What Role Does Equality Play in Socialism.

Topics: Socialism, Marxism, Communism Pages: 5 (1732 words) Published: March 11, 2013
What role does equality play in socialist ideology?

Socialism as a political ideology has been best defined by its upmost opposition to capitalism. It has offered an alternative economic and social structure for society with the principle of equality at its core. The feature of equality for socialism is seen to allow the maximisation of human freedom in the sense that it allows and provides satisfaction in terms of material needs and provides the basis for personal development as a result. As a result it is seen that without equality society will be doomed as the features of capitalism will create oppression on humanity, this again portrays the utilitarian and pluralistic nature of socialism. The biggest problem for most socialists and especially Marxists is capitalisms ability to divide society into sections, these being social classes. As a result this causes an imbalance in society in which different social class hold different degrees of equality in terms of opportunity and outcome, thus creating a structure of economic hierarchy. Socialism also inherits other principles such as community, cooperation and common ownership all of which allow a larger degree and maximisation of social cohesion and stability alongside economic equality for society. However socialism can be seen as an ideology with a passion and effort towards industrial equality; a theory of social evolution, and an organized International movement. Nevertheless within socialism there are also debates over the role of equality this has subsequently partial led to the creation of different forms of socialism forming utopian socialism, reformist state socialism, and ethical, pluralist, and market socialism In this essay I will explain and illustrate the role of equality through the spectrum of socialism.

Utopian socialism is the idea that collective ownership eliminates greed and promotes personal growth, cultural enrichment, and democracy. People would work for the common good in jobs of their choice, Prices would be unessential, because there would be as much joy from giving as from getting; supplying and demanding would be equally satisfying. It is seen that utopian socialism is one of the earliest forms of socialism, which was first emphasised by the works of Henri de Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier, and Robert Owen and is said to of inspired the early works of Karl Marx himself. The term utopian socialists are the name given in an era prior to the development of industrial capitalism. Therefore the main feature of equality within utopian socialism was not defined by the oppression or negativity of the capitalist system. In fact utopian socialists merely had the desire for an egalitarian society without the scientific analysis of evolution; this can be seen due to the feudalistic nature of the present culture of that time alongside vigorous religious restrictions and ideology. Utopian socialism was initially provoked in Britain during the first quarter of the 19th century, in which it was religiously motivated. The decaying feudal society had provoked the question of fairness and equality as many had very little, and faced hardship of famine and poverty. However this was seen to of been aggravated by the church that represented the feudal ruling class, whose aim it was to keep the working class peasants continuously exploited. Fourier is seen as one of the most passionate utopian socialists, he had called himself the ‘Messiah of reason’ and much like Rousseau he argued that society was dominated by bourgeois ideology and hegemony in which created an unnatural civilisation.  Fourier proposed a completely non-repressive society in which basic human drives would not be repressed but expressed and cultivated. This is seen to be main feature of utopian socialism the vision of an all perfect society which enables individuals and society together to progress to their fullest with egalitarianism.

Another form of socialism that transcribes the feature...
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