You are on page 1of 15

TAMIL NADU NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL

TIRUCHIRAPPALLI 620 009

CONCEPT OF SOCIALISM
Submitted by

GB Pranav Sriram
Roll No: BA0150031
Submitted to
Dr.Subba Rao

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
1

At the beginning, I take this chance to thank my Professor Dr.Suba Rao In all seriousness been of
huge help amid snippets of uneasiness and slowness while the task was taking its pivotal shape.

Furthermore, I pass on my most profound respects to the Vice Chancellor Arun Roy IAS and the
managerial staff of Tamil Nadu National Law School who held the venture in high regard by giving
solid data as library foundation and database associations in times of need.

Thirdly, the commitment made by my guardians and companions by prior their valuable time is lifechanging and exceedingly requested. Their significant counsel and opportune supervision prepared
for the effective finish of this undertaking.

At long last, I thank the Almighty who gave me the strength and stamina to face all obstacles amid
the making of this task. Words aren't adequate to recognize the enormous commitments of different
individuals included in this task, as I probably am aware 'Words are Poor Comforters'. I at the end of
the day wholeheartedly and sincerely thank every one of the general population who were included
straightforwardly or in a roundabout way amid this undertaking making which offered me to turn out
with flying some assistance with colouring.

DECLARATION

I, Pranav Sriram, gravely promise that the accompanying paper or work overall is altogether of
my own formulating. In assistance I include that I am by and by capable in fact and honestly for
all movements in this record. This paper is altogether of my own execution and I haven't
accomplished more than acquire references from optional sources. Subsequently I have fastened
my complete reference index.

METHODOLOGY
The exploration procedure utilized as a part of this undertaking is investigative and clear.
Information has been gathered from different books, materials, papers and web sources. This
venture is based upon non-doctrinal technique for exploration. This undertaking has been
done after an exhaustive exploration based upon characteristic and outward parts of the
venture.

INDEX

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Introduction
Definition
Etymology
Early socialism
Principles of socialism
The Basics of Marxism
The Economics of Socialism
Communism: The Last Stage
Marxism, Socialism and Communism
Throughout the World
10.
Conclusion
11.
Bibliography

6
6
9
10
13
15
15
16
16
17
18

1. Introduction
Socialism, general term for the political and economic theory that advocates a system of
collective or government ownership and management of the means of production and
distribution of goods. Because of the collective nature of socialism, it is to be contrasted to
the doctrine of the sanctity of private property that characterize capitalism. Where capitalism
stresses compet ition and profit, socialism calls for cooperation and social service.
5

In a broader sense, the term socialism is often used loosely to describe economic theories
ranging from those that hold that only certain public utilities and natural resources should be
owned by the state to those holding that the state should assume responsibility for all
economic planning and direction. In the past 150 years there have been innumerable differing
socialist programs. For this reason socialism as a doctrine is ill defined, although its main
purpose, the establishment of cooperation in place of competition remains fixed.

2. Definition:
Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social
ownership and democratic control of the means of production, as well as a political theory
and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.

Socialism advocates public ownership of property and natural resources rather than private
ownership. The socialist system of government values cooperation over the competitiveness
of a free market economy. Socialists believe that all people in society contribute to the
production of goods and services and that those goods should be shared equally. This differs
from the capitalist system in which individual efforts trump the collective and the free market
determines the distribution of goods. Examples of socialist policies include a living wage,
free higher education and universal health care. Advocates of socialism believe that
capitalism creates vast inequality and that it ultimately leads to imperialism, a hyper-form of
capitalism.

Social ownership" may refer to public ownership, cooperative ownership, citizen ownership
of equity, or any combination of these. Although there are many varieties of socialism and
there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, social ownership is the common
element shared by its various forms.

Socialism can be divided into both non-market and market forms. Non-market socialism
involves the substitution of factor markets, money and financial decisions for managing the
economy with engineering and technical criteria entered around calculation performed inkind, implying that socialism will function under different economic laws than those of
capitalism

with

an

economic

mechanism

that

circumvents

the

inefficiencies

and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system.
By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets, and, in some
cases, the profit motive with respect to the operation of socially-owned enterprises and the
allocation of capital goods between them. The profits generated by these firms may variously
be used to directly remunerate employees, accrue to society at large as the source of public
finance, or be distributed among the population in a social dividend. The feasibility and exact
methods of resource allocation and calculation for a socialist system are the subjects of
the socialist calculation debate.
The socialist political movement includes a diverse array of political philosophies that
originated amid the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 1700s out of general concern
for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. In addition to the debate over the
degree to which to rely on markets versus planning, the varieties of socialism differ in the
type of social ownership they advocate, how management is to be organized within
productive institutions, and the role of the state in constructing socialism. Core dichotomies
associated with these concerns include reformism versus revolutionary socialism, and state
socialism versus libertarian socialism. While all tendencies of socialism consider themselves
democratic, the term "democratic socialism" is often used to highlight its advocates' high
value for democratic processes and political systems and usually to draw contrast to other
socialist tendencies they may perceive to be undemocratic in their approach.
By the late 19th century, and after further articulation and advancement by Karl Marx and his
collaborator Friedrich Engels as the culmination of technological development outstripping
the economic dynamics of capitalism, "socialism" had come to signify opposition to
capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership
of the means of production. By the 1920s, social democracy and Communism became the
two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. Socialism
proceeded to become the most influential secular worldwide movement and politicaleconomic worldview of the 20th century, and while the emergence of the Soviet Union as the
7

world's first socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic
model, many economists and intellectuals have argued that in practice the Soviet economic
model represented a form of state capitalism or a non-planned "command" or "managed"
economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power
and influence in all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the
world. Today, some socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements, such
as environmentalism, feminism and liberalism

3. Etymology:

For Andrew Vincent, "The word socialism finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means
to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and then medieval law
was societies. This latter word could mean companionship and fellowship as well as the more
legalistic idea of a consensual contract between freemen. The term "socialism" was created
by Henri de Saint-Simon, one of the founders of what would later be labelled "utopian
socialism".
The term "socialism" was created to contrast against the liberal doctrine of "individualism",
which stressed that people act or should act as if they are in isolation from one another. The
original socialists condemned liberal individualism as failing to address social concerns of
poverty, social oppression, and gross inequality of wealth.
They viewed liberal individualism as degenerating society into supporting selfish egoism that
harmed community life through promoting a society based on competition. They presented
socialism as an alternative to liberal individualism that advocated a society based on
cooperation. The term socialism is attributed to Pierre Leroux and to Marie Roch Louis
Reybaud in France; and in Britain to Robert Owen in 1827, father of the cooperative
movement.
The modern definition and usage of the term "socialism" settled by the 1860s, becoming the
predominant term among the earlier associated words "co-operative", "mutualist" and
"associationist".
The term "communism" also fell out of use during this period, despite earlier distinctions
between socialism and communism from the 1840s. An early distinction between "socialism"
8

and "communism" was that the former aimed to only socialise production while the latter
aimed to socialise both production and consumption.
However, by 1888 the term "socialism" was used by Marxists in place of "communism",
which was now considered an old-fashion synonym of "socialism". It wasn't until 1917 after
the Bolshevik revolution that "socialism" came to refer to a distinct stage between capitalism
and communism, introduced by Vladimir Lenin as a means to defend the Bolshevik seizure
of power against traditional Marxist criticisms that Russia was not sufficiently developed for
socialist revolution.

4. Early socialism:

Socialist models and ideas espousing common or public ownership have existed since
antiquity. It has been claimed, though controversially, that there were elements of socialist
thought in the politics of classical Greek philosophers Platoand Aristotle. Mazdak, a Persian
communal proto-socialist, instituted communal possessions and advocated the public good. In
the period right after the French Revolution, activists and theorists like Franois-Nol
Babeuf, tienne-Gabriel Morelly, Filippo Buonarroti, and Auguste Blanqui influenced the
early French labour and socialist movements. In Britain, Thomas Paine proposed a detailed
plan to tax property owners to pay for the needs of the poor in Agrarian Justice while Charles
Hall wrote The Effects of Civilization on the People in European States, denouncing
capitalisms effects on the poor of his time which influenced the utopian schemes of Thomas
Spence. The first "self-conscious socialist movements developed in the 1820s and 1830s. The
Owenites, Saint-Simonians and Fourierists provided a series of coherent analyses and
interpretations of society. They also, especially in the case of the Owenites, overlapped with a
number of other working-class movements like the Chartists in the United Kingdom." The
Chartists gathered significant numbers around the Peoples Charter of 1838, which demanded
the extension n of suffrage to all male adults. Leaders in the movement also called for a more
equitable distribution of income and better living conditions for the working classes. "The
very first trade unions and consumers cooperative societies also emerged in the hinterland of
the Chartist movement, as a way of bolstering the fight for these demands." A later important
socialist thin ker in France was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who proposed his philosophy
of mutualism in which "everyone had an equal claim, either alone or as part of a small
cooperative, to possess and use land and other resources as needed to make a living".There
9

were also currents inspired by dissident Christianity ofChristian socialism "often in Britain
and then usually coming out of left liberal politics and a romantic anti-industrialism" which
produced theorists such as Edward Bellamy, Frederick Denison Maurice, and Charles
Kingsley
The Paris CoMmune was a government that briefly ruled Paris from 18 March (more
formally, from 28 March) to 28 May 1871. The Commune was the result of an uprising in
Paris after France was defeated in the Franco-Prussian War. The Commune elections held on
26 March elected a Commune council of 92 members, one member for each 20,000
residents. Despite internal differences, the Council began to organise the public services
essential for a city of two million residents. It also reached a consensus on certain policies
that tended towards a progressive, secular, and highly-democratic social democracy. Because
the Commune was only able to meet on fewer than 60 days in all, only a few decrees were
actually implemented. These included the separation of church and state, the remission of
rents owed for the entire period of the siege (during which, payment had been suspended), the
abolition of night work in the hundreds of Paris bakeries, the granting of pensions to the
unmarried companions and children of National Guards killed on active service; the free
return, by the city pawnshops, of all workmen's tools and household items valued up to 20
francs, pledged during the siege. The Commune was concerned that skilled workers had been
forced to pawn their tools during the war; the postponement of commercial debt obligations,
and the abolition of interest on the debts; and the right of employees to take over and run an
enterprise if it were deserted by its owner; the Commune, nonetheless, recognised the
previous owner's right to compensation.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels argued that socialism would emerge from historical necessity
as capitalism rendered itself obsolete and unsustainable from increasing internal
contradictions emerging from the development of the productive forces and technology. It
was these advances in the productive forces combined with the old social relations of
production of capitalism that would generate contradictions, leading to working-class
consciousness.
Marx and Engels held the view that the consciousness of those who earn a wage or salary (the
working class in the broadest Marxist sense) would be moulded by their conditions of wage
slavery, leading to a tendency to seek their freedom or emancipation by overthrowing
10

ownership of the means of production by capitalists, and consequently, overthrowing the state
that upheld this economic order. For Marx and Engels, conditions determine consciousness
and ending the role of the capitalist class leads eventually to a classless society in which
the state would wither away. The Marxist conception of socialism is that of a specific
historical phase that will displace capitalism and precede communism. The major
characteristics of socialism (particularly as conceived by Marx and Engels after the Paris
Commune of 1871) are that the proletariat will control the means of production through
a workers' state erected by the workers in their interests. Economic activity would still be
organised through the use of incentive systems and social classes would still exist, but to a
lesser and diminishing extent than under capitalism.
For orthodox Marxists, socialism is the lower stage of communism based on the principle of
"from each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution while upper stage
communism is based on the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according
to his need"; the upper stage becoming possible only after the socialist stage further develops
economic efficiency and the automation of production has led to a superabundance of goods
and services. Marx argued that the material productive forces (in industry and commerce)
brought into existence by capitalism predicated a cooperative society since production had
become a mass social, collective activity of the working class to create commodities but with
private ownership (the relations of production or property relations). This conflict between
collective effort in large factories and private ownership would bring about a conscious desire
in the working class to establish collective ownership commensurate with the collective
efforts their daily experience.

5. Principles of socialism

True socialists advocate a completely classless society, where the government


controls all means of production and distribution of goods. Socialists believe this control is
necessary to eliminate competition among the people and put everyone on a level playing
field. Socialism is also characterized by the absence of private property. The idea is that if
everyone works, everyone will reap the same benefits and prosper equally. Therefore,
everyone receives equal earnings, medical care and other necessities.

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

11

As we've learned, socialism is difficult to define because it has so many incarnations. One of
the things socialists agree on is that capitalism causes oppression of the lower class. Socialists
believe that due to the com petitive nature of capitalism, the wealthy minority maintains
control of industry, effectively driving down wages and opportunity for the working class.
The main goal of socialism is to dispel class distinctions by turning over control of industry
to the state. This results in a harmonious society, free of oppression and financial instability.
Some of the other forms of socialism include these goals:

Guild socialism: Based in early 19th-century England, workers' guilds (similar


to unions) was responsible for control and management of goods.

Utopian socialism: Advocates social ownership of industry and a voluntary,


nonviolent surrender of property to the state. Implemented in communities like Robert
Owens' New Lanark.

State socialism: State socialism allows major industries to be publicly owned and
operated.

Christian socialism: Developed in England in 1948, this branch was born from the
conflict between competitive industry and Christian principles. Christian socialist societies
are characteristically led by religious leaders, rather than socialist groups.

Anarchism: Opposes domination by the family, state, religious leaders and the
wealthy. Anarchism is completely opposed to any form of repression and has been associated
with some radical events, including assassinations in Italy, France and Greece. U.S. President
William McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist.

Market Socialism: Often referred to as a compromise between socialism and


capitalism.
this type of society, the government still owns many of the resources, but market forces
determine production and demand. Government workers are also enticed with incentives to
increase efficiency.

Agrarianism: Form of socialism that features the equitable redistribution of land


among the peasants and self-government similar to that in communal living. Agrarian ideals
were

npopular in the rural United States well into the 1900s, although increasing

government control deterred their growth.

12

6.

The Basics of Marxism:


Karl Marx, writing with Friedrich Engels, developed a theory of

social and economic principles and a sharp critique of the capitalist form of government in
the mid-18 00s. Marx believed that workers, under the capitalist system of government, sold
their labor and that this labor became a co mmodity. This commodity, or "labor power" tr
anslated into surplus value for the capitalist, but not for the worker. Marx concluded that this
created an inherent conflict between the working class (proletariat) and the ownership class
(the bourgeoisie). Because capitalism has this "built in" inequality, Marx argued that the
working class would eventually take power over the ruling class, reconstructing society. This
reconstruction would take place in stages. The next stage after capitalism, according to Marx,
would be a socialist form of government.

7. The Economics of Socialism

Socialism advocates public ownership of property and natural resources rather than private
ownership. The socialist system of government values cooperation over the competitiveness
of a free market economy. Socialists believe that all people in society contribute to the
production of goods and services and that those goods should be shared equally. This differs
from the capitalist system in which individual efforts trump the collective and the free market
determines the distribution of goods. Examples of socialist policies include a living wage,
free higher education and universal health care. Advocates of socialism believe that
capitalism creates vast inequality and that it ultimately leads to imperialism, a hyper-form of
capitalism.

8. Communism: The Last Stage

2 http://money.howstuffworks.com/socialism1.html
13

The communist doctrine differs from the socialist worldview because communism calls not
only for public ownership of property and natural resources, but also for the means of
production of goods and services. Karl Marx argued that capitalism, with its strict adherence
to free market principles, divided people because of competition. He believed communism
was the solution. According to Marx, communism would give people a chance to develop
into their very best. He concluded that communism was a natural progression from socialism
and would occur in two stages. First, the working class would gain control of society and
push the ownership class out. Second, society would evolve into a classless one without
government. According to Britannica.com, Marx and Friedrich Engels defined communists in
their "Communist Manifesto" as, "The most advanced and resolute section of the working
class which parties every country, that section which pushes forward all others."

9. Marxism, Socialism and Communism throughout the World

Many countries have adopted various forms of Marxism, socialism and communism. The
former Soviet Union is the most famous example of a communist system of government,
lasting from 1922 to 1991. The People's Republic of China has a communist government,
although, China has developed a more mixed market economy with private ownership and
state ownership of entities such as media. European countries like France, Italy and England
have mixed economies with free market and socialist policies such as universal health care
and free collegiate education. 3The United States, a capitalist mixed economy, has examples
of socialist policies such as public schools, libraries and health care support in the form of
Medicaid and Medicare for low income people and senior citizens.
http://classroom.synonym.com/differences-between-marxism-socialism-communism17064.html
3

14

10. Conclusion
In this brief suggested outline of the socialist state, the aim has been to show that the socialist
ideal is far from being the network of laws commonly imagined or the mechanical
arrangement of human relations devised by utopian consists of the advocacy of laws. It must
be remembered that these are to ameliorate conditions in the existing social system. The
socialist ideal of the state of the future is not a life completely enmeshed in a network of
government, but a life controlled by government as little as possible - a maximum of personal
freedom with a minimum of restraint.

Bibliography

G. D. H. Cole, A History of Socialist Thought (5 vol., 195360);


J. Schumpeter,Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (3d ed. 1950, repr. 1962);

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

http://money.howstuffworks.com/socialism1.html
http://classroom.synonym.com/differences-between-marxism-socialism-communism17064.html

15