nationalised steel (1967, British Steel) after the Conservatives denationalised it, and nationalised car production (1976, British Leyland). In 1977, major aircraft companies and shipbuilding were nationalised.

The National Health Service provided taxpayer-funded health care to everyone, free at the point of service. Working-class housing was provided in council housing estates, and university education became available via a school grant system. Ellen Wilkinson
Ellen Wilkinson
Ellen Cicely Wilkinson was the Labour Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough and later for Jarrow on Tyneside. She was one of the first women in Britain to be elected as a Member of Parliament .- History :...

, Minister for Education, introduced taxpayer-funded milk in schools, saying, in a 1946 Labour Party conference: "Free milk will be provided in Hoxton
Hoxton
Hoxton is an area in the London Borough of Hackney, immediately north of the financial district of the City of London. The area of Hoxton is bordered by Regent's Canal on the north side, Wharf Road and City Road on the west, Old Street on the south, and Kingsland Road on the east.Hoxton is also a...

 and Shoreditch
Shoreditch
Shoreditch is an area of London within the London Borough of Hackney in England. It is a built-up part of the inner city immediately to the north of the City of London, located east-northeast of Charing Cross.-Etymology:...

, in Eton
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 and Harrow
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

. What more social equality can you have than that?" Clement Attlee's biographer argued that this policy "contributed enormously to the defeat of childhood illnesses resulting from bad diet. Generations of poor children grew up stronger and healthier, because of this one, small, and inexpensive act of generosity, by the Attlee government".
The "Nordic model"


The Nordic model refers to the economic and social model
Social Model
A social, or socioeconomic, model, is the value system associated with the structure of a nation's political economy. There are no set rules that define a social model, only loose definitions characterized by certain attributes.-Taxation:...

s of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 (Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

). This particular adaptation of the mixed market economy
Mixed economy
Mixed economy is an economic system in which both the state and private sector direct the economy, reflecting characteristics of both market economies and planned economies. Most mixed economies can be described as market economies with strong regulatory oversight, in addition to having a variety...

 is characterised by more generous welfare states (relative to other developed countries), which are aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 and stabilising the economy. It is distinguished from other welfare states with similar goals by its emphasis on maximising labour force participation, promoting gender equality, egalitarian
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

 and extensive benefit levels, large magnitude of redistribution, and liberal use of expansionary fiscal policy. This has included high degrees of labour union membership. In 2008, labour union density was 67.5% in Finland, 67.6% in Denmark, and 68.3% in Sweden. In comparison, union membership was 11.9% in the United States and 7.7% in France. The Nordic Model, however, is not a single model with specific components or rules; each of the Nordic countries has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbours.

Social democrats adopt free market policies



Many social democratic parties, particularly after the Cold war, adopted neoliberal
Neoliberalism
Neoliberalism is a market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that emphasizes the efficiency of private enterprise, liberalized trade and relatively open markets, and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the...

-based market policies that include privatization
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

, liberalization
Liberalization
In general, liberalization refers to a relaxation of previous government restrictions, usually in areas of social or economic policy. In some contexts this process or concept is often, but not always, referred to as deregulation...

, deregulation
Deregulation
Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or simplification of government rules and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces.Deregulation is the removal or...

 and financialization
Financialization
Financialization is a term sometimes used in discussions of financial capitalism which developed over several decades leading up to the 2007-2010 financial crisis, and in which financial leverage tended to override capital and financial markets tended to dominate over the traditional industrial...

; resulting in the abandonment of pursuing the development of moderate socialism in favor of market liberalism
Market liberalism
The term market liberalism is used in two distinct meanings.Especially in the United States, the term is often used as a synonym to classical liberalism...

. Despite the name, these pro-capitalist policies are radically different from the many non-capitalist free-market socialist
Market socialism
Market socialism refers to various economic systems where the means of production are either publicly owned or cooperatively owned and operated for a profit in a market economy. The profit generated by the firms system would be used to directly remunerate employees or would be the source of public...

 theories that have existed throughout history.

In 1959, the German Social Democratic Party
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 adopted the Godesberg Program
Godesberg Program
The Godesberg Program was the party program outline of the political course of Germany's social-democratic party, the SPD. It was ratified on November 15, 1959, at an SPD party convention in the town of Bad Godesberg, which is today part of Bonn....

, rejecting class struggle
Class struggle
Class struggle is the active expression of a class conflict looked at from any kind of socialist perspective. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote "The [written] history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle"....

 and Marxism. In 1980, with the rise of conservative neoliberal politicians such as Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 in the U.S., Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 in Britain and Brian Mulroney
Brian Mulroney
Martin Brian Mulroney, was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993 and was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1983 to 1993. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the introduction of major economic reforms, such as the Canada-U.S...

, in Canada, the Western, welfare state was attacked from within. Monetarists
Monetarism
Monetarism is a tendency in economic thought that emphasizes the role of governments in controlling the amount of money in circulation. It is the view within monetary economics that variation in the money supply has major influences on national output in the short run and the price level over...

 and neoliberalism
Neoliberalism
Neoliberalism is a market-driven approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that emphasizes the efficiency of private enterprise, liberalized trade and relatively open markets, and therefore seeks to maximize the role of the private sector in determining the...

 attacked social welfare systems as impediments to private entrepreneurship at public expense.

In the 1980s and 1990s, western European socialists were pressured to reconcile their socialist economic programmes with a free-market-based communal European economy. In the UK, the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 leader Neil Kinnock
Neil Kinnock
Neil Gordon Kinnock, Baron Kinnock is a Welsh politician belonging to the Labour Party. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1970 until 1995 and as Labour Leader and Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition from 1983 until 1992 - his leadership of the party during nearly nine years making him...

 made a passionate and public attack against the party's Militant Tendency
Militant Tendency
The Militant tendency was an entrist group within the British Labour Party based around the Militant newspaper that was first published in 1964...

 at a Labour Party conference, and repudiated the demands of the defeated striking miners after the 1984–1985 strike against pit closures
UK miners' strike (1984–1985)
The UK miners' strike was a major industrial action affecting the British coal industry. It was a defining moment in British industrial relations, and its defeat significantly weakened the British trades union movement...

. In 1989, at Stockholm, the 18th Congress of the Socialist International adopted a new Declaration of Principles, saying:

Democratic socialism is an international movement for freedom, social justice, and solidarity. Its goal is to achieve a peaceful world where these basic values can be enhanced and where each individual can live a meaningful life with the full development of his or her personality and talents, and with the guarantee of human and civil rights in a democratic framework of society.


In the 1990s, released from the Left's pressure, the British Labour Party, under Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

, posited policies based upon the free market economy to deliver public services via private contractors. In 1995, the Labour Party re-defined its stance on socialism by re-wording clause IV
Clause IV
Clause IV historically refers to part of the 1918 text of the British Labour Party constitution which set out the aims and values of the party. Before its revision in 1995, its application was the subject of considerable dispute.-Text:...

 of its constitution, effectively rejecting socialism by removing any and all references to public, direct worker or municipal ownership of the means of production. In 1995, the British Labour Party revised its political aims: "The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that, by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create, for each of us, the means to realise our true potential, and, for all of us, a community in which power, wealth, and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few."

The objectives of the Party of European Socialists
Party of European Socialists
The Party of European Socialists is a European political party led by Sergei Stanishev, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria. The PES comprises social-democratic national-level political parties primarily from Member state of the European Union, as well as other nations of the European continent. The...

, the European Parliament's socialist bloc, are now "to pursue international aims in respect of the principles on which the European Union is based, namely principles of freedom, equality, solidarity, democracy, respect of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and respect for the Rule of Law." As a result, today, the rallying cry of the French Revolution "Egalité, Liberté, Fraternité" which overthrew absolutism and ushered industrialization into French society, are promoted as essential socialist values.

Early 2000s


Those who championed socialism in its various Marxist and class struggle forms sought out other arenas than the parties of social democracy at the turn of the 21st century. Anti-capitalism
Anti-capitalism
Anti-capitalism describes a wide variety of movements, ideas, and attitudes which oppose capitalism. Anti-capitalists, in the strict sense of the word, are those who wish to completely replace capitalism with another system....

 and anti-globalization movement
Anti-globalization movement
The anti-globalization movement, or counter-globalisation movement, is critical of the globalization of corporate capitalism. The movement is also commonly referred to as the global justice movement, alter-globalization movement, anti-globalist movement, anti-corporate globalization movement, or...

s rose to prominence particularly through events such as the opposition to the WTO meeting of 1999 in Seattle. Socialist-inspired groups played an important role in these new movements, which nevertheless embraced much broader layers of the population, and were championed by figures such as Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

. The 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 led to a significant anti-war
Anti-war
An anti-war movement is a social movement, usually in opposition to a particular nation's decision to start or carry on an armed conflict, unconditional of a maybe-existing just cause. The term can also refer to pacifism, which is the opposition to all use of military force during conflicts. Many...

 movement in which socialists argued their case.

The Financial crisis of 2007–2010 led to mainstream discussions as to whether "Marx was right". Time magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 ran an article 'Rethinking Marx' and put Karl Marx on the cover of its European edition in a special for the 28 January 2009 Davos meeting. A Globescan BBC poll on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (2009) found that 23% of respondents believe capitalism is "fatally flawed and a different economic system is needed", with that figure rising to over 40% of the population in France; while a majority of respondents including over 50% of Americans believe capitalism "has problems that can be addressed through regulation and reform". Of the 27 countries polled, majorities in 22 of them expressed support for governments to distribute wealth more evenly.

Africa



African socialism has been and continues to be a major ideology around the continent. Julius Nyerere
Julius Nyerere
Julius Kambarage Nyerere was a Tanzanian politician who served as the first President of Tanzania and previously Tanganyika, from the country's founding in 1961 until his retirement in 1985....

 was inspired by Fabian socialist ideals. He was a firm believer in rural Africans and their traditions and ujamaa
Ujamaa
Ujamaa was the concept that formed the basis of Julius Nyerere's social and economic development policies in Tanzania just after it gained independence from Britain in 1961...

, a system of collectivisation that according to Nyerere was present before European imperialism. Essentially he believed Africans were already socialists. Other African socialists include Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyattapron.] served as the first Prime Minister and President of Kenya. He is considered the founding father of the Kenyan nation....

, Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth David Kaunda, known as KK, served as the first President of Zambia, from 1964 to 1991.-Early life:Kaunda was the youngest of eight children. He was born at Lubwa Mission in Chinsali, Northern Province of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia...

, and Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah
Kwame Nkrumah was the leader of Ghana and its predecessor state, the Gold Coast, from 1952 to 1966. Overseeing the nation's independence from British colonial rule in 1957, Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana and the first Prime Minister of Ghana...

. Fela Kuti was inspired by socialism and called for a democratic African republic. In South Africa the African National Congress
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 (ANC) abandoned its partial socialist allegiances after taking power, and followed a standard neoliberal route. From 2005 through to 2007, the country was wracked by many thousands of protests from poor communities. One of these gave rise to a mass movement of shack dwellers, Abahlali baseMjondolo
Abahlali baseMjondolo
Abahlali baseMjondolo , also known as AbM or the red shirts is a shack-dwellers' movement in South Africa which is well known for its campaigning for public housing. The movement grew out of a road blockade organized from the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the city of Durban in early 2005 and now...

 that, despite major police suppression, continues to advocate for popular people's planning and against the creation of a market economy in land and housing. Today many African countries have been accused of being exploited under neoliberal economics.

Asia


The People's Republic of China, North Korea, Laos and Vietnam are Asian countries remaining from the wave of Marxism-Leninist implemented socialism in the 20th century. States with socialist economies have largely moved away from centralised economic planning in the 21st century, placing a greater emphasis on markets. Forms include the Chinese socialist market economy
Socialist market economy
The socialist market economy or socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics is the official term used to refer to the economic system of the People's Republic of China after the reforms of Deng Xiaoping. It is also referred to as socialism with Chinese characteristics...

 and the Vietnamese socialist-oriented market economy
Socialist-oriented market economy
The socialist-oriented market economy is the official name given to the current economic system in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, as a product of the Đổi mới economic reforms, which led to the displacement of the centrally-planned economy with a market socialist system based on commodity...

. They utilise state-owned corporate management models as opposed to modeling socialist enterprise on traditional management styles employed by government agencies.

In the People's Republic of China, the Chinese Communist Party has led a transition from the command economy of the Mao period to an economic program they term the socialist market economy
Socialist market economy
The socialist market economy or socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics is the official term used to refer to the economic system of the People's Republic of China after the reforms of Deng Xiaoping. It is also referred to as socialism with Chinese characteristics...

 or "socialism with Chinese characteristics". Under Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, the leadership of China embarked upon a programme of market-based reform that was more sweeping than had been Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 perestroika
Perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

 program of the late 1980s. Deng's programme, however, maintained state ownership rights over land, state or cooperative ownership of much of the heavy industrial and manufacturing sectors and state influence in the banking and financial sectors.

Elsewhere in Asia, some elected socialist parties and communist parties remain prominent, particularly in India and Nepal. The Communist Party of Nepal in particular calls for multi-party democracy, social equality, and economic prosperity. In Singapore, a majority of the GDP is still generated from the state sector comprising government-linked companies. In Japan, there has been a resurgent interest in the Japanese Communist Party
Japanese Communist Party
The Japanese Communist Party is a left-wing political party in Japan.The JCP advocates the establishment of a society based on socialism, democracy and peace, and opposition to militarism...

 among workers and youth. In Malaysia, the Socialist Party of Malaysia got its first Member of Parliament, Dr. Jeyakumar Devaraj
Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj
Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj is a Malaysian politician and is the current Member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the Sungai Siput constituency in Perak....

, after the 2008 general election
Malaysian general election, 2008
The 12th Malaysian general election was held on March 8, 2008, in accordance with Malaysian laws for national elections, which states that a general election must be held no later than five years subsequent to the previous elections; the previous general election was held in 2004...

.

Europe


In Europe, the socialist Left Party
The Left (Germany)
The Left , also commonly referred to as the Left Party , is a democratic socialist political party in Germany. The Left is the most left-wing party of the five represented in the Bundestag....

 in Germany grew in popularity due to dissatisfaction with the increasingly neoliberal policies of the SPD, becoming the fourth biggest party in parliament in the general election on 27 September 2009. Communist candidate Dimitris Christofias
Dimitris Christofias
Dimitris Christofias also Demetris is a left-wing Greek Cypriot politician and the current and sixth President of the Republic of Cyprus. Christofias was the General Secretary of AKEL and is Cyprus's first, and the European Union's first and so far only, communist head of state. He won the 2008...

 won a crucial presidential runoff in Cyprus, defeating his conservative rival with a majority of 53%. In Greece, in the general election on 4 October 2009, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) won the elections with 43.92% of the votes, the Communist KKE got 7.5% and the new Socialist grouping, (Syriza
Coalition of the Radical Left
The Coalition of the Radical Left , commonly known by its Greek abbreviation ΣΥΡΙΖΑ , is a coalition of left political parties in Greece...

 or "Coalition of the Radical Left"), won 4.6% or 361,000 votes.

In Ireland, in the 2009 European election
European Parliament election, 2009 (Ireland)
The 2009 European Parliament election in Ireland was the Irish component of the 2009 European Parliament election and was held on Friday, 5 June 2009, coinciding with the 2009 local elections...

, Joe Higgins
Joe Higgins
Joe Higgins is an Irish Socialist Party politician. In the 2011 general election he was elected to Dáil Éireann as Teachta Dála for the Dublin West constituency, having previously served in that capacity from 1997–2007...

 of the Socialist Party
Socialist Party (Ireland)
The Socialist Party is a socialist political party active in Ireland. It is a member of the Committee for a Workers' International .Formerly known as Militant Tendency, then Militant Labour, it adopted the name The Socialist Party in 1996. From their foundation in 1972 until the 1980s, members of...

 took one of three seats in the capital Dublin European constituency
Dublin (European Parliament constituency)
Dublin is a constituency of the European Parliament in Ireland. It elects 3 Members of the European Parliament using the single transferable vote form of proportional representation .-History and boundaries:...

. In Denmark, the Socialist People's Party
Socialist People's Party (Denmark)
The Socialist People's Party is a green and socialist political party in Denmark.-1959–69:The SF was founded on 15 February 1959 by Aksel Larsen, a former leader of the Communist Party of Denmark and CIA agent. Larsen was removed from the ranks of the DKP for his criticism over the Soviet...

 (SF or Socialist Party for short) more than doubled its parliamentary representation to 23 seats from 11, making it the fourth largest party.

In the UK, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers is a trade union in the United Kingdom which unionises transport workers. It has more than 80,000 members, and its current general secretary is Bob Crow...

 put forward a slate of candidates in the 2009 European Parliament elections under the banner of No to the EU – Yes to Democracy
No to the EU – Yes to Democracy
No2EU – Yes to Democracy is a left-wing electoral alliance which was initiated by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers to contest the June 2009 European elections in the United Kingdom. The party fielded candidates only in Great Britain...

, a broad left-wing alter-globalisation coalition involving socialist groups such as the Socialist Party
Socialist Party (England and Wales)
The Socialist Party is a Trotskyist party active in England and Wales.It publishes the weekly newspaper The Socialist and the monthly magazine Socialism Today...

, aiming to offer an alternative to the "anti-foreigner" and pro-business policies of the UK Independence Party. In the following May 2010 UK general election, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is a socialist electoral alliance launched in Britain for the 2010 General Election.The coalition was negotiated between groups which had taken part in the No2EU coalition that fought the June 2009 European elections...

, launched in January 2010 and backed by Bob Crow, the leader of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT), other union leaders and the Socialist Party among other socialist groups, stood against Labour in 40 constituencies. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition plans to contest the 2011 elections, having gained the endorsement of the RMT June 2010 conference.

In France, the Revolutionary Communist League
Revolutionary Communist League (France)
See Revolutionary Communist League for the other Ligue communiste révolutionnaire.The Revolutionary Communist League was a French democratic revolutionary socialist political party. It was the French section of the Fourth International...

 (LCR) candidate in the 2007 presidential election, Olivier Besancenot
Olivier Besancenot
Olivier Besancenot is a French far left political figure and trade unionist, and the founding main spokesperson of the New Anticapitalist Party from 2009 to 2011....

, received 1,498,581 votes, 4.08%, double that of the Communist candidate. The LCR abolished itself in 2009 to initiate a broad anti-capitalist party, the New Anticapitalist Party
New Anticapitalist Party
The New Anticapitalist Party is a French political party founded in February 2009. Its name was originally intended to be temporary; a vote on the name being held at the founding congress on 6–8 February 2009, where NPA won over "Revolutionary Anticapitalist Party" with 53% of the vote.The party ...

, whose stated aim is to "build a new socialist, democratic perspective for the twenty-first century".

Latin America





Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega
Daniel Ortega
José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a Nicaraguan politician and revolutionary, currently serving as the 83rd President of Nicaragua, a position that he has held since 2007. He previously served as the 79th President, between 1985 and 1990, and for much of his life, has been a leader in the Sandinista...

, Bolivian President Evo Morales
Evo Morales
Juan Evo Morales Ayma , popularly known as Evo , is a Bolivian politician and activist, currently serving as the 80th President of Bolivia, a position that he has held since 2006. He is also the leader of both the Movement for Socialism party and the cocalero trade union...

, and Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa
Rafael Correa
Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado born is the President of the Republic of Ecuador and was the president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations. An economist educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States, he was elected President in late 2006 and took office in January 2007...

 refer to their political programmes as socialist. Chávez has adopted the term socialism of the 21st century
Socialism of the 21st century
Socialism of the 21st century is a political term and a slogan coined by Heinz Dieterich in 1996. It was used by Hugo Chávez during a speech at the World Social Forum of 2005 and it has been publicised actively by Dieterich worldwide since 2000, especially in Latin America.-Bolivarian...

. After winning re-election in December 2006, Chávez said, "Now more than ever, I am obliged to move Venezuela's path towards socialism."

"Pink tide
Pink tide
Pink tide is a term being used in contemporary 21st century political analysis in the media and elsewhere to describe the perception that Leftist ideology in general, and Left-wing politics in particular, is increasingly influential in Latin America.In 2005, the BBC reported that out of 350...

" is a term being used in contemporary 21st century political analysis
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 in the media and elsewhere to describe the perception that Leftist ideology in general, and Left-wing politics
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 in particular, are increasingly influential in Latin America.

North America


In Canada, the social democratic New Democratic Party
New Democratic Party
The New Democratic Party , commonly referred to as the NDP, is a federal social-democratic political party in Canada. The interim leader of the NDP is Nycole Turmel who was appointed to the position due to the illness of Jack Layton, who died on August 22, 2011. The provincial wings of the NDP in...

 shows signs of growing after winning 102/308 seats (up from 37) in the 2011 Canadian federal election.

Socialist parties in the United States reached their zenith in the early 20th century, but currently active parties and organizations include the Socialist Party USA
Socialist Party USA
The Socialist Party USA is a multi-tendency democratic-socialist party in the United States. The party states that it is the rightful continuation and successor to the tradition of the Socialist Party of America, which had lasted from 1901 to 1972.The party is officially committed to left-wing...

, the Socialist Workers Party
Socialist Workers Party (United States)
The Socialist Workers Party is a far-left political organization in the United States. The group places a priority on "solidarity work" to aid strikes and is strongly supportive of Cuba...

 and the Democratic Socialists of America
Democratic Socialists of America
Democratic Socialists of America is a social-democratic organization in the United States and the U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International, an international federation of social-democratic,democratic socialist and labor political parties and organizations.DSA was formed in 1982 by a merger of...

, the latter having approximately 10,000 members.

Criticism of socialism


Economic liberals, pro-capitalist libertarians
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 and classical liberals see private property of the means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

 and the market exchange as natural entities or moral rights, which are central to their conceptions of freedom and liberty, and thus perceive public ownership of the means of production, cooperatives and economic planning as infringements upon liberty. Some of the primary criticisms of socialism are distorted or absent price signals
Economic calculation problem
The economic calculation problem is a criticism of central economic planning. It was first proposed by Ludwig von Mises in 1920 and later expounded by Friedrich Hayek. The problem referred to is that of how to distribute resources rationally in an economy...

, reduced incentives, reduced prosperity, feasibility, and its social and political effects.

Critics from the neoclassical school of economics criticize state-ownership and centralization of capital on the grounds that there is a lack of incentive in state institutions to act on information as efficiently as capitalist firms do because they lack hard budget constraints
Budget constraint
A budget constraint represents the combinations of goods and services that a consumer can purchase given current prices with his or her income. Consumer theory uses the concepts of a budget constraint and a preference map to analyze consumer choices...

, resulting in reduced overall economic welfare for society. Economists of the Austrian school
Austrian School
The Austrian School of economics is a heterodox school of economic thought. It advocates methodological individualism in interpreting economic developments , the theory that money is non-neutral, the theory that the capital structure of economies consists of heterogeneous goods that have...

 argue that socialist systems based on economic planning are unfeasible because they lack the information to perform economic calculation in the first place, due to a lack of price signals and a free price system
Free price system
A free price system or free price mechanism is an economic system where prices are set by the interchange of supply and demand, with the resulting prices being understood as signals that are communicated between producers and consumers which serve to guide the production and distribution of...

, which they argue are required for rational economic calculation.

See also


  • Dictatorship of the proletariat
    Dictatorship of the proletariat
    In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

  • History of socialism in Great Britain
    History of socialism in Great Britain
    The History of socialism in the United Kingdom is generally thought to stretch back to the 19th century. Starting to arise in the aftermath of the English Civil War notions of socialism in Great Britain and Northern Ireland have taken many different forms from the utopian philanthropism of Robert...

  • History of the socialist movement in the United States
  • List of communist ideologies
  • List of socialist countries
  • List of socialist economists
  • List of socialist songs
  • Luxemburgism
    Luxemburgism
    Luxemburgism is a specific revolutionary theory within Marxism, based on the writings of Rosa Luxemburg. According to M. K...

  • Nanosocialism
    Nanosocialism
    Nanosocialism refers generally to a set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the research, development and use of nanotechnology.- Politics :...

  • Proletarian revolution
    Proletarian revolution
    A proletarian revolution is a social and/or political revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by socialists, communists, and most anarchists....

  • Social peer-to-peer processes
  • Socialism and social democracy in Canada
    Socialism and social democracy in Canada
    Democratic socialism and Social democracy have been, along with liberalism and conservatism, a political force in Canada.-The radical years:Canada's socialist movement is believed to have originated in Western Canada...

  • Socialization of production
    Socialization (economics)
    In economic discourse, socialization has several different but related connotations. In socialist economics, the term usually refers to the process whereby production is reorganized away from producing for private profit to producing goods and services directly for use, along with the end of the...

  • Third World Socialism
    Third World Socialism
    Third World Socialism was a variant of Socialism preached by Nkrumah, Modibo Keita, Sekou Touré, Julius Nyerere, al-Bitar, Aflaq, Nasser, Perón, Nehru, Sukarno, Ben-Gurion, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Zulfikar Bhutto, Buddhadasa, Walter Lini and other such socialist leaders of the Third World who saw a...

  • Workers' self-management
    Workers' self-management
    Worker self-management is a form of workplace decision-making in which the workers themselves agree on choices instead of an owner or traditional supervisor telling workers what to do, how to do it and where to do it...



Further reading


  • Sassoon, Donald. One Hundred Years of Socialism: The West European Left in the Twentieth Century. New Press. 1998. ISBN 1565844866
  • Guy Ankerl, Beyond Monopoly Capitalism and Monopoly Socialism, Cambridge MA: Schenkman, 1978.
  • Beckett, Francis, Clem Attlee, Politico's (2007) 978-1842751923
  • G.D.H. Cole, History of Socialist Thought, in 7 volumes, Macmillan and St. Martin's Press, 1965; Palgrave Macmillan, 2003 reprint; 7 volumes, hardcover, 3160 pages, ISBN 1-4039-0264-X.
  • Friedrich Engels
    Friedrich Engels
    Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

    , Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, Pathfinder; 2r.e. edition (December 1989) 978-0873485791
  • Friedrich Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, Zurich, 1884.
  • Albert Fried and Ronald Sanders, eds., Socialist Thought: A Documentary History, Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor, 1964. .
  • Phil Gasper, The Communist Manifesto: A Road Map to History's Most Important Political Document, Haymarket Books, paperback, 224 pages, 2005. ISBN 1-931859-25-6.
  • Élie Halévy
    Élie Halévy
    Élie Halévy was a French philosopher and historian who wrote studies of the British utilitarians, a history of 19th-century England and the acclaimed book of essays, Era of Tyrannies.-Biography:...

    , Histoire du Socialisme Européen. Paris, Gallimard, 1948.
  • Michael Harrington
    Michael Harrington
    Edward Michael "Mike" Harrington was an American democratic socialist, writer, political activist, professor of political science, radio commentator and founder of the Democratic Socialists of America.-Personal life:...

    , Socialism, New York: Bantam, 1972. .
  • Jesús Huerta de Soto
    Jesús Huerta de Soto
    Jesús Huerta de Soto Ballester is a leading Austrian School economist and Professor of Political Economy at Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid, Spain. He received doctoral degrees in Law and Economic and Business Sciences , both from Complutense University of Madrid, and an MBA from Stanford...

    , Socialismo, cálculo económico y función empresarial (Socialism, Economic Calculation, and Entrepreneurship), Unión Editorial, 1992. ISBN 84-7209-420-0.
  • Makoto Itoh, Political Economy of Socialism. London: Macmillan, 1995. ISBN 0-333-55337-3.
  • Oskar Lange
    Oskar Lange
    Oskar Ryszard Lange was a Polish economist and diplomat...

    , On the Economic Theory of Socialism, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1938. .
  • Michael Lebowitz, Build It Now: Socialism for the 21st Century, Monthly Review Press, 2006. ISBN 1-58367-145-5.
  • Marx, Engels, The Communist Manifesto, Penguin Classics (2002) 978-0140447576
  • Marx, Engels, Selected works in one volume, Lawrence and Wishart (1968) 978-0853151814
  • Ludwig von Mises
    Ludwig von Mises
    Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises was an Austrian economist, philosopher, and classical liberal who had a significant influence on the modern Libertarian movement and the "Austrian School" of economic thought.-Biography:-Early life:...

    , Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis , Liberty Fund, 1922. ISBN 0-913966-63-0.
  • Joshua Muravchik
    Joshua Muravchik
    Joshua Muravchik is a scholar formerly at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and now a fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University....

    , Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism, San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2002. ISBN 1-893554-45-7.
  • Michael Newman, Socialism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-280431-6.
  • Bertell Ollman
    Bertell Ollman
    Bertell Ollman is a professor of politics at New York University. He teaches both dialectical methodology and socialist theory. He is the author of several academic works relating to Marxist theory ....

    , ed., Market Socialism: The Debate among Socialists, Routledge, 1998. ISBN 0-415-91967-3
  • Leo Panitch
    Leo Panitch
    Leo Panitch is a Distinguished Research Professor, renowned political economist, Marxist theorist and editor of the Socialist Register. He received a B.A. from the University of Manitoba in 1967 and a M.Sc. and PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1968 and 1974,...

    , Renewing Socialism: Democracy, Strategy, and Imagination. ISBN 0-8133-9821-5.
  • Emile Perreau-Saussine, What remains of socialism?, in Patrick Riordan (dir.), Values in Public life: aspects of common goods (Berlin, LIT Verlag, 2007), pp. 11–34
  • Richard Pipes
    Richard Pipes
    Richard Edgar Pipes is an American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the Soviet Union...

    , Property and Freedom, Vintage, 2000. ISBN 0-375-70447-7.
  • John Barkley Rosser and Marina V. Rosser, Comparative Economics in a Transforming World Economy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-262-18234-8.
  • Maximilien Rubel
    Maximilien Rubel
    Maximilien Rubel was a famous Marxist historian. He was educated in law and philosophy in Vienna and Chernivtsi before moving to France to take German studies at the Sorbonne, from which he received his Licence-dès-lettres in 1934...

     and John Crump, Non-Market Socialism in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. ISBN 0-312-00524-5.
  • David Selbourne
    David Selbourne
    David Selbourne is a British political philosopher, social commentator and historian of ideas. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School, and Balliol College, Oxford, where he studied Jurisprudence, held the Winter Williams Law Scholarship, and was awarded a Paton Studentship and the Jenkins...

    , Against Socialist Illusion, London, 1985. ISBN 0-333-37095-3.
  • Katherine Verdery, What Was Socialism, What Comes Next, Princeton. 1996. ISBN 0-691-01132-X
  • James Weinstein
    James Weinstein
    James "Jimmy" Weinstein was an American historian and journalist best known as the founder and publisher of In These Times...

    , Long Detour: The History and Future of the American Left, Westview Press, 2003, hardcover, 272 pages. ISBN 0-8133-4104-3.
  • Peter Wilberg, Deep Socialism: A New Manifesto of Marxist Ethics and Economics, 2003. ISBN 1-904519-02-4.
  • Edmund Wilson
    Edmund Wilson
    Edmund Wilson was an American writer and literary and social critic and noted man of letters.-Early life:Wilson was born in Red Bank, New Jersey. His father, Edmund Wilson, Sr., was a lawyer and served as New Jersey Attorney General. Wilson attended The Hill School, a college preparatory...

    , To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1940. .


External links