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Socialism and Communism Seeking Utopia. Capitalism An economic system Means of production are privately owned and operated Distribution is determined.

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Presentation on theme: "Socialism and Communism Seeking Utopia. Capitalism An economic system Means of production are privately owned and operated Distribution is determined."— Presentation transcript:

1 Socialism and Communism Seeking Utopia

2 Capitalism An economic system Means of production are privately owned and operated Distribution is determined by a free market, rather than by the state Supply and demand

3 Social Organization Socialism Advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. Communism A theory or system based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.

4 Socialism as an ideology 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.”

5 Roots Ancient roots – Judeo- Christian belief in the common good, which takes precedence over individual desires Term “socialism” coined in 1827 by British socialist Robert Owen to describe his view of a cooperative new society.

6 Socialism’s emergence Liberal political parties in 19 th century Europe failed to address the desperate needs of working people. Classical liberalism views poverty as an individual choice or failure, not the result of social structures. Also suspicious of big government. Socialism provides a different conception of individual responsibility & of government.

7 Labour Party In England, socialism became a political movement in 1884, with the creation of the Fabians, who provided the basis for the new Labour Party.

8 Socialism’s principles Egalitarianism or equality. Humankind will be unified and cooperative, once wealth is owned and used for the common good. Capitalism exploits the very people who create society’s wealth. Moralism. Division of rich & poor is evil; capitalism is fundamentally unjust. Instead, the ideal future emphasizes peace, social justice and true liberty for all.

9 Social democracy A variation on socialism that argues that socialism and democracy can work together. Example: British Labour Party. Change comes through peaceful democratic processes like elections. Democratic governments should promote economic - as well as political - freedom & equality.

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11 Social democracy Socialist political parties compete and win office in every western democracy except the United States. Argentina Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Netherland, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Venezuela. Why might this be so? What’s different about the U.S.?

12 Democratic Socialists of America “Democratic Socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few…. many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed … so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.”

13 Marxism Noun: the system of economic and political thought developed by Karl Marx, along with Friedrich Engels, especially the doctrine that the state throughout history has been a device for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class, that class struggle has been the main agency of historical change, and that the capitalist system, containing from the first the seeds of its own decay, will inevitably, after the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, be superseded by a socialist order and a classless society.Marxwill

14 Social democracy’s similarities with Marxism Sees capitalism as exploitive, leading to social injustice and extreme income inequality. These economic conditions have adverse effects on ordinary working people – in terms of physical health, psychological well-being, housing, education, etc…

15 Social democracy’s similarities with Marxism Both ask the question: why should those who provide the money (capital) receive all the profits, and those who provide the labor receive none of the profits? It is labor, after all, that turns raw materials (including cash) into something with greater value?

16 Social democracy’s differences from Marxism Private property not abolished, but the public should control the use of property and make necessities available to all. Individual rights not abolished but should complement other important values such as concern for others. Change can occur through an evolutionary process that uses democratic means.

17 Marx’s view of social democracy Karl Marx said social democrats were naive to think that “enlightened capitalists” would join with workers to form a new society. Violent revolution was inevitable.

18 Karl Marx German political thinker in 19 th century. Did most of his work in Britain. Influenced by German philosopher Hegel. Published Communist Manifesto in 1848 with co-author Frederick Engels. Wrote multi-volume Capital (Das Kapital), starting in 1867.

19 Karl Marx Studied British economic records for 20 years to develop theory that everything is based on the economic system: politics, law, social structures, family relations, even religious belief.

20 Define Bourgeois

21 Define 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.

22 Define Proletarians

23 Define 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.

24 Karl Marx’s key ideas 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.

25 Marx’s key ideas 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.

26 Industrial Capitalism – Negative Effects Destroys important human values, replacing even religious belief with naked exploitation. Undermines an individual’s sense of personal value in one’s work. Undermines human relationships; all relationships are based on cash. Destroys human freedom. The only freedom it protects is free trade.

27 Industrial Capitalism – Positive Effects Unprecedented exploration and technological advancements. War less likely. Urbanization opens people’s minds to new ideas. Economic production centralized, leading to favorable conditions for communism to emerge.

28 Communist Revolution Inevitable 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.

29 Communist Revolution Inevitable 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.)

30 Communist Revolution Inevitable Greater numbers of people permanently unemployed. Misery widespread. Fewer people can afford the products of capitalists, so fewer companies survive. Class struggle reaches a climax. Conditions now ripe for revolution. The proletariat, having nothing to lose but their chains, rise up.

31 Communist Revolution Revolution will eliminate private property. No longer will man have the means of exploiting another man. Bourgeoisie will fight, so revolution will be violent. A dictatorship of the proletariat will follow to weed out remaining capitalist elements.

32 The Worker’s Utopia In the end, a classless society with no more oppression or internal contradictions. People will be free to choose how they labor, and can be creatively productive. They will be able to live to their fullest potential. Consider the description in Marx’s Communist Manifesto in 1845:

33 The Worker’s Utopia “In communist society, …nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes,… to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, … without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.”

34 Communist Manifesto Read the first chapter of the document and answer the discussion questions Answer the question of the day


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