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  • Socialism
    • Origins
      • - Borne out of the Enlightenment period. During the English Civil War one radical group of anti-monarchists argued that God had given land to all mankind, yet some exercised greed as to acquire that land for themselves
      • - Jean-Jacque Rousseau argued that "many crimes, wars and murders... many horrors and misfortunes" arose from the concept of private ownership. 1789 French Revolution, Francois-Noel Babeuf led a "conspiracy of the equals" demanding the abolition of private property
      • - Early 19th century utopian socialists such as Charles Fourier and Robert Owen offered a radical response to capitalism and industry
        • - Fourier advocated independent communities based on communal ownership and production, involving equal distribution of resources and culture marked by tolerance and permissiveness
      • - Mid 19th century industrialisation meant that liberalism was inadequate. Early socialists argued for a new approach which would make Enlightenment principles more achievable
    • Human nature
      • - Optimistic view of human nature so is a 'progressive' ideology
      • - Humans are naturally cooperative, generous and altruistic so seek solidarity, fraternity and comradeship
      • - Mankind's true nature has been diluted by time and circumstance therefore human nature is malleable rather than permanently fixed at birth
      • - Human nature can be adjusted, thus ensuring that men and women fulfill their true, fraternal potential while contributing to a more cooperative community
      • Common humanity = the idea that humans are social creatures with a tendency towards cooperation, sociability and rationality because cooperation produces the best results
      • - Believe in fraternalism because capitalism turns people against common humanity as they become self centered
      • Marx and Engels - Naturally fraternal and altruistic and has been contaminated by capitalism which has instilled a 'false consciousness' of bourgeois values but revolutionary socialism can repair this
      • Rosa Luxemburg - Has not been damaged to the extent that Marx alleged. Fraternity and altruism can still flourish in working class communities punished by capitalist economics
      • Beatrice Webb - Damage inflicted by capitalism upon the human psyche will be compounded only by violent revolution. Humanity needs to be guided back to its original cooperative condition
      • Anthony Crosland - Human nature has a powerful sense of 'fairness' and an innate objection to inequalities of income
      • Anthony Giddens - Has been shaped by changing socio-economic conditions. The pro-fairness instinct is still present but now competes with individual aspiration
      • Foundational equality = All individuals are born with human rights which translate to political and legal equality. Rejection of natural hierarchies. Equality of outcome/ opportunity
    • Society
      • - Individuals are the product of the society into which they are born
      • - Society is an independent construct formed of impersonal forces which were economic, shaping the individual
      • - Society is the main reason for individuals not fulfilling their potential
      • -The Industrial revolution created the emergence of distinct social groupings called classes which were based on employment and source of income which were central to an individual's fate. Class shapes an individuals status, priorities and prospects
      • - Classes are unequal in terms of power an influence
        • - Socialists argue for equality of outcome with an emphasis on social justice
      • - Seek to narrow the gap between society's poorer and richer classes. Irrespective of character, ability and intelligence an individual born into a lower class will have fewer opportunities. Society that allows inequality of outcome in one generation will produce the same in the next generation. Until there is greater equality of outcome then self-determination and foundational equality will never be realised
      • - Socialists claim that unless there is a narrowing of the gap between social classes then society will continue to lack fraternity, solidarity and cooperation which will foster envy, greed and resentment
      • Collectivism = collective human effort is both of greater practical and moral value to society than the effort of individuals
      • Social class = A group of people in society who have the same socioeconomic status
      • Marx and Engels - Capitalist society is sickeningly, yet fatally, defined by class interests and class conflict. A communist society will be the perfect 'end of history'
      • Rosa Luxemburg - Capitalist society is class-ridden and morally indefensible, yet alternative societies, or sub-cultures, exist within downtrodden proletarian communities
      • Beatrice Webb - The poverty and inequalities of a capitalist society continue to depress human potential while fostering regressive competition
      • Anthony Crosland - Society is increasingly complicated, altered by the emergence of new social groups comprising 'meritocratic' managers and 'classless' technocrats
      • Anthony Giddens - Society has undergone embourgeoisement - egalitarians must harness, rather than deny, these forces
      • - Inequality in society leads to revolutionary socialists to call for radical change and for evolutionary socialists to see that society can be changed incrementally


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