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  • Created by: Muy
  • Created on: 24-04-13 00:36


Social justic - all groups in society should be free from poverty and have higher aspects of life e.g. education and leisure

Groups emerged such as the Chartists and widepsread by 1840s, Communist League had Karl Marx and Engels in 1847

Initially belief was - society is unequal and all wealth is produced by labour, free market capitalism created inequality... Identified 2 stratergies... 1 - total disctruction of capitalism, abolishment of private property and class system... 2 - reform capitalism, legislation on social conditions, social welfare

Two stratergies in achieving these two goals were - 1 - 'revolutionary socialism' destruction of existing state institutions... 2 - use existing institutions and create social reforms, 'evolutionary socialism'

Mass socialist parties formed after 1870 were hybrids, as many chose 'social democrats' 

People tended to believes in 1 or 2, although there existed 'parliamentary road to socialism', a hybrid if you will

Communist parties increased after October Revolution in 1917, evolutionary parties kept 'social democrat' in their named while revolutionary parties renamed themselves communists

Social democracy shed its Marxist elements, neo-liberalism success in 1980s remphasised the appeal to all classes, middle path or 3rd way was born... acceptance of free market 

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Collectivism - humans only operate effectively as part of a collective group, so society can only be transformed with collective action

Collectivism derives from socialist views on human nature, economy and society

Society is organised on a class basis - ruling class and exploited working class,

Socialists - collectivism means conciousness is produced by social conditions, rather than human nature - nuture > nature... humans are naturally cooperative as it achieves more morally/economically rather than competition

A state created by the working class will act in the interests of the majority

Revolutionaries wanted a new workers state, destroying exiting bourgeoisie... Evolutionaries wanted to modify the state. and control it through democratic elections

Reformist promotion of the state led to classless socialism, state led collectivism the opposite of liberal individual, for Hitler this was anti-individual and anti-state hence National Socialists

Socialists implement collectivism through trade unions, cooperatives, state ownership of industry which should run to benefit society not to make profit

Nationalisation extended to all industries in USSR, including agricultural land... collapse of USSR in 1991 led to demise of collectivist idea

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All sections of society should enjoy same life experiences, or 'the quality of outcome'

Soacial equality - due to common humanity, everybody deserves equal standard of living 

Fundamentalist socialists suggest absolute equality, which required common ownership to allow equal distrubution

Relative equalising of society - removal of absolute poverty, a certain level of inequality is acceptable i.e. welfare through taxation

Equality creates social stability, socities with grat inequalities of wealth contain great povert and are unstable... Eventually revolutions break out such as Russia or Mexico

Socialists note socialist societies e.g. Sweden, are extremely stable - Sweden combined high taxation with redistrubition of wealth through welfare - they also retained parliamentary democracy

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Revolutionary + Evolutionary socialism

Revolutionary - society is based on ruling class exploiting working class, institutions of society exist to preserve ruling class, parliaments were established by beorgeoisie revolutions that overthrew monarchies, parliaments allow ruling class to exercise political control e.g. media, revolutionary socialists in countries which hadnt had beogeoisie revolutions merely used revolution to modernise their countries (anti-colonial socialism) - these nations were still prosperous, total desctruction of existing institutions of the state, revolution to topple existing order

Evolutionary - state is a neutral force that can be used, change comes through small bits, democracy is a legitimate form of government so changed made using it will result in ruling class accepting it, working class are the majority so socialism is inevitable - once educated they'll naturally vote for the socialist party, however industrial working class has reduced so socialist parties need to seek the middle class vote too

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Communism + Marxism

Communism - all history comes down to class conflict, in the current era its beourgeoisie v proleteriat, revolution will mean transformation of society and end of class society

Communism is internationalist, all states were creatures of their own ruling class -> 'Workers of all countries, unite' 

Communist Manifesto (1848) written by Engels + Marx, all history is about class conflict, slave v slave owner, feudal lord v bourgeoisie,  bourgeoisie v proleteriat

For Marx, the state and social institutions were a superstructure built on foundations of the economic relations of society, bourgeoisie possesed the means to produce wealth whilst proleteriate survived by selling its labour

Communism imples abolishment of classes, classes existed due to limited resources... limitations are managed by states created by ruling class... All existing institutions had to be replaced by a workers state on the model of the Paris Commune -  the state would be temporary - to prevent counter revolution

Most communist parties disintegrated after the collapse of USSR in 1991, South African Communist Party membership expanded in the 1990s solely because it was one of the few opposition to the Apartheid

Trotsky despised Stalin as he claimed he was a counter revolutionary who seized power in 1929 and destroyed the legacy of 1917, Stalin created a disctatoship of bureaucracy - embraced Russian nationalism and became a form of 'state capitalism' - a single massive capitalist entreprise 

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Social democracy

Social democracy - comprimise of revolutionary and evolutionary socialism

Abscence of large-scale social political crises or revolution meant socialists could focus on immediate social/political reform

Social democracy allowed most socialist parties to adopt a formal Marxist programme i.e. abolition of capitalism and private property combined with evolutionary methods i.e electoral work and trade union activity

Comprimised of social democracy shattered by Benstein who collaborated wotj Fabian socialists, he argued capitalism would survive and industrialisation displayed it could surmound any crisis - rise in living standards meant capitalism could be reformed or 'humanised'

Some criticised Bernstein such as Rosa Luxemburg, who claimed he abandoned socialism and capitulated to the ruling bougeoisie

Compromise shattered by October Revolution, since 1920s social democracy is linked to evolutionary socialism, many parties embraces reform over revolution

British social democracy never comprised of a Marxist element, its base came from trade unions and Fabian society who were committed to gradual reform, its aim is to achieve equality of outcome which could be achieved through universal welfare i.e. NHS

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Neo revisionist social democracy

Middle way ebetween free market of the New Right and state centred world view of Social Democracy

Decisive development of third way was the global success of neo-liberalism and the collapse of USSR, Conservatives won election in 1992 and seemingly traditional principles of social democracy didnt correspond with todays modern globalised economy

New Labour embraced the global economy meaning the acceptance of the free market and abandoning redistrubution of wealth through taxation - social equality became linked with ability to work in highly skilled + better paid occupations ... Hence the slogan 'Education, education, education' 

Private finance initative - private sector builds/owns new state assets and manages them i.e. schools and NHS hospitals

Public-private partnerships - private firms manage existing public assets on behalf of the state i.e. London Underground

Embracing globalisation reduced link with the working class, 'big tent' - any social class can enter - abandonment of 'equality of outcome' in favour of 'equality of opportunity' - a liberal principle ... Theres no dispute with great wealth as long as it raises the overall prosperity of society

Unlike the New Right, the third way see society as a collective unit, to make yourself ready for work rather than holding a hand out for welfare - third way has been accused of being a new form of liberalism, however New Labour introduced minimum wage, family tax credit and Sure Start for disadvantaged youths

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