Essay on Sociologist Views on the Means and Ends of Socialism

Essay on Sociologist Views on the Means and Ends of Socialism

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Sociologist Views on the Means and Ends of Socialism

Socialism is a very broad ideology, encompassing many different ideas
and viewpoints. Different socialists have disagreed on both the ways
in which they believe socialism should be achieved and implemented,
and on what exactly it is that they want to achieve. The two main
viewpoints I am going to look at in terms of the means of achieving
socialism are revolutionary socialism and evolutionary socialism, and
in terms of the aims of different socialists I am going to discuss
Marxism, including orthodox communism, and also social democracy and
the 'third way'.

Because socialism tends to have an oppositional character, and be seen
as a force for change, the means in which socialism is achieved are
quite significant, and tend to determine the form of socialism which
results from this change. Early socialists believed that socialism
could only be brought about through a revolutionary movement - the
overthrow of the existing regime. Violence was accepted as an
undesirable but necessary part of this process. In the 19th Century
there were two accepted versions of this idea - some socialists
believed the revolution would be carried out by a small group of
dedicated revolutionaries, while others such as Marx and Engels
believed that a class-conscious working class would rise up in a
proletariat revolution and overthrow capitalism. The first successful
socialist revolution was the Russian Revolution of 1917, which was a
coup d’état carried out by a small group of revolutionaries, and this
provided a model for further socialist revolutions.

In the 19th Century revolutionary socialism wa...

... middle of paper ...

watchman’ and social democrats think it should be used to
counterbalance the inequalities in society, ‘third way’ socialists
support a ‘competition state’, whose main goal should be to ensure
national prosperity. It should improve the country’s infrastructure
and concentrate on improving skills and knowledge - education rather
than welfare should be the priority.

In conclusion, I would agree that there has been a lot of disagreement
within socialism, on whether it should be achieved through revolution
or should gradually evolve through democracy, and also on how extreme
or how moderate socialism should be. However, all of these different
viewpoints are all based around the same principles, of community,
cooperation, equality, social class and common ownership, however
drastic or moderate these ideas might be.

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