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A Timeline of Socialism

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on 6 August 2014

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Transcript of A Timeline of Socialism

What is socialism?
Socialism is a economic system that promotes social equality. It believes that wealth distribution and communal involvement is very important. Most socialist consider themselves Marxists in recognition of Karl Marx. Karl Marx believed that wealth should be shared equally between all classes. He believed that the world at the time was a class based society and that the ruling class, the bourgeoise, exploit the labour of the working class, the proletariat, in order to make wealth and profit. Karl Marx wanted everything to be owned by the state and shared equally amongst the countries citizens so that it is fair for everyone. Marx called this the Means of Production. This view was the opposite to Capitalism, which promoted private ownership and wealth. In Marx's eyes, this would mean that all companies would be owned by the state and none privately, so no one could exploit anyone. Marxism can be seen as a the foundations of modern Communism.
Industrial Revolution
The industrial Revolution began around the year of 1760 and ended around the end of the 1800's. In this time there were major changes in mining, transport, technology, agriculture and mainly manufacturing. It vastly effected to socioeconomic and cultural conditions in the United Kingdom and over time, the world. This time brought a greater volume and variety of goods and raised the standard of living for many, mostly the middle and upper class. For the working class people the Industrial Revolution brought many poor living standards as work was dangerous and the workers had to work for very long ours. As workers needed little skill to work on the production lines, they had little job security and children were part of the labour force.
Karl Marx was highly critical of the industrial revolution as he believed it was highly unfair to the workers. He though it took away the workers independence and their pride of work, also the wealth they created was given the the factory owners and they got a very unfair pay compared to what the owner earnt. He planned a revolution to end the exploitation of the working class. Marx was one of few to criticize the capitalism at this time and provide an alternative that many were too scared to say.
A form of communism created by Mao Zedong who came to power into try and provide food, schools, hospitals and work for China's millions. It stressed the importance of small-scale industry and agricultural cohesion. Mao gave women the same rights as men and shared out land amongst the peasants. In his 'Great Leap Forward' every village was meant to be self sufficient to be able to grow its own food and produce tools in small factories. This good intent failed as these plans did not work, leaving many starving and without any resources due to bad harvests and not enough money to fund it
This is Mao Zedong's version of Marxism but is a different form of socialism and Communism. Communism is where there is no government and everyone has the same amount of money. Mao and a lot other Communist leaders refuse to give up their power which makes it different from Karl Marx's ideal form of Communism. Even though Mao's intent was to make his main focus, the farmers, have a better life style, it all fell apart leaving most of the country worse then when he first came into power. The words Mao told them ended up being lies and Mao killed many people to end up staying in power and the 'leader' of the great revolution ended up being a dictator desperate to keep his power.

Humanism is one the the first ideas of socialism which has a rationalist outlook of thought which focus's on human matters rather than divine ot supernatural matter. It was a Renaissance cultural movement which turned away from medieval scholasticism and reviewed interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought. Humanism developed in northern Italy during the 13th and 14th centuries and then spread througout the continent of Europe.
These European scholars valued reason and evidence over doctrine and faith. It became known as humanism because the scholars stressed human innovation rather than spiritalism.
Petrarch (1304-1374), his work led to the rise of people known as Civic Humanists, or those individuals who were civic-minded and looked to the governments of the ancient worlds for inspiration. Petrarch was known as ‘the father of humanism’. Picture here of him.
Humanism showed that the Catholic Church no longer had the power over the people that they once did. From being locked into a society where little was known about the world around us and about where humans fit in, people were beginning to be open to the power of learning and new perceptions.

The enlightenment
Around the middle of the 1700s, a shift in thinking occurred, know as the Enlightenment. The thinkers of the Enlightenment were influenced by the scientific revolutions of the previous century. This scientific revolution gave the impression that the universe behaved according to universal and unchanging laws, e.g Newton Law.
A man called Rousseau, began to question the divine right of Kings and began writing how the King does not actually receive his power from God. Many people realised that the Kings power actually comes from the will of the people. They then thought that the people can also take away this power. Like humanism, the Enlightenment was a time where it opposed traditional Catholicism.They still believed that there is a Gd, but God is not involved in the human affairs such as the rights of kings.
The enlightenment criticism of the monarchy in France who was King Louis XVI at the time and the arisocracy.This combined with poor harvests and the country being in a financial crisis left a lot of French people very angry. From this the French Revolution started in 1789.
American Revolution
The American Revolution started in 1765 and ended in 1783. In this time the 13 American colonies broke from the British Empire and formed a new, independent nation, the United States of America. The American revolution started mainly because of the absence of a titled democracy. The colonies had no legal privileged social classes, also, they had no standing army and the government bureaucracy was much smaller and less powerful than that found in Britain. Furthermore, the presence of slavery was a big cause for the American Revolution to start. The widespread presence of slavery made alot of people aware of the difference between independence and dependence. By the 1770s many Americans saw their society different from the European society. The Americans got their independence in 1783 and this was a turning point in history as the Americans didn't just fight to revolt again British taxes and trade regulations, but for constitutional rights and popular sovereignty.
French Revolution
A few years after the American revolution, in July 14, 1789 the citizens of France attacked Bastille, a prison that represented the tyrannical rule of King Louis and his wife Marie Antoinette. The revolution was influenced by the American Revolution and the Enlightenment in terms of citizenship and democracy. The French people started to become more and more resentful of the privileged few and decided to try and overthrow the Monarchy and instill a new government that would be based on a constitution and in which representatives of the people would run the country. The 'Storming of the Bastille' has become a symbol of the rebellion against the monarchy. 'Bastille Day' is still celebrated in France today, just like Independence Day is still celebrated in America.
The French revolution ultimately ended when Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself emperor in 1804
A Timeline of Socialism
By Matt Nakulski
"The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion to the devaluation of the world of men. Labour produces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity -- and does so in the proportion in which it produces commodities generally."

Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (1844)
Karl Marx 5 May 1818 - 14 March 18
Marx wrote 'The Communist Manifesto' in 1848 which asserted that all human history had been based on class struggles, but this would disappear with the victory of the proletariat.
In 1849 when Marx lived in London, he produced his most important piece of work, 'Das Kapital', which many called the 'bible of the working class'. This work proposed that the motivating force of Capitalism is in the exploitation of labour, whose unpaid work is the ultimate source of profit and surplus value.
Mao Zedong - (1893-1976)
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