Types of socialism

Types of socialism include a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control[1][2][3] of the means of production[4][5][6][7] and organizational self-management of enterprises[8][9] as well as the political theories and movements associated with socialism.[10] Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity[11] in which surplus value goes to the working class and hence society as a whole.[12] There are many varieties of socialism and no single definition encapsulates all of them,[13] but social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.[1][14][15] Socialists disagree about the degree to which social control or regulation of the economy is necessary, how far society should intervene, and whether government, particularly existing government, is the correct vehicle for change.[16]

As a term, socialism represents a broad range of theoretical and historical socioeconomic systems and has also been used by many political movements throughout history to describe themselves and their goals, generating a variety of socialism types.[10] Socialist economic systems can be further divided into market and non-market forms.[17] The first type of socialism utilize markets for allocating inputs and capital goods among economic units. In the second type of socialism, planning is utilized and include a system of accounting based on calculation-in-kind to value resources and goods wherein production is carried out directly for use.[18][19]

There have been numerous political movements such as anarchism, communism, the labour movement, Marxism, social democracy and syndicalism, whose members called themselves socialists under some definition of the term—some of these interpretations are mutually exclusive and all of them have generated debates over the true meaning of socialism.[2][13] Different self-described socialists have used socialism to refer to different things such as an economic system,[3][4][5][6][7] a type of society,[8] a philosophical outlook,[1] an ethical socialism in the form of a collection of moral values and ideals,[20][21][22][23] or a certain kind of human character.[24] Some of those definitions of socialism are very vague[24] while others are so specific that they only include a small minority of the things that have been described as socialism in the past such as a mode of production,[25] state socialism,[26] or the abolition of wage labour.[27]