Definition of socialism in US English:

socialism

noun

  • 1A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

    The term “socialism” has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammeled workings of the economic market.The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late 19th century have generally tended toward social democracy

    • ‘Under socialism, production would be planned and organised to meet the needs of society and its members.’
    • ‘For any socialist organization, implementing socialism should be the goal.’
    • ‘They believe in a common vision for humanity (once it was socialism; now it has mutated into liberal democracy).’
    • ‘Paul Foot was throughout his life a passionate fighter for freedom, justice, internationalism, socialism and democracy.’
    • ‘Under socialism or communism, producers of profit and receivers of profit are the same people.’
    • ‘With the advent of Karl Marx, socialism became a science.’
    • ‘It is well known that Stalin first openly advanced his theory of socialism in one country in the fall of 1924.’
    • ‘She believes deeply in her heart that you can have genuine socialism.’
    • ‘It is conventional to associate capitalism with the private ownership of the means of production and socialism with collective ownership.’
    • ‘The idea is developed using Gramsci to show how parliamentary democracy in the west is an ideological barrier to socialism.’
    • ‘Hence, the development of socialism is internally inseparable from the growth of democracy.’
    • ‘Within genuine socialism, politics and the economy are connected.’
    • ‘This relatively new ideology was based in socialism, and shared some views with nihilism.’
    • ‘Ideas of socialism, and socialist organisation, are coming to the fore in this movement.’
    • ‘In the end, market socialism does appear attractive on distributional grounds.’
    • ‘Since the 1920s, Trotsky fought against the Stalinist theory of socialism in one country.’
    • ‘These poets, it must be remembered, emerged out of a highly politicized milieu, where socialism was the word of the hour.’
    • ‘They thought socialism as an economic system was the necessary analog to democracy as a political system.’
    leftism, fabianism, syndicalism, consumer socialism, utopian socialism, welfarism
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    1. 1.1 Policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
      • ‘In it Khodorkovsky argued that Russia's salvation lay in adopting some of the principles and politics of socialism.’
      • ‘The late Andre Gunder Frank, towards the end of a lifetime's research on capitalism and socialism, concluded that neither actually exist.’
      • ‘What has been falsely called socialism is nothing but state-capitalism.’
      • ‘There must be a judicious mix of capitalism and socialism.’
      • ‘Most Western socialists now opt for social democracy, others for market socialism.’
      • ‘Different historical and social contexts have shaped the political goals of liberal socialism.’
      • ‘Less well known are Reichenbach's social/political writings which advocate a non-Marxist socialism.’
      • ‘It is not hard to imagine the painting as a condemnation of the Soviet version of socialism that followed fascism in Hungary.’
      • ‘Orwell's frustration was tempered by his growing realisation of the significance of the militia as an example of how socialism itself could be organised.’
      • ‘Alex spells out in some detail how a democratically planned socialism could work, and why to do so it must be an international system.’
      • ‘Under socialism, economic and social equality increased as variation in herd size and wealth levels was reduced.’
      • ‘That little bit of socialism, or communism if you will, has done a whole lot of good as far as almost eliminating illiteracy.’
      • ‘If a proposal for or against socialism or capitalism is not a public policy, I do not know what is.’
      • ‘He believed in modernizing socialism, abandoned Marxist rhetoric, and replaced it by a responsible managerial attitude to the economy.’
      • ‘However, I am also worried that traditional versions of socialism prioritise industrial development over sustainability.’
      • ‘Old models of ‘one party, authoritarian states’ were rejected as incompatible with democratic socialism.’
      • ‘We should not get into the ideology of capitalism versus socialism in health care.’
      • ‘In spite of socialist rhetoric and tight economic controls, socialism was in no way a serious prospect.’
      • ‘A positive political programme that promotes socialism needs to be utilised to win over working class communities.’
      • ‘Market socialism retains but restricts the power of the market.’
      leftism, fabianism, syndicalism, consumer socialism, utopian socialism, welfarism
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
      • ‘The truth is that socialists don't believe socialism will automatically rise from the wreckage of capitalism.’
      • ‘I want to go back to Marx and Engels, and argue that socialism was impossible before capitalism.’
      • ‘Accordingly, socialism was a transitional phase to a Communist society, in which all ownership was abolished.’
      • ‘For long, misuse of the environment was treated in the Soviet Union as something that happens under capitalism but not under socialism.’
      • ‘One of the quotes which was repeatedly cited by Stalin concerned the difference drawn by Marx between socialism and communism.’
      • ‘Consistent with promoting socialism and communism, he criticized capitalism and the United States.’
      • ‘He is very good on revolution and ideology and writes extensively on capitalism and socialism and the rise of the Soviet Union.’
      • ‘What is the necessary transitional stage between socialism and Communism?’
      • ‘There are many aspects to this, but the most basic is in relation to the scientific conception of socialism developed by Karl Marx.’
      • ‘The transition from socialism to communism is a terribly complicated matter.’
      • ‘In light of the historic failure of state-organised socialism what might replace capitalism if and when it becomes a drag on human development?’
      • ‘You don't seem to know the difference between capitalism, communism and socialism.’
      • ‘As to whether it should specifically state its aim as being the replacement of capitalism by socialism, I am somewhat torn on the matter.’
      • ‘When Marxists believed that socialism was inevitable, there was no need to explain why it was desirable.’
      • ‘The Russian Revolution itself was but one episode in the transition from capitalism to socialism.’
      • ‘The welfare state seemed to confirm the reformability of capitalism and the viability of a third way between capitalism and socialism.’
      • ‘The Fabian Society was founded to gradually replace capitalism with socialism, but now they are rapidly moving in the opposite direction.’
      • ‘This great event would usher in the historical stage of production known as socialism.’
      • ‘Marx, after all, had predicted that revolution, and the transition to socialism, would occur first in the most advanced capitalist societies.’
      • ‘The force that is capable of bringing down capitalism and establishing socialism is constantly renewing itself.’

Origin

Early 19th century: from French socialisme, from social (see social).

Pronunciation

socialism

/ˈsōSHəˌlizəm//ˈsoʊʃəˌlɪzəm/