• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent has socialism been defined by its opposition to capitalism?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent has socialism been defined by its opposition to capitalism? Socialism views human nature as co-operative, positive and altruistic. They believe that humans are born equal and that differences in their success are created by society and nurture, not nature. As such they believe that equality within human society is both normal and should be encouraged as humans are collaborative and that co-co-operation will create the most progress for everybody than individualistic competition advocated by Liberal theories. So this reinforces the argument that for some socialists that there should be equality of outcome for humans as well as equality of opportunity. However within the present system of economics and society there is vast inequality. As such Socialism has been linked with the removal of capitalism as it's the present system of economics. Capitalism is a system of economics which relies upon consumption and the creation of wealth. It believes that the market based upon demand and supply will provide everybody with what they need in the most efficient manner, and that competition will spur individuals to create wealth for their own individual use and that overall the combined effect of everybody aiming to create wealth for themselves will result in overall greater prosperity for everybody. ...read more.

Middle

people who have power and wealth oppressing the majority and forcing their ideology onto the majority, This is achieved because the ruling class own the means of production and the workers who actually produce the finished product don't as such the ruling class can extract the "surplus value" that workers create by reforming inputs into more valuable outputs "Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology, and the combining together of various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original sources of all wealth - the soil and the labourer". As such this creates in the inequality which is unfair in human society, but this hasn't been overthrown by the majority because the capitalist system creates a "false conciousness" which means that any individual can see their life's slowly improving and can find people who are worse off than they are and as such they believe that their position within society is deserved and just, when in fact its the abuse of capitalism that means they don't have just rewards. Marx says that due to this inbuilt inequality and due to the need to consume and produce to create wealth the market will always over compensate which will result in ...read more.

Conclusion

These socialists value social justice, equality of opportunity and shared ownership of industry through the state more than the removal of the capitalist system. These socialists are known as evolutionary socialists as they do not wish for a revolution but believe in progressive change through legitimate democratic systems that are already in place. However these socialists still have a clear opposition to the normal working of an unregulated capitalists state and as such can still be considered hostile to the premise of capitalism and the inequality it makes. Overall however socialism hasn't been defined by its opposition to capitalism as only parts of the socialist movement considers the removal of capitalism as a necessity. Instead the clear defining feature of socialism is its consistent view of human nature and the belief that humans are equal and therefore equality is the only way to be free. Obviously this means the majority strongly disapprove of capitalism but it is a second order ideas as if they can view a system whereby they can achieve equality without capitalism it would be seen as satisfactory it's due to the nature of capitalism that it stands in the way of the majority of socialists aims that they view it with hostility. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. To what extent has socialism been defined by it's opposition to capitalism

    However social democrats believe that capitalism is a practical way of promoting economic growth, and have been prepared to employ other methods to the social injustices and economic inequalities produced by capitalism that concerned traditional socialists. They have use methods such as progressive taxation as a means of redistributing wealth

  2. Why does Marx believe that capitalism will inevitably give way to socialism?

    he outlined, and it is these conflicts and contradictions, which sees the movement from one mode of production to the next i.e. from ancient to feudal, as no society can remain static in the presence of such problems. The contradictions involve the divide between two social groups in the various

  1. 'Socialists have disagreed on both the means and ends of socialism' - Discuss

    parliamentary socialism - they believed socialism could develop peacefully and naturally out of liberal capitalism through political action and education. Rather than seeing the state as an agent of class oppression they accepted the liberal view of the state as a neutral arbiter.

  2. To what extent has socialism been defined by its opposition to capitalism?

    the working class, and an improvement of political democracy, combined with greater representation through trade unions and social clubs which sought to integrate the working class as a kind of industrial society.

  1. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

    Without this leadership capacity, contention over the organization's policies can easily lead to paralysis (Gross 1964, Vol. 1: 49-72; Sandole and van der Merwe 1993: 131-57, 176-93). Ability to compromise Horizontal power relations also require the leader to be flexible and to have a propensity to compromise.

  2. Evolutionary and Revolutionary Socialists Disagree about both Means and Ends - Discuss.

    It also bettered working conditions and stopped things such as child labour, this kinder capitalism, gave socialists belief that perhaps communism wasn't at bad fundermentally as once thought. This led to them believing that means could be evolution building upon these steps in the right direction to get to the final destination that socialist wanted.

  1. How and why does Locke explain the creation, value and protection of property?

    Unlike Hobbes, who believed that the commonwealth should have an unlimited scope of powers, to, among other things, protect the people from themselves, Locke believed that the commonwealth should be a very minimalist government. Locke defined political power as "The right of making laws with penalties of death, and all

  2. Is socialism a relevant ideology in 2012?

    taking away power from the upper class so socialism has not necessarily become less relevant but just become less extreme as the still technically socialist party of Labour has managed to remain a major force in the two party system of Britain not being replaced by other parties such as

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work