The word socialism was first used during the early years of the 19th century but many philosophers and reformers in the past expressed this resentment against inequalities in society and proposed the concept of an egalitarian society. But no pragmatic programs were put forwarded by them during this period. The French revolution of 1789 with its promise of equality provided a new impetus to socialist ideas. It was during the beginning of industrial revolution that the socialist ideas began to emerge as distinct and powerful concept. It was during the early decade of the 19th century the powerful socialist ideas developed different parts of France. St.Simon, Charles Furrier, Robert Owen, Louis Blanc and others proposed their ideas of socialism and Marx and Engels put forwarded their theory of Socialism and communism during the later half of the 19th century.
Most of the systems were Utopian which were not supported by powerful movement and strong theoretical background. But Marx and Engels attacked the Utopian ideas through their works and uphold the course of scientific socialism. Through the theory and class struggle and dialetic materialism, they believed that socialism is a historic necessity. They not only provided the theoretical back ground for socialism and communism but actively involved in the formation of working class organization in the different part of Europe.
Socialism is a political economical theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
In some respects it differs from communism. In fact the goal of the both is the same, ie the establishment of classless society, but there is a difference in them regarding the means of realizing the goal. Communism wants to establish a socialistic society through force or revolution. It does not accept the dialectism and materialism of communism. It believes in liberalism and idealism.
Like communism, socialism is also against capitalism. But instead of snatching the capital from the capitalists it wants to persuade them intelligently to give up the same in democratic manner in favour of the general people. It stands for a mixed economy. It wants that the means of production should be equitably distributed amongst all. It does not want that a major portion of the national income should go in the hands of a few. It wants that the state should control the big industries but at the same time private enterprises, too, should be allowed to exist. In the same way it does not want to abolish the rights of private property, but it wants to reorganize and delimit.
The socialism believes in the power of ballets in place of bullets. It strives to win freedom for the workers through the majority vote in their favours. Socialism wants to establish a welfare state in order that each one may get equal opportunity for development. It stands for individual liberty. It does not want to impose any measure which may be hindrance in the individual freedom. In this respect it believes in democratic methods. It recognizes the importance of manual labour and wants to improve the conditions of labourers both in rural and urban areas. It does not stands for the rules of the working class, but wants the government elected through the popular votes.
Main features of Socialism:-
- Socialism aims at establishing a classless society
- Socialism aims at social justice, equality and the complete supremacy of the state
- Socialism aims at abolishing the capitalist system
- It aims at the active participation of the individual in the productive process of the society
- It has little faith in the religious ideas and faith
- Socialism ignores spiritual values
Indian concept of Socialism:-
Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jaiprakash Narayan, are the greatest supporters of socialism. Gandhiji saw socialism as a way of life. He called it “sarvodaya samaj” in which the gratest goal of all is the end.
The main features of Indian Socialism:-
- It is based on equality between man and man
- Socialism does not sacrifice man for man
- Economic system must be based on human outlook
- It believes in building a classless and castles society
- It stresses equality, freedom and social justice
- It believes in mixed economy, ie public ownership as well as private ownership
- It aims at providing special facilities to the weaker section of society
- It believes in free expression of values
- It is based on democratic ideas
- It believes in “non-violence” means to achieve its goals
- It stresses in decentralization in administration and planning
Education and Socialism:-
Socialism is a socio economic political doctrine which arose as a revolt against the capitalism, in Europe in the 19th century. Karl Marx and Lenin in Russia and Mao in china were the chief architects of socialism. Socialism aims in establishing a classless society based on the total supremacy of the state and total submission of the individual to the state.
Prominent types of Socialism are,
- Democratic socialism
- Christian Socialism
- Fabian socialism
- Ghandian Socialism
- Guild Socialism
- Marxist Leninist Socialism
- Scientific Socialism
Socialism and aims of Education:-
- Development of democratic out look
- Development of socialist values
- Development of secular values
- Providing equality of opportunity to all for their all round development and welfare
- Rapid expansion of educational facilities to all areas
- Developing values like ‘dharma’, dignity of labour, non violence, unselfishness and selfless service etc.
Socialism and curriculum and methods of teaching:-
- Topics like democracy, duties of citizens, equality, freedom, rights, secularism, socialism, social reform movements, non-violence etc. should be taught
- Group activities like debates, discussion, social service camps, social surveys,shramadhan etc. to be organized
- Inclusion of socially useful productive work as an essential component of the social curriculum to be the key note of the curriculum
- Emphasize should be laid on polytechnic education vocational and professional courses
- Introduction of information technology. Its effective use would enable students to do well in the in the age of modernization
- Emphasize should be given to group method like teaching, seminars, projects etc.
- Self discovery method should be encouraged.
Socialization and equalization of educational opportunities:-
- Giving free education to economically and socially weaker students
- Free text books and uniforms to weaker sections
- Award of scholarships
- Grant of loans
- Admission facilities and special quotas for weaker sections, SC and ST
- Hostel facilities
- Day study centers
- Earn and learn facilities
- Special facilities for girls
- Transport facilities
- Special stress on the education of the backward areas, hill areas, slum areas etc
- Running of government schools and local schools
- Common and neighbor hood school system at various places