Socialism

Socialism is a left-wing[1] political, social, and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership[2][3][4][5] of the means of production,[6][7][8][9] as opposed to private ownership.[5][10][11] It includes the political theories and movements associated with such systems.[12] Social ownership can be public, collective, or cooperative.[13] While no single definition encapsulates the many types of socialism,[14] social ownership is the one common element.[2][10][11] Different types of socialism vary based on the role of markets and planning in resource allocation, on the structure of management in organizations, and from below or from above approaches, with some socialists favouring a party, state, or technocratic-driven approach. Socialists disagree on whether government, particularly existing government, is the correct vehicle for change.[15][16]

Socialist systems are divided into non-market and market forms.[17] Non-market socialism substitutes factor markets and often money with integrated economic planning and engineering or technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing a different economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws and dynamics than those of capitalism.[18][19][20][21] A non-market socialist system seeks to eliminate the perceived inefficiencies, irrationalities, unpredictability, and crises that socialists traditionally associate with capital accumulation and the profit system in capitalism.[22][23][24][25] By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of socially owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them. Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend.[26][27][28] Anarchism and libertarian socialism oppose the use of the state as a means to establish socialism, favouring decentralisation above all, whether to establish non-market socialism or market socialism.[29][30]

Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist; organised through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions and at other times independent and critical of them, and present in both industrialised and developing nations.[31] Social democracy originated within the socialist movement,[32] supporting economic and social interventions to promote social justice.[33][34] While retaining socialism as a long-term goal,[35][36][37][38][39] since the post-war period it has come to embrace a Keynesian mixed economy within a predominantly developed capitalist market economy and liberal democratic polity that expands state intervention to include income redistribution, regulation, and a welfare state.[40] Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism, with more democratic control of companies, currencies, investments and natural resources.[41]

The socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism.[14] By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production.[42][43] By the 1920s, communism and social democracy had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement,[44] with socialism itself becoming the most influential secular movement of the 20th century.[45] Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, many socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements such as feminism, environmentalism and progressivism.[46]

While the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, several scholars posit that in practice, the model functioned as a form of state capitalism.[47][48][49] Several academics, political commentators, and scholars have distinguished between authoritarian socialist and democratic socialist states, with the first representing the Eastern Bloc and the latter representing Western Bloc countries which have been democratically governed by socialist parties such as Britain, France, Sweden, and Western countries in general, among others.[50][51][52][53] However, following the end of the Cold War, many of these countries have moved away from socialism as a neoliberal consensus replaced the social democratic consensus in the advanced capitalist world.[54][55][56][57]

  1. ^ "Left". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 April 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2022. Socialism is the standard leftist ideology in most countries of the world;
  2. ^ a b Busky, Donald F. (2000). Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey. Praeger. p. 2. ISBN 978-0275968861. Socialism may be defined as movements for social ownership and control of the economy. It is this idea that is the common element found in the many forms of socialism.
  3. ^ Sinclair, Upton (1918). Upton Sinclair's: A Monthly Magazine: for Social Justice, by Peaceful Means If Possible. Socialism, you see, is a bird with two wings. The definition is 'social ownership and democratic control of the instruments and means of production.'
  4. ^ Arnold, N. Scott (1998). The Philosophy and Economics of Market Socialism: A Critical Study. Oxford University Press. p. 8. "What else does a socialist economic system involve? Those who favor socialism generally speak of social ownership, social control, or socialization of the means of production as the distinctive positive feature of a socialist economic system."
  5. ^ a b Horvat, Branko (2000). "Social ownership". In Michie, Jonathan (ed.). Reader's Guide to the Social Sciences, Volume 1. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 1515–1516. ISBN 978-1135932268. Retrieved 15 October 2021. Just as private ownership defines capitalism, social ownership defines socialism. The essential characteristic of socialism in theory is that it destroys social hierarchies, and therefore leads to a politically and economically egalitarian society. Two closely related consequences follow. First, every individual is entitled to an equal ownership share that earns an aliquot part of the total social dividend…Second, in order to eliminate social hierarchy in the workplace, enterprises are run by those employed, and not by the representatives of private or state capital. Thus, the well-known historical tendency of the divorce between ownership and management is brought to an end. The society—i.e. every individual equally—owns capital and those who work are entitled to manage their own economic affairs.
  6. ^ Rosser, Marina V. and J Barkley Jr. (2003). Comparative Economics in a Transforming World Economy. MIT Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-0262182348. Socialism is an economic system characterised by state or collective ownership of the means of production, land, and capital.
  7. ^ Bertrand Badie; Dirk Berg-Schlosser; Leonardo Morlino (2011). International Encyclopedia of Political Science. Sage Publications. p. 2456. ISBN 978-1412959636. Socialist systems are those regimes based on the economic and political theory of socialism, which advocates public ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources.
  8. ^ Zimbalist, Sherman and Brown, Andrew, Howard J. and Stuart (1988). Comparing Economic Systems: A Political-Economic Approach. Harcourt College Pub. p. 7. ISBN 978-0155124035. Pure socialism is defined as a system wherein all of the means of production are owned and run by the government and/or cooperative, nonprofit groups.
  9. ^ Brus, Wlodzimierz (2015). The Economics and Politics of Socialism. Routledge. p. 87. ISBN 978-0415866477. This alteration in the relationship between economy and politics is evident in the very definition of a socialist economic system. The basic characteristic of such a system is generally reckoned to be the predominance of the social ownership of the means of production.
  10. ^ a b Arnold, Scott (1994). The Philosophy and Economics of Market Socialism: A Critical Study. Oxford University Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0195088274. This term is harder to define, since socialists disagree among themselves about what socialism 'really is.' It would seem that everyone (socialists and nonsocialists alike) could at least agree that it is not a system in which there is widespread private ownership of the means of production…To be a socialist is not just to believe in certain ends, goals, values, or ideals. It also requires a belief in a certain institutional means to achieve those ends; whatever that may mean in positive terms, it certainly presupposes, at a minimum, the belief that these ends and values cannot be achieved in an economic system in which there is widespread private ownership of the means of production…Those who favor socialism generally speak of social ownership, social control, or socialization of the means of production as the distinctive positive feature of a socialist economic system.
  11. ^ a b Hastings, Mason and Pyper, Adrian, Alistair and Hugh (2000). The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought. Oxford University Press. p. 677. ISBN 978-0198600244. Socialists have always recognized that there are many possible forms of social ownership of which co-operative ownership is one...Nevertheless, socialism has throughout its history been inseparable from some form of common ownership. By its very nature it involves the abolition of private ownership of capital; bringing the means of production, distribution, and exchange into public ownership and control is central to its philosophy. It is difficult to see how it can survive, in theory or practice, without this central idea.
  12. ^ "Socialism". The Free Dictionary. "2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of a socialist economic system". Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  13. ^ O'Hara, Phillip (2003). Encyclopedia of Political Economy, Volume 2. Routledge. p. 71. ISBN 978-0415241878. In order of increasing decentralisation (at least) three forms of socialised ownership can be distinguished: state-owned firms, employee-owned (or socially) owned firms, and citizen ownership of equity.
  14. ^ a b Lamb & Docherty 2006, p. 1
  15. ^ Nove, Alec. "Socialism". New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition (2008). A society may be defined as socialist if the major part of the means of production of goods and services is in some sense socially owned and operated, by state, socialised or cooperative enterprises. The practical issues of socialism comprise the relationships between management and workforce within the enterprise, the interrelationships between production units (plan versus markets), and, if the state owns and operates any part of the economy, who controls it and how.
  16. ^ Docherty, James C.; Lamb, Peter, eds. (2006). Historical Dictionary of Socialism (2nd ed.). Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements. 73. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. pp. 1–3. ISBN 978-0810855601.
  17. ^ Kolb, Robert (2007). Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society, First Edition. Sage Publications, Inc. p. 1345. ISBN 978-1412916523. There are many forms of socialism, all of which eliminate private ownership of capital and replace it with collective ownership. These many forms, all focused on advancing distributive justice for long-term social welfare, can be divided into two broad types of socialism: nonmarket and market.
  18. ^ Bockman, Johanna (2011). Markets in the name of Socialism: The Left-Wing origins of Neoliberalism. Stanford University Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0804775663. socialism would function without capitalist economic categories—such as money, prices, interest, profits and rent—and thus would function according to laws other than those described by current economic science. While some socialists recognised the need for money and prices at least during the transition from capitalism to socialism, socialists more commonly believed that the socialist economy would soon administratively mobilise the economy in physical units without the use of prices or money.
  19. ^ Steele, David Ramsay (1999). From Marx to Mises: Post Capitalist Society and the Challenge of Economic Calculation. Open Court. pp. 175–177. ISBN 978-0875484495. Especially before the 1930s, many socialists and anti-socialists implicitly accepted some form of the following for the incompatibility of state-owned industry and factor markets. A market transaction is an exchange of property titles between two independent transactors. Thus internal market exchanges cease when all of industry is brought into the ownership of a single entity, whether the state or some other organization, ... the discussion applies equally to any form of social or community ownership, where the owning entity is conceived as a single organization or administration.
  20. ^ Is Socialism Dead? A Comment on Market Socialism and Basic Income Capitalism, by Arneson, Richard J. 1992. Ethics, vol. 102, no. 3, pp. 485–511. April 1992: "Marxian socialism is often identified with the call to organize economic activity on a nonmarket basis."
  21. ^ Schweickart, David; Lawler, James; Ticktin, Hillel; Ollman, Bertell (1998). "The Difference Between Marxism and Market Socialism". Market Socialism: The Debate Among Socialists. pp. 61–63. More fundamentally, a socialist society must be one in which the economy is run on the principle of the direct satisfaction of human needs. ... Exchange-value, prices and so money are goals in themselves in a capitalist society or in any market. There is no necessary connection between the accumulation of capital or sums of money and human welfare. Under conditions of backwardness, the spur of money and the accumulation of wealth has led to a massive growth in industry and technology ... . It seems an odd argument to say that a capitalist will only be efficient in producing use-value of a good quality when trying to make more money than the next capitalist. It would seem easier to rely on the planning of use-values in a rational way, which because there is no duplication, would be produced more cheaply and be of a higher quality.
  22. ^ The Economics of Feasible Socialism Revisited, by Nove, Alexander. 1991. p. 13: "Under socialism, by definition, it (private property and factor markets) would be eliminated. There would then be something like 'scientific management', 'the science of socially organized production', but it would not be economics."
  23. ^ Kotz, David M. "Socialism and Capitalism: Are They Qualitatively Different Socioeconomic Systems?" (PDF). University of Massachusetts. Retrieved 19 February 2011. "This understanding of socialism was held not just by revolutionary Marxist socialists but also by evolutionary socialists, Christian socialists, and even anarchists. At that time, there was also wide agreement about the basic institutions of the future socialist system: public ownership instead of private ownership of the means of production, economic planning instead of market forces, production for use instead of for profit."
  24. ^ Weisskopf, Thomas E. (1992). "Toward a Socialism for the Future, in the Wake of the Demise of the Socialism of the Past". Review of Radical Political Economics. 24 (3–4): 1–28. doi:10.1177/048661349202400302. "Socialism has historically been committed to the improvement of people's material standards of living. Indeed, in earlier days many socialists saw the promotion of improving material living standards as the primary basis for socialism's claim to superiority over capitalism, for socialism was to overcome the irrationality and inefficiency seen as endemic to a capitalist system of economic organization." (p. 2).
  25. ^ Prychitko, David L. (2002). Markets, Planning, and Democracy: Essays After the Collapse of Communism. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-1840645194. Socialism is a system based upon de facto public or social ownership of the means of production, the abolition of a hierarchical division of labor in the enterprise, a consciously organized social division of labor. Under socialism, money, competitive pricing, and profit-loss accounting would be destroyed.
  26. ^ Marangos, John (Fall 2004). "Social Dividend versus Basic Income Guarantee in Market Socialism". International Journal of Political Economy. Taylor & Francis. 34 (3): 20–40. JSTOR 40470892.
  27. ^ O'Hara, Phillip (2000). Encyclopedia of Political Economy, Volume 2. Routledge. p. 71. ISBN 978-0415241878. Market socialism is the general designation for a number of models of economic systems. On the one hand, the market mechanism is utilized to distribute economic output, to organize production and to allocate factor inputs. On the other hand, the economic surplus accrues to society at large rather than to a class of private (capitalist) owners, through some form of collective, public or social ownership of capital.
  28. ^ Pierson, Christopher (1995). Socialism After Communism: The New Market Socialism. Pennsylvania State Univ Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0271-014784. At the heart of the market socialist model is the abolition of the large-scale private ownership of capital and its replacement by some form of 'social ownership'. Even the most conservative accounts of market socialism insist that this abolition of large-scale holdings of private capital is essential. This requirement is fully consistent with the market socialists' general claim that the vices of market capitalism lie not with the institutions of the market but with (the consequences of) the private ownership of capital ... .
  29. ^ McNally, David (1993). Against the Market: Political Economy, Market Socialism and the Marxist Critique. Verso. ISBN 978-0860916062.
  30. ^ Kinna, Ruth (2012). "Introduction". In Kinna, Rith; Pinta, Saku; Prichard, Alex (eds.). Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1–16. ISBN 978-0230280373.
  31. ^ Newman, Michael (2005). Socialism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 2. "In fact, socialism has been both centralist and local; organized from above and built from below; visionary and pragmatic; revolutionary and reformist; anti-state and statist; internationalist and nationalist; harnessed to political parties and shunning them; an outgrowth of trade unionism and independent of it; a feature of rich industrialized countries and poor peasant-based communities".
  32. ^ Ely, Richard T. (1883). French and German Socialism in Modern Times. New York: Harper and Brothers. pp. 204—205. "Social democrats forms the extreme wing of the socialists ... inclined to lay so much stress on equality of enjoyment, regardless of the value of one's labor, that they might, perhaps, more properly be called communists. ... They have two distinguishing characteristics. The vast majority of them are laborers, and, as a rule, they expect the violent overthrow of existing institutions by revolution to precede the introduction of the socialistic state. I would not, by any means, say that they are all revolutionists, but the most of them undoubtedly are. ... The most general demands of the social democrats are the following: The state should exist exclusively for the laborers; land and capital must become collective property, and production be carried on unitedly. Private competition, in the ordinary sense of the term, is to cease."
  33. ^ Merkel, Wolfgang; Petring, Alexander; Henkes, Christian; Egle, Christoph (2008). Social Democracy in Power: The Capacity to Reform. Routledge Research in Comparative Politics. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0415438209.
  34. ^ Heywood, Andrew (2012). Political Ideologies: An Introduction (5th ed.). Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 128. ISBN 978-0230367258. Social democracy is an ideological stance that supports a broad balance between market capitalism, on the one hand, and state intervention, on the other hand. Being based on a compromise between the market and the state, social democracy lacks a systematic underlying theory and is, arguably, inherently vague. It is nevertheless associated with the following views: (1) capitalism is the only reliable means of generating wealth, but it is a morally defective means of distributing wealth because of its tendency towards poverty and inequality; (2) the defects of the capitalist system can be rectified through economic and social intervention, the state being the custodian of the public interest ... .
  35. ^ Roemer, John E. (1994). A Future for Socialism. "The long term and the short term". Harvard University Press. pp. 25–27. ISBN 978-067433946-0.
  36. ^ Berman, Sheri (1998). The Social Democratic Moment. Harvard University Press. p. 57. "Over the long term, however, democratizing Sweden's political system was seen to be important not merely as a means but also as an end in itself. Achieving democracy was crucial not only because it would increase the power of the SAP in the Swedish political system but also because it was the form socialism would take once it arrived. Political, economic, and social equality went hand in hand, according to the SAP, and were all equally important characteristics of the future socialist society." ISBN 978-067444261-0.
  37. ^ Busky, Donald F. (20 July 2000). Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey. Praeger. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0275968861.
  38. ^ Bailey, David J. (2009). The Political Economy of European Social Democracy: A Critical Realist Approach. Routledge. p. 77. "... Giorgio Napolitano launched a medium-term programme, 'which tended to justify the governmental deflationary policies, and asked for the understanding of the workers, since any economic recovery would be linked with the long-term goal of an advance towards democratic socialism'". ISBN 978-04156-04253.
  39. ^ Lamb, Peter (2015). Historical Dictionary of Socialism (3rd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 415. ISBN 978-1442258266.
  40. ^ Badie, Bertrand; Berg-Schlosser, Dirk; Morlino, Leonardo, eds. (2011). "Social Democracy". International Encyclopedia of Political Science. 8. Sage Publications. p. 2423. "Social democracy refers to a political tendency resting on three fundamental features: (1) democracy (e.g., equal rights to vote and form parties), (2) an economy partly regulated by the state (e.g., through Keynesianism), and (3) a welfare state offering social support to those in need (e.g., equal rights to education, health service, employment and pensions). ISBN 978-1412959636.
  41. ^ Smith, J. W. (2005). Economic Democracy: The Political Struggle for the 21st century. Radford: Institute for Economic Democracy Press. ISBN 1933567-015.
  42. ^ Gasper, Phillip (2005). The Communist Manifesto: A Road Map to History's Most Important Political Document. Haymarket Books. p. 24. ISBN 978-1931859257. As the nineteenth century progressed, "socialist" came to signify not only concern with the social question, but opposition to capitalism and support for some form of social ownership.
  43. ^ Anthony Giddens. Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical Politics. 1998 edition. Cambridge, England, UK: Polity Press, 1994, 1998. p. 71.
  44. ^ "Chapter 1 looks at the foundations of the doctrine by examining the contribution made by various traditions of socialism in the period between the early 19th century and the aftermath of the First World War. The two forms that emerged as dominant by the early 1920s were social democracy and communism." Michael Newman. Socialism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. 2005. p. 5.
  45. ^ Kurian, George Thomas Kurian, ed. (2011). The Encyclopedia of Political Science. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. p. 1554.
  46. ^ Garrett Ward Sheldon. Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Fact on File. Inc. 2001. p. 280.
  47. ^ Chomsky, Noam (Spring–Summer 1986). "The Soviet Union Versus Socialism". Our Generation. Retrieved 10 June 2020 – via Chomsky.info.
  48. ^ Howard, M. C.; King, J. E. (2001). "State Capitalism' in the Soviet Union" (PDF). History of Economics Review. 34 (1): 110–126. doi:10.1080/10370196.2001.11733360. S2CID 42809979.
  49. ^ Fitzgibbons, Daniel J. (11 October 2002). "USSR strayed from communism, say Economics professors". The Campus Chronicle. University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved 22 September 2021. See also Wolff, Richard D. (27 June 2015). "Socialism Means Abolishing the Distinction Between Bosses and Employees". Truthout. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  50. ^ Barrett, William, ed. (1 April 1978). "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy: A Symposium". Commentary. Retrieved 14 June 2020. "If we were to extend the definition of socialism to include Labor Britain or socialist Sweden, there would be no difficulty in refuting the connection between capitalism and democracy."
  51. ^ Heilbroner, Robert L. (Winter 1991). "From Sweden to Socialism: A Small Symposium on Big Questions". Dissident. Barkan, Joanne; Brand, Horst; Cohen, Mitchell; Coser, Lewis; Denitch, Bogdan; Fehèr, Ferenc; Heller, Agnès; Horvat, Branko; Tyler, Gus. pp. 96–110. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  52. ^ Kendall, Diana (2011). Sociology in Our Time: The Essentials. Cengage Learning. pp. 125–127. ISBN 978-1111305505. "Sweden, Great Britain, and France have mixed economies, sometimes referred to as democratic socialism—an economic and political system that combines private ownership of some of the means of production, governmental distribution of some essential goods and services, and free elections. For example, government ownership in Sweden is limited primarily to railroads, mineral resources, a public bank, and liquor and tobacco operations."
  53. ^ Li, He (2015). Political Thought and China's Transformation: Ideas Shaping Reform in Post-Mao China. Springer. pp. 60–69. ISBN 978-1137427816. "The scholars in camp of democratic socialism believe that China should draw on the Sweden experience, which is suitable not only for the West but also for China. In the post-Mao China, the Chinese intellectuals are confronted with a variety of models. The liberals favor the American model and share the view that the Soviet model has become archaic and should be totally abandoned. Meanwhile, democratic socialism in Sweden provided an alternative model. Its sustained economic development and extensive welfare programs fascinated many. Numerous scholars within the democratic socialist camp argue that China should model itself politically and economically on Sweden, which is viewed as more genuinely socialist than China. There is a growing consensus among them that in the Nordic countries the welfare state has been extraordinarily successful in eliminating poverty."
  54. ^ Sanandaji, Nima. "Nordic Countries Aren't Actually Socialist". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  55. ^ "The end of the French left". POLITICO. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  56. ^ "Socialism declining in Europe as populism support grows". The Independent. 28 December 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  57. ^ Steven Best; Richard Kahn; Anthony J. Nocella II; Peter McLaren, eds. (2011). "Introduction: Pathologies of Power and the Rise of the Global Industrial Complex". The Global Industrial Complex: Systems of Domination. Rowman & Littlefield. p. xviii. ISBN 978-0739136980.

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