Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
John Thomas Callaghan
By the final third of the 19th century, socialism had emerged in Europe, both as a critique of liberalism and as the only comprehensive alternative to it. In this sense, socialism was an intellectual reckoning with the world created by the British industrial revolution and the French Revolution of 1789, and it was initially confined to dissident groups within these two countries. But like its main ideological rival, socialism came in many competing, dynamic varieties. Uniquely, socialism in all of these varieties was concerned with understanding the world both as it is and as it might be or would become. As such, it represented an alternative socioeconomic system to capitalism based on principles of egalitarianism and collectivism. The main currents of socialism also became champions of democracy. Socialists and liberals drew on a common stock of Enlightenment assumptions. In this view, humankind had struggled successfully to control nature by the ...