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Transformations In American Society During

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Transformations In American Society During

The Market Revolution


Socialism is a difficult concept to describe, partially because the concept has been continually developing over the last two centuries, and partly because no distinctively socialist template has ever become a successful technique of governing a modern nation. By asking a socialist as to the definition of socialism, the answer would more likely confirm what socialism is not. Socialism is not capitalism. It is not exploitation. It does not mean that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. (Heym) Although socialism cannot necessarily be defined, it has played an important role in international political history and has left an impact on the political society of today.

Socialism would not have been established without the influence of the revolutionary thinkers of Karl Marx, Henri de Saint-Simon, and Robert Owen. Individually each of these men influenced the development of the socialist movement. Karl Marx was philosopher, social scientist, historian, and revolutionary, who was without a doubt the most influential socialist thinker to emerge in the nineteenth century. Marx believed that capitalism would be replaced by radical socialism which in turn would develop into a communism - a classless society. Marx’s most acclaimed works include The Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital, and Value Price and Profit. In the work of The Communist Manifesto Marx was able to distinguish socialism from communism, while establishing the concept of scientific socialism (which over time became more commonly known as Marxism). Marx viewed a socialist society as a stage in history as a transition between capitalism and the higher phase of communist society in which human beings no longer suffer from alienation and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly. (Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx) Henri de Saint-Simon was also very influential in the development of socialism. Saint-Simon was the historic founder of French socialism. Saint-Simon was a utopian-socialist who created a theory based on human greed. This theory consisted of the belief that All people have the motivation to try to gain a higher place [in society], no matter how insignificant the higher status at which their aim may be. He began the Saint-Simonian" movement, (a type of semi-mystical "Christian-Scientific socialism). In order to create this utopian socialist society, society must eliminate this selfish way of thinking and behaving. He proposed that production and distribution be controlled by the state, and that permitting equal opportunity would lead to social harmony, and the state could be virtually eliminated. Robert Owen (like Saint-Simon) held beliefs in the philosophy of utopian-socialism. Owen created a variety of socialist works including The New View of Society, the Book of the New Moral World, and Revolution in the Mind and Practice of the Human Race. Owen led the transformation of society into small, local collectives without such elaborate systems of social organization, in attempt to defeat poverty. In The New View of Society, Owen suggested "a plain, simple, practical plan which would not contain the least danger to any individual, or to any part of society," which had the goal of making the poor independent and self-supporting. In one of his later works, The Social System, Owen wrote, There is but one mode by which man can possess in perpetuity all the happiness which his nature is capable of enjoying, - that is by the union and co-operation of ALL for the benefit of EACH. The contributions of these three revolutionary leaders created the socialist movement and defined the various existing forms of socialism.

Socialism emerged in the early nineteenth century, in Western Europe. There were several occurrences of socialistic attitudes before the nineteenth century, including Plato’ Republic, and Utopia by Thomas More. During the Enlightenment (eighteenth century), inequality was critiqued in the work of political theorists. In France, Jean Jacques Rousseau, wrote Social Contract which began with the socialist idea and quote, "Man is born free, and he is everywhere in chains. The concept known of today as socialism was not created until the nineteenth century, by Pierre Leroux in 1834. The birth of socialist ideas in Britain and France (and would later include Germany and Italy) were a result of the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution had many profound effects on European civilization. It rendered much of the old aristocracy irrelevant, and raised the middle class to economic and political power, as well as drafting the majority of the peasant class into its factories. During the Industrial Revolution citizens felt as though their work had been reduced due to monotonous industrial assembly line, this led to a great uprising. Worker strikes became common, along with citizens in search for greater political representation. Market economy was bad because it turned the labor of workers into commodity; the solution was the elimination of a market economy and instituting that пÑ--Ð...each person produces according to what he can/each takes according to what he needs" (Rise of Marxism)The industrial workers produced the most and therefore should assume leadership in a socialist society. In response to the popularity of socialism, many European governments developed measures to include the radicalism of their workers. Throughout Europe, socialism was adopted by the citizens, during the 1830s, and thereafter the term was used to refer to those groups aiming at some kind of new social order resting on an economic and social conception of human rights.

Although socialism is no longer a commonly accepted ideology, it has influenced society. Socialism has re-emerged in a select few Latin American countries, in the past few years. Leaders in countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia consider their political system to be socialist. After winning re-election in



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