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
Paternalistic conservatism is a strand in conservatism which reflects the belief that societies exist and develop organically and that members within them have obligations towards each other. There is particular emphasis on the paternalistic obligation of those who are privileged and wealthy to the poorer parts of society. Since it is consistent with principles such as organicism and duty, it can be seen an outgrowth of traditional conservatism. Paternal conservatives support neither the individual nor the state in principle, but are instead prepared to support either or recommend a balance between the two depending on what is most practical. One-nation conservatism was first conceived by the Conservative British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who presented his political philosophy in two novels, Sybil, Or The Two Nations and Coningsby, published in 1845 and 1844 respectively. Disraeli's conservatism proposed a paternalistic society with the social classes intact, but with the working class receiving support from the Establishment.
He emphasised the importance of social obligation rather than the individualism that pervaded his society. Disraeli warned that Britain would become divided into two nations as a result of increased industrialisation and inequality. Concerned at this division, he supported measures to improve the lives of the people to provide social support and protect the working classes. Disraeli justified his ideas by his belief in an organic society in which the different classes have natural obligations to one another, he saw society as hierarchical and emphasised the obligation of those at the top to those below. This was based in the feudal concept of noblesse oblige, which asserted that the aristocracy had an obligation to be generous and honourable and to Disraeli this implied that government should be paternalistic. Unlike the New Right, one-nation conservatism takes a pragmatic and non-ideological approach to politics and accepts the need for flexible policies as one-nation conservatives have sought compromise with their ideological opponents for the sake of social stability.
Disraeli justified his views pragmatically by arguing that should the ruling class become indifferent to the suffering of the people, society would become unstable and social revolution would become a possibility. In Europe, Catholic political movements emerged in the 19th century as a response to widespread deterioration of social conditions and rising anti-clerical and democratic tendencies amongst artisans and workers, it mixed social commitment, paternalistic social welfare and authoritarian patronage from above with deepening popular piety. In France, the influence of these doctrines can be seen in the conservative socialism of Albert de Mun and René de La Tour du Pin; the German conservative Lutheran figure Adolf Stoecker founded the Christian Social Workers' Party in 1878 that aimed to align workers with Protestant Christianity and the German monarchy. Stoecker respected existing social hierarchies, but he desired a state that would be active in protecting the poor and vulnerable citizens.
Stoecker on occasion used antisemitic rhetoric to gain support, though he urged supporters to practice Christian love towards Jews. 19th-century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck adopted policies of state-organized compulsory insurance for workers against sickness, accident and old age in what has been nicknamed "Bismarckian socialism", better known as "State Socialism". The term was coined by Bismarck's liberal opposition, but accepted by Bismarck. Bismarck himself was not a socialist and enacted the Anti-Socialist Laws, rather his actions were designed to offset the growth of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Bismarck's policies have been viewed as a form of state socialism. However, Bismark's State Socialism was based upon Romantic political thought in which the state was supreme and carried out Bismarck's agenda of supporting "the protest of collectivism against individualism" and of "nationality against cosmopolitanism" and stated that "the duty of the State is to maintain and promote the interests, the well-being of the nation as such".
The academic equivalent of Bismarck's State Socialism at the time was the Kathedersozialismus of Adolph Wagner and Gustav Schmoller. Schmoller was an opponent of Marxian proletarian socialism. Wagner had been a Manchester liberal, but he had developed into a far-right conservative and antisemite. Kathedersozialists held in common three tenets, namely that "economic freedom cannot be absolute", "the economy must obey ethical as well as practical demands" and "the state must intervene to provide a degree of social justice". Schmoller denied that free trade and laissez-faire economics were suitable for Germany, instead advocating state intervention in the economy to foster industrialism and improving conditions for labourers. Schmoller endorsed the Prussian monarchy as being a "benevolent and mediating institution". Schmoller stated: "A firm monarchy is a great blessing when it is bound up with traditions like those of the Prussian monarchy, which recognizes its duties". A red Tory is an adherent of a political philosophy derived from the Tory tradition, predominantly in Canada, but in the United Kingdom.
This philosophy tends to favour communitarian social policies while maintaining a degree of fiscal discipline and a respect of social and political order. In Canada, red Toryism is found in federal Conservative political parties; the history of red Toryism marks differences in the development of the political cultures of Canada and the United States. Canadian conservatism and American conservatism have been different from each other in fundamental ways, including their stances on social issues and t
Ethical socialism is a political philosophy that appeals to socialism on ethical and moral grounds as opposed to economic and consumeristic grounds. It emphasizes the need for a morally conscious economy based upon the principles of service and social justice while opposing possessive individualism. In contrast to socialism inspired by rationalism, historical materialism, neoclassical economics and Marxist theory which base their appeals for socialism on grounds of economic efficiency, rationality, or historical inevitability, ethical socialism focuses on the moral and ethical reasons for advocating socialism. Ethical socialism had a profound impact on the social democratic movement and reformism during the half of the 20th century in Great Britain. Ethical socialism is distinct in its focus on criticism of the ethics of capitalism and not criticism of the economic and material issues of capitalism; the term ethical socialism originated as a pejorative by the Marxist economist Rosa Luxemburg against reformist revisionist Marxist Eduard Bernstein and his supporters, who evoked Kantian liberal ideals and ethical arguments in favor of socialism.
Self-recognized ethical socialists soon arose in Britain such as Christian socialist R. H. Tawney and its ideals were connected to Christian socialist and guild socialist ideals. Ethical socialism was an important ideology within the British Labour Party. Ethical socialism has been publicly supported by British Prime Ministers Ramsay MacDonald, Clement Attlee and Tony Blair; when the Social Democratic Party of Germany renounced Marxism during the Godesberg Program in the 1950s, ethical socialism became the official philosophy within the SPD. Ethical socialism is distinct in its focus on criticism of the ethics of capitalism and not criticism of economic and material issues of capitalism. R. H. Tawney denounced self-seeking amoral and immoral behaviour that he claimed is supported by capitalism. Tawney opposed what he called the "acquisitive society" that causes private property to be used to transfer surplus profit to "functionless owners", i.e. capitalist rentiers. However, he did not denounce managers as a whole, believing that management and employees could join together in a political alliance for reform.
Tawney supported the pooling of surplus profit through means of progressive taxation to redistribute these funds to provide social welfare and the nationalization of strategic industries and services. He supported worker participation in the business of management in the economy as well as consumer, employee and state cooperation in regulating the economy. Though Tawney supported a substantial role for public enterprise in the economy, he stated that where private enterprise provided a service, commensurate with its rewards, functioning private property a business could be usefully and legitimately be left in private hands. Thomas Hill Green supported the right of equal opportunity for all individuals to be able appropriate property, but claimed that acquisition of wealth did not imply that an individual could do whatever they wanted to once that wealth was in their possession. Green opposed "property rights of the few" that were preventing the ownership of property by the many. Ethical socialism was advocated and promoted by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, influenced by John Macmurray who himself was influenced by Green.
Blair has defined ethical socialism with similar notions promoted by earlier ethical socialists, such as emphasis on the common good and responsibilities and support of an organic society in which individuals flourish through cooperation. Blair believes that the Labour Party ran into problems in the 1960s and 1970s when it "abandoned" ethical socialism and believes that the Labour Party's recovery required a "return to the ethical socialist values last promoted by the Attlee Labour government". Anti-discrimination Communitarianism Free will Holistic community Human dignity Idealism Social market economy Social mobility Women's health Workers rights
Mutualism (economic theory)
Mutualism is an economic theory and anarchist school of thought that advocates a society with free markets and occupation and use property norms. One implementation of this scheme involves the establishment of a mutual-credit bank that would lend to producers at a minimal interest rate, just high enough to cover administration. Mutualism is based on a version of the labor theory of value holding that when labor or its product is sold, in exchange it ought to receive goods or services embodying "the amount of labor necessary to produce an article of similar and equal utility". Mutualism originated from the writings of philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Mutualists disagree with the idea of individuals receiving an income through loans and rent as they believe these individuals are not laboring. Though Proudhon opposed this type of income, he expressed that he had never intended "to forbid or suppress, by sovereign decree, ground rent and interest on capital. I think that all these manifestations of human activity should remain free and voluntary for all: I ask for them no modifications, restrictions or suppressions, other than those which result and of necessity from the universalization of the principle of reciprocity which I propose".
Insofar as they ensure the worker's right to the full product of their labor, mutualists support markets and property in the product of labor. However, they argue for conditional titles to land, whose ownership is legitimate only so long as it remains in use or occupation, thus advocating personal property, but not private property. Although mutualism is similar to the economic doctrines of the 19th-century American individualist anarchists, unlike them mutualism is in favor of large industries. Therefore, mutualism has been retrospectively characterized sometimes as being a form of individualist anarchism and as ideologically situated between individualist and collectivist forms of anarchism as well. Proudhon himself described the "liberty" he pursued as "the synthesis of communism and property"; some consider Proudhon to be an individualist anarchist while others regard him to be a social anarchist. Mutualists have distinguished mutualism from state socialism and do not advocate state control over the means of production.
Benjamin Tucker said of Proudhon that "though opposed to socializing the ownership of capital, aimed to socialize its effects by making its use beneficial to all instead of a means of impoverishing the many to enrich the few by subjecting capital to the natural law of competition, thus bringing the price of its own use down to cost". As a term, mutualism has seen a variety of related uses. Charles Fourier first used the French term mutualisme in 1822, although the reference was not to an economic system; the first use of the noun mutualist was in the New-Harmony Gazette by an American Owenite in 1826. In the early 1830s, a French labor organization in Lyons called themselves the Mutuellists. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was involved with the Lyons mutualists and adopted the name to describe his own teachings. In What Is Mutualism?, Clarence Lee Swartz gives his own account of the origin of the term, claiming that "he word "mutualism" seems to have been first used by John Gray, an English writer, in 1832".
When Gray's 1825 Lecture on Human Happiness was first published in the United States in 1826, the publishers appended the Preamble and Constitution of the Friendly Association for Mutual Interests, Located at Valley Forge. 1826 saw the publication of the Constitution of the Friendly Association for Mutual Interests at Kendal, Ohio. By 1846, Proudhon was speaking of mutualité in his writings and he used the term mutuellisme at least as early as 1848 in his "Programme Révolutionnaire". In 1850, William B. Greene used the term mutualism to describe a mutual credit system similar to that of Proudhon. In 1850, the American newspaper The Spirit of the Age, edited by William Henry Channing, published proposals for a "mutualist township" by Joshua King Ingalls and Albert Brisbane, together with works by Proudhon, William B. Greene, Pierre Leroux and others. Proudhon ran for the French Constituent Assembly in April 1848, but was not elected, although his name appeared on the ballots in Paris, Besançon and Lille.
He was successful in the complementary elections of June 4 and served as a deputy during the debates over the National Workshops, created by the 25 February 1848 decree passed by Republican Louis Blanc. The workshops were to give work to the unemployed. Proudhon was never enthusiastic about such workshops, perceiving them to be charitable institutions that did not resolve the problems of the economic system, he was against their elimination unless an alternative could be found for the workers who relied on the workshops for subsistence. Proudhon was surprised by the French Revolution of 1848, he participated in the February uprising and the composition of what he termed "the first republican proclamation" of the new republic. However, he had misgivings about the new provisional government headed by Jacques-Charles Dupont de l'Eure, who since the French Revolution in 1789 had been a longstanding politician, although in the opposition. Proudhon published his own perspective for reform, completed in 1849, Solution du problème social, in which he laid out a program of mutual financial cooperation among workers.
He believed this would transfer control of economic relations from capitalists and financiers to workers. The central part of his plan was the establishment of a bank to provide credit at a low rate of interest and the issuing of exchange notes that would circulate instead of money based on gold. Mutualism has been associated with two
A cooperative is "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise". Cooperatives may include: businesses owned and managed by the people who use their services organizations managed by the people who work there multi-stakeholder or hybrid cooperatives that share ownership between different stakeholder groups. For example, care cooperatives where ownership is shared between both care-givers and receivers. Stakeholders might include non-profits or investors. Second- and third-tier cooperatives whose members are other cooperatives platform cooperatives that use a cooperatively owned and governed website, mobile app or a protocol to facilitate the sale of goods and services. Research published by the Worldwatch Institute found that in 2012 one billion people in 96 countries had become members of at least one cooperative; the turnover of the largest three hundred cooperatives in the world reached $2.2 trillion.
Cooperative businesses are more economically resilient than many other forms of enterprise, with twice the number of co-operatives surviving their first five years compared with other business ownership models. Cooperatives have social goals which they aim to accomplish by investing a proportion of trading profits back into their communities; as an example of this, in 2013, retail co-operatives in the UK invested 6.9% of their pre-tax profits in the communities in which they trade as compared with 2.4% for other rival supermarkets. Since 2002 cooperatives and credit unions could be distinguished on the Internet by use of a.coop domain. Since 2014, following International Cooperative Alliance's introduction of the Cooperative Marque, ICA cooperatives and WOCCU credit unions can be identified by a coop ethical consumerism label. Cooperation dates back as far. Tribes were organized as cooperative structures, allocating jobs and resources among each other, only trading with the external communities.
In alpine environments, trade could only be maintained in organized cooperatives to achieve a useful condition of artificial roads such as Viamala in 1472. Pre-industrial Europe is home to the first cooperatives from an industrial context; the roots of the cooperative movement can extend worldwide. In the English-speaking world, post-feudal forms of cooperation between workers and owners that are expressed today as "profit-sharing" and "surplus sharing" arrangements, existed as far back as 1795; the key ideological influence on the Anglosphere branch of the cooperative movement, was a rejection of the charity principles that underpinned welfare reforms when the British government radically revised its Poor Laws in 1834. As both state and church institutions began to distinguish between the'deserving' and'undeserving' poor, a movement of friendly societies grew throughout the British Empire based on the principle of mutuality, committed to self-help in the welfare of working people. In 1761, the Fenwick Weavers' Society was formed in Fenwick, East Ayrshire, Scotland to sell discounted oatmeal to local workers.
Its services expanded to include assistance with savings and loans and education. In 1810, Welsh social reformer Robert Owen, from Newtown in mid-Wales, his partners purchased New Lanark mill from Owen's father-in-law David Dale and proceeded to introduce better labour standards including discounted retail shops where profits were passed on to his employees. Owen left New Lanark to pursue other forms of cooperative organization and develop coop ideas through writing and lecture. Cooperative communities were set up in Glasgow and Hampshire, although unsuccessful. In 1828, William King set up a newspaper, The Cooperator, to promote Owen's thinking, having set up a cooperative store in Brighton; the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, founded in 1844, is considered the first successful cooperative enterprise, used as a model for modern coops, following the'Rochdale Principles'. A group of 28 weavers and other artisans in Rochdale, England set up the society to open their own store selling food items they could not otherwise afford.
Within ten years there were over a thousand cooperative societies in the United Kingdom. Other events such as the founding of a friendly society by the Tolpuddle Martyrs in 1832 were key occasions in the creation of organized labor and consumer movements. Friendly Societies established forums through which one member, one vote was practiced in organisation decision-making; the principles challenged the idea that a person should be an owner of property before being granted a political voice. Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century there was a surge in the number of cooperative organisations, both in commercial practice and civil society, operating to advance democracy and universal suffrage as a political principle. Friendly Societies and consumer cooperatives became the dominant form of organization amongst working people in Anglosphere industrial societies prior to the rise of trade unions and industrial factories. Weinbren reports that by the end of the 19th century, over 80% of British working age men and 90% of Australian working age men were members of one or more Friendly Society.
From the mid-nineteenth century, mutual organisations embraced these ideas in economic enterprises, firstly amongst tradespeople, in cooperative stores, educational institutes, financial institutions and industrial enterprises. The common thread (enacte
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
Marxism is a theory and method of working class self-emancipation. As a theory, it relies on a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation, it originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Friedrich Engels. Marxism uses a methodology, now known as historical materialism, to analyze and critique the development of class society and of capitalism as well as the role of class struggles in systemic economic and political change. According to Marxist theory, in capitalist societies, class conflict arises due to contradictions between the material interests of the oppressed and exploited proletariat—a class of wage labourers employed to produce goods and services—and the bourgeoisie—the ruling class that owns the means of production and extracts its wealth through appropriation of the surplus product produced by the proletariat in the form of profit.
This class struggle, expressed as the revolt of a society's productive forces against its relations of production, results in a period of short-term crises as the bourgeoisie struggle to manage the intensifying alienation of labor experienced by the proletariat, albeit with varying degrees of class consciousness. In periods of deep crisis, the resistance of the oppressed can culminate in a proletarian revolution which, if victorious, leads to the establishment of socialism—a socioeconomic system based on social ownership of the means of production, distribution based on one's contribution and production organized directly for use; as the productive forces continued to advance, Marx hypothesized that socialism would be transformed into a communist society: a classless, humane society based on common ownership and the underlying principle: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, with the result that there is now no single definitive Marxist theory.
Different Marxian schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while rejecting or modifying other aspects. Many schools of thought have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts, which has led to contradicting conclusions; however there is movement toward the recognition that historical materialism and dialectical materialism remains the fundamental aspect of all Marxist schools of thought. Marxism has had a profound impact on global academia and has influenced many fields such as archaeology, media studies, political science, history, art history and theory, cultural studies, economics, criminology, literary criticism, film theory, critical psychology and philosophy; the term "Marxism" was popularized by Karl Kautsky, who considered himself an "orthodox" Marxist during the dispute between the orthodox and revisionist followers of Marx. Kautsky's revisionist rival Eduard Bernstein later adopted use of the term. Engels did not support the use of the term "Marxism" to describe either his views.
Engels claimed that the term was being abusively used as a rhetorical qualifier by those attempting to cast themselves as "real" followers of Marx while casting others in different terms, such as "Lassallians". In 1882, Engels claimed that Marx had criticized self-proclaimed "Marxist" Paul Lafargue, by saying that if Lafargue's views were considered "Marxist" "one thing is certain and, that I am not a Marxist". Marxism analyzes the material conditions and the economic activities required to fulfill human material needs to explain social phenomena within any given society, it assumes that the form of economic organization, or mode of production, influences all other social phenomena—including wider social relations, political institutions, legal systems, cultural systems and ideologies. The economic system and these social relations form a superstructure; as forces of production, i.e. technology, existing forms of organizing production become obsolete and hinder further progress. As Karl Marx observed: "At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or—this expresses the same thing in legal terms—with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto.
From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Begins an era of social revolution"; these inefficiencies manifest themselves as social contradictions in society which are, in turn, fought out at the level of the class struggle. Under the capitalist mode of production, this struggle materializes between the minority who own the means of production and the vast majority of the population who produce goods and services. Starting with the conjectural premise that social change occurs because of the struggle between different classes within society who are under contradiction against each other, a Marxist would conclude that capitalism exploits and oppresses the proletariat, therefore capitalism will lead to a proletarian revolution. Marxian economics and its proponents view capitalism as economically unsustainable and incapable of improving the living standards of the population due to its need to compensate for falling rates of profit by cutting employee's wages, social benefits and pursuing military aggression.
The socialist system would succeed capitalism as humanity's mode of production through workers' revolution. According to Marxian crisis theory, socialism is not an economic necessity. In a sociali