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Socialism, economic philosophy and political movement that aims to achieve a just, classless society through the collective or governmental ownership of all property and means of manufacture and distribution of goods. Socialism was born out of the hardships of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution (late 18th-early 19th centuries). The ideas of class war, first put forth by F.N. Babeuf (and rejected by Utopian socialists such as Robert Owen and Charles Fourier), were later elaborated upon by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their Communist Manifesto (1848). They suggested that revolution, led by the workers of the world, was inevitable. The first workers' party had already been founded by this time—in Germany in 1863 by Ferdinand Lasalle. This example was soon followed throughout Europe (1870s). Disagreement between gradualists and revolutionists soon emerged and was highlighted in 20th-century Russian socialism, eventually resulting in a split from which Bolshevism and Menshevism emerged. This was the forerunner to the worldwide break that occurred between socialism and communism after the Russian Revolution (1917). Socialism today, as well as its established place in the electoral politics of Europe, is especially active in the Third World, where its focus is on land reform and centralized economic planning.

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