POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES II
TUE LECT: Socialism
THURS LEC: Feminism
1. Socialism in Practice and Theory
2. Types of Socialism
3. Socialism v. Reform Liberalism
4. Socialism and Government
SOCIALISM AND MODERN POLITICS
Socialist thought develops in response to the rise of liberalism and free market capitalism
Socialism and World Politics:
Rise of Communism and the cold War
Rise of Social Democracy in Europe Socialism in Canada:
Political parties: New Democratic Party
Rise of the socialwelfare state (e.g. Public healthcare)
SOCIALISM AS A SOCIAL THEORY
Social Theory and Explanation: Develops approaches to explaining and predicting
political events and outcomes.
Structures: the primary unit of analysis are broad structures that frame politics (e.g. modes of
production and class relations)
Determines: politics is the inevitable consequences of these broader economic forces: Political
outcomes (i.e. tax policy. Welfare state, etc.) is direct tied to the demands and needs of
Economic elites tend to dominate public policy process
Economic norms and needs f capitalism tend to dominate public policy
SOCIALISM AS NORMATIVE THEORY
In addition to being a social theory (what is and wil be), socialism is also a normative theory (what
ought to be)
Key Normative Ideas:
Criticism of liberal freedom (particularly economic life) Advocates substantive economic equality
CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERAL FREEDOM
Paternalism: Many are irrational and bad choosers. Need to be ruled over their own good.
Community: Need to protect the collective and its traditional norms and practices.
Not necessarily based solely on legal authority and voluntary respect for the rules that govern the
exercise of power.
May also be based on respect for the source of the command.
SOCIALISM AND EQUALITY
Claim #1: The emphasis on individual freedom leads to exploitation, domination, and suffering
Claim #2: Emphasis should be, instead, on equality for all in society and distribution based on
Claim #3: This emphasis on equality often requires society and/or the state to interfere in
Key Concepts: collectivism and substantive equality. ASSUMPTION #1: COLLECTIVISM
SOCIALISTS TEND TO REJECT THE LIBERAL IDEA THAT INDIVIDUALS ARE THE BASIC
UNITS IN POLITICAL SOCIETY (EACH WITH THEIR OWN UNIQUE SET OF INTERESTS
Socialism and Economic Collectivism
Basic units are groups based on particular social or economic groups.
Human beings are defined by the economic class (richpoor; workersowners.)
Political society is often defined by the relations and conflict between these basic economic
NOTE: collectivism varies from one form of socialism to another (social democracy theory more
open to individual pluralism than Marxist communist theory).
ASSUMPTION #2: SUBSTANTIVE EQUALITY
Liberalism and Formal Equality:
Formal Equality: all are equal in the sense that we all posses the same basic rights (vote, speech,
However, liberalism permits great inequality outside of this formal sense (wealth, power, status,
Socialism and Substantive Equality:
Socialism advocates a more substantive notion of equality , in which persons are to be equal not
only formally, but also in their economic conditions and relations
SOCIALISM AND FORMS OF EQUALITY Distribution of Goods:
Distribution of key economic goods (income, wealth, basic social services) should be equal or
based upon need (as opposed to ability to pay).
Implication: measure of control over how these economic goods are distributed and/or