Socialism is a global political movement that emerged from the French Revolution. Its goal was to speak for the dispossessed, only sometimes as a democratic political party. In all of its guises, it has been a powerful political force in most of the world. In the United States, however, it has been relegated to the political margins, seen largely as alien to the American ethos. It has now emerged explicitly as a subject of debate in American politics and therefore requires some thought.Origin StoriesThe important difference between socialism and capitalism – even more important than what each actually preaches – is that capitalism is less an intellectual or moral system than a reality born of the industrial revolution. Socialism, on the other hand, has always been an intellectual movement, crafted by intellectuals such as Saint-Simon, Fourier, Lassalle and Marx, all of whom made the moral case for socialism and imagined what such a system would look like.