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Lecture 16

POLS 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Utopian Socialism, Bourgeoisie, Friedrich Engels

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1000
Martin Breaugh

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POLS 1000
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
Week 16 - Socialism
Recap on Conservatism
-Conservative ideology - society must mirror and reproduce the universal order of things
-Universal order is the work of a supreme being - supreme being will have transcendental
-Religion and nature will demonstrate to us the universal order of things
-Universe is naturally organized in hierarchal fashion - society itself must also be hierarchal
-Conservatives give absolute priority to “natural institutions of society” - natural as they have
existed since the beginning of time (marriage of men and women, religious belief - the
church, kings - monarchies) - institutions give meaning and sense to individual existence,
therefore must be respected and upheld
-Will allow for the superior principle to triumph over the inferiority principle - another hierarchal
-Role of government is to preserve peace and stability for these institutions to be preserved
-Government not as an agent of change or progress - only exists to foster and preserve
natural institutions
-Social discipline also important to preserve - laws and education in order to instil social
-Sometimes, recourse to violence is necessary to protect and preserve natural institutions and
ensure social discipline
-Like Conservatism, socialism will be born of the effects of economic liberalism/capitalism
-Socialism is born as a result of industrialization and urbanization (which create the modern
working class)
-Proletariat - working class - the social force behind socialism
-Social force behind liberalism = bourgeoisie
-Social force behind conservatism = displaced nobles and aristocrats
-Social force behind socialism = proletariat/working class
-Term socialism itself is a recent invention - 1833 - coined by French philosopher/politician
Pierre Leroux
-Will then be used again by Robert Owen in 1841 - wealthy British industrialist/bourgeois - a
utopian socialist
-Widely adopted and used term
-“Possessive individualism” - short hand for liberalism liberalism - CB MacPherson
-Socialism will oppose possessive individualism and refuse the capitalist principle of egotistic,
selfish actions, as well as private property
-Private property - engine of the economy in liberal thought - Socialists sought to replace this
-Working class behind socialism was born of liberalism - socialism born of liberalism - many of
its principles will mirror liberalism
-Contrary to Conservatives, socialists do not seek to deny the principles of liberalism, but they
believe it is necessary to surpass liberal ideas, go beyond
-Socialists will attempt to push liberal ideas to their maximum extent
-Socialists will radicalize liberalism
-For liberals, we are all born equal - equal access to reason
-Socialists agree, however, because we are born free and equal, we should enjoy an
equality of outcome in society
-Liberals believe in equality of opportunity, but not equality of outcome
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