First off I would like to make it very clear that I am not a Freemason nor plan to become one. The ritual requirements to participate within the institutions simply takes more time than I am capable of providing; and honestly I am not a fan of ritualistic secrecy. But with that said, I have attempted to learn the philosophy of the organization and understand its system of operation; along with its deep history within social mechanisms of the United States since the early days of colonization on the American continent. From what I have learned through reading literature and listening to lectures upon the subject matter within esoteric knowledge of Freemason culture; it seems that there are critical areas of philosophical thinking that are emphasized as foundations of the "Great Work" that is each mason's life.
The "Great Work" being spoke of relates to the third person perspective of an individual's life that is attempted to be taught to initiates, in order to explain the importance of conscious interaction within society; knowing that your actions lay down roots for later consequences, and opportunities. This third person perspective is also extrapolated in the context of the great work of existence, the objective reality that transcends any individual subjective experience; culminating into reality as we know it outside ourselves. The "Great Architect" is the personification of deity, as well as a reflection of existence itself; which has sculpted reality into its present form, like an architect designs and builds projects. This metaphorical language is derived from the stonemasonry for which the philosophical tradition extended out of.
Scientific laws are extrapolated from the grand design of the "Great Architect", as mechanisms and parameters for which reality is able to take shape; and for which it can be altered and redesigned. They embrace a Pythagorean viewpoint of mathematics been a language of deity, of this Great Architect. As well as the conception of music being another form of creative expression that embodies the grand design laid forth by the Great Architect. Lastly, Freemasonry asserts that a scientific law of consciousness exists; and that this law is embedded in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition of the "Golden Rule". With the Golden Rule being the layout for a variation of self governance and collective governance that can provide the foundations for a global multicultural/multiethnic civilization and brotherhood/sisterhood of humanity that is a reflection of the mythological utopia of antiquity, the Atlantean civilization.
Contrary to popular belief and misconception, the fundamental basis of socialism and egalitarian ideas of that nature are almost verbatim expressed in Freemasonic tradition and culture. The idea and dream of Direct Democracy expressed in socialism but the golden rule in action; or as Eugene Debs, a socialist Illinois state senator, once said "Socialism is Christianity in action". Socialism since its inception has called for a world brotherhood/sisterhood of humanity that transcends nationality, ethnicity, religion, and other arbitrary systems of division. Socialism attributes scientific laws as guiding principles in coexistence with nature; and the distribution of resources that allow for a worker (common person) oriented control of the means of production. The concepts of Labor Unions could be attributed to the early lodges of Freemasonry who were collectives of skilled laborers and craftsmen of the age.
Lastly, the connection between freemasonry and socialism can be seen in the calls for revolutionary change. The philosophical foundation of calling for a world philosophical order that turns humanity into a brotherhood/sisterhood led by the wise is similar to the socialists call for worker revolution led by the workers themselves. Wise leaders, in relations to the Freemason philosophy of the "Great Work", implies the necessity of each individual to understand their context in the changing of the times when a new paradigm shifts. Thus the worker movement is directly an extension of this wise leadership in overcoming systems of exploitation and oppression of the antithetical attributes of human culture and civilization for which freemasonry has noted as being the path of spiritual self-destruction and philosophical blundering. The resurrection of civilization, therefore, is within the hands of the wise; and it is within each of us that the wisdom of leadership and self governance must go hand-in-hand in an effort towards building that world collective that can be designated "Humanity's Great Work". For in the end, the words of socialists and freemasons speak together as one when they exclaim: "Cooperation or Extinction", "Socialism or Barbarism"