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Portal:Socialism

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Socialism is a political, social, and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management of enterprises. It includes the political theories and movements associated with such systems. Social ownership can be public, collective, cooperative or of equity. While no single definition encapsulates many types of socialism, social ownership is the one common element.


Socialist systems are divided into non-market and market forms. Non-market socialism substitutes factor markets and money with integrated economic planning and engineering or technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing a different economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws and dynamics than those of capitalism. A non-market socialist system therefore eliminates the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system in capitalism. The socialist calculation debate, originated by the economic calculation problem, concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a planned socialist system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of socially owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them. Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend.

Socialist politics has been both internationalist and nationalist in orientation; organised through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions and at other times independent and critical of them; and present in both industrialised and developing nations. Social democracy originated within the socialist movement, supporting economic and social interventions to promote social justice. While retaining socialism as a long-term goal, since the post-war period it has come to embrace a Keynesian mixed economy within a predominantly developed capitalist market economy and liberal democratic polity that expands state intervention to include income redistribution, regulation and a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism, with more democratic control of companies, currencies, investments and natural resources.

The socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production. By the 1920s, communism and social democracy had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement, with socialism itself becoming the most influential secular movement of the 20th century. While the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, many socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements such as environmentalism, feminism and progressivism.

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Leninism is the political theory for the organization of a revolutionary vanguard party and the achievement of a dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism. Developed by and named for the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, Leninism comprises socialist political and economic theories, developed from Marxism, and Lenin's interpretations of Marxist theories, for practical application to the socio-political conditions of the Russian Empire of the early 20th century.

Functionally, the Leninist vanguard party was to provide the working class with the political consciousness (education and organization) and revolutionary leadership necessary to depose capitalism in Imperial Russia. After the October Revolution of 1917, Leninism was the dominant version of Marxism in Russia, and, in establishing soviet democracy, the Bolshevik régime suppressed socialists who opposed the revolution, such as the Mensheviks and factions of the Socialist Revolutionary Party. The Russian Civil War (1917–22) thus included left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks (1918–1924) that were suppressed in the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR), before incorporation to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922.


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Evo Morales
Juan Evo Morales Ayma (born October 26, 1959), popularly known as Evo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈeβo]), is a Bolivian politician and cocalero activist who has been serving as President of Bolivia since 2006. Widely regarded as the country's first president to come from the indigenous population, his administration has focused on the implementation of leftist policies, poverty reduction, and combating the influence of the United States and multinational corporations in Bolivia. A socialist, he is the head of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party.

Born to an Aymara family of subsistence farmers in Isallawi, Orinoca Canton, Morales undertook a basic education before mandatory military service, in 1978 moving to Chapare Province. Growing coca and becoming a trade unionist, he rose to prominence in the campesino ("rural laborers") union. In that capacity he campaigned against U.S. and Bolivian attempts to eradicate coca as part of the War on Drugs, denouncing these as an imperialist violation of indigenous Andean culture. His involvement in anti-government direct action protests resulted in multiple arrests. Morales entered electoral politics in 1995, became the leader of the MAS and was elected to Congress. His campaign focused on issues affecting indigenous and poor communities, advocating land reform and the redistribution of gas wealth. He gained increased visibility through the Cochabamba protests and gas conflict. In 2002 he was expelled from Congress for encouraging protesters, although he came second in that year's presidential election.

Morales has been praised for significantly reducing poverty and illiteracy in Bolivia and has been internationally decorated with various awards. His supporters have lauded him as a champion of indigenous rights, anti-imperialism, and environmentalism. Alternately, a number of leftist, indigenous, and environmentalist critics have accused him of failing to live up to many of his espoused values, while right-wing opponents have accused him of being excessively radical and authoritarian and claimed that his defence of coca contributes to illegal cocaine production.


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