is a range of economic
and social systems
characterised by social ownership
and workers' self-management
of the means of production
as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, though social rather than individual ownership is the common element shared by its various forms. "Social ownership" may refer to several different forms:
Varieties of socialism can be categorized in a variety of ways:
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 discusses 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 countries. 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 decentralized control of companies, currencies, investments, 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.
generally refers to those on the Christian left
whose politics are both Christian
and who see these two things as being interconnected. This category can include Liberation theology
and the doctrine of the social gospel
. Christian socialists draw parallels between what some have characterized as the egalitarian
and anti-establishment message of Jesus
, who — according to Christian Gospel
— spoke against the religious authorities of his time, and the egalitarian, anti-establishment, and sometimes anti-clerical
message of most contemporary socialisms. Some Christian Socialists have gone as far as to become active Communists
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías
(born 28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was the 56th President of Venezuela
, serving for 14 years
from 1999 until his death in 2013. Following his own political ideology of Bolivarianism
and "Socialism for the 21st Century
", he focused on implementing socialist
reforms in the country as a part of a social project known as the Bolivarian Revolution
, which saw the implementation of a new constitution
, participatory democracy
and the nationalisation of several key industries.
Formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997, in 2007 he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). He was elected President four times: in 1998, 2000, 2006 and finally—one year before his death—in 2012.
A firm anti-imperialist and vocal critic of neoliberalism and capitalism more generally, Chávez was a prominent opponent of United States foreign policy. Allying himself strongly with the socialist governments of Fidel and then Raúl Castro in Cuba, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, his presidency was seen in the Western world as a part of the so-called socialist "pink tide" sweeping Latin America. Chávez supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and was instrumental in setting up the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South, and the regional television network TeleSur. A highly controversial and divisive figure both at home and abroad, his political influence in Latin America led Time magazine to include him among their list of the world's 100 most influential people in both 2005 and 2006.
He died in Caracas on 5 March 2013 at the age of 58.
||Because of the contradiction in the early stages of the revolutionary process between the task being sharply posed and the absence of any preconditions to resolve it, individual battles of the revolution end in formal defeat. But revolution is the only form of “war” – and this is another peculiar law of history – in which the ultimate victory can be prepared only by a series of “defeats.”
What does the entire history of socialism and of all modern revolutions show us? The first spark of class struggle in Europe, the revolt of the silk weavers in Lyon in 1831, ended with a heavy defeat; the Chartist movement in Britain ended in defeat; the uprising of the Parisian proletariat in the June days of 1848 ended with a crushing defeat; and the Paris commune ended with a terrible defeat. The whole road of socialism – so far as revolutionary struggles are concerned – is paved with nothing but thunderous defeats. Yet, at the same time, history marches inexorably, step by step, toward final victory! Where would we be today without those “defeats,” from which we draw historical experience, understanding, power and idealism? Today, as we advance into the final battle of the proletarian class war, we stand on the foundation of those very defeats; and we can do without any of them, because each one contributes to our strength and understanding.
The revolutionary struggle is the very antithesis of the parliamentary struggle. In Germany, for four decades we had nothing but parliamentary “victories.” We practically walked from victory to victory. And when faced with the great historical test of August 4, 1914, the result was the devastating political and moral defeat, an outrageous debacle and rot without parallel. To date, revolutions have given us nothing but defeats. Yet these unavoidable defeats pile up guarantee upon guarantee of the future final victory.
|— Rosa Luxemburg, Order Prevails in Berlin, 1919
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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