Thursday, October 23, 2008

Socialism - Part 2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

International Workingmen's Association – First International

Socialists made varying interpretations of The Communist Manifesto.

In 1864, the International Workingmen's Association (IWA) – the First International – was founded in London. Londoner Victor le Lubez, a French radical republican, invited Karl Marx to participate as a representative of German workers. In 1865, the IWA had its preliminary conference, and its first congress, at Geneva, in 1866. Karl Marx was member of the committee; he and Johann Georg Eccarius, a London tailor, were the two mainstays of the International, from its inception to its end; the First International was the premiere international forum promulgating socialism.

In 1869, under the influence of Marx and Engels, the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany was founded. In 1875, the SDW Party merged with the General German Workers' Association, of Ferdinand Lassalle, metamorphosing to the contemporary German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Since the 1870s, in Germany, Socialism was associated with trade unions, as the SPD constituted trade unions, while, in Austria, France, and other countries, socialist parties and anarchists did like-wise. That ideologic development greatly contrasts with the British experience of Socialism, wherein politically-moderate New Model Unions dominated unionized labor from the mid–nineteenth century, and trade-unionism was stronger than the political labor movement, until appearance of the Labour Party in the early twentieth century. The first U.S. socialist party was founded in 1876, then metamorphosed to a Marxist party in 1890; the Socialist Labor Party exists today. An early leader of the Socialist Labor Party was Daniel De Leon who had considerable influence beyond the United States as well.

Socialists supported and advocated many branches of Socialism – from the Gradualism of trade unions to the radical Revolution of Marx and Engels to the Anarchists emphasizing small-scale communities and agrarianism; all co-existing with the most influential Marxism and Social Democracy. The Anarchists, led by the Mikhail Bakunin, believed Capitalism and State inseparable, neither can be abolished without abolishing the other.

The Second International

As the ideas of Marx and Engels gained popularity, especially in Central Europe, Socialists united into an international organization, and founded the Second International in 1889, the centennial of the French Revolution; from 20 countries, 300 socialist and labor union organizations sent 384 delegates. The Second International was denominated the Socialist International with Friedrich Engels its honorary third-congress president in 1893.

In 1895, Engels said there now is a single, generally recognized, crystal clear theory of Marx and a single, great international army of socialists.

Despite being outlawed in Germany by the Anti-Socialist Laws of 1878, the Social Democratic Party of Germany masterfully used the limited, universal, male suffrage available to exercise the electoral strength necessary to compel rescindment of the Anti-Socialist laws in 1890. In 1893, the SPD received 1,787,000 votes, a quarter of the votes cast. Before the SPD published Engels's 1895 introduction to Marx's Class Struggles in France 1848–1850, they deleted phrases felt too-revolutionary for mainstream readers.

Karl Marx believed possible a peaceful, socialist transformation of England, despite the British Aristocracy and Ruling Class revolting against such a popular victory. Whereas the United States and Holland might also effect peaceful transformations, not France; Marx thought it had perfected . . . an enormous, bureaucratic and military organization, with its ingenious State machinery that required forcible deposition; nevertheless, with Karl Marx only eight years dead, Engels said it was possible to achieve a peaceful, socialist revolution in France.

World War I

When World War I began in 1914,most European socialists supported the bellicose aims of their national governments. The British, French, Belgian, and German social democratic parties discarded their political commitments to proletarian internationalism and worker solidarity to co-operate with their imperial governments.

In Russia, N. Lenin denounced the Europeans' Great War war as an imperialist conflict, and urged workers, worldwide, to use the war as occasion for proletarian revolution. The Second International dissolved during the war; Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Karl Liebknecht, and Rosa Luxemburg, and other anti-war Marxists conferred in the Zimmerwald Conference in September of 1915.

find it

I thought a few lessons on Socialism would be a good thing. The above is copied directly from the Wikipedia page on Socialism. I did remove the footnote indicators. The links provided on Wikipedia did not translate (of course), and there are a lot of them! So I elected to not spend an hour or more adding all the links. I suggest you go to Wikipedia (link provided) and read it yourself.

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