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October 10, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

The idea of socialism—advocating for more public ownership of property and natural resources to ensure a more egalitarian society—has been around for centuries.

Socialism describes any political or economic theory that says the community, rather than individuals, should own and manage property and natural resources.

The term “socialism” has been applied to very different economic and political systems throughout history, including utopianism, anarchism, Soviet communism and social democracy. These systems vary widely in structure, but they share an opposition to an unrestricted market economy, and the belief that public ownership of the means of production (and making money) will lead to better distribution of wealth and a more egalitarian society.

How Socialism Emerged

Thomas More (1478-1535).

The intellectual roots of socialism go back at least as far as ancient Greek times, when the philosopher . Fall 2019 Edition, Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

Peter Lamb, Historical Dictionary of Socialism (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016)

Glenn Kessler, “What is socialism?” Washington Post, March 5, 2019.

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