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Socialism: A Brief Taxonomy

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socialism-brief-taxonomy

Socialism: A Brief Taxonomy

02/15/2020 Allen Gindler

There are myriads of words written about socialism, and yet lots of misconceptions about it still exist even in the minds of those who are on the opposite side of the political spectrum. The most striking and frequent blunders are the identification of socialism exclusively with Marxism, the confusion between the concepts of socialism and communism, and the claim that fascism and National Socialism belong to the right, to name a few.

It is necessary to give a comprehensive definition of socialism, determine the principal attributes that indicate belonging to socialism, and to classify the socialist trends on these grounds to clarify the concept once and for all.

The contemporary meaning of socialism often runs along the lines that it is a politico-economic theory in which the means of production, wealth distribution, and exchange are supposed to be owned and regulated by the community as a whole. This characterization of socialism emphasizes its important economic features; however, it cannot be considered a comprehensive definition. The wording implies a narrow understanding of socialism from the point of view of materialist and positivist currents of socialism but does not fully encompass the features exhibited in antimaterialist, anti-Cartesian, and Kantian members of the socialist family.   :snip: 

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