A new form of social organization, based on a fundamental change in the economic order of society. Socialists believe that the present economic order, in which industry is carried on by private competitive capital, must and ought to pass away, and that the normal economic order of the future will be one with collective means of production and associated labor working for the general good. [The "Britannica," in the same article, cataloguing the varieties of Socialism, includes in the list Anarchism, of which it calls Proudhon the acknowledged father.]
Literally a system of social organization, commonly a designation for all those teachings and aspirations which contemplate a radical change of the existing social and economical order, in favor of a new order more in harmony with the requirements of the general welfare and the sense of justice than the existing order.
Sanders's Wörterbuch der deutscher Sprache:
A system according to which civil society is to be founded on the community of labor and the proportional distribution of the product.
Johnson's Universal Cyclopædia:
Socialism holds an intermediate position between pure Communism and simple co-operation. Unlike Communism, it does not advocate the absolute abolition of property, but aims simply at a more just and equitable distribution of it. Every man according to his capacity, and every capacity according to its work, is the great maxim laid down by Saint Simon, and to carry out this maxim is the great goal of all Socialistic movements.
The name given to a class of opinions opposed to the present organization of society, and which seeks to introduce a new distribution of property and labor, in which organized co-operation rather than competition should be the dominating principle.
The doctrine that society ought to be organized on more harmonious and equitable principles. Communism and co-operation are its principal divisions or varieties. Communism and Socialism are sometimes used as synonymous; but generally the former term refers to the plans of social reform based on or embracing the doctrine of a complete community of goods. Co-operation is understood to be that branch of Socialism which is engaged exclusively with theories of labor and methods of distributing profits, and which advocates a combination of many to gain advantages not to be realized by individuals. Viewed as a whole, Socialistic doctrines have dealt with everything that enters into the life of the individual, the family, the Church, or the State, whether industrially, morally, or spiritually.
A system which, in opposition to the competitive system at present
prevailing, seeks to reorganize society on the basis, in the main, of a