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Short History of Socialism - Essay Example

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Short History of Socialism

But if anthropologists wish to engage the contemporary world and come to terms with all its interconnectedness they certainly cannot afford to ignore the role of intellectuals in shaping-and occasionally perhaps inventing-new cultural traditions. Holy's portrayal of the actors who, as the voices of the Scandinavian nation, precipitated that country's 'Velvet Revolution' is the most dramatic of a number of illustrations provided in this volume, several of which deal with Africa.
Socialism when analyzed, is found to embrace four main elements. The first of these is the common ownership of the material instruments of production. It is not stated precisely how this common ownership is to be brought about, or exactly what form it is to take (Lichtheim, 1970).. Opinions may and do differ about the practical steps which are to be taken to secure the desired end, and also about the nature of the collective organization in which this ownership is to be vested. But no one can be called a socialist in the modern technical sense who does not accept the doctrine of the common ownership of the material instruments of production. ...
It is simply necessary to exercise one's imagination, and to picture to one's self the extension of that which already exists in a comparatively small way (Lichtheim, 1970).. It is said substantially all land and capital, because it is held that it is not necessary that the common ownership should be absolutely all-inclusive. It is a weakness of the extremists to insist on all -- inclusiveness in common ownership, which much damages their cause. What is necessary is that the collective ownership should become dominant in such manner as to control all other ownership and confine it within narrow limits. All the great instruments of production, like telegraphs, telephones, railways, forests, arable lands, and large manufacturing plants, must become collective property; but socialism does not imply that it is necessary to restrict individuals in the acquisition of the instruments of production on a small scale, -- for example, a wheelbarrow or a cart. Socialism, then, presented in the strongest form, does not proceed so much negatively as constructively. Society is to acquire the instruments of production; but individuals, for the most part, are not to be restrained, except indirectly, by positive social action.
Modern socialism is the natural outcome of modern industrial conditions, and its origin is contemporaneous with the origin of those conditions. We must seek its beginnings in the beginnings of modern industry. We can express this thought differently by saying that modern socialism is the product of the industrial revolution. It has grown with this revolution, becoming international as the industrial revolution has spread over the nations of the ...Show more


The chapter 10 of George Lichtheim The Short History of examines the 'ruling classes' and political elites under socialism has exercised other disciplines for many years, and although a good case might be made for more ethnographic work in this field, little was in evidence at the conference (Lichtheim, 1970)…
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Short History of Socialism essay example
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