Socialism is a social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.
The socialist political movement includes a diverse array of political philosophies. Core dichotomies within the socialist movement include the distinction between reformism and revolutionary socialism and between state socialism and libertarian socialism. State socialism calls for the nationalisation of the means of production as a strategy for implementing socialism, while libertarian socialism generally place their hopes in decentralized means of direct democracy such as libertarian municipalism, citizens' assemblies, trade unions, and workers' councils coming from a general anti-authoritarian stance. Democratic socialism highlights the central role of democratic processes and political systems and is usually contrasted with non-democratic political movements that advocate socialism
If socialism has a future, it may well lie in some form of market socialism. Market socialism promises neither the utopia of the early socialists nor the brave new world that Marx and his followers envisioned as the fulfillment of history. But it does promise to promote cooperation and solidarity rather than competitive individualism, and it aims at reducing, if not eliminating, the class divisions that foster exploitation and alienation. In these respects, this modest, decentralized version of socialism continues to sound the themes that have long inspired people to take up the cause of socialism. Even in Latin America and other places where socialists continue to call for direct, public ownership of natural resources and major industries, they nevertheless leave room for private competition for profits in the marketplace. In one way or another, socialists now seem more interested in bringing the free market under control than in eliminating it completely.
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