What is Ethical Socialism?

Ethical socialism refers to the view which holds that one ought to be a democratic socialist because human dignity can only be respected under democratic socialism. Arguments in favor of democratic socialism based on historical, efficiency, philosophical, or other concepts will always be secondary to the moral imperative to respect human dignity.

  • Ethical socialists may or may not also be Marxists.
  • The term “ethical socialism” was coined around the beginning of the 20th century by socialists who criticized the German communist parties of the period for being dogmatic and sectarian.
    • Though the term did not exist, socialists have applied the principles of ethical socialism for even longer.