Socialism: 3 Dimensions, Socialist Critique of Capitalism, Thought About Property Political Science YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Socialism: 3 Dimensions, Socialist Critique of Capitalism, Thought About Property| Political Science

Title: Socialism


  • Socialism is a rich tradition of political thought and practice, the history of which contains a vast number of views and theories, often differing in many of their conceptual, empirical, and normative commitments.
  • Our aim is of necessity more modest. In what follows, we are concerned to present the main features of socialism, both as a critique of capitalism, and as a proposal for its replacement.
  • Both socialism and capitalism grant workers legal control of their labor power, but socialism, unlike capitalism, requires that the bulk of the means of production workers use to yield goods and services be under the effective control of workers themselves, rather than in the hands of the members of a different, capitalist class under whose direction they must toil.

Three Dimensions of Socialist Views

  • the core ideals and principles animating that conception of justice;
  • the social institutions and practices implementing the ideals specified at Point No 1
  • the processes of transformation leading agents and their society from where they are currently, to the social outcome specified in At Point No 2

Socialist Critique of Capitalism and Their Grounds and Its Principals

  • Socialists have condemned capitalism by alleging that it typically features exploitation, domination, alienation, and inefficiency.
  • Socialists have deployed ideals and principles of equality, democracy, individual freedom, self-realization, and community or solidarity. Regarding equality, they have proposed strong versions of the principle of equality of opportunity according to which everyone should have “broadly equal access to the necessary material and social means to live flourishing lives” .
  • Socialists also embrace the ideal of democracy, requiring that people have “broadly equal access to the necessary means to participate meaningfully in decisions” affecting their lives

Thoughts About Property

  • It could, however, be argued that there are at least two fundamental points on which all socialists agree, and which distinguish all the many varieties of socialism from other ideologies. First is their attitude to property. For socialists the structure of property ownership in a capitalist society at any given time is radically unsatisfactory. Property, at least productive property rather than personal possessions, should be redistributed, not to individuals but rather to some form of communal or collective ownership.
  • The second feature is that socialism offers a class analysis of society arising out of the relationships between social groups as a consequence of the unequal distribution of property ownership. Financial inequality and the unequal opportunities open to people as a consequence of their position in the capitalist class structure are seen as fundamentally unjust and should be reformed in favour of greater social equality.


1. Socialism was a product of contemporary socio-economical canvass of western Europe in early 19th Century?

2. In modern times socialism and capitalism are found cohesively in developing countries like India?

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