Big pictures and little men
Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,7, Humboldt-University of Berlin (Institut für Anglistik), course: Concepts of Culture in the 19th Century, 17 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: An attempt to define the term socialism in a possibly precise and short way, as well as excerpts from the biographical background of William Morris, who is considered to be one of the first British socialists, will serve as an introduction to this work's subject. Different writings, and especially an article contributed by Morris in 1885 which he named 'The Worker s Share of Art'1 will be the main reference before other, selected prospects, and ideas are taken into consideration. The introduction of socialism will only focus on those aspects that are necessary for further understanding and which re-emerge in the arguments and formulations of William Morris who only became a socialist in his mid fourties. Generally, socialism is 'an ideology with the core belief that a society should exist in which popular collectives control the means of power, and therefore the means of production.'2 One of the main objectives of socialism is a classless society, which can either be created by revolution, or social revolution. The problem of the extended, and more detailed description of socialism as a concrete model for a society is its history. Indeed, meanwhile socialism is often misunderstood and due to the fact that history has shown some misinterpretations of the term, namely the National Socialists in Germany for instance, it has become very difficult to point out what socialism really means today. According to that, the opportunity which lasts to characterize socialism anyway, is to look at it at a certain time, and to leave out its historical development in general, but only to include those changes and processes which are of great importance for the period in question. Furthermore, there are other useful criteria to divide socialism as for instance the distinction between 'Socialism from above', and 'Socialism from beneath' as Hal Draper presents in his work 'The Two Souls of Socialism'3 in which he also refers to Morris.
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