Socialism key thinkers

View mindmap
  • Socialism Key Thinkers
    • Marx (1818-1883) and Engels (1820-1895). The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Capital (1867,1885,1894)
      • Social class is central to communism.
      • Human nature is socially determined and can only be expressed under communism
      • Humans are essentially social beings whose behaviour is influenced by nurture more than nature
      • Humans are productive and capable of leading satisfying lives based on fulfilling work where the conditions for free creative production exist,
        • These do not exist under capitalism, which leads to human alienation separating people from their true selves
      • Under capitalism workers are separated from their labour (they do not own what they make), their work mates (because of the selfish nature of capitalism). The production process and their human capabilities and potential because they cannot freely create
      • Under communism workers are free to realise their potential, with leisure, pursuing cooperative creative work and helping others. Alienation disappears
      • Dialect change is propelled by the struggle between the exploiters and the exploited . This only ends with the establishment of a communist society
      • The exploited class must achieve a revolutionary class  consciousness to overthrow their oppressors.
    • Beatrice Webb (1858-1943)
      • ‘The inevitability of gradualness ’socialism can slowly be established by democratic reform
      • ‘Economic Side of democracy- the expansion of the state rather than its destruction will deliver socialism
      • Webb believed that workers were  limited,  selfish and uniformed so democracy would be representative
        • This would lead to a ‘skilled’ socialist governing class subject to democratic constraints.
      • The growth of the state was evidence  that collectivism would create a new socialist age.
      • The state’s ability to deliver socialism would depend heavily on highly trained  specialists and administrators to organise society and the economy
    • Rose Luxemburg (1871-1919)
      • Evolutionary socialism and revisionism are not possible as capitalism is based on economic exploitation
      • Struggle of the proletariat creates the class consciousness needed for revolution
      • She believed that evolutionary socialism would lead the capitalist exploitation intact and therefore revolution was necessary to enact true change
      • Class consciousness would develop naturally within the workers
        • Discontent would erupt into successful and unsuccessful strikes culminating in a spontaneous mass strike which would radicalise workers leading to revolution
      • Unlike Lenin Luxemburg did not believe a small disciplined party was needed to lead workers to revolution
    • Anthony  Crosland (1918-1977) The Future of Socialism (1956)
      • Modern capitalism lacks inherent contradictions needed to drive social change/ revolution. Managed capitalism can create greater social equality
      • The state must manage capitalism to deliver greater social equality, provide a fairer distribution of rewards, status and privilege and remove class barriers.
      • If the government pursues Keynesian economics they could maintain high employment, ensure low inflation and manage economic growth.
        • Rather than collapsing as Marx predicted capitalism has provided better living standards
      • High levels of government spending is required on welfare and redistribution of income and wealth
      • Economic expansion is required to fund welfare and social spending to improve living standards
    • Anthony Giddens (1938-) The Third Way (1998)
      • Rejection of state intervention- social democracy must be modernised due to globalisation
      • Giddens rejected the social and economic engineering that underpinned state welfare and redistribution programmes of previous SD governments
      • The free market is the most effective system of production and encourages desirable qualities such as responsibility
      • Equality of opportunity over equality. For the market driven system to work people need equal opptunitiy to better themselves through own efforts.
      • Government action is required to handle the inevitable widening inequalities of outcome
      • Welfare creates a dependency culture instead a contract must exist within the state. The state benefits from growth and must invest in education and infrastructure. The people must take advantage and help themselves.
      • Community and responsibility rather than class conflict are important to offset the negative effects of the free market and promote social cohesion.


No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all Socialism resources »