Portal:Socialism

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Socialism (/'soʊʃəlɪsm/) is a left-wing to far-left economic philosophy and movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to private ownership. As a term, it describes the economic, political and social theories and movements associated with the implementation of such systems. Social ownership can be public, collective, or cooperative. While no single definition encapsulates the many types of socialism, social ownership is the one common element. Different types of socialism vary based on the role of markets and planning in resource allocation, on the structure of management in organizations, and from below or from above approaches, with some socialists favouring a party, state, or technocratic-driven approach. Socialists disagree on whether government, particularly existing government, is the correct vehicle for change.

Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist; organised through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions and at other times independent and critical of them, and present in both industrialised and developing nations. Social democracy originated within the socialist movement, supporting economic and social interventions to promote social justice. While retaining socialism as a long-term goal, since the post-war period it has come to embrace a Keynesian mixed economy within a predominantly developed capitalist market economy and liberal democratic polity that expands state intervention to include income redistribution, regulation, and a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism, with more democratic control of companies, currencies, investments and natural resources.

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, several scholars posit that in practice, the model functioned as a form of state capitalism. Several academics, political commentators, and scholars have distinguished between authoritarian socialist and democratic socialist states, with the first representing the Eastern Bloc and the latter representing Western Bloc countries which have been democratically governed by socialist parties such as Britain, France, Sweden, and Western countries in general, among others. However, following the end of the Cold War, many of these countries have moved away from socialism as a neoliberal consensus replaced the social democratic consensus in the advanced capitalist world. (Full article...)

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The Socialist Revolutionary Party, or Party of Socialists-Revolutionaries (the SRs; Russian: Партия социалистов-революционеров (ПСР), эсеры, esery) was a major political party in early 20th century Russia and a key player in the Russian Revolution. Its general ideology was revolutionary socialism of democratic socialist and agrarian socialist forms. After the February Revolution of 1917, it shared power with other liberal and democratic socialist forces within the Russian Provisional Government. In November 1917, it won a plurality of the national vote in Russia's first-ever democratic elections (to the Russian Constituent Assembly), but the October Revolution had changed the political landscape and the Bolsheviks disbanded the Constituent Assembly in January 1918. The SRs soon split into pro-Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik factions. The anti-Bolshevik faction of this party, known as the Right SRs, which remained loyal to the Provisional Government leader Alexander Kerensky was defeated and destroyed by the Bolsheviks in the course of the Russian Civil War and subsequent persecution.


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Owen, aged about 50,
by William Henry Brooke
Robert Owen (/ˈɪn/; 14 May 1771 – 17 November 1858) was a Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropist and social reformer, and a founder of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement. He strove to improve factory working conditions, promoted experimental socialistic communities, and sought a more collective approach to child rearing, including government control of education. He gained wealth in the early 1800s from a textile mill at New Lanark, Scotland. Having trained as a draper in Stamford, Lincolnshire he worked in London before relocating aged 18 to Manchester and textile manufacturing. In 1824, he moved to America and put most of his fortune in an experimental socialistic community at New Harmony, Indiana, as a preliminary for his Utopian society. It lasted about two years. Other Owenite communities also failed, and in 1828 Owen returned to London, where he continued to champion the working class, lead in developing cooperatives and the trade union movement, and support child labour legislation and free co-educational schools. (Full article...)

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