Socialism - Philosophy

Philosophy

Further information: Socialist critique of capitalism

Socialists adhere to a diverse range of philosophical views. Marxian socialism is philosophically materialist as well as having at its centre a commitment to historical materialism. Many forms of socialist theory hold that human behaviour is largely shaped by the social environment. In particular, Marxism and socialists inspired by Marxist theory, holds that social mores, values, cultural traits and economic practices are social creations, and are not the result of an immutable natural law. The ultimate goal for Marxist socialists is the emancipation of labour from alienating work. Marxists argue that freeing the individual from the necessity of performing alienating work in order to receive goods would allow people to pursue their own interests and develop their own talents without being coerced into performing labour for others. For Marxists, the stage of economic development in which this is possible, sometimes called pure communism, is contingent upon advances in the productive capabilities of society.

Socialists generally argue that capitalism concentrates power and wealth within a small segment of society that controls the means of production and derives its wealth through a system of exploitation. This creates a stratified society based on unequal social relations that fails to provide equal opportunities for every individual to maximise their potential, and does not utilise available technology and resources to their maximum potential in the interests of the public.

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Famous quotes containing the word philosophy:

    One of the main things that interfere with our joy is the belief that if we try hard enough, read the right books, follow the right advice, and buy the right things, we could be perfect parents. If we are good enough as parents, our children will be perfect too.... Unfortunately, what comes from trying to live out this philosophy is not perfect children but worried parents.
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    The Emmet’s Inch and Eagle’s Mile
    Make Lame Philosophy to smile.
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    There is a constant in the average American imagination and taste, for which the past must be preserved and celebrated in full-scale authentic copy; a philosophy of immortality as duplication. It dominates the relation with the self, with the past, not infrequently with the present, always with History and, even, with the European tradition.
    Umberto Eco (b. 1932)