Socialism pt 3

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  • Socialism - Revolutionary socialism
    • Definition
      • Associated with Marx and Engels known as Marxism. Argues that socialism cannot exist with capitalism and a revolution is needed to transform society. Represents fundamentalist socialism and communism is an example of this
      • 1. Marxism 2. utopian socialism
    • Classical Marxism
      • - Capitalism must disappear before socialism and then communism could be established. Capitalism promoted 'exploitation', 'alienation' and 'oppression' which was at offs with socialist principles of fraternity, solidarity and equality
      • - History was a a series of stages, moving towards a inevitable and final destination 'historicism'. Within each historical 'stage' there would be an intellectual clash which Hegel described as dialectic. This occurred when the 'official' narrative about society's aims propounded by its ruling classes no longer corresponded to the perception of the majority. This clash would spawn a new society which will survive until the next wave of alienation (According to HEGEL)
        • - Marx and Engels adjusted Hegel's historicism, history was a series of economic stages and a process they termed 'historical materialism'. The dialetic was a clash of economic interests 'dialectical materialism', one class will be dominant compared to another.Thus, capitalism was 'historically doomed' as class consciousness will create an alienated workforce
      • Dialectic = The clash of ideas and perceptions that will inevitably take place within each 'stage' of history which eventually leads to the disappearance of the existing society
      • Historical materialism = Each 'stage' of history is defined by a clash of economic ideas relating to how society's resources should be produced and distributed
      • Class consciousness = By-product of capitalism which will be pronounced among the proletariat which would be the engine of a revolution and capitalism's destruction. New state is the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' which will pave the way for a stateless communist society  based on common ownership. Will be flawless 'the end of history'
      • - Heavily shaped by the belief in a revolution which will replace capitalism with an alternative economy and society. Can't be done in a liberal system e.g UK and USA
    • Utopian socialism
      • - A collection of thinkers who despised the exploitation, greed and individualism of capitalism
      • - Main thinkers were Robert Owen and Charles Fourier
      • - They both hated free-market capitalism and proposed a small skilled cooperative community to replace it. All utopian societies of the 19th century failed
    • Marxism-Leninism (Orthodox communism)
      • - Lenin refined Marx's prescriptions of how communism should arise. He was concerned by Marx's insistence that revolution and a dictatorship of the proletariat could occur only in societies where capitalism and the proletariat were well developed, Rosa Luxemburg agreed with this. Implication was less developed states would have to endure decades more of oppressive rule
      • - Lenin stressed the importance of a revolutionary elite 'vanguard elite'
        • 1. Plan to overthrow the existing regime (Tsarist Russia) 2. Incite and organise the revolution 3. Prior to and during the revolution it would educate the masses on the basic virtues of socialism 4. Once the old regime had been toppled the vanguard will form a new organisation - the Communist Party which will embody the dictatorship of the proletariat, 'democratic centralism'
      • Democratic centralism = Decisions will embody the will of the people making any further debate unnecessary and disrespectful of the revolution. Used to justify severe repression in Orthodox communist countries such as China and Russia
      • - Stalin collectivised agriculture, instituting a Five Year Plan for development and relocated or murdered the whole peasant class in the process. He promoted the idea of 'socialism in one country where the Soviet Union would isolate itself and promote a 'socialist nationalism'
      • - Mao Tse-Tung led the Chinese Revolution in 1949. 1966-69 there was a 'cultural revolution' which became a campaign against any aspect of traditional Chinese culture as it was thought to legitimise inequality and 'anti-socialist' values. Religion and ancestor worship, deference to the elderly and subordination of women were discouraged
      • - During the 1950s revolutionary societies in Cuba under Fidel Castro, North Korea and North Vietnam all invoked the idea of vanguard communist parties governing the basis of democratic centralism


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