Socialism and Communism. Seeking Utopia. Socialism defined . Text: “An ideology arguing that citizens are best served by policies focused on meeting the basic needs of the entire society rather than on serving the needs of individuals as individuals .”. Socialism.
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In England, socialism became a political movement in 1884, with the creation of the Fabians, who provided the basis for the new Labour Party. Many Labour governments since, including the current
Studied British economic records for 20 years to develop theory that everything is based on the economic system: politics,
law, social structures,
even religious belief.
Bourgeois: modern capitalists who own the means of production and therefore get to keep all the profits.
Today, this would include major stockholders in corporations.
Proletarians: modern wage laborers who sell their labor to live and don’t get any of the profits that they help to create.
This includes everyone who is not a stockholder or owner of capital, even professionals who work for a salary.
Economic systems go through historic cycles. Over time, an economic system becomes rigid and cannot adjust to new technologies, so a new system emerges, with new class relations and oppression.
Someday, a perfect classless society will emerge and there will be no further cycles.
1. Slave system gave way to feudal economy
2. Feudal economy broke down with growth of manufacturing, towns, navigation & transportation, emergence of middle class
3. Industrial capitalism emerged, with only two classes: proletariat and bourgeoisie.
“The bourgeoisie … has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from theidiocy of rural life…. The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productiveforces than have all preceding generations together… railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalization of rivers.”
Capitalism creates huge factories. Workers become concentrated and begin to organize for legal reforms (higher wages/better working conditions). Their effort fails.
Fierce competition between capitalists leads to new technologies, which leads to lower costs.
In the competition, some capitalists go bankrupt & have to become workers, and many workers lose their jobs as new technology replaces them.
(Consider reports that U.S. workers’ productivity is going up. Fewer workers are making more goods, which means technology is replacing them.)