Editors: Samuel, Howard


Yes. Socialism is mostly about the public, the group, the society. It is an idea that emphasizes the importance of a group and eliminating discrimination between classes. Usually this is achieved by government intervention by promoting public property (public schools and parks), controlling means of production(Land, factories) and progressive tax rates (considerably higher than that of capitalist countries).
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A bit of history:

Modern socialism was an idea that originated during the 18th-century used to respond to the detrimental effects of individualism, industrialisation and private property that had on society. Later on, during the 19th century, it became a term to refer to any concern for the social problems that were caused by capitalism. For example, looking at the Karl Marx's theory of the decline of Capitalism which you have in your chapter 4 assignment worksheet. He believes that the negative aspects of capitalism will in the end become so great that the worker class (or anyone who doesn't hold property over means of production) would not be able to withstand it. In the end, to stop the vicious cycle of the poor poorer and the rich richer, socialism is a must. From the late 19th-century to now, “socialism" is now a term that is commonly define as the opposite to capitalism and the wish for an alternative system of society that is based on some form of social ownership.

Socialism has three major branches:


-Scientific Socialism (Communism; China, USSR)

Scientific socialism is the term used by Friedrich Engels to describe the social-political-economic theory first pioneered by Karl Marx. It is a method for understanding and predicting social, economic and material phenomena by examining their historical trends through the use of the scientific method in order to derive probable outcome and probable future developments.

Important notes- Scientific socialism believes in revolution through violence between classes as the worker class(called the proletariat) will overthrow the wealthy class(bourgeoisie) and is the answer to the start of the success of government. They also believe in excessive goverment control.

Key representative of scientific socialism would be Stalin and Mao Ze Dong who inserted the idea to their people as their country's foundation.


-Democratic Socialism (Australia government, NDP party of Canada, )

Democratic Socialism is all forms of socialism that follow an electoral, reformist or evolutionary path to socialism rather than a revolutionary.

Important Notes- Democratic Socialism is the opposite of Scientific Socialism which they do not promote violence even if they want change, instead they graduate promote change overtime.

Key Representives of democratic socialism would be Tommy Douglas the founder of Canada's New Democratic Party which brought universal healthcare.

-Utopian Socialism (Robert Owen’s New Lanark attempt)

Utopian Socialism- Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels referred to all socialist ideas that were simply a vision and distant goal for society as utopian socialism. Utopian Socialists were likened to scientist who drew up elaborate designs and concepts for creating what socialist considered a more equal society. Also they were scientist or engineers that designs things that are inevitably be produced through examining social and economic phenomena.

Important Notes-Utopian socialist generally don’t feel class struggle or political revolutions are necessary to implement their ideas, instead people of all classes may voluntarily adopt their plans for society.

Key representives of utopian socialism would be Robert Owen who built the village New Lanark with the foundation ideas of Utopian Socialism.

Relation to Classical Liberalism!

Classical Liberalism is an idea that is based upon the principles of individualism. In contrast, Socialism is an idea that is based upon the principles of collectivism. In general, Socialism is an idea that was originated as a response to the negative impacts on society by Classical liberalism. The rise of socialism and its own benefits influenced many thinkers. Classical liberalism changed into modern liberalism after realizing their negative impacts. Modern liberalism, also called social liberalism, which gives quite alot already with the name, wants to promote government intervention when dealing with social injustice like unemployment, health care and minimum wage, while still promoting civil rights.


Matt Wuerker.N/A. Retrieved March 3rd, 2012, from http://12160.info/profiles/blogs/a-brief-history-of-socialism
IRC. Communism It's a Party. Retrieved March 4th,2012, from http://gotsmile.net/12815/communism-its-party
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Northen Sun. Socialism Button. Retrieved March 6th, 2012, from http://www.northernsun.com/Socialism-Button-(0961).html
Wikipedia. Modern Liberalism. Retrieved March 6th,2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_liberalism
Wikipedia. Socialism. Retrieved March 6th, 2012, fromhttp://www.northernsun.com/Socialism-Button-(0961).html