3 Utopian socialism Teacher notes Today socialism is an economic and political system which forces government involvement in the economy to ensure economic and social justice for all citizens. In the 1800s this was not the case. Socialism was a mixture of many different philosophies, the common thread being changes in political, economic and/or social policy for the improvement of the working class. How these changes would occur, what would be the impetus for them and what would be the specific results of the changes varied greatly from philosophy to philosophy.Images: Portrait of Robert Owen by William Henry Brooke: This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. Portrait of Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon: This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. Portrait of Charles Fourier: This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.3
4 Marx and CommunismKarl Marx was born in Germany in He moved to France in the 1840s and there met fellow German revolutionary socialist Freidrich Engels.Karl MarxFriedrich EngelsImages: Karl Marx: This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. Friedrich Engels: This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.They worked together to develop an economic and political theory, and in 1848 published the Communist Manifesto.4
5 The Communist Manifesto Teacher notesThe bourgeoisie were the owners and managers; the proletariat were the workers. Despite being published in the same year, the Communist Manifesto did not impact the Revolutions of 1848, and did not have much of an effect until the 20th century, when Lenin in Russia, Mao Zedong in China and Fidel Castro in Cuba put their faith in Marxism, with dramatic effects.5
6 Socialist organizations Marx and others formed the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA – also known as the First International) in 1864 to try to unite socialist, communist and anarchist groups from different nations in order to prepare for the revolution of the proletariat.However, there were internal conflicts between the socialists, led by Marx, and the anarchists, led by Mikhail Bakunin, which ended the IWA in 1876.Image: Mikhail Bakunin: This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.The Second International was formed in 1889 as a congress of socialist parties throughout Europe. The members agreed that capitalism was the root cause of social ills and needed to be combated, but disagreed about how to combat it.6
7 Socialism in conflict Teacher notes Areas where Marxism found support because workers had fewer rights included France and Germany.If all answers are correct and ‘check’ is pressed, the following information appears:These differences caused great division. The Second International even called on those working within the system to stop their cooperation with the bourgeoisie. Since the creation of a true Marxist communist state assumes that the workers will rise up against the bourgeoisie in revolution, the workers have to be in such bad circumstances that the only way they can get relief is through revolution. What do you think would happen if conditions for workers began to improve?One major problem with Marx’s theory was that it was based on an understanding of history that said the current conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat would continue to worsen, eventually leading to revolution. However, as the 19th century came to a close and the 20th century began, working conditions continued to improve. Safety standards, government regulations, economic changes, technological innovations and scientific discoveries all contributed to these improvements. Have students think about the idea of an inevitable revolution if the conditions which would bring it about no longer exist.7
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