Portal:Socialism

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Socialism 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 cooperatives or workers' councils—or indirect—exercised on behalf of the entire population by the state. As an economic system, socialism is often characterized by public, cooperative, or common 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 collectively so the surplus product generated by their operation would be used to benefit all of society and the economy would no longer be structured upon the law of value.

By the late 19th century, after the work of Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, as technological development outstripped the economic dynamics of capitalism, "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, many economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism, or a non-planned administrative or command economy. The socialist calculation debate discusses the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence in all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Core dichotomies include reformism versus revolutionary socialism and state socialism versus libertarian socialism. Today, some socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism, feminism and liberalism.

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The term revolutionary socialism refers to socialist tendencies that subscribe to the doctrine that social revolution is necessary in order to affect structural changes to society. More specifically, it is the view that revolution is a necessary precondition for a transition from capitalism to socialism. Revolution is not necessarily defined as a violent insurrection; it is defined as seizure of political power by mass movements of the working class so that the power is given directly to the state to directly control the working class as opposed to the capitalist class and its interests that allow for individual choice. Revolutionary socialists believe such a state of affairs is a precondition for establishing socialism and Orthodox Marxists believe that it is inevitable but not predetermined.

Revolutionary socialism encompasses multiple political and social movements that may define "revolution" differently from one another. These include movements based on Orthodox Marxist theory, such as DeLeonism, Impossibilism and Luxemburgism; as well as movements based on Leninism and the theory of Vanguardist-led revolution, such as Maoism, Marxism–Leninism and Trotskyism. Revolutionary socialism also includes non-Marxist movements like anarchism, revolutionary syndicalism, and some forms of democratic socialism. It is used in contrast to the reformism of social democracy, which is not anti-capitalist in form. Revolutionary socialism is opposed to social movements that seek to gradually ameliorate the economic and social problems of capitalism through political reform. Revolutionary socialism also exists in contrast to the concept of small revolutionary groups seizing power without first achieving mass support, termed Blanquism.



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De Leon
Louis Auguste Blanqui (French pronunciation: ​[lwi oɡyst blɑ̃ki]; 8 February 1805, in Puget-Théniers, Alpes-Maritimes – 1 January 1881, in Paris) was a French socialist and political activist, notable for his revolutionary theory of Blanquism.



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