Types of Socialism | Examples of a Socialist State

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Types of Socialism


Since its origin, the concept of socialism has changed adapting to its social, economic and political environment, giving rise to different types such as utopian, scientific or market socialism.

Socialism as a way of understanding socio-economic and political reality had its origin mainly thanks to the work of notable figures such as Engels and Karl Marx. The resulting types of socialism have over time collected its main ideas and developed them.

The conceptual basis of socialism in its origin has always resided in reaching higher levels of equality and solidarity in societies. Thus, through the equitable distribution of wealth and the abolition of the different social classes.

That said, each new historical approach that authors and popularizers have progressively given to socialism with new points of interest, usually adapting the model or system to each historical context.

Main Aspects of Theoretical Socialism

From its birth, socialism took shape through the first socialist and communist postulates, its main roots being with the following:

  • Utopian Socialism: This trend located at the birth of socialist ideas are close to an idealistic or utopian vision. For this reason, the first communist approaches still did not have a clearly negative vision of the effect of capitalism and industrialization of the time.
  • Scientific Socialism: With the publications of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the mid-nineteenth century, socialism acquired a more formal and rigorous theoretical basis. Along with a detailed study of the history and evolution of economic behavior, scientific socialism became mainstream.

Historical Approaches to Socialism

Additionally, and without prejudice to the fact that there are many more forms of socialism, we can say that the main types of socialism are:

  • Market socialism: New currents of thought came to the idea that the market economy approach should not be exclusive to capitalism . In this sense, principles of socialism such as the ownership of the means of production by the workers were combined with the legal gain of profits through business, especially in strategic sectors such as energy.
  • Social Democracy: Rapid growth approach since the mid-20th century based on the relative control of the governments of the economy and finances. In addition, it continues to avoid situations of inequality or abuse in societies while seeking to increase economic well-being.

Among the types of socialism that we do not count as main because they are minority are some such as religious socialism (Arab or Christian), rational Socialism, Ecosocialism, Socialist Zionism or Libertarian Socialism. It should be noted that socialism is one of the currents with more branches that exist.

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