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  Gradualism is the name given by historians to the strategy advocated by those socialists who argue that a socialist society can and should be achieved gradually when socialists are operating within a liberal democratic society. Gradualists commend participation in the electoral process and education and persuasion of the public as to the merits of socialism. Gradualism is closely associated with Fabianism in Britain, with social democracy in the European Continent, and reformed or euro-communist parties, like the former Italian Communist Party.

Gradualists criticize revolutionary socialists on the grounds that revolutionary strategies are not likely to succeed, either in precipitating a revolution within liberal democratic societies, or in bringing about a democratic socialist society. Indeed they maintain that Marxism-Leninism, and the dictatorial Marxist régimes it has produced have been the primary obstacles to the electoral success of democratic socialism. Their revolutionary critics reply that gradualism in practice prevents socialism from being realized. They believe that social democrats become managers rather than transformers of capitalism, and that the ruling class will never permit a democratic transition to socialism. BO\'L



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