Evolution of Socialism

Topics: Communism, Socialism, Marxism Pages: 4 (1190 words) Published: January 16, 2014
The emergence of socialism can be split into three categories based on the reason that it was advocated or as part of a struggle against something. But at first we need to understand where its key tenets originated from. Tracing back to its origin we can look at references made by Plato in his book ‘Republic’. Another extremely important contribution of Plato would be his theory on the ‘Five types of Government’ i.e. Timocracy, Oligarchy, Democracy and Tyranny. This would be of significance given the period of Plato, Socrates and other Greek philosophers’ contributions as they come from a geopolitical era where the structure of the system was completely different from what we have in the modern era. The Hellenistic philosophies like Epicureanism and Stoicism which spoke of how there is need for self-control and free state of nature and how man shouldn’t be interfered by god are significant thoughts and ideologies which later went onto influence perspectives of philosophers from a much later age. But who could be considered to be the father of Socialism and the introduction of one the most crucial piece of literary work would be that of Thomas More – Utopia in 1516. He spoke of an imaginary island called ‘Utopia’ where there was peace and tranquility and a state of absolute equality and happiness: he could be considered who we’d call one of the first Utopian Socialist. Henri Simon or ‘Saint Simonism’ as it went on to be called had renounced his aristocratic title and came to favour a form of meritocracy, becoming convinced that science was the key to progress and that it would be possible to develop a society based on objective principles. His great influence on modern thought is undeniable, both as the historic founder of French socialism, which influenced the thought of Karl Marx, and as suggesting much of Auguste Comte's theory of industrial progress, which in turn influenced Emile Durkheim. One of these ideas is "the Hand of Greed", the image Saint-Simon uses...
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