Socialism, in the meaning of the word here adopted, is the intellectual embodiment of the modern Social Movement. That, in its turn, is the conception of all the attempts at emancipation on the part of the proletariat—one of the social classes of our time. In order fully to understand the subject under discussion it will be necessary to form a true notion of what is meant by a social class in general, and in particular of the social class which is of special interest to us here.