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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Liberal socialism is a socialist political philosophy that incorporates liberal principles. Liberal socialism does not have the goal of completely abolishing capitalism and replacing it with socialism; instead, it supports a mixed economy that includes both private property and social ownership in capital goods.

Although liberal socialism unequivocally favors a mixed market economy, it identifies legalistic and artificial monopolies to be the fault of capitalism and opposes an entirely unregulated economy. It considers both liberty and equality to be compatible and mutually dependent on each other. Principles that can be described as "liberal socialist" are based on the works of philosophers such as Mill, Bernstein, Dewey, Rosselli, Bobbio, Mouffe and Polanyi. Other important liberal socialist figures include Guido Calogero, Gobetti, Hobhouse, Keynes, and Tawney. To Karl Polanyi, liberal socialism's goal was overcoming exploitative aspects of capitalism by expropriation of landlords and opening to all the opportunity to own land. Liberal socialism has been particularly prominent in British and Italian politics.

Liberal socialist's seminal ideas can be traced to John Stuart Mill. Mill theorised that capitalist societies should experience a gradual process of socialisation through worker-controlled enterprises, coexisting with private enterprises. Mill rejected centralised models of socialism, that could discourage competition and creativity, but argued that representation is essential in a free government and democracy could not subsist if economic opportunities were not well distributed, therefore conceiving democracy not just as form of representative government, but as an entire social organisation.



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Viktor Chernov
Víktor Mikháilovich Chernóv (Russian: Ви́ктор Миха́йлович Черно́в; December 7, 1873 – April 15, 1952) was a Russian revolutionary and one of the founders of the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party. He was the primary party theoretician or the 'brain' of the party, and was more analyst than political leader. Following the February Revolution of 1917, Chernov was Minister for Agriculture in the Russian Provisional Government. Later on, he was Chairman of the Russian Constituent Assembly.



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