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The British Socialism Essay

974 words - 4 pages

The British Socialism

British Socialism has always been a particularly moderate socialist
party. They have mainly been represented by the Labour Party who stand
to represent the interests of the working class within the existing
democratic political framework. Elsewhere in the world there have been
differing examples of Socialism in practise and in theory. Socialism,
in various forms, can be seen to have been used by even the most
primitive of tribes. They practiced common ownership and
egalitarianism however; the Diggers (an English movement 1609-76)
still had a fundamental belief in God. With the rise of capitalism and
its inevitable class structure, socialist ideals of a classless utopia
of equality became popular amongst those at the bottom of the
capitalist pile. The Revolutionary works of Karl Marx where also to
have a fundamental impact on Socialism in the world. In the 20th
century the world has bared witness to the first self- proclaimed
‘communist’ state, the USSR. Under the leader Lenin and Stalin
Socialism has taken on various forms, paying some gratitude to some
Marxist teachings whilst abandoning Marxism upon a totalitarian whim.

The defining feature of communism that separates it apart most from
other ideologies is the core value of equality. By this Socialists
measure equality of outcome within society. They are not content with
the Liberal ‘equality of opportunity’ or ‘formal equality’. However,
although equality of outcome is socialisms most defining feature it is
also the source of most inter-ideological conflict. In its extreme
form, orthodox Marxism absolute social equality is the goal. It is
meant to be achieved by violent revolution, the abolitions of private
property and the fair and equal distribution of wealth. Marx
summarised the distribution of wealth as thus: ‘from each according to
his ability to each according to his needs’. However British
Socialists have never had the opportunity to do anything so extreme.
The UK, in its entire history has never had a revolution, evolution is
the political environment and so the British Socialist, in order to
have a chance in the British system have had to win public support and
settle for socialist principles in moderation. British Socialist
believes in relative equality, advocating redistribution of wealth
through taxation and through the welfare state.

Equality strengthens other socialist principles of community and
co-operation. These in turn are based on a belief that humans are
naturally sociable and are motivated by ‘moral’ incentives. British
Socialism has had to...

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