refers to a set of economic systems in which the means of production and distribution are under social ownership
, management within economic institutions is based on collective decision-making or worker self-management, and the economy is primarily geared toward production for use
. It also refers to a broad array of ideologies
and political movements
which have the goal of achieving this type of socio-economic
system. Control of production may be either direct—exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils
—or indirect—exercised on behalf of the people by the state. As an economic system
, socialism is often characterized by state
, worker, or community ownership of the means of production
, goals which have been attributed to, and claimed by, a number of political parties
throughout history. For Karl Marx
, who helped establish and define the modern socialist movement, socialism would be the socioeconomic system that arises after a proletarian revolution
, in which the means of production are owned co-operatively by the working class so that the surplus product
generated would be used to benefit all of society, and the economy would no longer be structured upon the law of value
The International Workingmen's Association (IWA)
(1864–1876), sometimes called the First International
, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist
political groups and trade union
organizations that were based on the working class
and class struggle
. It was founded in 1864 in a workmen's meeting held in Saint Martin's Hall, London. Its first congress was held in 1866 in Geneva
In Europe, a period of harsh reaction followed the widespread Revolutions of 1848. The next major phase of revolutionary activity began almost twenty years later with the founding of the IWA in 1864. At its peak, the IWA had 5 million members according to the police reports, although the official journal reported 8 million members.
(11 September 1860 – 27 January 1943) was a British socialist
, trade union
leader and politician. He was born in Bristol
and began his working life as a sailor
, before travelling to London
and taking up work as a docker.
He began his career as a trade union organiser in 1887 by forming the Tea Operatives and General Labourers Union at Tilbury docks. Tillett and his union, renamed the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Labourers' Union, rose to prominence during the London Dock Strike (1889), although the strike itself began without union involvement. Tillett also played a prominent role as a strike leader in dock strikes in 1911 and 1912. He was instrumental in forming the National Transport Workers' Federation in 1910, along with Havelock Wilson of the Seamen's Union.
Tillett's union was the largest of the unions which came together in 1922 to form the Transport and General Workers' Union, however, it was his deputy, Ernest Bevin, rather than Tillett himself, who took the major role in bringing about the amalgamation. Bevin became the General Secretary of the new union, but Tillett held the post of International and Political Secretary until 1931 and retained his seat on the General Council of the Trades Union Congress until 1932.
Tillett was a member of the Fabian Society and a founding member of the Independent Labour Party, but subsequently joined the Social Democratic Federation instead. He also joined the Bristol Socialist Society in the 1880s, when he often travelled to that city.
While in the foregoing exposition we have characterized the practical meaning of the scientific form of modern or Marxian socialism we have at the same time also described the meaning of the dialectical method which Karl Marx applied. For as certainly as the content of scientific Socialism was in existence as an unformed viewpoint (proletarian class viewpoint) before its scientific formulation, just as certainly is the scientific form in which this content lies before us in the works of Marx and Engels. Thus "scientific socialism" properly so-called is quite essentially the product of the application of that mode of thought which Marx and Engels designated as their "dialectical method." And it is not the case, as some contemporary "Marxists" might like to imagine, that by virtue of historical accident those scientific propositions which Karl Marx produced by the application of his "dialectical method" could today be separated at will from that method and simply reproduced. Nor is it the case that this method is out of date because of the progress of the sciences. Nor is its replacement by another method today not only possible but rather even necessary! Whoever speaks in these terms has not comprehended the most important aspects of the Marxist dialectic. How could one otherwise come to the thought that today-as at a time of increased class struggle in all spheres of social, thus also so-called intellectual, life -that method could be abandoned "which is intrinsically critical and revolutionary." Karl Marx and Frederick Engels simultaneously opposed the new method of proletarian science to the "metaphysical mode of thought" ("that specific weakness of thought of the last century") and to all earlier forms of "dialectic" (in particular the idealistic dialectic of Fichte-Schelling-Hegel).
Only those who completely overlook that Marx's "proletarian dialectic" differs essentially from every other (metaphysical and dialectical) mode of thought, and represents that specific mode of thought in which alone the new content of the proletarian class views formed in the proletarian class struggle can find a theoretical-scientific expression corresponding to its true being; only those could get the idea that this dialectical mode of thought, as it represents "only the form" of scientific socialism, consequently would also be "something peripheral and indifferent to the matter," so much so that the same material content of thought could be as well or even better expressed in another form. It is something quite similar when certain contemporary "Marxists" put forward the notion that the proletariat could wage its practical struggle against the bourgeois economic, social and political order in other "forms" than the barbaric uncivilized form of revolutionary class struggle. Or when the same people fool themselves and others by saying that the proletariat could achieve its positive task, the realization of Communist society, by means other than the dictatorship of the proletariat, for example, by means of the bourgeois state and bourgeois democracy. Karl Marx, who already in an early work had written the proposition, "Form has no value if it is not the form of its content," himself thought about these things quite differently. Later Marx always emphasized anew that the real understanding of historico-social development (i.e., consciously revolutionary understanding that is at the same time positive and negative) -this understanding, which constituted the specific essence of "scientific" socialism, can only be brought about by the conscious application of the dialectical method. Of course, this new, or "proletarian," dialectic on which the scientific form of Marxism is founded differs in the extreme, not only from the ordinary, narrow-minded metaphysical way of thinking. For, it is also "quite different" in its fundamental position from the bourgeois dialectic which found its most comprehensive form in the German philosopher Hegel, and in a definite sense it is even its "direct opposite." It is impracticable and superfluous at this point to enter more deeply into the manifold consequences of these differences and contrasts.
|— Karl Korsch, The Marxist Dialectic, 1923
Photo credit: Adam Jones Defending socialism -- a street scene in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. December 2006.
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