OK Economics Economic Systems Lecture Notes INTRODUCTION Full Graphics


b) Socialism as a movement

Socialist movement has a history closely related to the development of socialist ideas. In the first half of the 19 century the so called "utopian socialists" tried to convince people - especially the rich and powerful - to convert to socialism voluntarily. Fourier, Owen and others organized various forms of communes, associations, "labor exchange banks," etc. which were supposed to eliminate ills of capitalism and create foundations for the new society. At the same time the first forms of labor organizations (trade unions) began to emerge.

The second half of the 19 century was the time of the spread of trade unions and formation of strong socialist or communist political parties. Karl Marx's "The Communist Manifesto" (1848) gave them a program. The international organization of these parties, now referred to as the "First International" was created. The Paris Commune of 1871 is usually regarded to be the first attempt for socialist revolution. It failed. The First International was dissolved

At the end of the 19 century most of the workers' parties were renamed using words "Social Democratic" instead of "Communist". A new international organization the "Second International" was created. The movement split into the revolutionary and democratic wings. After the Russian revolution of 1917, revolutionary parties separated from the Second International, renamed themselves again "Communist" and later created the Third International (dominated by the Soviet Communist Party and specifically by Stalin). The Third international was dissolved after the WWII. The Second International still exists today. Recently it denied admission to some of the formerly Communist parties from EE countries which changed their names and programs.


Read more about:

a) Socialism as a set of ideas

c) Socialism as a social and economic system.











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