Socialism is traditionally considered a political-economic system that aspires to replace the institutions of a market capitalist economy with social ownership of the means of production, comprehensive economic planning, and an egalitarian distribution of wealth. Nineteenth-century debates over socialism focused on the issue of whether a socialist system should be instituted through reforms or revolution. A second controversy centered on whether the political mechanism that effected these changes should be decentralized or centralized. The Marxist position favored revolution and centralization and became dominant in certain parts of Europe and Asia by the 20th century, whereas most of the world adopted a nonrevolutionary brand of socialism. The Austrian School criticism of socialism from the 1920s to the 1940s, combined with the experiences of socialist regimes during ...

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