Politics

Study Notes

Common Humanity (Socialism)

Level:
A Level
Board:
AQA, Edexcel

Socialism is built around the assumption that man is a social animal. As such, we seek to realise our goals on a collective basis and thereby co-operate with others to serve the common good.

The socialist stance on human nature differs sharply to all other ideologies. As previously mentioned, human nature can be improved by the overhaul or reform of capitalism. Our behaviour is moulded by societal forces (particularly the economic system) and capitalism cannot facilitate the best of human nature. It is therefore imperative that we replace an unethical, amoral and ‘dog eat dog’ system with a more socially equitable alternative. In doing so, socialism rejects the conservative argument that human nature is immutable and cannot be altered.

Socialism is built around the assumption that man is a social animal. As such, we seek to realise our goals on a collective basis and thereby co-operate with others to serve the common good. All socialists agree that industries should be owned or regulated by the state in order to serve the broader public interest. As such, the socialist position on the role of the state inevitably follows from their perspective on human nature and the importance of community.

Socialists also believe that each of us is of equal worth and opportunities should be spread as widely as possible. This may be achieved via an evolutionary style of politics or a full-blown revolution led by the disaffected. The dependent factor is the strand of socialism in question – an area considered in appropriate detail later. In addition, there is also no natural order or hierarchy. Inequality within a capitalist society is used to justify the way things are, but these are merely as transient as any other social construct. Socialists dare to dream of a better world based upon egalitarianism, fraternity and equality. This has long been part of its appeal and a source of criticism.

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