The Great and the Good

Out of all the major political ideologies of modern times, no other is as ill-defined and varied as socialism. While liberalism, conservatism, fascism and neoliberalism (the other defining schools of thought in this century and the last) are in many ways more clear cut, socialism is a word used for a plethora of political doctrines.

Liz Kendall, in a Labour Leadership debate, recently stated she was a “democratic socialist” – under any definition this is of course a nonsense, but it is in many ways a perfect example of how the term covers such a broad range of distinct beliefs. For instance, while one person uses it to express his or her attachment to nationalising the means of production, another will use it merely to express an attraction to effective welfare, a living wage and a decent level of equality of opportunity.

So what is socialism? 

First we have to look…

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