Socialism is a political and economic order in which the means of production (e.g. land, factories, machinery, communication and transportation infrastructure, etc.) are subject to public control and the traditionally gendered and often unpaid labor of reproduction (e.g. child rearing, domestic labor, etc.) is compensated or socialized. While the structure of governance, use of markets, degree of cooperative labor, and kinds welfare guarantees may vary, socialism seeks to prioritize the satisfaction of human needs, while mitigating material inequality and social oppression. Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) argued that the objective possibility of socialism was immanent to capitalism. (Socialism supported by moral principles or human will alone, was critically referred to as utopian.) Immanent to socialism, in turn, is the objective possibility of communism, which entails the complete dissolution of the state, division of labor, and the value form associated with commodity production. Marxist socialism is thus a stage in the historical development of communism, whose defining characteristic is the overcoming of all internal contradictions and radical otherness (a characteristic it shares with Hegel’s notion of absolute spirit). Marxism, however, also refers to a systematic, dialectical, and historical analysis of capitalism; a reflexive form of critical social theory with an emancipatory intent; a historical materialist methodology; theories of class formation, conflict, and ideology; as well as to critiques of alienation, reification, and commodity fetishism. There are now several different schools of Marxist thought, from Humanist, Structuralist, and Autonomist Marxism, to Analytical, Feminist, and Cultural Marxism, among others.
|Key works||Major early works in socialist thought include Charles Fourier, What Is Property? (1840). Major works by Marx and Engels include Karl Marx's Capital, Volumes 1-3, the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, “On the Jewish Question,” and The Eighteenth Brumaire; Engels' The Condition of the Working Class in England (1844) and The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884); as well as German Ideology (1845), which Marx and Engels authored together. The collected works of Marx and Engels in German are here (MEGA) and in English here (MECW). Other key texts in the Marxist tradition include Lenin, State and Revolution (1917); Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks; Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital (1913), Georg (György) Lukács,|
- Anarchism (116)
- Communitarianism (120)
- Political Conservatism (25)
- Political Constructivism (47)
- Liberalism (1,522 | 1,017)
- Perfectionism (23)
- Political Libertarianism (103)
- Republicanism (143)
- Political Views, Misc (16)
Using PhilPapers from home?
Create an account to enable off-campus access through your institution's proxy server.
Monitor this page
Be alerted of all new items appearing on this page. Choose how you want to monitor it:
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers