Utopian socialism is an initial current of socialist and communist sociological theory focused on a more egalitarian and just society alternatively to the class struggle of traditional socialism.
Utopian socialism is considered to be the basis on which later socialist thought was developed. Its origin is led by the one who is considered the founding father of the movement: Henri Saint-Simon. Later, other authors such as Charles Fourier, with the phalansteries, Robert Owen with cooperative socialism or even Étienne Cabet were completing (although with differences) this concept. All of them are included, in some way, within this socialist current. While it is true that thinkers like Fourier tried to get out of this utopia to carry out their ideas.
Faced with the more traditional or scientific trend established by Karl Max's Communist Manifesto, scholars of the utopian socialism aspect base social advance on the distribution of goods in the community, as well as work.
Conceptually, the scientific and industrial advance that occurred in those years should serve, according to utopian socialism, for the improvement of the conditions of society as a whole and not only for the bourgeois possessing factors of production.
This theory has socialist thinkers, notably Charles Fourier, who developed his point of view in the 19th century in the process of creating socialist and communist approaches after the Industrial Revolution.
Initial conceptualization of utopian socialism
In a sense, the sensitivity of utopian socialism makes it a trend closer to idealism or utopia, while scientific socialism is more identified with the practical or material application of its foundations in reality within states.
For this reason, this tendency is usually identified as the result of the first communist approaches prior to the more formal development of their theories and the study of the effects produced, from their point of view, by capitalism in societies.
Characteristics of utopian socialism
Among the main ideas or characteristics of utopian socialism are:
- There must be cooperation: They advocate understanding and the ability to collaborate together, without the need for selfish or individualistic overtones. Cooperation, not only at the work level.
- They Shun the Struggle: They think that socialism should be established under love and peace, not under strife and war. They are convinced that peace is the end, but also the way.
- Egalitarian societies: They defend egalitarianism as the basis of justice. Since they defend that we must cooperate, they do not conceive the idea under which some should have more than others.
- Idealists: They believe in a society without evil. Academic texts agree that their views are idealistic. Hence, they are labeled with the adjective ‘utopians’.
Main differences with traditional or scientific socialism
While scientific or formal socialism conceives the class struggle as a base element to achieve equal and just states in the face of capitalism, utopian socialism recognizes the existence of damage to the working class without establishing this path as a clear priority.
It was not until the theories of Marx and Engels that socialism and communism were proposed as practical tools of workers' struggle and applicable in society with real effects. In fact, Marx criticizes the utopian socialists and stresses that the people need reality. The goal cannot be achieved without struggle and revolution, says Marx.Origin of socialism