Emergence of Socialism - Civil Services Preparation Online! UPSC & IAS Study Material

Emergence of Socialism

by Devender

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The rise of Industrialization and capitalism had both positive and negative impacts on people's lives. The negative impact was it brought a lot of unemployment, crowded cities with unhealthy lifestyle and working conditions. It also led to rivalry and conflict between different nations.

Emergence of Socialism

Working men finally got the right to vote and elect their candidates to represent them in assembly. They were able to eliminate many evils that industrialization brought with it. Capitalism was also under threat from the idea of socialism which developed against the evils of capitalism.

The idea of socialism attracted workers, they were able to improve their conditions. Thoughts of socialism additionally emerged what while perceiving the significance of Machines and making them far superior, pointed toward taking care of the issues made by private enterprise, by building another social request.

The thought developed that, the private enterprise itself is shrewd and should be supplanted by an alternate kind and monetary framework wherein the methods a creation would be claimed by the general public all in all and not by a couple of people.

  • Rise of Socialism:
  • Many philosophers and social reformers were not happy with the inequality in society and wanted a system that treated everyone equally but these were nothing more than just dreams.

  • French revolution promised equality but it didn't happen
  • The conditions in France worsen after French Revolution which made people angry
  • It led to Babeuf's Conspiracy, an attempt to overthrow the current government

  • Babeuf's Conspiracy:
  • It was an important event in the history of socialism. Babeuf was born in 1760 and he participated in the French revolution. After the revolution, he organized a secret society known as the "Society of the Equals". This society planned an uprising but the government came to know about it and arrested all the leaders including Babeuf and executed them.

    Babeuf's attempt to overthrow the government failed but his ideology lived on and influenced the growth of the socialist movement. In a manifesto, Babeuf declared his ideas:

  • Nature gave everyone an equal right to the enjoyment of all goods…..In a true society, there is no room for either rich or poor
  • it was necessary to make another revolution which would do away "with the terrible contrasts between rich & poor, masters and servants!"
  • The time has come to set up the republic of equals, whose welcoming doors will be open to all mankind

  • Utopian Socialists:
  • During the late 18th century to mid 19th century, socialists like Saint Simon, Charles Fourier, Robert Owen viewed property to its usefulness in society. They also recognized the evils of Capitalism and wanted a new and better system of society that was free from exploitation and where everyone contributes and shares the fruits of their labor.

    Their ideas were noble but impractical and ineffective. Thus, they were called the Utopian socialists. Saint Simon also gave a slogan "from each according to his capacity, to each according to his work".

  • Blanqui:
  • Louis Blanqui was a revolutionary who helped in spreading the idea of socialism and also played important role in every uprising in Paris during 1830-1871. He thought a revolution can capture power to bring socialism.

  • Communist League:
  • The members of this group were diverse from different countries of Europe. Its slogan was "All men are brothers". In 1847, the name was changed to "Communist League" and its new aim became "the downfall of the bourgeoisie, the rule of the proletariat, the overthrow of the old society of middle class, based on class distinction, and the establishment of a new society without classes & without private property".

    The league had a journal that carried the slogan "Proletarians of all lands, Unite!". It also instructed Karl Marx and Frederick Engels to draft a manifesto.

  • Marxian Socialism:
  • Karl Marx and his associate Frederick Engles created a manifesto that first appeared in Germany in 1848. Both these men were born in Germany but spent most of their lives outside Germany.

    They provided a new direction to socialist ideology and movement through their writings and movements. Their philosophy is known as Marxism and it influenced every field of knowledge.

    Manifesto of communist:

  • The aim of the workers around the world should be to overthrow capitalism and establishment of socialism
  • "In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class differences", it said "appears an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all"
  • Socialism is not only desirable but also inevitable
  • Capitalism doesn't serve the needs of men and should be replaced with a better system best suited to human needs

  • Marxism Philosophy:
  • Marx analyzed the working of capitalism in his famous work Das Kapital (Capital) and pointed out the characteristics that would lead to its destruction.

  • Workers produced more value than they get in form of wages
  • Interests of workers and capitalists are irreconcilable
  • Economic crises were inevitable under capitalism
  • Production should be carried out for social good rather than just profits of a few

When this manifesto came out, revolutions broke out in almost every country of Europe. The main aim of these revolts was to overthrow the current governments and replace them with democratic governments.

Workers emerged as major forces in these revolutions who were inspired by ideas of socialism. However, all these revolutions were crushed.

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