The Socialism portal
encompassing a range of
means of production
. It includes the political theories and movements associated with such systems. Social ownership can be
, or of
. While no single definition encapsulates the many
types of socialism
, social ownership is the one common element. The types of socialism vary based on the role of
in resource allocation, on the structure of management in organizations, and socialists disagree on whether government, particularly existing government, is the correct vehicle for change.
Socialist systems are divided into
market forms. Non-market socialism substitutes
factor markets and
money with integrated
economic planning and engineering or technical criteria based on
calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing a different economic mechanism that functions according to different
economic laws and
dynamics than those of capitalism. A non-market socialist system eliminates the
crises traditionally associated with
capital accumulation and the
profit system in
socialist calculation debate, originated by the
economic calculation problem, concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a
planned socialist system. By contrast,
market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the
profit motive, with respect to the operation of socially owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them. Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm or accrue to society at large in the form of a
libertarian socialism oppose the use of the state as a means to establish socialism, favouring
decentralisation above all, whether to establish non-market socialism or market socialism.
Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist in orientation; organised through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions and at other times independent and critical of them; and present in both industrialised and developing nations.
Social democracy originated within the socialist movement, supporting
social interventions to promote
social justice. While nominally retaining socialism as a long-term goal, since the post-war period it has come to embrace a
mixed economy within a predominantly developed capitalist
market economy and
liberal democratic polity that expands state intervention to include
regulation and a
Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism, with more democratic control of companies, currencies, investments and natural resources.
political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of
Karl Marx and his collaborator
Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify
opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a
post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production. By the 1920s,
communism and social democracy had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement, with socialism itself becoming the most influential secular movement of the 20th century.
Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, many socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements such as
While the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally
socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the
Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of
state capitalism or a non-planned
administrative or command economy. Academics, political commentators and other scholars sometimes refer to
Western Bloc countries which have been democratically governed by socialist parties such as Britain, France, Sweden and Western social-democracies in general as
democratic socialist. (
In Marxist theory, socialism, also called the socialist mode of production, refers to a specific historical phase of economic development and its corresponding set of
social relations that supersede
capitalism in the schema of
historical materialism. The Marxist definition of socialism is a mode of production where the sole criterion for production is
use-value and therefore the
law of value no longer directs economic activity. Marxist
production for use is coordinated through conscious
economic planning, while distribution of economic output is based on the principle of
to each according to his contribution. The social relations of socialism are characterized by the working class effectively owning the
means of production and the means of their livelihood, either through cooperative enterprises or by public ownership or private artisanal tools and
self-management, so that the
social surplus accrues to the working class and society as a whole. This view is consistent with, and helped to inform, early conceptions of socialism where the
law of value no longer directs economic activity, and thus monetary relations in the form of
wage labor would not operate and apply to Marxist socialism.
The Marxian conception of socialism stands in contrast to other early conceptions of socialism, most notably early forms of
market socialism based on
classical economics such as
Ricardian socialism. Unlike the Marxian conception, these conceptions of socialism retained commodity exchange (markets) for labor and the means of production, seeking to perfect the market process. The Marxist idea of socialism was also heavily opposed to
utopian socialism. Although
Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels wrote very little on socialism and neglected to provide any details on how it might be organized, numerous social scientists and
neoclassical economists have used Marx's theory as a basis for developing their own models of
socialist economic systems. The Marxist view of socialism served as a point of reference during the
socialist calculation debate.
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon
, often referred to as Henri de Saint-Simon
(17 October 1760 – 19 May 1825) was a
theorist whose thought influenced the foundations of various 19th century philosophies; perhaps most notably
and the discipline of
. He was born an
; the political ideologies he adopted in later life, however, do not fall into the aristocratic category.
In opposition to the
feudal and military system he advocated a form of state-technocratic socialism, an arrangement where industrialists would lead society and found a national community based upon cooperation and technological progress, which would be capable of eliminating poverty of the lower classes. In place of the church, he felt the direction of society should fall to the men of science. Men who are fitted to organize society for productive labour are entitled to rule it.
world war which has smashed the International must, however, be realized as a powerful sermon making clear the need for a new International, an International of another kind, with a different force from that which the capitalist powers so easily scattered on August 4, 1914.
Only in the cooperation of the working masses of all countries, in times of war as in times of peace, does the salvation of
humanity lie. Nowhere have the masses desired this war. Nowhere do they desire it. Why should they, then, with a loathing for war in their hearts, murder each other to the finish? It would be a sign of weakness, it is said, for any one people to suggest peace; well, let all the people suggest it together. The
nation which speaks first will not show weakness but strength. It will win the glory and gratitude of posterity. It is the duty of every
Socialist at the present time to be a prophet of international brotherhood, realizing that every word he speaks in favor of
peace, every action he performs for these ideals enflame similar words and actions in other countries, until the flames of the desire for peace shall flare high over all Europe. The example which you and our
Servian comrades have given to the world will have an emulating effect wherever Socialists have been ensnared by the designs of the ruling classes, and I am sure the mass of the
British workers will soon rally to the International Labor Party. Already among the
German workers there is far greater opposition to the war than is generally supposed, and the louder the echo of the cry for peace in other countries the more vehemently and energetically will they work for peace here. Thus shall the working classes of all the belligerent countries become conscious of the necessity to fight for a peace consistent with the principles of Socialism, a peace without
conquest and without
humiliation, a peace based not on
hatred but on
fraternity, not on force but on
freedom, a peace which, because of its
justice, may be everlasting. In this way, even during the war, the International can be revived and can atone for its previous mistakes. Thus it must revive, a different International, increased not only in numerical strength but in revolutionary fervor, in clearness of vision and in preparedness to overcome the danger of
absolutism, of secret diplomacy, and of
capitalist conspiracies against peace.
Workers of the World, unite!
Unite in a war against war!
Karl Liebknecht, A New Year's Greeting to England, 1914
The following are images from various socialism-related articles on Wikipedia.
Paris Commune was a major early implementation of socialist ideas (from
The celebration of the election of the Commune on 28 March 1871—the
History of socialism)
Barricades Boulevard Voltaire, Paris during the uprising known as the Paris Commune (from
Mikhail Bakunin opposed the
Marxist aim of dictatorship of the proletariat in favour of universal rebellion and allied himself with the federalists in the First International before his expulsion by the Marxists (from
History of socialism)
Arabic letters "Lam" and "Alif" reading "Lā" (Arabic for "No!") are a symbol of Islamic Socialism in
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