Portal:Socialism

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Socialism refers to a set of economic systems in which the means of production and distribution are under social ownership, management within economic institutions is based on collective decision-making or worker self-management, and the economy is primarily geared toward production for use. It also refers to a broad array of ideologies and political movements which have the goal of achieving this type of socio-economic system. Control of production may be either direct—exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils—or indirect—exercised on behalf of the people by the state. As an economic system, socialism is often characterized by state, worker, or community ownership of the means of production, goals which have been attributed to, and claimed by, a number of political parties throughout history. For Karl Marx, who helped establish and define the modern socialist movement, socialism would be the socioeconomic system that arises after a proletarian revolution, in which the means of production are owned co-operatively by the working class so that the surplus product generated would be used to benefit all of society, and the economy would no longer be structured upon the law of value.

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A red rose is often used as a symbol of social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. Social democracy supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism. Social democracy advocates the creation of legal reforms and economic redistribution programs to eliminate economic class disparities between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The Frankfurt Declaration of the Socialist International in 1951, attended by many social democratic parties from across the world, committed adherents to oppose Bolshevik communism and Stalinism, and to promote a gradual transformation of capitalism into socialism. Practical modern social democratic policies include the promotion of a welfare state, and the creation of economic democracy as a means to secure workers' rights.

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Hugo Chávez portrait
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (born 28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was the 56th President of Venezuela, serving for 14 years from 1999 until his death in 2013. Following his own political ideology of Bolivarianism and "Socialism for the 21st Century", he focused on implementing socialist reforms in the country as a part of a social project known as the Bolivarian Revolution, which saw the implementation of a new constitution, participatory democracy and the nationalisation of several key industries.

Formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997, in 2007 he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). He was elected President four times: in 1998, 2000, 2006 and finally—one year before his death—in 2012.

A firm anti-imperialist and vocal critic of neoliberalism and capitalism more generally, Chávez was a prominent opponent of United States foreign policy. Allying himself strongly with the socialist governments of Fidel and then Raúl Castro in Cuba, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, his presidency was seen in the Western world as a part of the so-called socialist "pink tide" sweeping Latin America. Chávez supported Latin American and Caribbean cooperation and was instrumental in setting up the pan-regional Union of South American Nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, the Bank of the South, and the regional television network TeleSur. A highly controversial and divisive figure both at home and abroad, his political influence in Latin America led Time magazine to include him among their list of the world's 100 most influential people in both 2005 and 2006.

He died in Caracas on 5 March 2013 at the age of 58.

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Small Red Rose.JPG
Photo credit: Libera

A red rose is often used as a symbol of social democracy, mostly adopted in the period after World War II.

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