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They presented socialism as an alternative to liberal individualism based on the shared ownership of resources, although their proposals for socialism differed significantly.
Saint-Simon proposed economic planning, scientific administration and the application of modern scientific advancements to the organisation of society.
In Christian Europe, communism was believed to be the atheist way of life.The British moral philosopher John Stuart Mill also came to advocate a form of economic socialism within a liberal context.In later editions of his Principles of Political Economy (1848), Mill would argue that "as far as economic theory was concerned, there is nothing in principle in economic theory that precludes an economic order based on socialist policies".By contrast, Robert Owen proposed the organisation of production and ownership in cooperatives.
The modern definition and usage of "socialism" settled by the 1860s, becoming the predominant term among the group of words "co-operative", "mutualist" and "associationist", which had previously been used as synonyms.The Owenites in England and the Fourierists in France were considered "respectable" socialists, while working-class movements that "proclaimed the necessity of total social change" denoted themselves communists.