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Overview of Socialism 12.08


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Overview of Socialism 12.08

  1. 1. Socialism An overview 04.11.08
  2. 2. Core doctrines
  3. 3. There is no point in searching the encyclopaedias for a definitive meaning of socialism; it has none and never could. Anthony Crosland
  4. 5. An optimistic view of human nature
  5. 6. An optimistic view of human nature Humans are essentially social, cooperative and altruistic. Where it is not, this is the fault of nurture rather than nature. Human nature is ‘plastic’.
  6. 8. Collectivism
  7. 9. Collectivism A belief that humans operate best in cooperative social groups. A belief that humans working collaboratively are more efficient than humans working in a selfish, competitive environment.
  8. 11. Egalitarianism
  9. 12. Egalitarianism A defining doctrine of socialism is a belief in far-reaching equality of outcome.
  10. 14. Social justice
  11. 15. Social justice A fair and equitable distribution of resources and rewards.
  12. 17. Democracy
  13. 18. Democracy Socialism should mean equality of ‘people power’ as wealth of wealth, rights and opportunities.
  14. 19. Revolutionary and Evolutionary socialism
  15. 21. Revolutionary socialism
  16. 22. Revolutionary socialism Revolutionary socialists seek the complete overthrow of the capitalist economy and state, and the achievement of an egalitarian society based upon common ownership. However, they disagree upon the details of how to achieve this.
  17. 24. Evolutionary socialism
  18. 25. Sidney and Beatrice Webb
  19. 26. Evolutionary socialism Evolutionary socialists seek the gradual reform by the parliamentary road i.e. by the ballot box rather than by a mass uprising of workers. They have, therefore, accepted the liberal framework of pluralist, parliamentary democracy. Their goals are usually – but not always – more limited and moderate than those of the revolutionary communists.
  20. 28. Utopian socialism
  21. 29. Utopian socialism A utopia is any ideal society, system or way of life. Utopianism – devised by Thomas More in Utopia - is a form of theorising about a perfect but non-existent society. The positive concept of utopianism implies a highly optimistic view of human nature as perfectible The negative concept of utopianism implies an over-optimistic view of human nature and an idealistic, moralistic style of theorising that envisages an unattainable fantasy.
  22. 30. Utopian socialists
  23. 31. Utopian socialists Robert Owen (1771-1858, British) Charles Fourier (1772-1837, French) Etienne Cabet (1788-1858, American) Each tried to build a utopia that would counter the evils of industrial society and allow humans to flourish asd rational and fulfilled beings. Owen’s community was renowned for good quality housing and education. Fourier saw sexual liberation as a necessary aspect of human liberation. Cabet envisaged a centralised state in which material wealth would be shared equally.
  24. 34. Marxism
  25. 35. Marxism Marxism is a materialist theory – it sees economic factors as primary. Engels applied the label of ‘dialectical materialism’ to Marx’s theory of historical progress through economic conflict. Marxism perceives human nature as a series of class societies, most of which contain 2 main classes: a ruling class and a subject class.
  26. 36. Exploitation
  27. 37. Communism
  28. 38. Scientific determinism
  29. 39. Key Marxist concepts
  30. 40. Dialectical materialism
  31. 42. Class - The Frost Report
  32. 43. Class
  33. 44. Exploitation
  34. 45. Surplus value
  35. 46. Class conflict
  36. 47. Dictatorship of the proletariat
  37. 48. Communism
  38. 50. The withering away of the state
  39. 51. Parliamentary socialism
  40. 52. Parliamentary socialism Evolutionary socialists have largely revised or abandoned the original and fundamentalist principles of revolutionary theory, and now seek gradual reform by the parliamentary road. They see socialism as an end in itself rather than as a transitional phase towards classless communism, and their goals are usually more limited than those of communism.
  41. 54. Why has parliamentary socialism developed? <ul><li>Extension of the franchise </li></ul><ul><li>A strengthening attachment to the state </li></ul><ul><li>Rising living standards </li></ul><ul><li>Structural changes and technological advances </li></ul><ul><li>Socialisation </li></ul><ul><li>Christian Methodism </li></ul><ul><li>Reforms, rights and freedoms already won </li></ul><ul><li>Strong capitalist states </li></ul>
  42. 55. Eduard Bernstein Tony Benn
  43. 56. Evolutionary parliamentary socialism includes New Labour Social democracy Democratic socialism Eurocommunism
  44. 57. Democratic socialism versus social democracy
  45. 58. Democratic socialism versus social democracy In the first half of the 20th century, parliamentary socialists pursued radical, left-wing democratic socialism. It sought extensive state nationalisation, redistribution and welfarism, together with the acceptance of some private ownership. The UK Labour Party’s Clause Four, symbolised this. In the economic boom that followed WW2, most parliamentary socialists came to embrace a revisionist form of socialism – Keynesian social democracy – which practised the politics of social justice redefined as moderate redistribution and welfare in a mixed, mainly private economy.
  46. 59. Why was there post-war revisionism? <ul><li>The Cold War </li></ul><ul><li>An increasingly affluent working class </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalist states becoming stronger </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalist globalisation </li></ul>
  47. 60. Democratic socialism <ul><li>Radical </li></ul><ul><li>More left-wing </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly collective economy </li></ul><ul><li>Equality </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive welfare state </li></ul><ul><li>Anti private health/ education </li></ul><ul><li>Abolish House of Lords </li></ul><ul><li>Anti EU </li></ul><ul><li>Unilateral nuclear disarmament </li></ul><ul><li>More internationalist </li></ul><ul><li>More principled </li></ul><ul><li>More emphasis on goals </li></ul>Social democracy <ul><li>Reformist </li></ul><ul><li>More right-wing </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly private economy </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom and fairness </li></ul><ul><li>Extended welfare state </li></ul><ul><li>Pro choice </li></ul><ul><li>Reform House of Lords </li></ul><ul><li>Pro EU </li></ul><ul><li>Multilateral nuclear disarmament </li></ul><ul><li>More nationalist </li></ul><ul><li>More pragmatic </li></ul><ul><li>More emphasis on means </li></ul>
  48. 61. The Third Way
  49. 62. Traditional socialism, even Keynesian social democracy was no longer viable.
  50. 63. Neo-revisionism
  51. 64. Third way
  52. 65. Third-way themes <ul><li>Acceptance of the market over the state. </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on community and moral responsibility rather than egoistic individualism. </li></ul><ul><li>Pursuit of consensus rather than conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in social inclusion. </li></ul><ul><li>Provision of an enabling state rather than a nanny state. </li></ul>
  53. 67. Supporters of the Third way
  54. 68. Opponents of the Third way
  55. 69. Simplistic analysis difficult
  56. 70. Comparisons and contrasts within socialism
  57. 71. Fundamentalist socialism
  58. 72. Revisionist socialism
  59. 73. Marxism <ul><li>Scientific socialism </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamentalism </li></ul><ul><li>Revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Abolish capitalism </li></ul><ul><li>Collectivisation </li></ul><ul><li>Common ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Classless society </li></ul><ul><li>Equality of outcome </li></ul><ul><li>Dictatorship of proletariat </li></ul><ul><li>Direct democracy </li></ul>
  60. 75. Social democracy <ul><li>Ethical socialism </li></ul><ul><li>Revisionism </li></ul><ul><li>Reformism </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Tame’ capitalism </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed economy </li></ul><ul><li>Redistribution </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced class conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Equality of opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Political pluralism </li></ul><ul><li>Liberal democratic state </li></ul>
  61. 77. Third way <ul><li>Market socialism </li></ul><ul><li>Neo-revisionism </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatism </li></ul><ul><li>Globalisation </li></ul><ul><li>Market economy </li></ul><ul><li>Social inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Communitarianism </li></ul><ul><li>Rights and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Political pluralism </li></ul><ul><li>Liberal democratic state </li></ul>
  62. 79. Debate surrounding socialism