Socialism

A mindmap of the key themes and ideas within socialism

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  • Socialism - Key Ideas
    • Human Nature
      • Optimistic - we naturally want to help each other
      • Social - we are best understood in the context of society, and naturally cooperate
      • Mouldable - we improve through cooperation, but capitalism may have corrupted us
    • Equality
      • Fundamental Value, support equality in all forms
      • Promotes cooperation and social bonds
        • Inequality promotes competition and conflict
      • Ensures justice - fair treatment by society
      • Allows personal fulfilment - people's basic needs are satisfied, creating positive liberty
    • Liberty
      • Priortise positive liberty, a method of enabling the proletariat to better themselves
      • Liberty is unequally distributed - those with more resources have more liberty
        • Justifies redistribution
      • Marx: Freedom is an illusion. Workers are not free to NOT sell their labour, subject to economic forces beyond their control
        • e.g. Unemployment, price of wages
    • Collectivism
      • Collective action is morally better and more practical than individualism
        • Because it follows from our Human Nature - Social beings
      • The State can facilitate collectivism through collectivisation, wealth redistribution, welfarism and economic management
        • Marxists disagree, state is a tool of capitalism, and thus must be overthrown
      • Fraternity and equalitry leads to collectivism, and visa versa
    • Common Ownership
      • Collectivism
        • Collective action is morally better and more practical than individualism
          • Because it follows from our Human Nature - Social beings
        • The State can facilitate collectivism through collectivisation, wealth redistribution, welfarism and economic management
          • Marxists disagree, state is a tool of capitalism, and thus must be overthrown
        • Fraternity and equalitry leads to collectivism, and visa versa
      • The process through which collectivism can be achieved
      • Property & wealth is produced collectively, so should be owned as such
      • Restricts the inequality private property leads to
        • Moderate Socialists reject common ownership as a principle, preferring a mixed economy
    • Class Conflict
      • We share common interests and purpose with our class - "class consciousness"
        • These interests conflict with those of other classes
      • Marx: Two classes. those who own property (means of production) and those who have to sell their labour to survive
        • The conflict here is the exploitation for profit of the workers by the capitalists
          • These interests conflict with those of other classes
    • Social Justice
      • All Socialists believe the outcomes of a free market are not entirely fair
        • Something must be done to ensure the rewards an economy generates are shared more equally
          • But how, and to what extent, should this redistribution happen?
      • Key aim of Socialism - ensuring everyone is treated fairly by society and receives the resources necessary for life
      • Marx: True social justice will come with Communism
        • Redistribution is incompatible with capitalism
      • Moderates: Capitalism can be tamed and harnessed to achieve social justice
        • Redistribution can spread the wealth capitalism creates
        • Since inequality is a defining feature of capitalism, it must be decided how much is acceptable
          • A minimum living standard for all is sought (through, for example, minimum wage laws)
    • Evolutionaries vs Revolutionaries
      • Fundamental split between socialisms
      • CAPITALISM
        • EV: It can be tamed and/or transformed to suit socialisms needs
        • REV: It is fundamentally flawed and must be overthrown
      • DEMOCRACY
        • EV: Numerical majority of workers means it's key in creating socialism
        • REV: Ruling class dominate political institutions, can't beat capitalists at their own game
      • EDUCATION
        • EV: Education can achieve class conciousness and a desire for socialism
        • REV: Class conciousness will develop naturally, revolution expand it
      • DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT
        • EV: As capitalism's decline is inevitable, socialism can be achieved through gradual changes
        • REV: It  is needed to stop capitalists regaining power after the revolution

Comments

Faith Thompson

has to be 5 starts

Old Sir

This provides a useful overview of factors affecting views of socialism, and might provide a good starting point for students looking to extend their knowledge and understanding of how ideas of socialism and social democracy have evolved.

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