Ethical socialism

Ethical socialism is a political philosophy that appeals to socialism on ethical and moral grounds as opposed to consumeristic, economic, and egoistic grounds.[1] It emphasizes the need for a morally conscious economy based upon the principles of altruism, cooperation, and social justice while opposing possessive individualism.[2]

In contrast to socialism inspired by historical materialism, Marxist theory, neoclassical economics, and rationalism which base their appeals for socialism on grounds of economic efficiency, historical inevitability, or rationality, ethical socialism focuses on the moral and ethical reasons for advocating socialism.[1] It became the official philosophy of several socialist parties.[3]

Ethical socialism has some significant overlap with Christian socialism,[1] Fabianism,[4] guild socialism,[5] liberal socialism,[6] social-democratic reformism,[7] and utopian socialism.[8] Under the influence of politicians like Carlo Rosselli in Italy, social democrats began disassociating themselves from orthodox Marxism altogether as represented by Marxism–Leninism,[9] embracing an ethical liberal socialism,[6] Keynesianism,[9] and appealing to morality rather than any consistent systematic, scientific or materialist worldview.[10][11]

Social democracy made appeals to communitarian, corporatist, and sometimes nationalist sentiments while rejecting the economic and technological determinism generally characteristic of both economic liberalism and orthodox Marxism.[12]