The first half of the 19th century is characterized bywide dissemination of the ideas of utopian socialism. The new theories reflected the desire for change and a new structure of society. At the same time, utopian socialism and its ideas were exclusively mental models of some social order in the future. The development of the theory, in other words, was not based on the laws and driving forces of society.
The term "utopia" refers to a "non-existent place".
Western European utopian socialismwas based on the ideas of the great thinkers of the 16th and 17th centuries (Thomas More, Campanella, Winstanley). The formation of the new doctrine was due mainly to the underdeveloped capitalist relations of the early 19th century. The phenomena that occurred during that period clearly reflected the imperfection of the system. The spread of capitalism in all spheres provoked sharp criticism of representatives of different strata of society, including the utopian socialists.
The followers of Mor's theory pointed tothe unnaturalness and short duration of capitalist relations. Utopian socialists made a significant contribution to the economy, beginning to consider the development of social relations as a historical process, in which the stages change. In this case, one stage is replaced by another, higher.
In general, utopian socialism preached thatthe capitalist system will not be able to ensure the happiness of most people, and in connection with this, a better device must come to replace it.
The movement was formed in three forms. So, in France, the varieties of utopian socialism were Fourierism and Sensitism, and in Britain - Owenism.
The most outstanding French representativeThe movement was Saint-Simon (Claude Henri de Ruvrua). He owns such works as "Catechism of Industrialists", "On the Industrial System", "New Christianity". Despite the fact that the views of this socialist utopian were more oriented toward sociological problems, he made a significant contribution to political economy.
The second great thinker, a utopian socialistwas Fourier (Francois Marie Charles). He owns the works "The theory of universal destinies and four movements," "The New Public and Industrial World," and "Theory of World Unity."
Fourier was an adherent of the idea of passion.In his opinion, man is a harmonious creature that does not have bad inclinations. However, positive human passions under the influence of historical circumstances become negative. In this regard, continued Fourier, it is necessary to change the conditions in such a way that a person develops in harmony.
In England, the most famous representativemovement was Robert Owen. In his works "Report to the County of Lenarck" and "Book on a New Moral World," the thinker, speaking against capitalism, relied, nevertheless, on the political economy of the classical system.
By the 40s of the 19th century,utopian socialism in Russia. Some in society believed that the founders of the new theory propagandize revolutionary democracy. Others called the new movement "Russian socialism". The ideas of the founders and propagandists of the new trend expressed deep hostility to the social order that existed in that era.
Russian utopian socialism was based onthe theory of the establishment of an ideal state system only on the principles existing in the village conditions prevalent in the rural community. It was here, in the opinion of the propagandists, there was no division according to property, and regulation of relations between members of society was carried out by means of customs and traditions, and not by state laws.
The founders of the theory of utopian socialism in Russia were such outstanding figures as Chernyshevsky, Herzen, Belinsky.