is a political ideology created in Europe in the 19th
century, emerging as a response to the social and economic conditions
brought by the growth of the industrial capitalism, due to the
industrial revolution that was taking place in Europe and that
changed the life of millions.
term “socialist” was first used in the London
in 1827, which discussed that the issue whether the capital should be
owned individually or by the community and by the 1840s the term
“socialism” was known in most of the industrialized countries,
like Britain, France or Belgium.
all the political ideologies, it is not easy to define what socialism
is without minimizing the differences between the vary
interpretations of it like Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Social
Democracy etc., but in all of its different forms socialism has
certain fundamental characteristics that will be discuss and analyze
in this essay. They key principles of socialism can be identified in
this five concepts which are:
the English poet John Dunne said “no man is an Island entire of
believes that human as social creatures are able to overcome social
and economic problems through the power of the community rather than
nature can also change and it is not fixed but it is determinate by
the society where we live, which is the place where people learn
skills and human behaviors, meaning that those are not natural but
instead are conditions made by the society itself where the
individual lives. Society makes people selfish and aggressive because
they live in a capitalistic system, not because of their human
nature, forcing them to seek just the profit. Capitalism concentrates
the wealth of the society in the hands of few individuals leaving the
majority in poverty, such concept is unacceptable by Socialism.
belief that human beings are self-sufficient is false for socialists
and they believe that it is impossible to make clear distinctions of
“individual” and “society” because “Individuals
can be just identified just through the social groups to which they
are part of”
Heywood A page 108.
are also concern on what individuals can accomplish and what they can
be, which has led to the ideas of utopian visions of society, where
group of people can achieve emancipation and equality as members of
we said before, socialist believe in cooperation rather than
competition because unable people to create bonds of sympathy and
trust which is what they believe is a natural instinct, competition
is what the capitalist system brings in the society and what makes
people selfish and self-interested.
argues that human beings can be inspire to do their best not just
through materialistic rewards but also by moral values that will help
their community to grow and creates in them a sense of responsibility
towards others. Welfare supports for the most vulnerable individuals
in society is what the socialists seek in order to guarantee to all a
fair and equal treatment.
is without questions the defining goal for Socialism, regarding it as
a fundamental value to promote equality of outcome in a society which
is what makes socialists different compare other political ideologies
like Conservatism or Liberalism.
the book “Political Ideologies: an introduction” by Andrew
Heywood says, there are three arguments in favor of it which are
social equality stands for fairness, builds cooperation and holds
need-satisfaction in the basis for human fulfilment and
A. page 112).
equality stands for fairness means that socialists believe that the
inequality between people is not created by the nature but by the
society itself, where people receive unequal treatments. That
does not mean that they believe that all people are the same, people
have different skills and competences but Socialists agree that they
must be treated in the same way without any distinctions.
builds cooperation, meaning that if people have the same outcome in
society they will be more incline to work together to reach their
common goals in the community to have the same advantages rather than
competing against each other.
equality socialists argue that in the society there would be
conflicts between will lead society to a conflict between different
social classes like it did happen in the French Revolution
(1789-1799) and in Russia in 1917, where people fought against the
privileges that the few had.
individuals in a community have basic needs, like food and so on,
making them fundamental, meaning for socialists that those are
essential for guarantee freedom and equality to the community.
believe that the concepts of freedom and equality can coexist, which
is different from what other political ideologies beliefs, like
class indicates groups of people who do share similar ideas due to
their similar social and economic status.
believe that throughout history people were more incline to associate
themselves with others who had their common interest, meaning that
social classes can cause and bring changes in society and are a key
factor in human history.
social class has been define more specifically as the will of the
working class, which will lead socialism to success because they are
the only class who can and will implement it.
ideas in the Socialism thought see classes has something that should
be eliminate by society (like Karl Marx said) or that they will be
origin of the inequality in a society comes from the idea that few
individuals own majority of the wealth and that’s the reason why
socialists condemn the idea of “private property”.
idea is something that makes Socialism completely different from
Conservatism and Liberalism because both believe that private
property is an inalienable right.
condemn the idea of it because the wealth produced by the society
should not be owned by private individuals but instead should be
owned by the community, also possessing private properties or wealth
makes people materialist and selfish, forcing them to accept that the
only way to achieve happiness is through wealth and materialistic
it has been said before, private property creates differences between
individuals in the community creating conflicts between them.
Marx believed in a classless society with the abolition of private
property but he did not specify how to implement it, meaning that
throughout history people have tried to implement it, like Lenin did
after the Russian Revolution in 1917, where he did it through the
naturalization of industries, without any distinctions, meaning a
direct control of the state over the national economy.
the last decades instead in the Western World after the Second World
War, certain governments (Labor British government in 1946-1952)
chose to nationalize just certain industries (coal,
leaving certain industries in the hands of the private but having a
great influence over the national economy anyway.
this essay shows, Socialism is a difficult political ideology to
define because it has so many interpretations but one belief that all
socialists agree is that capitalism causes oppression for the lower
history we have seen examples where the lower class decided to
get the power back
from the Elite who owned the majority of the wealth, as
it did happen during the French Revolution in 1789 and also in Russia
believe that due to the competitive nature of capitalism, the
minority controls the wealth, owning industries that have the only
focus of producing more wealth for the owners.
wants to eliminate the concept of class by eliminating the private
property and making the community the owner of the wealth in the
society and when it will be accomplish,
social classes will be abolish. The production will become common
property under the democratic control of all the people in the
community, meaning that Socialism has been established.
will create a society where people work together in order to achieve
their goals rather than competing against each other and will help
the community to develop and improve in a shorter amount of time.
cannot be established by an élite, but only by the working class,
meaning that the lower classes who produce the wealth do also own it
and they can all decided how to use it to benefit the community as