SOCIALISM IS A COHERENT philosophical doctrine, but more than that it is a political program to be achieved. Its philosophical roots, identifiable in their own right, must be distinguished from its social and cultural aspirations and, further, from its political programs. It cannot be viewed as merely an alternative to a capitalist free-market economy. Its revolt goes much deeper, challenging not only the economic but the moral and cultural traditions of peoples wherever it has gained ascendancy. Initially a Western movement (the term itself appears to have come into use in the early part of the nineteenth century), it has penetrated every part of the globe. (1) Given the socialists' ascendancy in Europe and American propensities to imitate Europe, it behooves us to look carefully at the origins of socialism for the ideas which the socialist mind takes for granted, commonplace ideas we find among our intellectual elite. Not all socialist programs are as radical as those of Stalin or Mao Tse-tung, yet socialism is universally marked by certain features. Its creed, like other belief systems, may be imperfectly understood by its political adherents, but its power to motivate to determinate ends cannot be doubted. Those who subscribe to it do not have to communicate to know which cause to advance, which to oppose. They act in unison out of a shared conviction.