Key areas within socialism

Key areas within socialism include: 

- society

- human nature 

- economy

- state 


Society - key ideas

accept that inequalities within society exist 

the goal is to reduce inequalities 

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Society - dichotomies

revolutionary socialists: society is based on conflict between the bourgeoise and the proletariat. Communism is the only stable society as it is stateless and classless 

social democrats: accept class inequalities so focus ont he redistribution of wealth 

third way/neorevisionists: third way stresses harmony, consensus and social inclusion, and rejects the traditional emphasis on class differances by accepting and emphasising unequal redistribution of outcome 

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Society - key thinkers

revolutionary socialists: Marx 

  • classless society
  • stateless
  • cooperative
  • absolute equality 

Social Democrats: Crosland

  • Egalitarian society 
  • equality of welfare 

Third Way: Giddens 

  • equality of oppertunity 
  • "hand up" not "hand out" welfare 
  • social cohesion and shared values 
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Society - judgment - the extent of unity between d

significant disagreement on outcome 

  • Marx: regardless of effor, everyone receives the same outcome (brownies analogy)
  • SD and Third Way: reward is dependant on how much effort is put in 

Ultimately isn't the most dichotomous area of socialism     

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Human nature - key ideas


capable of collective action 

shaped by social conditions 

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Human nature- dichotomies

is an area of greatest agreement - is a lack in dichotomies 

however, Marxists heavily emphasis on the danger of inequality, viewing any form of it as corruption 

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Human nature - key thinkers

Marx - humans are sociable

Rosa Luxembourg - mass strike action will help develop a revolutionary state (collective action)

Marx and Engles - human nature is socially determined (humans are shaped by their social condition 

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Human nature - judgment - event of unity between d

Very united

little/no dichotomies 

least dichotomous 

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Economy - Key ideas

in order fo more equal distributions of wealth, the economy must be revised/intervened with 

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Economy - dichotomies


  • believe in common ownership 
  • abolishing capitalism 

social democrats

  • believe in mixed economy 
  • Keynesian economics

third way

  • global free market
  • focus on education  
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Economy - key thinkers

revolutionary: Marx - replacing capitalism with a centrally planned economy based on common ownership 

Social Democrat: Beatrice Webb - belied in the expansion of the state, mixed economy 

Third Way: Anthony Giddens - "hand up" not "hand out", rejection of state intervention 

eg. Minimum wage and nationalisation 

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Economy - judgment - the extent of unity between d

dichotomies are divided on how to run the convo my and the Focus of the economy 

(Is very significant)

divided on whether or not to keep (and adapt) capitalism or whether capitalism should be abolished entirely

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State - key ideas

although there are many dichotomies, all socialists believe in the need to reform the state with the best intrests of the people in mind 

Public ownership


power decentralised 

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State - dichotomies

revolutionary socialism 

  • under capitalism, the state is controlled but he bourgeoise, and will wither away once communism is established after a revolution of the proletariat, leading to a classless and stateless society 

Social Democracy 

  • limited state intervention in social and economic affairs, 
  • accepting and reforming capitalism to suit the needs of socialism 

Third Way

  • focus on investment in infrastructure and education
  • small state, encourage self-reliance 
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State- key thinkers


  • classless and stateless society
  • proletariat develop class-conciousness
  • state "withers away"


  • state "withers away"

Beatrice Webb

  • expansion of the state will deliver socialism 
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State- judgement - event of unity between dichotom

most divided spect of socialism 


divisions between types of socialist = very strong 

are even divisions wihin revolutionary socialism 

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