Socialism

Socialism
Human Nature
Positive
Fraternity
Co-operation
Progressive / can be improved (malleable)
Overwhelmed by capitalism (false consciousness)
Introduction
Ambiguous
Contradictory outcomes
What is socialism?
Socialism v Communism
Origins
Industrial revolution
Enlightenment (shared
beliefs with Liberalism)
Optimistic view of human nature
Reason over faith
Progressive
Liberation from oppression
Reject traditional state (monarchical absolutism)
Foundational equality
Reject anarchism
Utopian socialists
Robert Owen
Work
Work
Rejected by Marx
Utopian socialist in
Seattle?
Articles and Videos
Quotes
What is it? (4 mins)
Socialism: a very brief
history (3 mins)
Communism v Socialism
(4 mins)
Socialism in the USA (26
mins)
Guardian article: Socialism with a spine
The Economist article: The rise of socialism
Marx
Eurocommunism
Guardian article: Aspirational socialism
Guardian articles on "socialism"
Keir Starmer on socialism
Grace Blakeley article: The fight for socialism
Core beliefs
Equality of opportunity and equality of outcome
Collectivism
Individuals are a product of society
Class structure liberation from oppression
Rejection of status quo / tradition
Things can be improved / get better
Reason over faith and superstition
Rejection of anarchism
Types
Fundamentalist
Classical Marxism
Capitalism to socialism to communism
Mechanism = revolution
Big role for capitalism!
Alienation
Class consciousness
International
Dictatorship of the proletariat
State will wither away
Historical (dialectical)
materialism
Marxism-Leninism
Doesn't require capitalist stage in dialectic
Vanguard elite
Dictatorship of the proletariat democratic centralism
Socialism in one country doctrine
Mechanism = revolution
Democratic Socialism
Mechanism = inevitability of gradualism
Keynesian economics
Euro-Communism
Antonio Gramsci
Cultural hegemony establisted by capitalism
Socialist cultural vanguard required
Mechanism = ballot box via gradualism and cultural hegemony shift
No need for revolution or dictatorship of the proletariat
Gradualist / evolutionary
Neo-Marxism
Mishmash of ideas based on classical Marxism
Cultural vanguard
State sponsored anti-socialist forces were too
powerful for evolutionary change
Mechanism = spontaneous revolution
Ralph Miliband (father of Ed and David)
Revisionist
Classical Revisionism
Eduard Bernstein "Evolutionary Socialism" 1898
Widening franchise with 2 Reform Acts in response to French Revolution
"A rising tide raises all boats"
Capitalism was adapting not revolting
Mixed economy = socialism and capitalism can co-exist
Mechanism = gradual adaptation of capitalism enables more socialist state
Social Democracy
Emerged strongly after the Great Depression 1930s and WW2
Keynesian economics
Managed / reformed capitalism
Government intervention during recessions (e.g. New Deal in USA)
Anthony Crossland "The Future of Socialism" 1956
Inequality to be attacked not just economically but also by greater equality in education
Mechanism = None (co-exist). Gradual adaptation of capitalism enables more socialist state
Third Way
Associated with new Labour and Tony Blair
Came to prominence after fall of communism in early 90s
The victory of capitalism?
Francis Fukuyama 1989 essay "The end of history"
Anthony Giddens = Key Thinker
Close to paternalistic conservatism?
Capitalism with a social conscious?
Is it truly socialist?
Privatisation
Deregulation (e.g. financial sector)
PFI used to build hospitals
Extreme wealth is OK provided you pay your taxes
Fiscally conservative and socially liberal
Sexual equality
Race equality
Gender equality
Economic inequality?
Mechanism = None (co-exist). Gradual adaptation of capitalism enables more socialist state
Key thinkers
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels -
Dialectical materialism
Class
Class struggle
False consciousness
Dialectical materialism
Wrote Communist Manifesto & Das Kapital
Fan of capitalism!
Overview
Rosa Luxemburg Spontaneous revolution
inevitability of the triumph of revolution
capacity of the masses
spontaneity
party oriented class struggle
Beatrice Webb Inevitability of gradualism
inevitability of gradualism
co-operative movement
co-operative federalism
co-operative individualism
Anthony Crosland Keynesian economics
Keynes
Keynesian economics
criticism of Marxism/Revisionism
rejection of nationalisation as central goal of Labour Party
political values of personal liberty, social welfare and equality
No mechanism for change as socialism and capitalism coexist
Anthony Giddens The third way
rejection of traditional conception of socialism
the ‘Third Way’
combination of right wing economics and left wing
social policies ("fiscally conservative, socially liberal")
No mechanism for change as socialism and capitalism coexist
Economy
A source of massive inequality, so it must be addressed
Capitalism threatens human nature, socialism reflects it
Core policies
REDISTRIBUTION
Progressive taxation
Progressive public spending
Extensive public services
Collectivisation state / common ownership
Extensive regulation of capitalism
The state
Bigger
Wither away?
Extent of = big disagreements
amongst various socialism strands
Society
Whole bigger than sum of parts
Improved by improving individuals
Fundamental role of class (circumstances, prospects & attitudes)
Independent construct (develops from
people) society is what we want it to be
Foundational equality + formal equality + social justice
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