Libertarian socialism is a group of anti-authoritarian political philosophies inside the socialist movement that rejects the conception of socialism as centralized state ownership and control of the economy. Libertarian socialism is close to and overlaps with left-libertarianism and criticizes wage labour relationships within the workplace, instead emphasizing workers' self-management of the workplace and decentralized structures of political organization. Libertarian socialism rejects the state itself and asserts that a society based on freedom and justice can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite. Libertarian socialists advocate for decentralized structures based on direct democracy and federal or confederal associations such as libertarian municipalism, citizens' assemblies, trade unions, workers' councils. All of this is done within a general call for libertarian and voluntary human relationships through the identification and practical dismantling of illegitimate authority in all aspects of human life.
As such, libertarian socialism seeks to distinguish itself from both Leninism/Bolshevism and social democracy. Past and present political philosophies and movements described as libertarian socialist include anarchism as well as autonomism, Democratic Confederalism, guild socialism, revolutionary syndicalism and libertarian Marxist philosophies such as council communism as well as some versions of utopian socialism and individualist anarchism. Libertarian socialism is a Western philosophy with diverse interpretations, though some general commonalities can be found in its many incarnations, it advocates a worker-oriented system of production and organization in the workplace that in some aspects radically departs from neoclassical economics in favor of democratic cooperatives or common ownership of the means of production. They propose that this economic system be executed in a manner that attempts to maximize the liberty of individuals and minimize concentration of power or authority. Adherents propose achieving this through decentralization of political and economic power involving the socialization of most large-scale private property and enterprise.
Libertarian socialism tends to deny the legitimacy of most forms of economically significant private property, viewing capitalist property relation as a form of domination, antagonistic to individual freedom. The first anarchist journal to use the term "libertarian" was Le Libertaire, Journal du Mouvement Social and it was published in New York City between 1858 and 1861 by French anarcho-communist Joseph Déjacque; the next recorded use of the term was in Europe, when "libertarian communism" was used at a French regional anarchist Congress at Le Havre. January 1881 saw a French manifesto issued on "Libertarian or Anarchist Communism". 1895 saw leading anarchists Sébastien Faure and Louise Michel publish La Libertaire in France". The word stems from the French word libertaire, used to evade the French ban on anarchist publications. In this tradition, the term "libertarianism" in "libertarian socialism" is used as a synonym for anarchism, which some say is the original meaning of the term. In the context of the European socialist movement, "libertarian" has conventionally been used to describe those who opposed state socialism, such as Mikhail Bakunin.
The association of socialism with libertarianism predates that of capitalism and many anti-authoritarians still decry what they see as a mistaken association of capitalism with libertarianism in the United States. As Noam Chomsky put it, a consistent libertarian "must oppose private ownership of the means of production and wage slavery, a component of this system, as incompatible with the principle that labor must be undertaken and under the control of the producer". In a chapter recounting the history of libertarian socialism, economist Robin Hahnel relates that thus far the period where libertarian socialism has had its greatest impact was at the end of the 19th century through the first four decades of the 20th century: On the other hand, a libertarian trend developed within Marxism which gained visibility around the late 1910s in reaction against Bolshevism and Leninism rising to power and establishing the Soviet Union. John O'Neil argues: Libertarian socialists are anti-capitalist and can thus be distinguished from right-wing libertarians.
Whereas capitalist principles concentrate economic power in the hands of those who own the most capital, libertarian socialism aims to distribute power more amongst members of society. A key difference between libertarian socialism and capitalist libertarianism is that advocates of the former believe that one's degree of freedom is affected by one's economic and social status whereas advocates of the latter focus on freedom of choice within a capitalist framework under capitalist private property; this is sometimes characterized as a desire to maximize "free creativity" in a society in preference to "free enterprise". Within anarchism, there emerged a critique of wage slavery which refers to a situation perceived as quasi-voluntary slavery, where a person's livelihood depends on wages when the dependence is total and immediate, it is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor by focusing on similarities between owning and renting a person. The term "wa
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 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 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 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 nationalist in orientation. 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, a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralized control of companies, currencies 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, 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 adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism 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 and public figures.
For Andrew Vincent, "he word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and medieval law was societas; this latter word could mean companionship and fellowship as well as the more legalistic idea of a consensual contract between freemen". The term "socialism" was created by Henri de Saint-Simon, one of the founders of what would be labelled "utopian socialism". Simon coined the term as a contrast to the liberal doctrine of "individualism", which stressed that people act or should act as if they are in isolation from one another; the original "utopian" socialists condemned liberal individualism for failing to address social concerns during the industrial revolution, including poverty, social oppression and gross inequalities in wealth, thus viewing liberal individualism as degenerating society into supporting selfish egoism that harmed community life through promoting a society based on competition. They presented socialism as an alternative to liberal individualism based on the shared ownership of resources, although their proposals for socialism differed significantly.
Saint-Simon proposed economic planning, scientific administration and the application of modern scientific advancements to the organisation of society. By contrast, Robert Owen proposed the organisation of ownership in cooperatives; the term "socialism" is attributed to Pierre Leroux and to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud in France. The modern definition and usage of "socialism" settled by the 1860s, becoming the predominant term among the group of words "co-operative", "mutualist" and "associationist", used as synonyms; the term "communism" fell out of use during this period, despite earlier distinctions between socialism and communism from the 1840s. An early distinction between socialism and communism was that the former aimed to only socialise production while the latter aimed to socialise both production and consumption. However, M
Internationalism is a political principle which transcends nationalism and advocates a greater political or economic cooperation among nations and people. Supporters of this principle are referred to as internationalists, believe that the people of the world should unite across national, cultural, racial, or class boundaries to advance their common interests, or that the governments of the world should cooperate because their mutual long-term interests are of greater importance than their short-term disputes. In 19th-century UK there was a liberal internationalist strand of political thought epitomized by Richard Cobden and John Bright. Cobden and Bright were against the protectionist Corn Laws and in a speech at Covent Garden on September 28, 1843 Cobden outlined his utopian brand of internationalism: Free Trade! What is it? Why, breaking down the barriers that separate nations. Cobden believed that Free Trade would pacify the world by interdependence, an idea expressed by Adam Smith in his The Wealth of Nations and common to many liberals of the time.
A belief in the idea of the moral law and an inherent goodness in human nature inspired their faith in internationalism. Such "liberal" conceptions of internationalism were harshly criticized by socialists and radicals at the time, who pointed out the links between global economic competition and imperialism, would identify this competition as being a root cause of world conflict. One of the first international organisations in the world was the International Workingmen's Association, formed in London in 1864 by working class socialist and communist political activists. Referred to as the First International, the organization was dedicated to the advancement of working class political interests across national boundaries, was in direct ideological opposition to strains of liberal internationalism which advocated free trade and capitalism as means of achieving world peace and interdependence. Other international organizations included the Inter-Parliamentary Union, established in 1889 by Frédéric Passy from France and William Randal Cremer from the United Kingdom, the League of Nations, formed after World War I.
The former was envisioned as a permanent forum for political multilateral negotiations, while the latter was an attempt to solve the world's security problems through international arbitration and dialogue. J. A. Hobson, a Gladstonian liberal who became a socialist after the Great War, anticipated in his book Imperialism the growth of international courts and congresses which would settle international disputes between nations in a peaceful way. Sir Norman Angell in his work The Great Illusion claimed that the world was united by trade, finance and communications and that therefore nationalism was an anachronism and that war would not profit anyone involved but would only result in destruction. Lord Lothian was an internationalist and an imperialist who in December 1914 looked forward to:...the voluntary federation of the free civilised nations which will exorcise the spectre of competitive armaments and give lasting peace to mankind. In September 1915 he thought the British Empire was'the perfect example of the eventual world Commonwealth'Internationalism expressed itself in Britain through the endorsement of the League of Nations by such people as Gilbert Murray.
The Liberal Party and the Labour Party had prominent internationalist members, like the Labour Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald who believed that'our true nationality is mankind' Internationalism is an important component of socialist political theory, based on the principle that working-class people of all countries must unite across national boundaries and oppose nationalism and war in order to overthrow capitalism. In this sense, the socialist understanding of internationalism is related to the concept of international solidarity. Socialist thinkers such as Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin argue that economic class, rather than nationality, race, or culture, is the main force which divides people in society, that nationalist ideology is a propaganda tool of a society's dominant economic class. From this perspective, it is in the ruling class' interest to promote nationalism in order to hide the inherent class conflicts at play within a given society. Therefore, socialists see nationalism as a form of ideological control arising from a society's given mode of economic production.
Since the 19th century, socialist political organizations and radical trade unions such as the Industrial Workers of the World have promoted internationalist ideologies and sought to organize workers across national boundaries to achieve improvements in the conditions of labor and advance various forms of industrial democracy. The First, Second and Fourth Internationals were socialist political groupings which sought to advance worker's revolution across the globe and achieve international socialism. Socialist internationalism is anti-imperialist, therefore supports the liberation of peoples from all forms of colonialism and foreign domination, the right of nations to self-determination. Therefore, socialists have aligned themselves politically with anti-colonial independence movements, opposed the exploitation of one country by another. Since war is understood in socialist theory to be a general product of the laws of economic competition inherent to capitalism (i.e. competi
Red flag (politics)
In politics, a red flag is predominantly a symbol of socialism, Marxism, trade unions, left-wing politics, of anarchism. Socialists adopted the symbol during the Revolutions of 1848 and it became a symbol of communism as a result of its use by the Paris Commune of 1871; the flags of several communist states, including China and the Soviet Union, are explicitly based on the original red flag. The red flag is used as a symbol by some democratic socialists and social democrats, for example the League of Social Democrats of Hong Kong, French Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party of Germany; the Labour Party in Britain used it until the late 1980s. It was the inspiration for The Red Flag. In the Middle Ages, ships in combat flew a long red streamer, called the Baucans, to signify a fight to the death. In one petition, a group of English sailors asserted that the Crown had no right to a share of the prize money earned from a Norman ship captured in 1293 because it had raised the Baucans. By the 17th century, the Baucans had evolved into a red flag, or "flag of defiance."
It was raised in castles under siege to indicate that they would not surrender. "The red flag is a signal of battle," according to Chambers Cyclopedia. The red cap was a symbol of popular revolt in France going back to the Jacquerie of 1358; the color red become associated with patriotism early in the French Revolution due to the popularity of the Tricolour cockade, introduced in July 1789, the Phrygian cap, introduced in May 1790. A red flag was raised over the Champ-de-Mars in Paris on July 17, 1791 by Lafayette, commander of the National Guard, as a symbol of martial law, warning rioters to disperse; as many as fifty anti-royalist protesters were killed in the fighting. Inverting the original symbolism, the Jacobins protested this action by flying a red flag to honor the "martyrs' blood" of those, killed, they created their own red flags to declare "the martial law of the people against the revolt of the court." The Jacobin Club ruled France during the Reign of Terror and made the red flag an unofficial national emblem.
However, the earlier Tricolor regained popularity under Napoleon. British sailors mutinied near the mouth of the River Thames in 1797 and hoisted a red flag on several ships. Two red flags soaked in calf's blood were flown by marchers in South Wales during the Merthyr Rising of 1831, it is claimed to be the first time. Along with the Newport Rising eight years it was one of the most serious violent outbreaks witnessed on mainland Britain; the red flags of Merthyr became a potent relic following the execution of early trade unionist Dic Penderyn in August 1831, despite a public campaign to pardon him. During the Mexican siege of the Alamo in March 1836, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana displayed a plain red flag from the highest church tower in Bejar; the meaning of this flag was not socialism: its meaning - directed to the Alamo defenders - meant "no surrender. At much the same time, the Liberal "Colorados" in the Uruguayan Civil War used red flags; this prolonged struggle at the time got considerable attention and sympathy from Liberals and revolutionaries in Europe and it was in this war that Garibaldi first made a name for himself and that he was inspired to have his troops wear the famous Red Shirts.
During the 1848 Revolution in France and radical republicans demanded that the red flag be adopted as France's national flag. Led by poet-politician Alphonse de Lamartine, the government rejected the crowd's demand: "he red flag that you have brought back here has done nothing but being trailed around the Champ-de-Mars in the people's blood in 91 and 93, whereas the Tricolore flag went round the world along with the name, the glory and the liberty of the homeland!" The banner of the Paris Commune of 1871 was red and it was at this time that the red flag became a symbol of communism. The flag was flown by anarchists at a May Day rally for an eight-hour workday in Chicago in 1886. A bomb blast killed five were executed; this event, considered the beginning of the international labor movement, is still commemorated annually in many countries The red flag gained great popularity during the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Soviet flag, with a hammer, a sickle and a star on a red background, was adopted in 1923.
Various Communist and socialist newspapers have used the name The Red Flag. In China, both the Nationalist Party-led Republic of China and the Communist Party-led People's Republic of China use a red field for their flags, a reference to their revolutionary origins. In more recent times, social democratic parties have gravitated away from the Red Flag as a symbol. However, several European parties retain a "red square" symbol, including Germany's SPD and the Party of European Socialists; the building to have had a red flag flying for the longest period of time and to still have one is the Victorian Trades Hall in Melbourne, Australia. The flag has been flying for over a century. Anarchists, as part of the socialist movement used red flag in the 19th Century - it was one of the first anarchist symbols. Usage of the red flag by anarchists disappeared after the October Revolution, when red flags started to be associated only with communist parties and bureaucratic and authoritarian
History of socialism
The history of socialism has its origins in the 1789 French Revolution and the changes which it wrought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels in 1848 just before the Revolutions of 1848 swept Europe, expressing what they termed "scientific socialism". In the last third of the 19th century, social democratic parties arose in Europe, drawing from Marxism; the Australian Labor Party was the world's first elected socialist party when it formed government in the Colony of Queensland for a week in 1899. In the first half of the 20th century, the Soviet Union and the communist parties of the Third International around the world came to represent socialism in terms of the Soviet model of economic development and the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production, although other trends condemned what they saw as the lack of democracy. In the United Kingdom, Herbert Morrison said that "socialism is what the Labour government does" whereas Aneurin Bevan argued that socialism requires that the "main streams of economic activity are brought under public direction", with an economic plan and workers' democracy.
Some argued. Socialist governments established the mixed economy with partial nationalisations and social welfare. By 1968, the prolonged Vietnam War gave rise to the New Left, socialists who tended to be critical of the Soviet Union and social democracy. Anarcho-syndicalists and some elements of the New Left and others favored decentralized collective ownership in the form of cooperatives or workers' councils. At the turn of the 21st century in Latin America, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez championed what he termed socialism of the 21st century, which included a policy of nationalisation of national assets such as oil, anti-imperialism and termed himself a Trotskyist supporting permanent revolution. Mazdak preached and instituted a religion-based socialist or proto-socialist system in the Zoroastrian context of Sassanian Persia. In Britain, Thomas Paine proposed a detailed plan to tax property owners to pay for the needs of the poor in Agrarian Justice, while Charles Hall wrote The Effects of Civilization on the People in European States, denouncing capitalism's effects on the poor of his time.
The English word "socialist" in its modern sense dates from at least 1822. Chartism, which flourished from 1838 to 1858, "formed the first organized labour movement in Europe, gathering significant numbers around the People's Charter of 1838, which demanded the extension of suffrage to all male adults. Prominent leaders in the movement called for a more equitable distribution of income and better living conditions for the working classes; the first trade unions and consumers’ cooperative societies emerged in the hinterland of the Chartist movement, as a way of bolstering the fight for these demands". By 1842, socialism "had become the topic of a major academic analysis" by a German scholar, Lorenz von Stein, in his Socialism and Social Movement. According to an 1888 volume of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, the word socialism first appeared on 13 February 1832 in Le Globe, a liberal French newspaper of Pierre Leroux. Leroux returned to the theme of "socialism" in 1834 and Louis Reybaud published Études sur les réformateurs contemporains ou socialistes modernes in 1842 in France.
In England, Robert Owen was using the term socialism independently around the same time. Owen is considered the father of the cooperative movement; the first modern socialists were early 19th-century Western European social critics. In this period socialism emerged from a diverse array of doctrines and social experiments associated with British and French thinkers—especially Robert Owen, Charles Fourier, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Louis Blanc and Saint-Simon. Early-19th-century followers of the utopian theories of such thinkers as Robert Owen, Claude Henri de Saint-Simon and Charles Fourier used the term "associationism" to describe their beliefs; these social critics criticized the excesses of poverty and inequality of the Industrial Revolution, advocated reforms such as the egalitarian distribution of wealth and the transformation of society into small communities in which private property was to be abolished. Outlining principles for the reorganization of society along collectivist lines, Saint-Simon and Owen sought to build socialism on the foundations of planned, utopian communities.
According to Sheldon Richman, "n the 19th and early 20th centuries,'socialism' did not mean collective or government ownership of the means or production but was an umbrella term for anyone who believed labor was cheated out of its natural product under historical capitalism",According to some accounts, the use of the words "socialism" or "communism" related to the perceived attitude toward religion in a given culture. Continental Europeans considered "communism" more atheistic than "socialism". In England, "communism" sounded too close to communion – with Catholic overtones. By 1847, according to Frederick Engels "Socialism" was "respectable" on the continent of Europe while "Communism" was the opposite as the Owenites in England and the Fourierists in France were considered Socialists, while working-class movements which "proclaimed the necessity of total social change" termed themselves "Communists"; this latter trend was "powerful enough" to produce the communism of Étienne Cabet in France and of Wilhelm Weitling in Germany.
In the post-revolutionary period right after the French Revolution of 1789, activists and the
Economic democracy is a socioeconomic philosophy that proposes to shift decision-making power from corporate managers and corporate shareholders to a larger group of public stakeholders that includes workers, suppliers and the broader public. No single definition or approach encompasses economic democracy, but most proponents claim that modern property relations externalize costs, subordinate the general well-being to private profit and deny the polity a democratic voice in economic policy decisions. In addition to these moral concerns, economic democracy makes practical claims, such as that it can compensate for capitalism's inherent effective demand gap. Proponents of economic democracy argue that modern capitalism periodically results in economic crises characterized by deficiency of effective demand as society is unable to earn enough income to purchase its output production. Corporate monopoly of common resources creates artificial scarcity, resulting in socio-economic imbalances that restrict workers from access to economic opportunity and diminish consumer purchasing power.
Economic democracy has been proposed as a component of larger socioeconomic ideologies, as a stand-alone theory and as a variety of reform agendas. For example, as a means to securing full economic rights, it opens a path to full political rights, defined as including the former. Both market and non-market theories of economic democracy have been proposed; as a reform agenda, supporting theories and real-world examples range from decentralization and economic liberalization to democratic cooperatives, public banking, fair trade and the regionalization of food production and currency. According to many analysts, deficiency of effective demand is the most fundamental economic problem; that is, modern society does not earn enough income to purchase its output. For example, geographer David Harvey claims, "Workers spending their wages is one source of effective demand, but the total wage bill is always less than the total capital in circulation, so the purchase of wage goods that sustain daily life is never sufficient for the profitable sale of the total output".
While balanced mixed economies have existed throughout history, veteran Project Manager for the U. S. Treasury Department, Richard C. Cook and other critics claim that command economies are predominate, citing state capitalism and imperialism as related; as common resources are monopolized by imperial centers of wealth and power, conditions of scarcity are imposed artificially upon the majority, resulting in large-scale socio-economic imbalance. In the Georgist view of any economic system, "wealth" includes all material things produced by labor for the satisfaction of human desires and having exchange value. Land and capital are considered the essential factors in producing wealth. Land includes all natural forces. Labor includes all human exertion. Capital includes the portion of wealth devoted to producing more wealth. While the income of any individual might include proceeds from any combination of these three sources—land and capital are considered mutually exclusive factors in economic models of the production and distribution of wealth.
According to Henry George: "People seek to satisfy their desires with the least exertion". Human beings interact with nature to produce goods and services that other human beings need or desire; the laws and customs that govern the relationships among these entities constitute the economic structure of a given society. Alternately, David Schweickart asserts in his book, After Capitalism: "The structure of a capitalist society consists of three basic components: "The bulk of the means of production are owned, either directly by individuals or by corporations that are themselves owned by private individuals. "Products are exchanged in a market --, to say and services are bought and sold at prices determined for the most part by competition and not by some governmental pricing authority. Individual enterprises compete with one another in providing goods and services to consumers, each enterprise trying to make a profit; this competition is the primary determinant of prices. "Most of the people who work for pay in this society work for other people, who own the means of production.
Most working people are'wage labourers'". Supply and demand are accepted as market functions for establishing prices. Organisations endeavor to 1) minimize the cost of production. But, according to David Schweickart, if "those who produce the goods and services of society are paid less than their productive contribution" as consumers they cannot buy all the goods produced, investor confidence tends to decline, triggering declines in production and employment; such economic instability stems from a central contradiction: Wages are both a cost of production and an essential source of effective demand, resulting in deficiency of effective demand along with a growing interest in economic democracy. In chapter 3 of his book, "Community Organizing: Theory and Practice", Douglas P. Biklen discusses a variety of perspectives on "The Making of Social Problems". One of those views suggests that "writers and organizers who define social problems in terms of social and economic democracy see problems not as the experiences of poor people, but as the relationship of poverty to wealth and exploitation".
Biklen states that according to this viewpoint: orporate power, upper class power, uneven distribution of wealth and prejudice cause social problems... he problem is not one of poverty, but of enormous wealth. The problem is not one o
State 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 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, local, or municipal levels of government. Public ownership is one of the three major forms of property ownership, differentiated from private, collective/cooperative, common ownership. In market-based economies, state-owned assets are managed and operated as joint-stock corporations with a government owning all or a controlling stake of the company's shares; this form is 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. Governments may 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, enterprises operated under the legal framework of a nominally planned economy, 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. A state-owned enterprise is a commercial enterprise owned by a government entity in a capitalist market or mixed economy. Reasons for state ownership of commercial enterprises are that the enterprise in question is a natural monopoly or because the government is promoting economic development and industrialization. State-owned enterprises may or may not be expected to operate in a broadly commercial manner and may or may not have monopolies in their areas of activity.
The transformation of public entities and government agencies into government-owned corporations is sometimes a precursor to privatization. State capitalist economies are capitalist market economies that have high degrees of government-owned businesses. Public ownership of the means of production is a subset of social ownership, the defining characteristic of a socialist economy. However, state ownership and nationalization by themselves are not socialist, as they can exist under a wide variety of different political and economic systems for a variety of different reasons. 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. In the context of socialism, public ownership implies that the surplus product generated by publicly owned assets accrues to all of society in the form of a social dividend, as opposed to a distinct class of private capital owners.
There is a wide variety of organizational forms for state-run industry, ranging from specialized technocratic management to direct workers' self-management. In traditional conceptions of non-market socialism, public ownership is a tool to consolidate the means of production as a precursor to the establishment of economic planning for the allocation of resources between organizations, as required by government or by the state. State ownership is advocated as a form of social ownership for practical concerns, with the state being seen as the obvious candidate for owning and operating the means of production. Proponents assume that the state, as the representative of the public interest, would manage resources and production for the benefit of the public; as a form of social ownership, state ownership may be contrasted with cooperatives and common ownership. Socialist theories and political ideologies that favor state ownership of the means of production may be labelled state socialism. State ownership was recognized by Friedrich Engels in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific as, by itself, not doing away with capitalism, including the process of capital accumulation and structure of wage labor.
Engels argued that state ownership of commercial industry would represent the final stage of capitalism, consisting of ownership and management of large-scale production and manufacture by the state. Within the UK, public ownership is associated with the Labour Party due to the creation of Clause IV of the Labour Party Manifesto in 1918. Clause IV was written by Fabian Society member, Sidney Webb; when ownership of a resource is vested in the state, or any branch of the state such as a local authority, individual use "rights" are based on the state's management policies, though these rights are not property rights as they are not transmissible. For example, if a family is allocated an apartment, state owned, it will have been granted a tenancy of the apartment, which may be lifelong or inheritable, but the management and control rights are held by various government departments. There is a distinction to be made between state ownership and public property; the former may refer to assets operated by a specific state institution or branch of government, used by that branch, such as a research laboratory.
The latter refers to assets and resources that are available to the entire public for use, such as a public park