Political Theories Giving Priority to SocietyJune 28, 2021
The effect of the industrial developments of the nineteenth century on social and economic conditions, while bringing a deep belief in the individual and individual freedom, also drags his criticisms.
While industrial capitalism, which liberalism has given theoretical legitimacy, enables bourgeois individuals to get richer, it causes the workers, who appear as a new class in the same social process, to become increasingly impoverished. The impoverishment and social degradation in the name of individuality, which has become largely palpable, gives birth to the socialist tradition as a critique of market and industrial society and the search for alternatives. Thus, while socialism and liberalism, as two different theories that emerged from the Enlightenment, developed as criticisms of each other, they also formed the axis of the main political debate that prevailed in the first half of the 20th century.
The fact that the laissez-faire economy approach left the worker unprotected at the mercy of the producer brought along harsh working conditions. For this reason, early socialists, including Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, sought an alternative to industrial capitalism and found this alternative in revolution.
At the end of the 19th century, with the spread of unionization, workers’ parties and clubs in liberal Western Europe, the working class gained some rights and became a part of industrial society. The increasing prevalence of workers’ rights causes the socialist movement to split into two: pro-revolutionary communists on the one hand, and reformist socialists or social democrats on the other.
– State-individual-society relations on the axis of socialism
– Stateless society: what is communism and anarchism?
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook