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  1. 1. Socialism
  2. 2. Reasons for socialism <ul><li>Socialism emerges as a reaction to social and economic conditions created by 19 th Century industrial capitalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Linked to the rise of a new class of industrial workers who experienced the poverty and degradation of early industrialisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Socialism was a critique of liberal market society and capitalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Early socialism offered a radical alternative to capitalism and aimed at its removal. Early socialist parties had a tendency therefore to advocate revolution. </li></ul><ul><li>As the late 19 th century approached there were improvements in working class living conditions and the advance of political democracy leading to the integration of the working class into society. In place of revolution, socialist parties increasingly adopted legal means to achieve power.. Hence the split between revolutionary and parliamentary socialists. </li></ul><ul><li>Reformist socialists seeking to work within the system came to accept capitalism as the best means of generating wealth. </li></ul><ul><li>In the 20 th century socialism spread to Latin America, Asia and Africa where there had been little experience of industrialisation, there it became associated with anti and post colonial liberation movements. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of the 20 th Century, socialism was best by crises- the fall of communism 1989 was a severe blow to the credibility of an ideology which placed emphasis on state planning. Sovcislist increasingly accepted the inevitability of the globalised economy which rendered state intervention to achieve broad social and economic goals reedundant. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The core themes
  4. 4. Community <ul><li>Cooperation has greater practical and moral value than individual self striving (collectivism). </li></ul><ul><li>Humans are bound together by common bonds of sympathy and comradeship or fraternity. </li></ul><ul><li>Humans are moulded by the society to which they belong and therefore owe obligations to it. </li></ul><ul><li>Wealth is collectively produced and therefore should be shared. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual self striving undermines the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Collectivism- not exclusively socialist but based on belief that collective action has greater practical and moral worth than individual self striving. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cooperation <ul><li>Cooperation is natural as humans are social animals. </li></ul><ul><li>Competition encourages selfishness and encourages them to deny their social nature. </li></ul><ul><li>Humans can be motivated by moral as well as material incentives. </li></ul><ul><li>Moral desire to work for common good encourages sympathy and empathy towards others thereby strengthening the community whereas individual self striving undermines this and produces conflict. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Equality <ul><li>Commitment to equality is the defining aspect of socialism. </li></ul><ul><li>Inequality in society is a reflection of unequal structure of non socialist societies. </li></ul><ul><li>Inequality arises out of unequal treatment. Justice demands that people are treated equally. </li></ul><ul><li>Common ownership rather equality of opportunity as the latter perpetuates social inequality. </li></ul><ul><li>Equality strengthens community and reduces/removes divisions which undermine the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs satisfaction- everyone has the same basic needs such as food and shelter and social justice is about satisfying the basic needs of all in society. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Social Class <ul><li>Society is divided into classes defined by socio economic circumstances. This is the most important way in which humans identify themselves and nationalism is more artificial because it denies the significance of social class. </li></ul><ul><li>Socialism is most identified with the working class and its struggle both political and economic for liberation. The aim however is to establish an egalitarian society and therefore divisions or classes will disappear. </li></ul><ul><li>Socialists are divided on nature an importance of class, Marx saw the proletariat differences were irreconcilable. However reformist socialists aimed for amelioration of the differences between classes via social reform and unlike Marx therefore saw class and capitalism as a permanent feature of society. </li></ul><ul><li>Socialist identification with the working class has declined- the durability of capitalism and the emergence of differences within the working class including the development of an aristocracy of labour means the working class is not solid. Also the shift from industrial to service sector economies has led to a sharp decline in the size of the manual working class in the west. The embourgeosiement of the working class with the adoption of middle class lifestyles based on car and home ownership. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Common Ownership <ul><li>Competition and inequality the product of private ownership. </li></ul><ul><li>Private property is morally corrupting as it produces greed and negates communal obligations. </li></ul><ul><li>Private property leads to wealth inequality and class conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Socialists seek common ownership of productive wealth or capital- banks, land, industry. </li></ul><ul><li>As wealth is collectively produced it is immoral that any one or group of individuals should be in exclusive possession of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Private ownership means that productive wealth cannot be used for the benefit of the community and this leads to poverty, as the owners of productive wealth seek to maximise their profits. </li></ul><ul><li>Marx wrote that the production of the means of subsistence ( that which is necessary too survive) was the most important of human activities and that people were defined by and achieved a sense of their self worth from their labour. However, private ownership means that workers were working not for themselves and the community but for the interests of the owner, hence they were alienated from their labour. </li></ul><ul><li>Socialists disagree as to what common ownership means and the degree to which it should be implemented. Marx understood it to mean the community of workers collectively owning the means of productive wealth- cooperatives such as the Coop Movement started in Rochdale Lancs 1844. Socialist regimes such as Eastern Europe before the fall of communism interpreted it as state ownership. In the west e.g. UK post 1945 the commanding heights were taken under public ownership but the bulk of the economy remained in private hands (Social democracy) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Why were early socialists attracted to the idea of revolution? <ul><li>Early industrialisation C19 led to especially harsh new work practices especially exploitation. The expanding urban landscape created by industrialisation was especially bleak with massive social problems such as overcrowding in slums. </li></ul><ul><li>There were limited alternatives for the working class as for much of the 19 th century they were excluded from voting. </li></ul><ul><li>Socialists viewed the state as oppressive designed to protect and promote the interests of the property owning class and to keep the masses down. Therefore many socialists peaceful methods as these would not remove the exploitative state. </li></ul><ul><li>Revolution or armed struggle was also a convenient way in the Third World to mobilise populations against colonial rule by western powers. Franz Fanon in Wretched of the Earth argued that colonial rule had bred a sense of inferiority among Africans and that this could only be purged by the experience of armed struggle. </li></ul><ul><li>Only through revolution and the overthrow of the state could society begin afresh and create a new socialist utopia. </li></ul><ul><li>Marx believed that since each social class was governed by its own interests, the only way to establish socialism was to overthrow the capitalist state as the bourgeoisie capitalist class in whose interests it operated would never willingly or peacefully surrender power. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why has revolutionary socialism tended towards dictatorship? <ul><li>Marx believed that repression was a feature of the state whose sole purpose was to uphold the interests of the ruling elite. Although he argued that the need for a repressive state would disappear once class differences were removed, nevertheless he argued that once capitalism was overthrown it was necessary for the new proletarian order to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat in order to prevent counter revolution and to create the egalitarian society based on common ownership. </li></ul><ul><li>Use of force to achieve power encouraged the new rulers to apply it as a method of rule- power grows out of the barrel of a gun Mao Zedong </li></ul><ul><li>Revolutionary parties had necessarily adopted militaristic and hierarchical structures in order to plan revolution and continued to apply this to forging the new state. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why did ideas of evolutionary socialism develop? <ul><li>Rise in wages and living standards from late C19 helped to deradicalise many of the working class. </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of the working class into mainstream society via development trades unions etc which can campaign for better wages and conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Extension of the franchise. </li></ul><ul><li>Revolutionary socialism therefore remains in politically and economically backward areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Optimism that socialism was inevitable via the ballot box as working class became an ever larger % of electorate.. This was based on the presumption that socialist parties were the natural home of the working class who in turn represented the largest group in the population. Once in power, socialist parties would be able to transform society alongside socialist lines. </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas of evolutionary socialism were known as gradualism. This ballot box socialism found expression in the tactics of Eduard Bernstein in Evolutionary socialism (1898) who believed that the German socialist party- SPD would be able to move away from revolutionary tactics. </li></ul><ul><li>Another form of gradualism was the Fabian Society founded in UK in 1884. It was elitist being based on middle class membership. It believed that the way to introduce socialism was by converting elite groups as socialism which emphasised planning was more rational than capitalism. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Why did gradualism fail? <ul><li>To win elections in order to implement a socialist programme, democratic socialist parties had to broaden their appeal and therefore water down socialist policies. </li></ul><ul><li>Working class has declined in developed post industrial societies. The working class is not monolithic. J.K. Galbraith in The Culture of Contentment argued that material affluence and economic security had inclined large sections of the electorate to be politically conservative. </li></ul><ul><li>Realisation that capitalism is durable and the best means of producing wealth has led to socialist parties to advocating policies to make the market work more efficiently rather than to abolish it. </li></ul><ul><li>Even in power, socialist parties confronted with entrenched vested interests which limit their power to implement change. Miliband referred to the state system meaning those in state institutions and from the same backgrounds as business people capable of blocking radical socialist parties. </li></ul>
  13. 13. What are the key features of Marx’s theory of History? <ul><li>The emphasis on materialism- the production of the means of subsistence is the most important of all human activity and therefore underpins the structure of society.. All other aspects- political, legal, cultural and religious are explained by reference to economic factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Historical change was driven by dialectical materialism (phrase first used post Marx by Plekhanov)- basically inequality of access to resources creates conflict and leads to change. Capitalism depends on the existence of an exploited labouring class- proletariat which produces the wealth for the owners of the means of productive wealth. Capitalism therefore sowed the seeds of its own destruction as the proletarian class would eventually rise up and establish an egalitarian society based on common ownership. </li></ul><ul><li>Marx’s theory was teleological- it invested History with a purpose and that the triumph of socialism was inevitable. In this sense by producing a formula for history, he turned it into a science. This would only happen once society had evolved via a series of epochs- primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism… In each case inequality of access a to the means of productive wealth led to conflict- dialectical materialism which led to a higher stage of social development. Marx therefore envisaged an end to history as with socialism there would be no competing classes or social groups. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Why did Marx believe that capitalism was doomed? <ul><li>Humans are alienated. They are forced to work not for what they need but for the profit of the owner/manager. They are alienated from their work because they are forced to work under supervision and alienated from their fellow worker because they are encouraged to be self interested. </li></ul><ul><li>Society would become progressively dominated by two competing classes- the bourgeoisie which owned and controlled the means of productive wealth and the proletariat. The relationship between classes must be antagonistic- the capitalist can only make a profit by paying the worker less than the value of their work (surplus value). The above means that economic exploitation is central to the effective working of the capitalist system. </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism was notoriously inefficient means of running the economy. There would be recurring bouts of overproduction and recession which worsened each time as rate of profit would fall. This would contribute to the immiseration of the proletariat and the concentration of ownership and therefore the expansion of the proletariat. </li></ul><ul><li>The proletariat through its immiseration would develop class consciousness and realise the key to its liberation lay in the overthrow of the capitalist order. This could only be achieved by the realisation that the interest of the members of the proletariat lay in cooperation with each other. Eventually, a classless society based on common ownership would be established. There would be no exploitation and class antagonism and classes would disappear and the state would wither away. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Why did Marx believe that the dictatorship of the proletariat was necessary? <ul><li>The proletarian revolution had not immediately led to the end of class antagonisms, there was the threat of bourgeois counter revolution and hence the need for a state. </li></ul><ul><li>The need for the restructuring of society along egalitarian lines. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all repressed groups achieved class consciousness simultaneously- Marx saw the industrial proletariat as gaining this first but what about the peasantry. Trotsky wrote that the liberation of the peasantry had to await the proletarian revolution. </li></ul><ul><li>The dictatorship of the proletariat was a temporary state as once an egalitarian society was established repression which Marx saw as the purpose of any state would become unnecessary as there would no longer be competing classes. </li></ul>
  16. 16. What are the criticisms of Marx? <ul><li>The belief that history was teleological left little scope for free will. </li></ul><ul><li>Marx’s predictions imbued in 20 th century Marxist leaders an absolute certainty in their conviction in their views and inclined them towards dictatorship and the implementation of policies with scant regard for human consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>Orthodox communism revised the ideas of Marx in significantly important ways. In What is to be done (1902) Lenin argued that left the proletariat were incapable of independently developing class consciousness. It required the formation of a vanguard revolutionary party to educate the workers that the key to their salvation lay not in pressure for better wages and conditions (trades unionism) but the overthrow of the capitalist state. Latterly, communist parties when they achieved power were preoccupied with addressing issues of social and economic backwardness. The state far from withering away becomes the engine for social and economic change. A clear example of this was Stalin's Russia 1928-1953 whereby the economy was transformed via a series of industrial five year plans. The state rather than the people themselves owned and controlled the means of productive wealth. </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism far from being on the verge of collapse, proved durable. Those states where Marx predicted revolution failed to succumb. In a more developed economy, capitalism diversified and the working class became more integrated. Into the rest of society. </li></ul><ul><li>Modern Marxists have even questioned the emphasis on class struggle. Arguing for a need to address an increasingly pluralistic and individualistic society they have shifted focus onto a wider range of struggles in the new social movements such as the women’s movement, ecological movement, gay and lesbian movement etc… </li></ul>
  17. 17. What are the main features of social democracy? <ul><li>Social democracy endorses liberal democratic principles believing in change via constitutional means. </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism is accepted as the only viable means of producing wealth. </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism is morally defective as it is associated with inequality and poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>Defects of capitalism can be rectified by the state through economic and social engineering. </li></ul><ul><li>Nation state is a meaningful unit of rule in that it has the capacity to regulate economic and social life within its borders. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Why did social democracy deviate from fundamental socialism <ul><li>In place of Marxists who offered scientific and theoretical critique of capitalism, social democracy is influenced more by ethics. Humans are bound together by ties of empathy, compassion etc…whereas Marxists argued that behaviour determined by economic circumstances. </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical socialism often influenced by religious teachings. The latter found a particular resonance in the development of British socialism in late C19 and C20. This is a significant deviation from Marxist and soviet style state communism which is secular based seeing religion as a tool by the ruling class to subjugate the proletariat. </li></ul><ul><li>There is far less theoretical cohesion in revisionist socialism. Social democracy can mean extending equality and public ownership or it can mean accepting need for market efficiency and individual self reliance. </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental socialism believes that capitalism is irredeemable whereas revisionist socialism accepted that capitalism was the best means of generating wealth. Only a selected part of the economy was taken under state ownership, the focus was on Keynesian style regulation of largely capitalist economies in order to maintain growth and high employment. The focus was on welfarism as a means of reforming and humanising capitalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental socialists see exploitation as central to capitalism whereas Crosland in The Future of Socialism (1956) argued that under modern capitalism the old style exploitative relationship owner/manager versus worker had been replaced by the development of the practice of scientific management- ownership was divorced from control and professional managers were more interested in efficient running of businesses than in exploitation. </li></ul><ul><li>Social democracy or revisionist socialism by embracing liberal democracy is a reaction against the repressive statist regimes established in Eastern Europe where fundamentalist goals are implemented regardless of consequences for human rights. </li></ul>
  19. 19. What was the crisis of Social Democracy? <ul><li>Social Democracy depended on the ability of capitalism to generate continuous economic growth and therefore the resources to pay for welfare policies. With the onset of global recession 1970s onwards, western governments were left with choices between policies which generated growth e.g. tax cuts or those which focused on meeting the needs of an expanded welfare budget generated by rising unemployment. </li></ul><ul><li>Social Democracy was also affected by the declining electoral viability of socialism with the shrinkage of the traditional working class throughout 1980s ad 90s. Post 1945 the tide of democracy flowed with progressive politics but since 1980s with what JK Galbraith referred to as the contented majority. </li></ul><ul><li>The rise of globalisation and the integration of world economy meant that the ability of the state to manage the economy was reduced. Capital was fluid and excessive state controls could see it flowing to more congenial environments. </li></ul><ul><li>The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and market reforms in the remaining socialist states meant that there was no alternative to capitalism. This led to the decline in confidence in the cybernetic model of the state. </li></ul>
  20. 20. What are the key elements of the Third Way? <ul><li>Top down state intervention of the old socialist models is no longer viable. The acceptance of the market over the state and a realisation of the implications of globalisation. </li></ul><ul><li>There is an acceptance that capitalism has mutated into an ‘information society’ or ‘knowledge economy’ which places a premium on IT, individual skills, labour and market flexibility. It aims to build on rather than reverse the neo liberal revolution 1980s/90s away from Keynesian demand management. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on community and moral responsibility. Here it rejects absolute individualism but is closer to communitarian liberalism of the New Liberalism of the later C19. Cornerstone belief of which is that rights and responsibilities are inextricably linked. </li></ul><ul><li>Third Way has a consensus view of society over class differences that bind members of society. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis is on social inclusion over commitment to equality. There is far greater stress therefore on equality of access over egalitarianism. Welfare should be targeted to socially excluded and should follow the modern liberal approach of ‘ helping people to help themselves’ or ‘a hand up not a hand out’ (Bill Clinton). </li></ul><ul><li>An enabling state- one which concentrates on investing in infrastructure of the economy and strengthening skills and knowledge of the workforce. The government seeks to shape peoples attitudes, values and skills rather than carry out a programme of social engineering. </li></ul>
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