¿What is Socialism?
Socialism is an ideology from the XIX century that says that the community should own everything. According to the socialists view, we live in a community, we do not work or live in isolation with each other, but we live in cooperation with each other, therefore, everything people produces is, in a way, a social product and anyone who contributes in theproduction of a good is entitled to a share on it. In socialist’s eyes, society as a whole should own, or at least control property, for the benefit of all of its members.
History of Socialism
Origins of Socialism
The origins of socialism as a political movement lay in the industrial revolution, but its roots can go as far as recorded thought. Socialist ideas play an important role in the ideas of theancient Greek philosopher Plato who’s Republic portrays an austere society where men and women of the “guardian” class share with each other not only their few material goods but also their children and spouses. Early Christian communities also practiced the sharing of good and labour.
Christianity and Platonism were combined in More’s “Utopia”, which recommends communal ownership as a way ofcontrolling the sins of pride, envy and greed.
Common ownership was one of the goals of the brief Anabaptist regime in the Westphalian city of Münster during the Protestant Reformation, and several socialist sects appeared in England in the wake of the Civil Wars. Leading them were The Diggers, whose members claimed that God created the world for people to share, not to divide and exploit forprivate profit.
These early visions of socialism were largely agrarian, and they remained true until the French Revolution, when the journalist François-Noël Babeuf and other radicals complained that the Revolution had failed to fulfill the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Babeuf said that to achieve Equality it was required to totally abolish private property, and commonly enjoy the landand its fruits. These beliefs led to conspiracies to overthrow the government. This publicity made Babeuf a hero for those in the XIX century who opposed to Industrial Capitalism.
The term “Socialist” came into use approximately in 1830 to describe the radicals, they distinguished themselves for their commitment to equality and their willingness to imagine a future whereindustrial power and capitalism were divorced, separated. The most important of them later acquired the title of “Utopian Socialists”.
One of the first utopian socialists was the French aristocrat Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon. He advocated public control of property through central planning, in which scientists, industrialists, and engineers would anticipate social needs and direct the energies ofsociety to meet those needs. According to him, this system would be much more efficient than capitalism.
Another early socialist was Robert Owen, and he was an industrialist himself. His fundamental belief was that human nature is formed, not fixed. He said that in order for people to change, conditions should change first. He tried to put a self-sufficient cooperative community where propertywas commonly owned, but failed within a few years, after that he soon started to promote social cooperation in other ways, trade unions and cooperative businesses particularly.
François-Marie-Charles Fourier said that modern society breeds selfishness, deception and other evils because institutions such as marriage, the male-dominated family, and the competitive market confine people torepetitive labour or a limited role in life and that way frustrate the need for variety. Fourier wanted a form of society that would focus more on human’s needs and desires. His Utopian society would be the society divided into a community of approximately 1600 people, where everyone could choose and do the job they wanted, every member had to share their ownership, and inequality was to be permitted,...