A2 Government and Politics - Socialism Part Two

Revision summary for EDEXCEL A2 Government and Politics

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Explain three reasons why Marx thought the Dictato

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1. Secure Revolution - To preserve the revolution and to protect from counter revolution. To stop the dispossessed bourgeoisie from taking back control.

2. Preparation for Communism - To prepare the way for the ultimate stage in society, the setting up of a classless, stateless society. Money and classes would still exist but wages would reflect labour time (no surplus value). The state and its instruments would still be the means by which the proletariat would rule.

3. Nature (what would it look like?) - As class antagonisms would begin to fade the state would wither away. Communist society - classless and stateless society. Once the class system had been abolished there would be no need for the state. The capitalist system would be replaced by one geared to the satisfaction of human need. Human beings will realise their full potential. Example: Paris Commune.

Later Communist abuse - Lenin and Stalin. Marx's original idea that the state would wither away turned out to be the opposite of the truth, the power of the state would continue to grow. It is debateable whether Lenin ever saw the end of the state calling dreams 'utopian'. Stalin accepted the idea of an almost permanent stage of the 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat', as it became a totalitarian dictatorship.

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Explain why Marx thought the state would wither aw

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Why would the state wither away?

Nature of the state as an instrument of class rule - Once the class system had been abolished there would be no need for the state after the abolition of private property and alienated labour. Marx: 'the state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the bourgeoisie'.

Nature of Communist Society...

Communism deprives no man of the ability to appropriate the fruits of his labour. The only thing it deprives him of is the ability to enslave others by means of such appropriations. The theory of communism: abolition of private property. Marx: 'From each according to his abilities, to each according to their needs'.

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Give two reasons how Leninism departed from the id

I

V.P

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Theory of Imperialism - Imperialism constituted a higher form of capitalism, one that Marx could not have envisaged and one which delayed the revolution in advanced capitalist countries. According to Lenin the capitalists increasingly exploited underdeveloped parts of the world and used profits to buy off the domestic working classes.

Vanguard Party - In 'What is to be done' Lenin articulated his theory of a Vanguard Party which amounted to a revolutionary role for a small elite of middle class intellectuals which lead the communist party. He concieved of the Vanguard Party as a highly disciplined centralised party that would work at the forefront of the revolution to provide the proletariat with revolutionary consciousness and serve as a mentor/ leader.

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Explain two other ways how Leninism departed from

U.O.P

D.C

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Use of peasantry - Lenin did not think that the bourgeoisie were strong enough in Russia to carry through a capitalist revolution. He believed that the proletariat could develop a revolutionary government of its own in alliance with the peasantry who had a history of mass action in Russia- capitalist and communist revolution could be rolled into one.

Democratic Centralism - The democratic aspect of this organisational method describes the freedom of members of the political party to discuss and debate matters of policy and direction, but once the decision of the party is made by majority vote all members are expected to uphold that decision. As Lenin described it: democratic centralism consisted of 'freedom of discussion, unity of action'.

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Give three ways in which Stalinism departed from t

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D

V . P

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1. Socialism in 1 Country - Stalin favoured socialism in one country in the knowledge that all communist revolutions in Europe between 1917-1921 except in Russia had been defeated. He focussed instead on building up the Soviet Union internally creating it into a 'giant fortress' against the external hostile capitalist world.

2. Dictatorship - Stalin virtually abandoned the Marxian theory of the state which Lenin had in theory accepted. This accepted the idea of an almost permanent stage of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat whereas Marx saw this as simply the route to a stateless, classless communist society. A totalitarian dictatorship operating through a monolithic party where all forms of debate were eradicated by terror.

3. Violence and purges - Stalin created a secret police force that broke down prisoners through intense interrogation. Several show trials were held in Moscow and the purges. Hundreds of thousands were transported to gulags and millions killed.

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In what four ways has Social Democracy revised the

Economy

Equality

Class

State

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Mixed Economy - (Private and public owned) instead of full common ownership.

Relative equality/ social justice instead of absolute equality.

Amelioration of class differences not a classless society

State interventionism not intervention of the state.

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How has social democracy revised the means of fund

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Social Democracy does not look to plan revolution but have adopted evolutionary means leading to Parliamentary forms of socialism. Some groups have abandoned Marxism: eg. SPD in Germany. Some traditionally evolutionary. Eg. Fabians in the UK.

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Outline a key theorists three criticisms of Marx.

EB

2

I

N.I

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Key theorist : Eduard Bernstein

1. Bernstein challenged Marx's theory that capitalism would lead to a two class society based on conflict. The middle classes were in fact growing in number, as he put it 'the middle classes change their character but they do not disappear from the social scale'.

2. Bernstein claimed that all classes were improving their position as opposed to Marx's belief in the immiseration of the Proletariat.

3. Bernstein refuted Marx's theory that the collapse of capitalism was inevitable, although there were periodic downturns capitalism had demonstrated its ability to pick itself up and emerge stronger than before.

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Give two key features of social democracy

M

H.C

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1. Moral not a scientific method - Socialism is not the result of a dialectic/scientific process caused by the inevitable development of economic forces. Socialism is not a higher stage of development than capitalism but a moral idea for which those committed must educate people.

Example: Ethical socialism RH Tawney / Tony Benn - Tony Benn's socialism is based on Christian/ethical teaching. He argues that inequality is unethical and must be drastically reduced.

2. Not abolition of Capitalism but Humanise Capitalism - Capitalism is accepted as the only reliable means of generating wealth but is considered morally defective as a means for distributing wealth and structuring society and if left unregulated it leads to poverty. Socialism should be created within capitalism rather than as an alternative to it.

Example: Tawney advocated extending social services and the social role of industry. A truly democratic society would not value democracy purely as a political term but as a social principle.

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Give a further three key features of Social Democr

T

A

E.G

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1. State = A tool for creating socialism - The state is viewed as not purely an instrument of ruling class control but as a neutral institution which can be used to create a fairer more equal society. The defects of capitalism can be rectified by the use of the institutions of the state.

Example: The Fabians believed that state power could be used by working class parties to achieve socialist goals. H.G Wells believed that elite groups such as politicians, civil servants, scientists and academics could be converted.

2. Amelioration of Class Conflict - Capitalism does not inevitably lead to conflict between classes which will inevitably lead to violent revolution. Class conflict can be ameliorated through using state action to reduce and smooth antagonisms between rich and poor.

Example: Ethical socialists believe that humans are ethical creatures bound to one another by ties of love, sympathy and compassion.

3. Evolutionary Gradualism - The endorsement of Liberal Democratic principles, political change does not need to be brought about through revolution but should be brought about peacefully and constitutionally through the development of socialist political parties who seek election.

Example: Fabians - The Fabians accepted the Liberal view of the state as a neutral arbitrator rather than the Marxist view of the state being an agent of class rule.

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List four accepted policies of 20th century social

M.R.C

C

W.S

M.E

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1. Managed regulated Capitalism - A managed and regulated economy designed to tame and humanise capitalism. Keynesian economics would maintain full employment by government intervention. Example: Post War Labour governments helping to subsidise industries (e.g car manufacturing) to prevent mass unemployment.

2. Corporatism - Class conflict ameliorated through cooperation between trade unions, business and the state to ensure a smoothly run and efficient economy. Example: 1960's - 1970's setting up of a National Economic Development councils to agree prices and income policy.

3. Comprehensive welfare state - A comprehensive welfare state, state enforced progressive taxation to fund social engineering to create relative equality and greater social justice by redistributing wealth to poor. Example: 1945 Attlee government setting up of NHS, Universal Education, Benefits systems. Council Housing funded by National Insurance and progressive income tax.

4. Mixed economy - Private Industry allowed but essential parts of the economy (infrastructure, energy etc) are nationalised to be run in the common interest. Example: Labour government nationalisation of commanding heights of the economy: eg: coal, electricity, railways, steel etc. Guaranteed by Clause 4 of Labour Party constitution.

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Give three new features of Neo-Revisionism.

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1. Economic Globalisation - Governments are no longer in control of their national identities. The International Monetary Fund and WTO dictate economic policy, therefore social engineering of nationalisation and keynesianism are no longer relevant. IMPACT : If high rates of income taxation were introduced then talented individuals would leave the country resulting in reduced economic efficiency. Governments can now only affect two variables: skills of population (knowledge based economy) and social infrastructure.

2. De-industrialisation - Has led to change of economic structure in countries away from traditional industries towards service sector employment such as financial and retail sectors. A generation ago half the population was working class- not now. IMPACT: The core support barely exists at all. In the UK the relative size of the working class identified less with high taxation and expenditure. Labour needed to devise new policies for new minds of voters.

3. Decline in traditional structures and morality - There is now a more uncertain world where what is moral today may be immoral tomorrow and vice versa. A world in which family life and individual expectations are transformed and nothing is forever. IMPACT: Neo-Revisionism seeks to make sense of and apply left of centre values to the New World. To recognise the need for a moral framework and to adjust public institutions to a very different and demanding environment.

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Outline three key theories of Neo-Revisionism

P.O

M.S

C.A

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1. Acceptance of free market and Private Ownership - Globalisation means there is no alternative to free market. Rejection of the economic role of the state. Acceptance of the superiority of private enterprise and competition. Pro-business and Pro-enterprise approach. Requires greater flexibility of labour. Rejection of trade Unions. Example: Anthony Giddens 'Third Way' - New Labour independance of Bank of England to set interest rates. New Labour's privatisation fo Air Traffic Control - New Labour kept Thatchers anti-union laws.

2. Competition/ Market State - In the competitive global economy economic intervention by the state should not aim to own and control the economy but to attract private investment, secure national prosperity. Concentration on social intervention, investment and education. Education is good because it improves employability and benefits the economy. Example: Anthony Giddens 'Third Way' Tony Blair 'Education, education, education'.

3. Abandonment of class analysis - Socialist concept of class conflict is outdated meaning many people associate themselves as middle class. Classes are no longer easy to define due to social mobility and distribution of material rewards, response to fluid distribution of work related skills. Seek to build a consensus society highlighting community ties. Example: Anthony Crosland - The future of socialism - attempt to build society combining traditional left and right political views through Anthony Gidden's 'Third Way'.

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Give two other key theories of Neo-Revisionism

E.O.O

C.M.R

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1. Emphasis on equality of opportunity - Social egalitarianism has been sealed down to a liberal belief in equality of opportunity or asset based egalitarianism- the right of access to assets and opportunities to enable individuals to realise their potential. An enabling state to provide people opportunity to provide people opportunity to develop their skills, welfare in favour of social inclusion- similar to modern Liberalism. Example: Bill Clinton 'giving people a hand up not a hand out'. Welfare benefits targeted at socially excluded but conditional on individual willingness to look for work and become self reliant.

2. Community and Moral Responsibility - A rejection of moral foundations and social implications of neo-Liberalism. Based on Liberal communitarianism of Alisdair MacIntyre, Michael Sandel and Amitai Etzioni. Rejects egotistical individualism in favour of contextual view of interdependance and reciprocity. Example: Amitai Etzioni - Liberal Communitarianism - They emphasise how rights and responsibilities tied together and seek to create a new socially responsible society. Eg: extension of Human Rights Act, ASBO's.

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Define Gradualism

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Gradualism - Social Democrats believe in gradualism, the belief that socialism did not need to be brought about through revolution but could be done through a process of gradual evolution which would inevitably triumph over capitalism.

Example - Fabians: The Inevitability of Gradualness - The majority of the working class vote for socialist parties. Social policy implementation using powers of the state.

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Give the first two reasons why gradualism has fail

F.S

E.G

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Failure 1: Fractured support - Social Democracy was based on compromise between the priorities of Liberal Capitalism, economic efficiency and fundamentalist socialism- egalitarianism. The revision of socialism's goal of opposing capitalisms inequality had robbed social democracy of its guiding principle.

Example: This has caused inevitable divisions between different factions over the most appropriate balance between capitalist and socialist values. Eg: Splits within the Labour Party in the 1980's.

Failure 2: Economic Globalisation - Social Democracy's policy of economic state intervention isn't achievable in a global economy with multi-national capital. State intervention within the economy is restricted by the 'footloose nature' of international capital- governments are forced to be pro-capital to ensure companies dont leave the country.

Example: Nationalisation - State ownership and control heights of the economy can't happen when industries and businesses are multi-national- ownership not based in one country.

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Explain the other two reasons why Gradualism has f

N.R

I

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Failure 3: Not Relevant - Social Democracy policy of economic state intervention was formulated in the 19th century when there was clearly a mass exploited working class that needed assistance from the state. Most people now associate themselves as middle class, consequently traditional supporters have dwindled.

Example: 20th century capitalism has been able to reform itself which has led to increased prosperity for all, supported by developed welfare state which led to greater social mobility.

Failure 4: Impossible (Marxist Argument) - Marxists argue that social democracy's use of the state makes the incorrect assumption that the state is neutral. The state will ultimately serve the interests of those who own and control the means of production. The capitalist state will act against any attempt to reform it.

Example: In some countries Social Democratic Parties have been overthrown. Eg: Salvador Allende in Chile. In Western countries they have embraced Neo-Liberal economics. Eg: New Labour in Britain.

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Summarise the differences between the three differ

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Marxism (the state) - The material basis of the state is relative scarcity- where a group of people produce a surplus which divides society into classes. In general the state is controlled by the economically dominant class which consists of political and cultural institutions. In most states in history, rights were allotted according to wealth. 'The executive of the state is essentially a committee to manage the common affairs of the bourgeoisie'.

Social Democracy (the state) - The state is viewed as not purely an instrument of ruling class control but as a neutral institution which can be used to create a fairer more equal society. The defects of capitalism can be rectified by the use of the institutions of the state. Eg. The Fabians belief that state power could be used by working class parties.

Neo-Revisionism (the state) - Acceptance of the free market and private ownership, globalisation means there is no alternative to the free market and the state must focus on the 'knowledge economy' and structural building within society. Be able to adjust public institutions to a very different and demanding environment recognising the need for a moral framework.

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Outline the different socialist views concerning e

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Marxism (Equality) - Communism is stateless and classless society which 'deprives no man of the ability to appropriate the fruits of his labour'. It would be essentially meritocratic and designed to suit human need. The central problem is that no-one is entirely free of the capitalist system and the current exploitation.

Social Democracy (Equality) - Capitalism does not inevitably lead to conflict between classes. Class conflict can be ameliorated through using state action to reduce and smooth antagonisms between the people. Socialism should be created within capitalism and the state can be used to create a fairer, more equal society.

Neo Revisionism (Equality) - Social egalitarianism has been sealed down to a Liberal belief in equality of opportunity or asset based egalitarianism. For example: Bill Clinton giving people a 'hand up not a hand out'. Welfare benefits would be targeted at socially excluded but conditional on individual willingness to work.

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Outline the different socialist views of Capitalis

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Marxism (view of capitalism) - Revolution would occur in the most advanced capitalist countries through a class conscious proletariat who formed the majority of the population. The proletariat would be aware of their exploitation and would spontaneously revolt.

Social Democracy (view of capitalism) - Capitalism is accepted as the only reliable means of generating wealth but is considered morally defective as a means for distributing wealth and structuring society, if left unregulated it leads to poverty. Socialism within capitalism.

Neo-Revisionism (view of capitalism) - In the competitive global economy economic intervention by the state should not aim to own and control the economy but concentrate on social intervention, investment and education. This improves employability and benefits the economy, bringing a minimum standard of living to all.

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Comments

Pete Langley - Get Revising founder

Really good question and answer on Marx

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