Social ownership

Social ownership is any of various forms of ownership for the means of production in socialist economic systems, encompassing public ownership, employee ownership, cooperative ownership, citizen ownership of equity,[1] common ownership and collective ownership.[2] Historically social ownership implied that capital and factor markets would cease to exist under the assumption that market exchanges within the production process would be made redundant if capital goods were owned by a single entity or network of entities representing society,[3] but the articulation of models of market socialism where factor markets are utilized for allocating capital goods between socially owned enterprises broadened the definition to include autonomous entities within a market economy. Social ownership of the means of production is the common defining characteristic of all the various forms of socialism.[4]

The two major forms of social ownership are society-wide public ownership and cooperative ownership. The distinction between these two forms lies in the distribution of the surplus product. With society-wide public ownership, the surplus is distributed to all members of the public through a social dividend, whereas with co-operative ownership the economic surplus of an enterprise is controlled by all the worker-members of that specific enterprise.[5]

The goal of social ownership is to eliminate the distinction between the class of private owners who are the recipients of passive property income and workers who are the recipients of labor income (wages, salaries and commissions), so that the surplus product (or economic profits in the case of market socialism) belong either to society as a whole or to the members of a given enterprise. Social ownership would enable productivity gains from labor automation to progressively reduce the average length of the working day instead of creating job insecurity and unemployment. Reduction of necessary work time is central to the Marxist concept of human freedom and overcoming alienation, a concept widely shared by Marxist and non-Marxist socialists alike.[6][7]

The term "socialization" refers to the process of restructuring the economic framework, organizational structure and institutions of an economy on a socialist basis.[8] The comprehensive notion of socialization and the public ownership form of social ownership implies an end to the operation of the laws of capitalism, capital accumulation and the use of money and financial valuation in the production process, along with a restructuring of workplace-level organization.[9][10]


Social ownership is variously advocated to end the Marxian concept of exploitation, to ensure that income distribution reflects individual contributions to the social product, to eliminate unemployment arising from technological change, to ensure a more egalitarian distribution of the economy's surplus,[11] or to create the foundations for a non-market socialist economy.

In Karl Marx's analysis of capitalism, social ownership of the means of production emerges in response to the contradictions between socialized production and private appropriation of surplus value in capitalism. Marx argued that productivity gains arising from the substitution of variable capital (labor inputs) for constant capital (capital inputs) would cause labor displacement to outstrip the demand for labor. This process would lead to stagnant wages and rising unemployment for the working class alongside rising property income for the capitalist class, further leading to an over-accumulation of capital.[12] Marx argued that this dynamic would reach a point where social ownership of the highly automated means of production would be necessitated to resolve this contradiction and resulting social strife. Thus the Marxist case for social ownership and socialism is not based on any moral critique of the distribution of property income (wealth) in capitalism, but rather the Marxist case for socialism is based on a systematic analysis of the development and limits of the dynamic of capital accumulation.[13]

For Marx, social ownership would lay the foundations for the transcendence of the capitalist law of value and the accumulation of capital, thereby creating the foundation for socialist planning. The ultimate goal of social ownership of productive property for Marx was to expand the "realm of freedom" by shortening average work hours so that individuals would have progressively larger portion of their time to pursue their genuine and creative interests. Thus the end goal of social ownership is the transcendence of the Marxist concept of alienation.[14]

The economist David McMullen identifies five major benefits of social ownership, where he defines it as society-wide ownership of productive property: first, workers would be more productive and have greater motivation since they would directly benefit from increased productivity, secondly this ownership stake would enable greater accountability on the part of individuals and organizations, thirdly social ownership would eliminate unemployment, fourth it would enable the better flow of information within the economy, and finally it would eliminate wasteful activities associated with "wheeling and dealing" and wasteful government activities intended to curb such behavior and deal with unemployment.[15]

From a non-Marxist, market socialist perspective, the clearest benefit of social ownership is an equalization of the distribution of property income, eliminating the vast disparities in wealth that arise from private ownership under capitalism. Property income (profit, interest and rent) is distinguished from labor income (wages and salaries) which in a socialist system would continue to be unequal based on one's marginal product of labor – social ownership would only equalize passive property income.[16]

Notable non-Marxist and Marxist socialist theorists alike have argued that the most significant argument for social ownership of the means of production is to enable productivity gains to ease the work burden for all individuals in society, resulting in progressively shorter hours of work with increasing automation and thus a greater amount of free time for individuals to engage in creative pursuits and leisure.[17][18][19]

Criticism of private ownership

Social ownership is contrasted with the concept of private ownership of the means of production, promoted as a solution to what its proponents see as being inherent issues to private ownership.[20] Market socialists and non-market socialists therefore have slightly different conceptions of social ownership. The former believe that private ownership and private appropriation of property income is the fundamental issue with capitalism, and thus believe that the process of capital accumulation and profit-maximizing enterprise can be retained, with their profits being used to benefit society in the form of a social dividend. By contrast, non-market socialists argue that the major problems with capitalism arise from its contradictory economic laws that make it unsustainable and historically limited. Therefore, social ownership is seen as a component of the establishment of non-market coordination and alternative "socialist laws of motion" that overcome the systemic issues of capital accumulation.[21]

The socialist critique of private ownership is heavily influenced by the Marxian analysis of capitalist property forms as part of its broader critique of alienation and exploitation in capitalism. Although there is considerable disagreement among socialists about the validity of certain aspects of Marxian analysis, the majority of socialists are sympathetic to Marx's views on exploitation and alienation.[22] Socialists critique the private appropriation of property income on the grounds that because such income does not correspond to a return on any productive activity and is generated by the working class, it represents exploitation. The property-owning (capitalist) class lives off passive property income produced by the working population by virtue of their claim to ownership in the form of stock, bonds or private equity. This exploitative arrangement is perpetuated due to the structure of capitalist society. From this perspective, capitalism is regarded as class system akin to historical class systems like slavery and feudalism.[23]

Private ownership has also been criticized on ethical grounds by the economist James Yunker. Yunker argues that because passive property income requires no mental or physical exertion on the part of the recipient and because its appropriation by a small group of private owners is the source of the vast inequalities in contemporary capitalism, this establishes the ethical case for social ownership and socialist transformation.[24]

Socialization as a process

Socialization is conceived as a process that transforms the economic processes and, by extension, the social relations within an economy. As such, it is distinct from the process of "nationalization" which does not necessarily imply a transformation of the organizational structure of organizations or the transformation of the economic framework under which economic organizations operate.

Marxists envision socialization as a restructuring of social relations to overcome alienation, replacing hierarchical social relations within the workplace with an association of members.

Socialization debates

During the 1920s, socialists in Austria and Germany were engaged in a comprehensive dialogue about the nature of socialization and how a program of socialization could be effectively carried out.[25] Austrian scientific thinkers whose ideas were based on Ernst Mach's empiricist notion of energy and technological optimism, including Josef Popper-Lynkeus and Carl Ballod, proposed plans for rational allocation of exhaustible energy and materials through statistical empirical methods. This conception of non-capitalist calculation involved the use of energy and time units, the latter being viewed as the standard cardinal unity of measurement for socialist calculation. These thinkers belonged to a technical school of thought called "scientific utopianism", which is an approach to social engineering that explores possible forms of social organization.[25]

The most notable thinker belonging to this school of thought was the Viennese philosopher and economist Otto Neurath, whose conception of socialism as a natural, non-monetary economic system became widespread within the socialist movement following the end of World War I. Neurath's position was held in contrast to other socialists in this period, including the revisionist perspective stemming from Eduard Bernstein, the orthodox social democratic perspective of Karl Kautsky, the Austro-Marxism models of labor-time calculation from Otto Bauer and the emerging school of neoclassical market socialism. Neurath's position opposed all models of market socialism because it rejected the use of money, but was also held in contrast with the more orthodox Marxist conception of socialism held by Karl Kautsky, where socialism only entails the elimination of money as capital along with super-session of the process of capital accumulation.[25]

Otto Neurath conceptualized a comprehensive view of socialization during the socialization debates. "Total socialization" involved not only a form of ownership but also the establishment of economic planning based on calculation in kind, and was contrasted with "partial socialization". "Partial socialization" involved the use of in-kind calculation and planning within a single organization, which externally operated within the framework of a monetary market economy. Neurath's conception of socialism was the initial point of criticism of Ludwig Von Mises in the socialist calculation debate.[26]

In the subsequent socialist calculation debates, a dichotomy between socialists emerged between those who argued that socialization entailed the end of monetary valuation and capital markets, and those who argued that monetary prices could be used within a socialized economy. A further distinction arose between market socialists who argued that social ownership can be achieved within the context of a market economy, where worker-owned or publicly owned enterprises maximized profit and those who argued that socially owned enterprises operate according to other criteria, like marginal cost pricing.


Social ownership and socialization is categorically distinct from the process of nationalization. In most cases, "socialization" is understood to be a deeper process of transforming the social relations of production within economic organizations as opposed to simply changing titles of ownership. In this sense, "socialization" often involves both a change in ownership and a change in organizational management, including self-management or some form of workplace democracy in place of a strict hierarchical form of control. More fundamentally, social ownership implies that the surplus product (or economic profits) generated by publicly owned enterprise accrues to all of society – state ownership does not necessarily imply this.[2][11][27]

Fundamentally, there are two major forms of "social ownership". The first is society-wide public ownership by an entity or network of entities representing society.[28] The second major form of social ownership is employee-owned cooperative enterprise, with the members of each individual enterprise being co-owners of their organization. These possibilities give rise to a socialization dilemma, faced by advocates of public ownership: if social ownership is entrusted exclusively to state agents, then it is liable to bureaucratization; if it is entrusted exclusively to workers, then it is liable to monopoly power and abuse of market position.[29]

Additionally, there are two major forms of management or "social control" for socially owned organizations, both of which can exist alongside the two major modes of social ownership. The first variant of control is public management, where enterprises are run by management held accountable to an agency representing the public either at the level of national, regional or local government. The second form of social control is worker self-management, where managers are elected by the member-workers of each individual enterprise or enterprises are run according to self-directed work processes.[30]

The exact forms of social ownership vary depending on whether or not they are conceptualized as part of a market economy or as part of a non-market planned economy.

Public ownership

Public ownership can exist both within the framework of a market economy and within the framework of a non-market planned economy. In market socialist proposals, public ownership takes the form of state-owned enterprises that acquire capital goods in capital markets and operate to maximize profits, which are then distributed among the entire population in the form of a social dividend.[31] In non-market models of socialism, public ownership takes the form of a single entity or a network of public entities coordinated by economic planning. A contemporary approach to socialism involves linking together production and distribution units by modern computers to achieve rapid feedback in the allocation of capital inputs to achieve efficient economic planning.[32]

The economist Alec Nove defines social ownership as a form of autonomous public ownership, drawing a distinction between state-owned and directed enterprises. Nove advocates for the existence of both forms of enterprise in his model of feasible socialism.[33]

Public ownership was advocated by neoclassical socialist economists during the interwar socialist calculation debate, most notable Oskar Lange, Fred M. Taylor, Abba P. Lerner and Maurice Dobb.

Neoclassical market socialist economists in the latter half of the 20th century who advocated public ownership highlighted the distinction between "control" and "ownership". John Roemer and Pranab Bardhan argued that public ownership, meaning a relatively egalitarian distribution of enterprise profits, does not require state control – Publicly owned enterprises can be controlled by agents who don't represent the state.[11]

David McMullen's concept of decentralized non-market socialism advocates social ownership of the means of production, believing it to be far more efficient than private ownership. In his proposal, property titles would be replaced by "usership" rights and the exchange of capital goods would no longer be possible. Market exchange in capital goods would be replaced by internal transfers of resources, but an internal and decentralized price system would be fundamental to this systems' operation.[34]

However, by itself public ownership is not socialist as it can exist under a wide variety of different political and economic systems. State ownership by itself does not imply social ownership where income rights belong to society as a whole. As such, state ownership is only one possible expression of public ownership, which itself is one variation of the broader concept of social ownership.[2][35]

Social ownership of equity

The social ownership of capital and corporate stock have been proposed in the context of a market socialist system, where social ownership is achieved either by having a public body or employee-owned pension funds that own corporate stock.

The American economist John Roemer developed a model of market socialism that features a form of public ownership where individuals receive a non-transferable coupon entitling them to a share of the profits generated by autonomous non-governmental publicly owned enterprises. In this model, "social ownership" refers to citizen ownership of equity in a market economy.

James Yunker argues that public ownership of the means of production can be achieved in the same way private ownership is achieved in modern capitalism, using the shareholder system that effectively separates management from ownership. Yunker posits that social ownership can be achieved by having a public body, designated the Bureau of Public Ownership (BPO), own the shares of publicly listed firms without affecting market-based allocation of capital inputs. Yunker termed this model Pragmatic market socialism and argued that it would be at least as efficient as modern-day capitalism while providing superior social outcomes as public ownership would enable profits to be distributed among the entire population rather than going largely to a class of inheriting rentiers.[36]

An alternative form of social ownership of equity is ownership of corporate stock through wage earner funds and pension funds. The underlying concept was first expounded upon in 1976 by the management theorist Peter Drucker, who argued that pension funds could reconcile employees' need for financial security with capital's need to be mobile and diversified, referring to this development as "pension fund socialism". In Sweden during the late 1970s, the Meidner program was advanced by the Swedish Social Democratic Party as a way to socialize enterprises through employee wage earners' funds, which would be used to purchase corporate stock.[37] Rudolf Meidner's original plan was to require Swedish companies over a certain size to issue shares equal to 20 percent of profits, which would be owned by wage-earner funds controlled by employees through their trade unions. This plan was rejected and a watered-down proposal was adopted in 1984, which left corporate decision making just as it was and limited the scope of employee ownership to less than 3.5% of listed company shares in 1990.[38]

Cooperative ownership

Cooperative ownership is the organization of economic units into enterprises owned by their workforce (workers cooperative) or by customers who use the products of the enterprise (this latter concept is called a consumer cooperative). Cooperatives are often organized around some form of self-management, either in the form of elected managers held accountable to the workforce, or in the form of direct management of work processes by the workers themselves. Cooperatives are often proposed by proponents of market socialism, most notably by the economists Branko Horvat, Jaroslav Vanek and Richard Wolff.

Cooperative ownership comes in various forms, ranging from direct workers' ownership, employee stock ownership plans through pension funds, to the weakest version involving profit sharing. Profit-sharing and varying degrees of self-management or "Holacracy" is practiced in many of the high-technology companies of Silicon Valley.[39]

The earliest model of cooperative socialism is mutualism, proposed by the French anarchist philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. In this system, the state would be abolished and economic enterprises would be owned and operated as producer cooperatives, with worker-members compensated in labor vouchers.[40]

The model of market socialism promoted in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was based on what was officially called "social ownership", involving an arrangement where workers of each firm each became members and joint-owners and managed their own affairs in a system of workers' self-management.

Contemporary proponents of cooperative ownership cite higher motivation and performance in existing cooperatives. Critics argue that cooperative ownership by itself does not resolve the structural issues of capitalism like economic crises and the business cycle, and that cooperatives have an incentive to limit employment in order to boost the income of existing members.

Commons and peer-to-peer

In the context of non-market proposals, social ownership can include holding the means of producing wealth in common (common ownership), with the concept of "usership" replacing the concept of ownership. Commons-based peer production involves the distribution of a critical mass of inputs and all outputs through information networks as free goods rather than commodities to be sold for profit by capitalist firms.[41]

The economist Pat Devine defines social ownership as "ownership by those who are affected by – who have an interest in – the use of the assets involved", distinguishing it from other forms of ownership. Devine argues that this variant of social ownership will be more efficient than the other types of ownership because "it enables the tacit knowledge of all those affected to be drawn upon in the process of negotiating what should be done to further the social interest in any particular context".[42]

The phrases "social production" and "social peer-to-peer" production have been used to classify the type of workplace relationships and ownership structures found in the open-source software movement and Commons-based peer production processes, which operate, value and allocate value without private property and market exchange.[43]

Ownership in Soviet-type economies

In Soviet-type economies, the means of production and natural resources were almost entirely owned by the state and collective enterprises. State enterprises were integrated into a national planning system, where factor inputs were allocated to them by the Ministry for Technical Supply (Gossnab).

According to The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, "socialist ownership" is a form of social ownership that forms the basis for the socialist system, involving the collective appropriation of material wealth by working people. Social ownership arises out of the course of capitalist development, creating the objective conditions for further socialist transformation and for the emergence of a planned economy with the aim of raising the living standards for everyone in society.

Misuse of the term

Particularly in the United States, the term "socialization" has been mistakenly used to refer to any state or government-operated industry or service (the proper term for such being either nationalization or municipalization). It has also been incorrectly used to mean any tax-funded programs, whether privately run or government run.[44]


  1. ^ O'Hara, Phillip (September 2003). Encyclopedia of Political Economy, Volume 2. Routledge. p. 71. ISBN 0-415-24187-1. In order of increasing decentralisation (at least) three forms of socialised ownership can be distinguished: state-owned firms, employee-owned (or socially) owned firms, and citizen ownership of equity.,
  2. ^ a b c Hastings, Mason and Pyper, Adrian, Alistair and Hugh (December 21, 2000). The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought. Oxford University Press. p. 677. ISBN 978-0-19-860024-4. Socialists have always recognized that there are many possible forms of social ownership of which co-operative ownership is one. Nationalization in itself has nothing particularly to do with socialism and has existed under non-socialist and anti-socialist regimes. Kautsky in 1891 pointed out that a ‘co-operative commonwealth’ could not be the result of the ‘general nationalization of all industries’ unless there was a change in ‘the character of the state’.
  3. ^ Steele, David Ramsay (September 1999). From Marx to Mises: Post Capitalist Society and the Challenge of Economic Calculation. Open Court. pp. 175–177. ISBN 978-0-87548-449-5. Especially before the 1930s, many socialists and anti-socialists implicitly accepted some form of the following for the incompatibility of state-owned industry and factor markets. A market transaction is an exchange of property titles between two independent transactors. Thus internal market exchanges cease when all of industry is brought into the ownership of a single entity, whether the state or some other organization...the discussion applies equally to any form of social or community ownership, where the owning entity is conceived as a single organization or administration.
  4. ^ Busky, Donald F. (July 20, 2000). Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey. Praeger. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-275-96886-1. Socialism may be defined as movements for social ownership and control of the economy. It is this idea that is the common element found in the many forms of socialism. Yet having stated this as the common definition of socialism, one must necessarily admit that there are a wide variety of views among socialists of various stripes as to just what constitutes social ownership and control of the means of production, distribution and exchange.
  5. ^ Toward a Socialism for the Future, in the Wake of the Demise of the Socialism of the Past, by Weisskopf, Thomas E. 1992. Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 24, No. 3-4, pp. 10: "Here again there are two principal variants of such social claims to income, depending on the nature of the community holding the claim: (1) Public surplus appropriation: the surplus of the enterprise is distributed to an agency of the government (at the national, regional, or local level), representing a corresponding community of citizens. (2) Worker surplus appropriation: the surplus of the enterprise is distributed to enterprise workers."
  6. ^ Peffer, Rodney G. (2014). Marxism, Morality, and Social Justice. Princeton University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-691-60888-4. Marx believed the reduction of necessary labor time to be, evaluatively speaking, an absolute necessity. He claims that real wealth is the developed productive force of all individuals. It is no longer the labor time but the disposable time that is the measure of wealth.
  7. ^ Saros, Daniel E. (May 1, 2014). Information Technology and Socialist Construction: The end of Capital and the Transition to Socialism. Routledge. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-415-74292-4. Another characteristic that Marx and Engels emphasized as a central feature of a future socialist society was a shorter workday. According to Tucker, Marx had a ‘vision of man in a future condition of freedom-creative leisure’ that he described in volume 3 of Capital.
  8. ^ "the act or process of making socialistic: the socialization of industry." "Socialization" at
  9. ^ Otto Neurath's concepts of socialization and economic calculation and his socialist critics. Retrieved July 5, 2010: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-12. Retrieved 2010-07-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ What is socialization? A program for practical socialism, by Korsch, Karl. 1975. Duke University Press. New German Critique, No. 6, pp. 60-81: "The socialization demanded by socialism signifies a new regulation of production with the goal of replacing the private capitalist economy with a socialist communal economy."
  11. ^ a b c Market Socialism, a case for rejuvenation, by Pranab Bardhan and John Roemer. 1992. Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 101-116: "Public ownership in the narrow sense of state control of firms is not necessary to achieve one of socialism's goals, a relatively egalitarian distribution of the economy's surplus. We take public ownership, in a wider sense, to mean that the distribution of the profits of firms is decided by the political democratic process – yet control of firms might well be in the hands of agents that do not represent the state."
  12. ^ Woirol, Gregory R. (July 30, 1996). The Technological Unemployment and Structural Unemployment Debates. Praeger. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-313-29892-9. The changing-organic-composition-of-capital argument was based on Marx's claim that technological change constantly increased the ratio of fixed to circulating capital. Since labor demand depended solely on the amount of circulating capital, the demand for labor decreased relative to a rise in total capital. The result was a tendency to increase the level of unemployment.
  13. ^ The Social Dividend Under Market Socialism, by Yunker, James. 1977. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 93-133: "It was not the moral unworthiness of the exploitive surplus value mechanism which Marx proposed as the instrumentality of the collapse of capitalism. It was rather the consequences of that mechanism in providing capitalists with so much ill-gotten income that it would ultimately effectively ‘choke’ the system."
  14. ^ Wood, John Cunningham (March 26, 1996). Karl Marx's Economics: Critical Assessments, Volume 1. Routledge. pp. 247–248. ISBN 978-0-415-08714-8. It is certainly true that, according to Marx, social ownership does facilitate central planning ... But the substitution of commodity production [central planning] for market exchange is not an ‘end’ in Marx’s analysis. The fundamental ‘end’ of Marxist socialism is the supersession of alienation, the ‘emancipation’ of mankind, and the creation of opportunities for the full development of man’s productive and human potentialities. Clearly, Marx perceived both social ownership and supersession of commodity production as a means to this end.
  15. ^ McMullen, David (January 2007). Bright Future: Abundance and Progress in the 21st Century. BookSurge Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-646-46832-7. The five categories are: (1) the greater productivity of more motivated workers, (2) the greater accountability of individuals and organizations, (3) the elimination of unemployment, (4) the better flow of information and (5) the elimination of various resource wasting activities associated with wheeling and dealing, and with the activities of government.
  16. ^ The Social Dividend Under Market Socialism, by Yunker, James. 1977. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 93-133: "The ‘first order effect’ of socialization will be an equalization of the property return, and it is to this that we must turn for the clearest and most certain benefit...The clearest, most immediate, and most obvious social improvement from socialism would be the abrogation of the pathologically unequal distribution of property return under capitalism."
  17. ^ Lamont, Corliss (1939). You might like socialism; a way of life for modern man. Modern Age Books, Inc. pp. 239–240. ISBN 978-1-330-53101-3. Under socialism, with its economic security and progressively shorter hours of work, the leisure class is everyone. This new leisure class is not just a passive recipient and consumer of culture; it actively participates and creates, putting into effect the principle enunciated by the late American painter, Robert Hallowell, that ‘Each bears a gift for all
  18. ^ To The Rural Poor, by Lenin, Vladimir Ilich. Collected Works, 6, Marxists, p. 366: "Machines and other improvements must serve to ease the work of all and not to enable a few to grow rich at the expense of millions and tens of millions of people. This new and better society is called socialist society."
  19. ^ Bertrand Russell (1932). "In Praise of Idleness". Zpub. Retrieved 16 November 2015. I do not regard Socialism as a gospel of proletarian revenge, nor even, primarily, as a means of securing economic justice. I regard it primarily as an adjustment to machine production demanded by considerations of common sense, and calculated to increase happiness, not only of proletarians, but of all except a tiny minority of the human race.
  20. ^ Arnold, Scott (1994). The Philosophy and Economics of Market Socialism: A Critical Study. Oxford University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-19-508827-4. First, social ownership is best understood by way of contrast with the characteristic form of ownership in free enterprise systems, namely, full liberal ownership. Second, and perhaps more important, the social vices attributed to existing free enterprise systems are traced to the ownership rights that defined that type of a system.
  21. ^ Saros, Daniel E. (May 1, 2014). Information Technology and Socialist Construction: The end of Capital and the Transition to Socialism. Routledge. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-415-74292-4. ... Marx’s only option was to study and investigate the laws of motion of capital, realizing that this work would be essential to the discovery of socialist laws of motion in the future. Whereas Mises asserted the logical impossibility of socialist economic calculation, Marx had the foresight to vaguely recognize that such calculation depended on the development of society’s productive forces.
  22. ^ Arnold, Scott (1994). The Philosophy and Economics of Market Socialism: A Critical Study. Oxford University Press. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-19-508827-4. Though socialists have disagreed with Marx about how to conceptualize the notion of class, about the dynamics of class societies, and indeed about a whole host of other matters, most socialists seem to be broadly sympathetic to his views about what is wrong with the capitalist (free enterprise) economic system and, by implication, capitalist society ... Marx’s critique attributes basically two systemic evils to capitalism’s economic system: alienation and exploitation.
  23. ^ O'Hara, Phillip (September 2003). Encyclopedia of Political Economy, Volume 2. Routledge. p. 1135. ISBN 0-415-24187-1. Property income is, by definition, received by virtue of owning property ... Since such income is not an equivalent return for any productive activity, it amounts to an entitlement to a portion of the aggregate output of others’ productive activity. The workforce produces output, but surrenders part of it to people who have nothing directly to do with production. Arguably, this occurs by virtue of a social system to which those in the workforce have never given their full consent, i.e. that of private property. Alternatively, it occurs by virtue of a structure of power to which the workforce is subject: property income is the fruit of exploitation. The fact that it is essential to capitalism makes the latter a class system akin to such other historical cases as slavery and feudalism.
  24. ^ The Social Dividend Under Market Socialism, by Yunker, James. 1977. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 93-133: "From the human point of view, return paid to non-human factors of production is unearned and equivalent to a free gift of nature. It is the personal appropriation of this free gift of nature by a small minority of society under contemporary capitalism which establishes the ethical unworthiness of capitalism and the desirability of a socialist transformation...The employment of capital instruments and natural resources in economic production requires no personal hardship or exertion from any human being. The economic services provided by these factors of production are not corporeally inherent in human beings. The opposite is true of labor services, which can only be provided through the physical and mental activity of human beings...the really grossly exaggerated personal incomes in society are dominated by property income, and this source of inequality would be abrogated by the equalization of property income distribution."
  25. ^ a b c Jordi Cat (2014). "Political Economy: Theory, Practice, and Philosophical Consequences". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  26. ^ Otto Neurath’s Economics in Context, by Nemeth, Elisabeth; Schmitz, Stefan W.; Uebel, Thomas E. 2007.
  27. ^ Wolff and Resnick, Richard and Stephen (August 1, 1987). Economics: Marxian versus Neoclassical. The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 226–227. ISBN 978-0-8018-3480-6. For Marxian theory, socialism and communism represent societies built around a different, noncapitalist form of the fundamental class process. That is a very different thing from a society in which the state appropriates surplus value from the productive laborers it hires and exploits ... These characteristics imply that any person who participates in the communist fundamental class is both a performer and appropriator of surplus labor ... the decision of a state to operate capitalist industrial enterprises has no necessary relation to socialism...
  28. ^ Arnold, Scott (1994). The Philosophy and Economics of Market Socialism: A Critical Study. Oxford University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-19-508827-4. One conception holds that the means of production should be owned by society (or possible the working class) as a whole. By itself, this idea has not clear meaning; some institutional stand-in for society has to be found...the most obvious candidate in modern societies for that role has been the state.
  29. ^ Vrousalis, Nicolas (2018). Muldoon, James, ed. "Council Democracy and the Socialization Dilemma". Council Democracy: Towards a Democratic Socialist Politics. Routledge. pp. 89–107. ISBN 9780815383697.
  30. ^ Toward a Socialism for the Future, in the Wake of the Demise of the Socialism of the Past, by Weisskopf, Thomas E. 1992. Review of Radical Political Economics, Vol. 24, No. 3-4, pp. 9: "There are two principal variants of such control, depending on the nature of the community in whom control rights are vested: (1) Public management: enterprises are run by managers who are appointed by and accountable to an agency of government (at the national, regional, or local level), which agency represents a corresponding politically-constituted community of citizens. (2) Worker self-management: enterprises are run by managers who are appointed by and accountable to those who work in them...with control rights resting ultimately with the community of enterprise workers ..."
  31. ^ Arnold, Scott (1994). The Philosophy and Economics of Market Socialism: A Critical Study. Oxford University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-19-508827-4. Although societies in which the state owns the means of production historically have had centrally planned economies, this form of ownership is in principle compatible with a market economy ... These firms would by inputs from each other and sell outputs to each other and to consumers.
  32. ^ Rosser, Mariana V. and J Barkley Jr. (July 23, 2003). Comparative Economics in a Transforming World Economy. MIT Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-262-18234-8. One approach suggests that modern computers can be linked together to overcome the Hayekian information problems and achieve rapid feedback that will maintain balances and lead to efficient planning, but with goods distributed in markets.
  33. ^ The Economics of Feasible Socialism Revisited, by Nove, Alexander. 1991. (P.212-213): "Radoslav Selucky opts for what he calls 'social ownership', with 'means of production managed by those who make use of them', separated from the state...1) State enterprises, centrally controlled and administered, hereinafter referred to as centralized state corporations. 2) Publicly owned (or socially owned) enterprises with full autonomy and a management responsible to the workforce, hereinafter socialized enterprises."
  34. ^ McMullen, David (January 2007). Bright Future: Abundance and Progress in the 21st Century. BookSurge Publishing. ISBN 978-0-646-46832-7.
  35. ^ Ellman, Michael (1989). Socialist Planning. Cambridge University Press. p. 327. ISBN 0-521-35866-3. State ownership of the means of production is not necessarily social ownership and state ownership can hinder efficiency.
  36. ^ Yunker, James (April 1992). Socialism Revised and Modernized: The Case for Pragmatic Market Socialism. Praeger. pp. 29–31. ISBN 978-0-275-94134-5.
  37. ^ O'Hara, Phillip (September 2003). Encyclopedia of Political Economy, Volume 2. Routledge. pp. 71–72. ISBN 0-415-24187-1. This leads us to the third form of social ownership, through a more equal initial distribution of corporate equity ... In his Unseen Revolution, published in 1976, the well-known management theorist Peter Drucker claimed that pension funds were reconciling employees’ need for financial security with capital’s need to be mobile and diversified, a form of ‘pension fund socialism’. Contemporary campaigns focusing on this dynamic include the explicitly socialist Meidner program...
  38. ^ The Social Ownership of Capital, by Minns, Richard. 1996. New Left Review, Vol. 219, pp. 44-45."
  39. ^ Rosser, Mariana V. and J Barkley Jr. (July 23, 2003). Comparative Economics in a Transforming World Economy. MIT Press. pp. 73–74. ISBN 978-0-262-18234-8. Its form ranges from straight workers’ ownership in cooperatives, to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) in which workers’ ownership operates through a trust fund usually based on pension benefits, to paying workers with stock options, to the weakest version involving merely profit sharing. Successful examples of each type in the United States include for cooperatives plywood producers in the Northwest, for ESOPs the Weirton Steel Company of West Virginia (although the prominent example, United Airlnes, declared bankruptcy), and for profit sharing various Silicon Valley high-technology companies ... Thus the future of workable socialist forms that fulfill the goals of Karl Marx may be found in models emerging out of existing market capitalist economies in the form of worker-owned cooperatives.
  40. ^ Busky, Donald F. (July 20, 2000). Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey. Praeger. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-275-96886-1. Under mutualism, the state would be abolished, and factories would be controlled by workers in the form of producer’s cooperatives. Compensation would be retained in the form of labor checks paid to workers by people’s banks, corresponding to the number of hours they worked.
  41. ^ Schmitt and Anton, Richard and Anatole (March 2012). Taking Socialism Seriously. Lexington Books. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-7391-6635-2. Commons-based peer production bears a close family resemblance to the familiar vision of socialism sketched in the first paragraph of this chapter ... In commons-based peer production a critical mass of inputs, and all outputs, are distributed within information networks as free goods rather than as commodities to be sold for profit by capitalist firms.
  42. ^ "Participatory Planning Through Negotiated Coordination" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  43. ^ Benkler, Yochai (2006). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. New Haven, Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-11056-1.
  44. ^ "What Is 'Socialized Medicine'?: A Taxonomy of Health Care Systems". The New York Times Company.

Further reading

  • Korsch, Karl (1975). "What Is Socialization? A Program of Practical Socialism". New German Critique No.6: 60-81.
  • Minns, Richard (1996). "The Social Ownership of Capital". New Left Review 219. 1: 42-61.
  • O'Neil, John (2002). "Socialist Calculation and Environmental Valuation: Money, Markets and Ecology". Science and Society 66. 1: 137-158.

External links

Anarchism in Iceland

Anarchism is a small minority political movement in Iceland, defined by its relationship with other progressive social movements, and its involvement in primarily ideological work.

Anarchism in Turkey

Anarchism in Turkey only began to emerge in 1986 with publication of the magazine Kara.

Anarchism in Vietnam

Anarchism as a political movement in Vietnam started in the early twentieth century. Its most recognizable proponent was Phan Boi Chau.

Anarchist law

Anarchist law is a hypothetical body of norms regarding behavior and decision-making that might be operative in an anarchist community. The term is used in a series of ongoing debates within the various branches of anarchist theory regarding if and how norms of individual and/or collective behavior, decision-making and actions should be created and enforced.

Collective ownership

Collective ownership is the ownership of means of production by all members of a group for the benefit of all its members. The breadth or narrowness of the group can range from a whole society to a set of coworkers in a particular enterprise (such as one collective farm). In the latter (narrower) sense the term is distinguished from common ownership and the commons, which implies open-access, the holding of assets in common, and the negation of ownership as such.

Collective ownership of the means of production is the defining characteristic of socialism, where "collective ownership" can refer to society-wide ownership or to cooperative ownership by an organization's members. It more commonly refers to group ownership (such as a producer cooperative) as contrasted with public ownership.

Democratic socialism

Democratic socialism is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production, with an emphasis on self-management and democratic management of economic institutions within a market or some form of decentralized planned socialist economy. Democratic socialists espouse that capitalism is inherently incompatible with what they hold to be the democratic values of liberty, equality and solidarity; and that these ideals can only be achieved through the realization of a socialist society. Democratic socialism can be supportive of either revolutionary or reformist politics as a means to establish socialism.The term democratic socialism is sometimes used synonymously with socialism, but the adjective democratic is sometimes used to distinguish democratic socialists from Marxist–Leninist-inspired socialism which to some is viewed as being non-democratic in practice. Democratic socialists oppose the Stalinist political system and Soviet economic model, rejecting the perceived authoritarian form of governance and highly centralized command economy that took form in the Soviet Union and other socialist states in the early 20th century.Democratic socialism is further distinguished from social democracy on the basis that democratic socialists are committed to systemic transformation of the economy from capitalism to socialism whereas social democracy is supportive of reforms to capitalism. In contrast to social democrats, democratic socialists believe that reforms aimed at addressing social inequalities and state interventions aimed at suppressing the economic contradictions of capitalism will only see them emerge elsewhere in a different guise. As socialists, democratic socialists believe that the systemic issues of capitalism can only be solved by replacing the capitalist system with a socialist system—i.e. by replacing private ownership with social ownership of the means of production.The origins of democratic socialism can be traced to 19th-century utopian socialist thinkers and the British Chartist movement which differed in detail, but all shared the essence of democratic decision making and public ownership in the means of production as positive characteristics of the society they advocated. In the early 20th century, the gradualist reformism promoted by the British Fabian Society and Eduard Bernstein in Germany influenced the development of democratic socialism.

Economic system

An economic system (also economic order) is a system of production, resource allocation and distribution of goods and services within a society or a given geographic area. It includes the combination of the various institutions, agencies, entities, decision-making processes and patterns of consumption that comprise the economic structure of a given community. As such, an economic system is a type of social system. The mode of production is a related concept. All economic systems have three basic questions to ask: what to produce, how to produce and in what quantities and who receives the output of production.

The study of economic systems includes how these various agencies and institutions are linked to one another, how information flows between them and the social relations within the system (including property rights and the structure of management). The analysis of economic systems traditionally focused on the dichotomies and comparisons between market economies and planned economies and on the distinctions between capitalism and socialism. Subsequently, the categorization of economic systems expanded to include other topics and models that do not conform to the traditional dichotomy. Today the dominant form of economic organization at the world level is based on market-oriented mixed economies.

Law of Croatia

The law of Croatia is part of the legal system of Croatia. It belongs to the civil law legal system. It is grounded on the principles laid out in the Constitution of Croatia and safeguarded by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia.

Croatian Law system is largely influenced by German and Austrian law systems. It is significantly influenced by the Civil Code of the Austrian Empire (1811), known in Croatia as Opći građanski zakon (OGZ) (General Civil Law). It was in force from 1853 to 1946, with some provisions still applying in the modern day. The Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi-controlled puppet state was established in 1941 during World War II, used the OGZ as a basis for the 1943 Base of the Civil Code for the Independent State of Croatia (Osnova građanskoga zakona za Nezavisnu Državu Hrvatsku). After the War, Croatia become a member of the Yugoslav Federation which enacted in 1946 the Law on immediate voiding of regulations passed before April 6, 1941 and during the enemy occupation (Zakon o nevaženju pravnih propisa donesenih prije 6. travnja 1941. i za vrijeme neprijateljske okupacije). By this law OGZ was declared invalid as a whole, but implementation of some of its legal rules was approved.

During the post-war era, the Croatian legal system become influenced by elements of the socialist law. Croatian civil law was pushed aside, and it took norms of public law and legal regulation of the social ownership. After Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia on June 25, 1991, the previous legal system was used as a base for writing new laws. he Law on Obligations (Zakon o obveznim odnosima) was enacted in 2005. Today, Croatia as a European Union member state implements elements of the EU acquis into its legal system.

List of films dealing with anarchism

This article is for films both fictional and non-fictional which focus on anarchism, anarchist movements and/or anarchist characters as a theme.

Market socialism

Market socialism is a type of economic system involving the public, cooperative or social ownership of the means of production in the framework of a market economy. Market socialism differs from non-market socialism in that the market mechanism is utilized for the allocation of capital goods and the means of production. Depending on the specific model of market socialism, profits generated by socially owned firms (i.e. net revenue not reinvested into expanding the firm) may variously be used to directly remunerate employees, accrue to society at large as the source of public finance or be distributed amongst the population in a social dividend.Market socialism is distinguished from the concept of the mixed economy because unlike the mixed economy, models of market socialism are complete and self-regulating systems. Market socialism also contrasts with social democratic policies implemented within capitalist market economies: while social democracy aims to achieve greater economic stability and equality through policy measures such as taxes, subsidies and social welfare programs, market socialism aims to achieve similar goals through changing patterns of enterprise ownership and management.Although economic proposals involving social ownership with factor markets have existed since the early 19th century, the term "market socialism" only emerged in the 1920s during the socialist calculation debate. Contemporary market socialism emerged from the debate on socialist calculation during the early-to-mid 20th century among socialist economists who believed that a socialist economy could neither function on the basis of calculation in natural units nor through solving a system of simultaneous equations for economic coordination, and that capital markets would be required in a socialist economy.Early models of market socialism trace their roots to the work of Adam Smith and the theories of classical economics, which consisted of proposals for cooperative enterprises operating in a free-market economy. The aim of such proposals was to eliminate exploitation by allowing individuals to receive the full product of their labor while removing the market-distorting effects of concentrating ownership and wealth in the hands of a small class of private owners. Among early advocates of market socialism were the Ricardian socialist economists and mutualist philosophers. In the early 20th century, Oskar Lange and Abba Lerner outlined a neoclassical model of socialism which included a role for a central planning board (CPB) in setting prices equal to marginal cost to achieve Pareto efficiency. Even though these early models did not rely on genuine markets, they were labeled "market socialist" for their utilization of financial prices and calculation. In more recent models proposed by American neoclassical economists, public ownership of the means of production is achieved through public ownership of equity and social control of investment.


Nationalization (or nationalisation) is the process of transforming private assets into public assets by bringing them under the public ownership of a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets or assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being transferred to the state. The opposites of nationalization are privatization and demutualization. When previously nationalized assets are privatized and subsequently returned to public ownership at a later stage, they are said to have undergone renationalization. Industries that are usually subject to nationalization include transport, communications, energy, banking, and natural resources.

Nationalization may occur with or without compensation to the former owners. Nationalization is distinguished from property redistribution in that the government retains control of nationalized property. Some nationalizations take place when a government seizes property acquired illegally. For example, in 1945 the French government seized the car-makers Renault because its owners had collaborated with the Nazi occupiers of France.Nationalization is to be distinguished from "socialization", which refers to the process of restructuring the economic framework, organizational structure, and institutions of an economy on a socialist basis. By contrast, nationalization does not necessarily imply social ownership and the restructuring of the economic system. By itself, nationalization has nothing to do with socialism, having been historically carried out for various different purposes under a wide variety of different political systems and economic systems. However, nationalization is, in most cases, opposed by laissez faire capitalists as it is perceived as excessive government interference in, and control of, economic affairs of individual citizens.

Private property

Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity; and from collective (or cooperative) property, which is owned by a group of non-governmental entities. Private property can be either personal property (consumption goods) or capital goods. Private property is a legal concept defined and enforced by a country's political system.

Social dividend

The social dividend is the return on the capital assets and natural resources owned by society in a socialist economy. The concept notably appears as a key characteristic of market socialism, where it takes the form of a dividend payment to each citizen derived from the property income generated by publicly owned enterprises, representing the individual’s share of the capital and natural resources owned by society.Although the social dividend concept has not yet been applied on a large scale, similar policies have been adopted on a limited basis. In both the former Soviet-type economies and non-Socialist countries, the net earnings of revenue-generating state enterprises were considered a source of public revenue to be spent directly by the government to finance various public goods and services.The concept of a social dividend overlaps with the concept of a universal basic income guarantee, but is distinguished from basic income in that a social dividend implies social ownership of productive assets whereas a basic income does not necessarily imply social ownership and can be financed through a much broader range of sources. Unlike a basic income, the social dividend yield varies based on the performance of the socially owned economy. The social dividend can be regarded as the socialist analogue to basic income. More recently the term universal basic dividend has been used to contrast the social dividend concept with basic income.


Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.Socialist systems are divided into non-market and market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money with engineering and technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of socially owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them. Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm, or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend. The socialist calculation debate concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system.

Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist in orientation; organised through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions, and at other times independent and critical of unions; and present in both industrialised and developing nations. Originating within the socialist movement, social democracy has embraced a mixed economy with a market that includes substantial state intervention in the form of income redistribution, regulation, and a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralized control of companies, currencies, investments, and natural resources.

The socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production. By the 1920s, social democracy and communism had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. By this time, socialism emerged as "the most influential secular movement of the twentieth century, worldwide. It is a political ideology (or world view), a wide and divided political movement" and while the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, some socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism, feminism and progressivism. In 21st century America, the term socialism, without clear definition, has become a pejorative used by conservatives to taint liberal and progressive policies, proposals, and public figures.

Socialist economics

Socialist economics comprises the economic theories, practices, and norms of hypothetical and existing socialist economic systems.

A socialist economic system is characterised by social ownership and operation of the means of production that may take the form of autonomous cooperatives or direct public ownership wherein production is carried out directly for use. Socialist systems that utilize markets for allocating inputs and capital goods among economic units are designated market socialism. When planning is utilized, the economic system is designated as a socialist planned economy. Non-market forms of socialism usually include a system of accounting based on calculation-in-kind to value resources and goods.The term "socialist economics" may also be applied to the analysis of former and existing economic systems that were implemented in socialist states, such as in the works of Hungarian economist János Kornai.Socialist economics has been associated with different schools of economic thought. Marxian economics provided a foundation for socialism based on analysis of capitalism, while neoclassical economics and evolutionary economics provided comprehensive models of socialism. During the 20th century, proposals and models for both planned economies and market socialism were based heavily on neoclassical economics or a synthesis of neoclassical economics with Marxian or institutional economics.

State ownership

State ownership (also called public ownership and government ownership) is the ownership of an industry, asset, or enterprise by the state or a public body representing a community as opposed to an individual or private party. Public ownership specifically refers to industries selling goods and services to consumers and differs from public goods and government services financed out of a government’s general budget. Public ownership can take place at the national, regional, local, or municipal levels of government; or can refer to non-governmental public ownership vested in autonomous public enterprises. Public ownership is one of the three major forms of property ownership, differentiated from private, collective/cooperative, and common ownership.In market-based economies, state-owned assets are often managed and operated as joint-stock corporations with a government owning all or a controlling stake of the company's shares. This form is often referred to as a state-owned enterprise. A state-owned enterprise might variously operate as a not-for-profit corporation, as it may not be required to generate a profit; as a commercial enterprise in competitive sectors; or as a natural monopoly. Governments may also use the profitable entities they own to support the general budget. The creation of a state-owned enterprise from other forms of public property is called corporatization.

In Soviet-type economies, state property was the dominant form of industry as property. The state held a monopoly on land and natural resources, and enterprises operated under the legal framework of a nominally planned economy, and thus according to different criteria than enterprises in market and mixed economies.

Nationalization process of transferring private or municipal assets to a central government or state entity. Municipalization is the process of transferring private or state assets to a municipal government.

State socialism

State socialism is a classification for any socialist political and economic perspective advocating state ownership of the means of production either as a temporary measure in the transition from capitalism to socialism, or as characteristic of socialism itself. It is often used interchangeably with state capitalism in reference to the economic systems of Marxist–Leninist states such as the Soviet Union to highlight the role of state planning in these economies, with the critics of said system referring to it more commonly as "state capitalism". Libertarian and democratic socialists claim that these states had only a limited number of socialist characteristics. However, Marxist–Leninists maintain that workers in the Soviet Union and other Marxist–Leninist states had genuine control over the means of production through institutions such as trade unions.State socialism is held in contrast with libertarian socialism, which rejects the view that socialism can be constructed by using existing state institutions or by governmental policies. By contrast, proponents of state socialism claim that the state—through practical considerations of governing—must play at least a temporary part in building socialism. It is possible to conceive of a democratic state that owns the means of production, but it is internally organized in a participatory, cooperative fashion, thereby achieving both social ownership of productive property and workplace democracy in day-to-day operations.

Types of socialism

Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, though social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms. Socialist economic systems can be further divided into non-market and market forms. The word socialism thus refers to a broad range of theoretical and historical socioeconomic systems and has also been used by many political movements throughout history to describe themselves and their goals, generating numerous types of socialism. Different self-described socialists have used the term "socialism" to refer to different things, such as an economic system, a type of society, a philosophical outlook, a collection of moral values and ideals, or even a certain kind of human character. Some definitions of socialism are very vague while others are so specific that they only include a small minority of the things that have been described as socialism in the past. There have been numerous political movements which called themselves "socialist" under some definition of the term—some of these interpretations are mutually exclusive and all of them have generated debates over the true meaning of socialism.

World revolution

World revolution is the Marxist concept of overthrowing capitalism in all countries through the conscious revolutionary action of the organized working class. These revolutions would not necessarily occur simultaneously, but where and when local conditions allowed a revolutionary party to successfully replace bourgeois ownership and rule, and install a workers' state based on social ownership of the means of production. In most Marxist schools, such as Trotskyism, the essentially international character of the class struggle and the necessity of global scope are critical elements and a chief explanation of the failure of socialism in one country.

The end goal of such internationally oriented revolutionary socialism is to achieve world socialism, and later, stateless communism.

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