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To what extent was there Socialism before Marx?

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Introduction

To what extent was there Socialism before Marx? As an identifiable body of argument, socialism developed in Europe from the end of the eighteenth Century, almost as a response to Industrialisation. At its simplest it is a system in which the state controls the basic means of production. Through this process it is ble to the region produces what it needs and not what it desires, therefore associating itself with nationalism. Once its General character had been established, attempts were made to discover intellectual precedents, and by the 20th Century socialist arguments had been articulated all over the world. Its origins lie nonetheless in the three principle industrial nations of the eighteenth Century, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The main underlying principle of Socialism, this is Human Nature. 'Pessimism leads to order and a control but no trust while 'Optimism' leads to a lack of excessive control. Socialist theories differ from one another in many different ways, but on the whole they share three things in common. They all believe that the root cause of oppression is Capitalism, which divides society into those who have and those who have not. The fact that possession of property exists means that land owners can live off the work of their workers. They all believe that the solution to this inequality is to create a society where there are no class boundaries. ...read more.

Middle

Utopianism was another branch of early Socialist ideas, and it went back to Plato's criticism of the existing society. The first Utopian Socialist to produce a class study was St Simon. In his publication letters from inhabitant of Geneva he explains that society is broken up into Parasites and Producers, of which he admitted to being a parasite, and that this social system was becoming more and more unequal. In The theory of the for-movements Fourier explains how the world had been perfectly created by God, and that man had destructed this. He came up with a solution which was to sub divide society into 16-1800 people, these would be known as phallasteres. This number was chosen for it as assumed to be not too big to alienate its members and big enough to cater for society. It was based on equality, as any surpluses produced would be swapped with other phallasteres, so as to not build up any profits. Robert Owen was a Scotland based English man who built and owned factories in Scotland. However what was different about him was that he created free housing, schooling and shops where goods were sold at a discount price. He did this because he thought that it was of his own Economic interest to look after his workers. And in this case he was correct, for everyone wanted to work for him, and put in 100% effort, for they all wanted the factory to do well and therefore for it to stay open. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lead predominantly by Gerald Winstanley. He argued that the existing system of land ownership meant that England was not properly cultivated. "The selfishness of a few leads to deprivation of millions." Marxism is the economic, social and political theory and practice originating in the works of Karl Marx and Friedriech Engels. Karl Marx himself was the son of a lawyer and studied law and philosophy at University. He rejected the ideals of Hegel but was positively influenced by the work of Moses Hess. In 1848 he wrote, with Engels, the Communist Manifesto and other works that broke with the tradition of appealing to natural rights to justify social reform, instead one of his main ideas was the power of history that would inevitably provoke social reform. With the help of Engels, Marx founded the International Workingmen's Association. There is no doubt that Marx and Engels changed the Socialist views and helped to modernise and adapt Socialism to be more applicable o today's world. However as can be seen in this essay, Socialism existed as an entire form before Marx. Socialism was very scrambled at the time of the Diggers etc and it was Marx who brought the ideas together o forma comprehensive ideology, that later became Marxism... The Charterists campaigned for a Bill of Rights to be issued. They were generally political reformers. They also wanted the House of Lords to be abolished for they saw it as un-demographic and un democratic. There main aim however was that of equality, and they were shortly followed by Marx and Engels. ...read more.

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