is a range of economic
and social systems
characterised by social ownership
of the means of production
and workers' self-management
, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public
ownership, or citizen ownership of equity
. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms
Socialist systems are divided into non-market and market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money with engineering and technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of socially owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them. Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm, or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend. The socialist calculation debate concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system.
Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist in orientation; organised through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions, and at other times independent and critical of unions; and present in both industrialised and developing nations. Originating within the socialist movement, social democracy has embraced a mixed economy with a market that includes substantial state intervention in the form of income redistribution, regulation, and a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralised control of companies, currencies, investments, and natural resources.
The socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production. By the 1920s, social democracy and communism had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. By this time, socialism emerged as "the most influential secular movement of the twentieth century, worldwide. It is a political ideology (or world view), a wide and divided political movement" and while the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, some socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism, feminism and progressivism. In 21st century America, the term socialism, without clear definition, has become a pejorative used by conservatives to taint liberal and progressive policies, proposals, and public figures.
The Bolivarian Revolution
is an ongoing leftist
political process in Venezuela
led by late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez
, the founder of the Fifth Republic Movement
and later the United Socialist Party of Venezuela
. The "Bolivarian Revolution" is named after Simón Bolívar
, an early 19th-century Venezuelan and Latin American
revolutionary leader, prominent in the Spanish American wars of independence
in achieving the independence of most of northern South America from Spanish rule. According to Chávez and other supporters, the "Bolivarian Revolution" seeks to build an inter-american coalition to implement Bolivarianism
, nationalism, and a state-led economy.
On his 57th birthday, while announcing that he was being treated for cancer, Chávez announced that he had changed the slogan of the Bolivarian Revolution from "Motherland, socialism, or death" to "Socialist motherland and victory, we will live, and we will come out victorious".
(January 6, 1850 – December 18, 1932) was a German social democratic theoretician
, a member of the SPD
, and the founder of evolutionary socialism and revisionism
Die Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus (1899) was Bernstein's most significant work and was principally concerned with refuting Marx's predictions about the imminent demise of capitalism. In it, Bernstein pointed out simple facts that he took to be evidence that Marx's predictions were not being borne out: he noted that the centralisation of capitalist industry, while significant, was not becoming wholescale and that the ownership of capital was becoming more, and not less, diffuse. He also pointed out what he considered to be some of the flaws in Marx's labor theory of value.
Bernstein believed that socialism would be achieved through capitalism, not through capitalism's destruction; as rights were gradually won by workers, their cause for grievance would be diminished, and consequently, so too would the foundation of revolution.
||Not every submission of the individual to the command of a collective is socialism, any more than every socialization signifies state control or nationalizing. One could regard monopoly as a kind of socialism which is what Marxism does in practice. Through its antilife doctrine, Marxism helps socialism to increase so that it concentrates power in a few hands. Such a concentration of power places the so called dictatorship of the proletariat in control in the place of rule by the great world exploiters. Fundamentally, this signifies no alteration of circumstances. It is only world capitalism under other symbols. For this reason Marxism everywhere marches with democratic plutocracy. In the short run capitalism is the stronger.
If a measure is socialistic, it can be designed to be a preventive or revolutionary—disruptive—kind. What is determinative is
collective, in whose name it establishes socially economic instruction. The bourgeois parliamentary state legislates thousands of
socialistic encroachments. It inflicts tragedy by favouring reparations on all enterprises through compulsory mortgages. It regulates tolls, loan interest and division of labour. In spite of this it is a class state, whose ruling parties do not pass socialistic measures. Rather, it lays its burden upon the entire people. Just as little can Marxism, which carries on its class struggle from below, lay claim to power for itself. The millions of people standing under Marxism’s triumph are not treated as a totality. To a great degree they are mere objects, exploited by the Marxist oriented members of the community. The work state was erroneously used under heretofore existing political conditions. The state stands neither in service of the bourgeoisie nor of the Marxist class struggle. Thus, it does not exist at all, however much its substitute demands worship. However much confessionalism and this double sided class struggle may strive, neither of them can pass and carry out a truly socialistic measure. This can only be done by the representative of a system which is able to grasp the people as an organism, which regards the state as a means to their external security and inner peace, to whom the totality nation is thus the measuring rod for the individual and smaller collective restricting actions. Out of this thought process, for which the world has finally become ripe, we are witnessing the great struggle between nationalism and socialism.
The old nationalism was manifoldly not sincere. It was a mere cover for large agrarian and industrial, and later, finance capitalist,
private interests. For this reason, the words, Patriotism is the last refuge of great scoundrels (Doctor Samuel Johnson) could frequently be justified. Moreover, Marxism in the guise of social democracy was openly the adherent of plutocracy. The communistic folkish destructive ravings against the property values of all nations are making real socialism possible. The result was not a struggle, but an equation of real nationalism with real socialism, a synopsis with foundations. Germany has to thank Hitler for fabricating this synthesis.
|— Alfred Rosenberg, The Myth of the Twentieth Century, 1930
The celebration of the election of the Commune on 28 March 1871—the Paris Commune was a major early implementation of socialist ideas
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