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Since the beginning of the idea of money, there have been those who have wealth, and those who want it. Utopian socialism is not a new idea, and it has remained popular since its creation. Many people know what socialism is, but not that many know the principles Utopian Socialism. Utopian socialism is not a hard theory to understand, one must first grasp the informal definition, then learn the history, and finally understand how Utopian socialism works and what it is meant to do.

Utopian socialism is an idea of an economic system based on the premise that if capital voluntarily surrendered its ownership of the means of production to the state of the workers, unemployment and poverty would be abolished. In socialism, more specifically utopian, early socialists were Enlightenment rationalists who didn t want to liberate a particular class but rather all of humanity at once. While the thought of utopian society has different definitions and interpretations the first formal definition that was wrote down was by Thomas More in his book Utopia, which was written in 1516. Through the development of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were the men to really put the theory of Utopian Socialism in the minds of educated people as well as the lower class. Although theories of such society were thought up as early as Plato none were as descriptive.

Utopian Socialism first became popular in the first decades of the nineteenth century. This early Utopianism was primarily a literary movement, and had few proposals for bringing about actual social change. Over time, the idea of Utopian Socialism grew in popularity and was expanded upon by Socialist revolutionaries. However, the “Utopian” concept was intended only as an intellectual tool, a method of discourse. It was never intended to be enacted in a real society. Unfortunately, not everyone knew that, and they tried it anyways. It didn’t work. This ideal, however, was still attempted several times in the twentieth century, none of which could claim a large degree of success. Many people tried to bring out a Socialist society, but none has survived more than two or three generations. The idea of trusting the state to bring out the necessary conditions for a Utopia is not a workable one due to the nature of a government. The original theoretical Utopian philosophers understood this. However, their readers did not understand the distinction and were doomed to failure from the start. The idea just did not mesh with the inherent greed and need for personal advancement in human nature.

The idea of Utopian Socialism is the idea that a perfect society could be created where the common people controlled the industry and economy, and therefore society. Poverty and class antagonisms would be terminated as a result. According to Socialist thought, this could only be brought about by the actions of those in authority. They felt that governments, acting as an overseer for society, were most capable to bring about the necessary conditions, after which the people could take over and create the perfect society. Utopian Socialists stressed the State particularly as a means of providing the proper sort of environment. All saw it as an instrument, and as an end, even though most of them lived during times when the State was worshipped and government was absolute and by the few. Many of these so-called early Utopian Socialists sought to create ideal communities, or cooperative communes dedicated to the fair treatment of all individuals of society. Thomas More s Utopia served as the foundation for much of their dream.

Utopian socialism is not an easy theory to grasp; many followers never really understood the true meaning. Utopian socialism is not a hard theory to understand, but by better understanding of the informal definition, learning the history, and finally understanding how Utopian socialism works and what it is meant to do, people in the future will not have the misconceptions and make the same mistakes that have been made in the past.


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