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 

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 


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