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POLISCI 1020E: Socialism, Part I.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

Socialism, Part I 11/18/2013 10:02:00 AM SOCIALISM IN GENERAL  basic goods should be produced with the aim of benefitting all  property should be owned by society o rejection of private property  against capitalism and its unequal distribution of power  industrial revolution led to dangerous, difficult, undignified factory work o rejection of conditions under which people produce and live  moral objections to exploitation, poverty, greed o there‟s something unjust about capitalism  “scientific” claims about historical change and the end of capitalism o social science can explain where we are and where we‟re going (according to Marx) EARLY SOCIALISM Thomas More (1478-1535)  pre-industrial capitalism  speaker of English House of Commons  judicially murdered for treason and became Catholic Saint/Martyr  wrote Utopia (meaning “no place” and “good place”) o rejection of poverty and inequality o abolition of money and private property o distribution according to need o no more pride, greed, envy o everything should be owned in common o conflict and inequality are unnatural o people are meant to live in peace and harmony Saint-Simon (1760-1825)  founder of almost religious kind of utopian sect of socialism  class-based historical stages defined by different dominant classes o eg. feudalism, capitalism… history displays a pattern (marching towards socialism  belief-based economic systems o beliefs legitimize them  replace capitalist inefficiency with expert planning and organizational hierarchy o anti-political: ideal society is beyond politics o coercive law will become unnecessary Fourier (1772-1837)  identified evils of commercial society o selfishness, false beliefs, poverty (emotional and social)— society makes us unable to be the kinds of beings we‟re supposed to be o desire for social harmony is inevitably frustrated by commercial society  utopian socialist ideal: stateless o state just enforces inequality o everyone cooperates freely for the common good  changing human nature by changing society o enable us to achieve things that capitalism denies Robert Owen (1771-1858)  human nature is malleable o if we organize society correctly, we can give anyone any character— nothing is predetermined about human nature  capitalism rewards greed and selfishness  we should produce cooperatively for the public good
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