Socialism

Definition of Socialism

So´cial`ism
n.1.A theory or system of social reform which contemplates a complete reconstruction of society, with a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor. In popular usage, the term is often employed to indicate any lawless, revolutionary social scheme. See Communism, Fourierism, Saint-Simonianism, forms of socialism.
[Socialism] was first applied in England to Owen's theory of social reconstruction, and in France to those also of St. Simon and Fourier . . . The word, however, is used with a great variety of meaning, . . . even by economists and learned critics. The general tendency is to regard as socialistic any interference undertaken by society on behalf of the poor, . . . radical social reform which disturbs the present system of private property . . . The tendency of the present socialism is more and more to ally itself with the most advanced democracy.
- Encyc. Brit.
We certainly want a true history of socialism, meaning by that a history of every systematic attempt to provide a new social existence for the mass of the workers.
- F. Harrison.
Socialism of the chair
a term applied about 1872, at first in ridicule, to a group of German political economists who advocated state aid for the betterment of the working classes.

Related Words

Fabian socialism, Fabianism, Marxian socialism, Marxism, Nazism, Saint-Simonism, centralism, collective farm, collective ownership, collectivism, collectivity, collegiality, common ownership, communal effort, communion, communism, community, constitutionalism, cooperation, cooperative society, democracy, democratism, fascism, federalism, feudalism, feudality, governmentalism, guild socialism, imperialism, kibbutz, kolkhoz, monarchism, national socialism, nationalization, neofascism, parliamentarianism, parliamentarism, phalansterism, pluralism, political principles, profit sharing, public ownership, republicanism, royalism, sharecropping, state ownership, state socialism, statism, town meeting, utopian socialism
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