What is Socialism

Socialism is a political and economic system based on equality.

For this reason, he proposes the equitable distribution of income, the extinction of private property, the socialization of the means of production, the planned economy and the seizure of power by the proletariat.

Socialism aims at a classless society, where goods and properties become everyone’s property. The goal is to close the major economic differences between individuals, that is, the divide between the poor and the rich.

History of Socialism

Socialism emerged in the eighteenth century as a way of rethinking the current system, in this case, capitalism.

To this end, the first scholar to use the term socialism was Henri de Saint Simon (1760-1825), French philosopher and economist.

He proposed the creation of a new political-economic regime in which men shared the same interests and received appropriately for their work. All this, based on industrial and scientific progress.

Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) published the “Communist Manifesto” in 1848. The text presents:

  • principles of scientific socialism
  • communist thinking
  • class struggle concept
  • criticism of the capitalist mode of production
  • criticism of the three types of socialism (utopian, reactionary, conservative)
  • dialectical and historical materialism
  • the concept of added value
  • the socialist revolution

This is why scientific socialism is often known by the name of Marxism because it is associated with Karl Marx.

Utopian Socialism

The utopian socialism, developed in the nineteenth century, is based on the change in the consciousness of individuals of the ruling classes. This happens through an idealizing model and therefore takes the name “utopian”.

One of the great scholars of this stream was the French philosopher and economist Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, better known as the Earl of Saint-Simon (1760-1825).

Others who along with him carried out studies on this model are: Charles Fourier (1772-1837), Pierre Leroux (1798-1871), Louis Blanc (1811-1882) and Robert Owen (1771-1858).

Karl Marx criticized this kind of model. For him, utopian socialism presented the ideals of a fairer and more egalitarian society but did not explore the tools or method for achieving the goals.

Scientific Socialism

The scientific socialism or Marxist socialism was a system in which the method was founded on the critical analysis and scientific capitalism.

Unlike Utopian Socialism, this theoretical current did not seek an ideal society. His theorists were based on a historical and philosophical analysis of society, hence the term “scientific.”

Scientific socialism was created by Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820 – 1895) in the 19th century.

For Marxists, capitalism was based on two classes: the exploited and the exploiters. Therefore, the purpose of this chain was founded on the class struggle, in the revolution of the working class, in dialectical materialism and historical materialism and the doctrine of surplus value.

The important thing was not to extinguish capitalism, but to understand its laws. Marxists believed that capitalism was unlikely to be replaced by another political economic model.

Understand the concept of Planned Economy, the economic system proposed by Socialism.


  • Russia was the first country to implement the Socialist political regime from 1917 in the Russian Revolution.
  • Currently, the socialist countries are: Cuba, China, North Korea, Laos and Vietnam.
  • Real socialism is socialism developed during the twentieth century.

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