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A presentation about socialism, a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

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  1. 1. Socialism
  2. 2. What is socialism? • Socialism (from the French socialisme) is a social and economic doctrine that favors public over private ownership or control. • It holds that individuals collaborate with each other rather than live or work in seclusion. • Moreover, everything that people generate is in some way a social creation; everyone who is involved in manufacturing a product is allowed a portion of it. • Society as a group thus should own or at least manage possessions for the well-being of all its members.
  3. 3. Arguments against capitalism • The principle of society owning or managing possessions for the well-being of all its members positions socialism as a system opposed to capitalism, which is based on private ownership of the means of production and allows individual choices in a free market to regulate supply of goods and services. • Socialists criticize capitalism for inevitably causing imbalanced and manipulative absorptions of wealth and power in the hands of the relative few who end up triumphant from free-market competition—people who then use their wealth and power to enhance their dominant status in society. • As such, they may decide where and how to live; their decisions consequently restrain the possibilities for the poor. • Terms such as individual freedom and equality of opportunity thus may have significant meaning for capitalists but be meaningless for working-class individuals, who are required to follow the will of the capitalists if they are to persist.
  4. 4. Arguments against capitalism – cont. • As socialists understand it, true freedom and true equality need social control of the means that bestow the foundation for prosperity in any society. • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels established this idea in the political pamphlet Manifesto of the Communist Party (originally published in German as Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei in 1848, shown right) when they declared that in a socialist society “the condition for the free development of each is the free development of all.” (original: „Der Zustand für die freie Entwicklung von jeden ist die freie Entwicklung von allen.“)
  5. 5. Arguments among socialists: First disagreement • This underlying belief still opens the possibility for socialists to disagree among themselves with respect to two main arguments. • The first disagreement deals with the amount and the type of property that society should hold or be in charge of. • Some socialists have believed that nearly everything with the exception of personal items such as clothing should be publically owned; this holds true, for example, of the society predicted by the English humanist Sir Thomas More in his 1516 publication Utopia (right). • Other socialists, conversely, have been eager to assume or even embrace private ownership of farms, shops, and other small or medium-sized businesses.
  6. 6. Arguments among socialists: Second disagreement • The second disagreement deals with the method in which society is to apply its control of property and other assets. • In this instance, the major camps comprise generally defined factions of centralists and decentralists. • On the centralist side are socialists who want to subsidize public control of property in some central government, such as the state—or the state under the supervision of a political party; this was an extreme form of socialism practiced in the Soviet Union. • Those in the decentralist camp believe that decisions concerning the use of public assets and properties should be made at the local, or lowest-possible, level by the people who will be most immediately affected by those decisions. • This dispute has continued during the course of the history of socialism as a political faction.
  7. 7. Famous socialists • Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964), first Prime Minister of India (1947–1964) • George Orwell (1903–1950), English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic • William Morris (1834–1896), British textile designer, poet, novelist, and translator • Robert Owen (1771–1858), Welsh textile manufacturer and philanthropic social reformer • Karl Marx (1818–1883), German philosopher, economist, historian, political theorist, journalist, revolutionary socialist, and author of Manifesto of the Communist Party • Friedrich Engels (1820–1895), German philosopher, social scientist, journalist, businessman, author of The Condition of the Working Class in England, and co-author of Manifesto of the Communist Party • Michael Harrington (1928–1989), American writer, author of The Other America, political activist, political theorist, Professor of Political Science, radio commentator, and founding member of the Democratic Socialists of America • Eugene V. Debs (1855–1926), American political activist, trade unionist, founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World, and five-time Socialist candidate for President of the United States • Rosa Luxemburg (1871–1919), Polish-German Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist, and revolutionary socialist
  8. 8. Symbols of socialism: Red flag
  9. 9. Symbols of socialism (cont.): Red rose
  10. 10. Symbols of socialism (cont.): Socialist International logo
  11. 11. Symbols of socialism (cont.): Raised fist
  12. 12. Symbols of socialism (cont.): Socialist Party USA logo
  13. 13. References • •