Socialism developed in the early and mid-19th century as a rejection of classical liberalism, especially but not exclusively as a German nationalistic rejection of French liberalism (or French militaristic fanatacism in the name of liberalism). Socialism actually embodies a number or loosely-related anti-liberal doctrines, most of which didn't involve abolition of private property or anything whatsoever regarding "the working class."
What they all have in common, rather, is the subordination of the individual to some sort of higher collective, whether, as in the case of communism, the international working class, or, as in the case of national socialism, the nation (the people of a particular ethnicity), or, as in the case of liberal socialism, "democracy" or "the People" (a vague notion not necessarily incorporating a particular notion of ethnicity). In practice many of these types of socialism (of which I've listed only a few) overlapped, and we see, as I mentioned in an earlier email, when the German Marxists allied themselves with the monarchists to pass government-mandated "pensions" over the opposition of German liberals. While most forms of socialism have been statist, not all statism has been socialistic. The primary statist ideology prior to classical liberalism, classical conservatism, took as its justification not the subordination of the individual to some higher collective, but the divine right of kings to rule (one might say subordination of the individual to God through God's alleged representative on earth, the king). The post-modern left, for that matter, has to some degree moved beyond socialism anyway. The environmentalist movement in particular has shifted from conservation for the sake of future generations of humans to "protecting the environment" for its own sake. Even more than socialism, environmentalism harks back to medieval calls for subordination of the individual to a non-human higher good. David