Posts Tagged ‘socialism’

Socialism and International War

July 12, 2017

I read this article on socialism in 1914 trying to understand why the socialist revolution never happened in the United States or in Western Europe; why, instead of the workers uniting to fight their oppressors, they divided according to their supposed national identities and fought each other; why socialism has been in a steady decline since 1914 (despite the supposed existence of socialism from 1917 until today).

This is the article: http://isj.org.uk/the-great-schism-socialism-and-war-in-1914/

I’ll quote extensively so you won’t have to read it, and I’ll only add a few comments of my own.

“For the leadership of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), undoubtedly the centre of gravity within the International, the vote for war credits was partly justified as a means of entry into the inner sanctum of power: it was hoped that this vote, and in particular the unanimity of the vote, would make the party respectable. Whether or not the SPD succeeded on these terms, the vote certainly killed the Socialist International, and it did so in a way that was immediately recognised by contemporaries as a ‘seminal moment in the history of socialism’”.

”While they were caught unawares by the swift move to war and offered little by way of concrete proposals to stop it, this is perhaps best understood as a function of how they had allowed themselves, prior to 1914, to become enmeshed within what were de facto reformist organisations, albeit reformist organisations that bowed before revolutionary rhetoric… [However, they also] believed their government’s claims that Germany was merely preparing to defend itself from Russian and French aggression”

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