The major socialist political movements are described below. Independent socialist theorists, utopian socialist authors, and academic supporters of socialism may not be represented in these movements. Some political groups have called themselves socialist while holding views that some consider antithetical to socialism. The term socialist has also been used by some politicians on the political right as an epithet against certain individuals who do not consider themselves to be socialists, and against policies that are not considered socialist by their proponents.
There are many variations of socialism and as such there is no single definition encapsulating all of socialism. However there have been common elements identified by scholars. Angelo S. Rappoport in his Dictionary of Socialism (1924) analysed forty definitions of socialism to conclude that common elements of socialism include: general criticisms of the social effects of private ownership and control of capital - as being the cause of poverty, low wages, unemployment, economic and social inequality, and a lack of economic security; a general view that the solution to these problems is a form of collective control over the means of production, distribution and exchange (the degree and means of control vary amongst socialist movements); agreement that the outcome of this collective control should be a society based upon social justice, including social equality, economic protection of people, and should provide a more satisfying life for most people. Bhikhu Parekh in The Concepts of Socialism (1975) identifies four core principles of socialism and particularly socialist society: sociality, social responsibility, cooperation, and planning. Michael Freeden in his study Ideologies and Political Theory (1996) states that all socialists share five themes: the first is that socialism posits that society is more than a mere collection of individuals; second, that it considers human welfare a desirable objective; third, that it considers humans by nature to be active and productive; fourth, it holds the belief of human equality; and fifth, that history is progressive and will create positive change on the condition that humans work to achieve such change.
Read more about this topic: Socialism
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Famous quotes containing the word politics:
“They who have been bred in the school of politics fail now and always to face the facts. Their measures are half measures and makeshifts merely. They put off the day of settlement, and meanwhile the debt accumulates.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
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