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The history of socialism has its origins in the 1789 French Revolution and the changes which it brought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1847-48 just before the Revolutions of 1848 swept Europe, expressing what they termed scientific socialism. In the last third of the 19th century parties dedicated to Democratic socialism arose in Europe, drawing mainly from Marxism. The Australian Labor Party was the world's first elected socialist party when it formed government in the Colony of Queensland for a week in 1899.
In the first half of the 20th century, the Soviet Union and the communist parties of the Third International around the world mainly came to represent socialism in terms of the Soviet model of economic development and the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production, although other trends condemned what they saw as the lack of democracy. In the United Kingdom, Herbert Morrison said that "socialism is what the Labour government does" whereas Aneurin Bevan argued that socialism requires that the "main streams of economic activity are brought under public direction", with an economic plan and workers' democracy. Some argued that capitalism had been abolished. Socialist governments established the mixed economy with partial nationalisations and social welfare.
By 1968, the prolonged Vietnam War gave rise to the New Left, socialists who tended to be critical of the Soviet Union and social democracy. Anarcho-syndicalists and some elements of the New Left and others favoured decentralised collective ownership in the form of cooperatives or workers' councils. Socialists have also adopted the causes of other social movements such as environmentalism, feminism and progressivism. At the turn of the 21st century, Latin America saw a pink tide, which championed socialism of the 21st century; it included a policy of nationalisation of major national assets, anti-imperialism, left-wing populism, and a rejection of the Washington Consensus and the neoliberal paradigm. It was first led by Venezuela president Hugo Chávez.
While the use of the term socialism was initially adopted to describe the philosophy of the Saint-Simonians, which advocated the socialized ownership of the means of production, the term was quickly appropriated by working class movements in the 1840s, and in the 19th century the term socialism came to encompass a wide and diverse range of economic policies and doctrines which could include any view from generic opposition against laissez-faire capitalism to the systematic communism of classical Marxism and anything in between. In general a view could be deemed as socialism or socialistic if it advocated for the government to take action that would benefit the lower classes and ameliorate economic and social problems in society. According to Sheldon Richman, "[i]n the 19th and early 20th centuries, 'socialism' did not exclusively mean collective or government ownership of the means of production but was an umbrella term for anyone who believed labour was cheated out of its natural product under historical capitalism."
Prior to the Revolutions of 1848, communism and socialism had differing religious implications with socialism being seen as secular and atheistic and communism being seen as religious, leading to Owen preferring the term socialism. In 1830, the two leaders of socialist group the Saint-Simonians, Amand Bazard and Barthélemy Enfantin, denounced communism to the French Chamber of Deputies. Because the Saint-Simonians still advocated the socialization of the means of production, just not all private property, this established an important early distinction between their school of socialism and the communism of rival political groups such as the Neo-Babouvists.
According to Friedrich Engels, by 1847 socialism, such as that of the Owenites and Fourierists, was considered a respectable, middle-class, or bourgeoise movement on the continent of Europe, while communism was considered a less respectable working-class movement associated with organizations such as those led by Wilhelm Weitling and Étienne Cabet. It was on this basis of appealing to a broad working class movement that Marx and Engels chose the term communist for their Communist Manifesto of 1848. Despite this initial preference, the use of the term communism was sparse from the 1860s onward, possibly due to its association with militancy in France and Germany, and instead the terms socialism or social democratic became preferred even by followers of the Marxist tradition. Socialism was the word predominantly used by Marxists up until World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution, at which time Vladimir Lenin made the conscious decision to replace the term socialism with communism, renaming the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party to the All-Russian Communist Party.
The Russian Revolution of October 1917 brought about the definitive ideological division between Communists as denoted with a capital "C" on the one hand and other communist and socialist trends such as anarcho-communists and social democrats, on the other. The Left Opposition in the Soviet Union gave rise to Trotskyism which was to remain isolated and insignificant for another fifty years, except in Sri Lanka where Trotskyism gained the majority and the pro-Moscow wing was expelled from the Communist Party.
In 1922, 4th World Congress of the Communist International took up the policy of the united front, urging Communists to work with rank and file Social Democrats while remaining critical of their leaders, who they criticised for "betraying" the working class by supporting the war efforts of their respective capitalist classes. For their part, the social democrats pointed to the dislocation caused by revolution and later the growing authoritarianism of the Communist Parties. When the Communist Party of Great Britain applied to affiliate to the Labour Party in 1920 it was turned down.
After three years, the First World War, at first greeted with enthusiastic patriotism, produced an upsurge of radicalism in most of Europe and also as far afield as the United States and Australia. In the Russian Revolution of February 1917, workers' councils (in Russian, soviets) had been formed, and Lenin and the Bolsheviks called for "All power to the Soviets". After the October 1917 Russian revolution, led by Lenin and Trotsky, consolidated power in the Soviets, Lenin declared "Long live the world socialist revolution!". Briefly in Soviet Russia socialism was not just a vision of a future society, but a description of an existing one. The Soviet regime began to bring all the means of production (except agricultural production) under state control, and implemented a system of government through the workers' councils or soviets.
The initial success of the Russian Revolution inspired other revolutionary parties to attempt the same thing unleashing the Revolutions of 1917–1923. In the chaotic circumstances of postwar Europe, with the socialist parties divided and discredited, Communist revolutions across Europe seemed a possibility. Communist parties were formed, often from minority or majority factions in most of the world's socialist parties, which broke away in support of the Leninist model. The German Revolution of 1918–1919 overthrew the old absolutism and, like Russia, set up Workers' and Soldiers' Councils almost entirely made up of SPD and Independent Social Democrats (USPD) members. The Weimar Republic was established and placed the SPD in power, under the leadership of Friedrich Ebert. Ebert agreed with Max von Baden that a social revolution was to be prevented and the state order must be upheld at any cost. In 1919 the Spartacist uprising challenged the power of the SPD government, but it was put down in blood and the German Communist Spartacus League leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were assassinated. Communist regimes briefly held power under Béla Kun in Hungary and under Kurt Eisner in Bavaria. There were further revolutionary movements in Germany until 1923, as well as in Vienna, and also the Biennio Rosso in the industrial centres of northern Italy. In this period few Communists doubted, least of all Lenin and Trotsky, that successful socialist revolutions carried out by the working classes of the most developed capitalist counties were essential to the success of the socialism, and therefore to the success of socialism in Russia in particular. In March 1918, Lenin said: "We are doomed if the German revolution does not break out". In 1919, the Communist Parties came together to form a 'Third International', termed the Communist International or Comintern. But the prolonged revolutionary period in Germany did not bring a socialist revolution.
A Marxist current critical of the Bolsheviks emerged and as such "Luxemburg's workerism and spontaneism are exemplary of positions later taken up by the far-left of the period – Pannekoek, Roland Holst, and Gorter in the Netherlands, Sylvia Pankhurst in Britain, Gramsci in Italy, Lukacs in Hungary. In these formulations, the dictatorship of the proletariat was to be the dictatorship of a class, "not of a party or of a clique". However, within this line of thought "[t]he tension between anti-vanguardism and vanguardism has frequently resolved itself in two diametrically opposed ways: the first involved a drift towards the party; the second saw a move towards the idea of complete proletarian spontaneity...The first course is exemplified most clearly in Gramsci and Lukacs...The second course is illustrated in the tendency, developing from the Dutch and German far-lefts, which inclined towards the complete eradication of the party form." In the emerging Soviet state there appeared Left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks which were a series of rebellions and uprisings against the Bolsheviks led or supported by left-wing groups including Socialist Revolutionaries, Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, and anarchists. Some were in support of the White movement while some tried to be an independent force. The uprisings started in 1918 and continued through the Russian Civil War and after until 1922. In response the Bolsheviks increasingly abandoned attempts to get these groups to join the government and suppressed them with force.
Within a few years, a bureaucracy developed in the Soviet Union as a result of the Russian Civil War, foreign invasion, and Russia's historic poverty and backwardness. The bureaucracy undermined the democratic and socialist ideals of the Bolsheviks and elevated Joseph Stalin to their leadership after Lenin's death. In order to consolidate power, the bureaucracy conducted a brutal campaign of lies and violence against the Left Opposition led by Trotsky. By the mid-1920s, the impetus had gone out of the revolutionary forces in Europe and the national reformist socialist parties had regained their dominance over the working-class movement in most countries. The German Social Democrats held office for much of the 1920s, the British Labour Party formed its first government in 1924, and the French Socialists were also influential. In the Soviet Union, from 1924 Stalin pursued a policy of "socialism in one country". Trotsky argued that this approach was a shift away from the theory of Marx and Lenin, while others argued that it was a practical compromise fit for the times. The postwar revolutionary upsurge provoked a powerful reaction from the forces of conservatism. Winston Churchill declared that Bolshevism must be "strangled in its cradle". The invasion of Russia by the Allies, their trade embargo and backing for the White forces fighting against the Red Army in the civil war in the Soviet Union was cited by Aneurin Bevan, the leader of the left-wing in the Labour Party, as one of the causes of the Russian revolution's degeneration into dictatorship. A "Red Scare" in the United States was raised against the American Socialist Party of Eugene V. Debs and the Communist Party of America which arose after the Russian revolution from members who had broken from Debs' party. In Europe, fascist movements received significant funding, particularly from industrialists in heavy industry, and came to power in Italy in 1922 under Benito Mussolini, and later in Germany in 1933, in Spain (1937) and Portugal, while strong fascist movements also developed in Hungary and Romania.
After 1929, with the Left Opposition legally banned and Trotsky exiled, Stalin led the Soviet Union into a what he termed a "higher stage of socialism." Agriculture was forcibly collectivised, at the cost of a massive famine and millions of deaths among the resistant peasantry. The surplus squeezed from the peasants was spent on a program of crash industrialisation, guided by the Communist Party through the Five-Year Plan. This program produced some impressive results, though at enormous human costs. Russia raised itself from an economically backward country to that of a superpower. Later Soviet development, however, particularly after the Second World War, was no faster than it was in Japan or the United States under capitalism. The use of resources, material and human, in the Soviet Union became very wasteful. Stalin's industrialisation policy was geared towards the development of heavy industry, an emphasis that facilitated Soviet military action in its defence against Hitler's invasion during the Second World War in which the USSR stood on the side of the Allies of World War II. For "many Marxian libertarian socialists, the political bankruptcy of socialist orthodoxy necessitated a theoretical break. This break took a number of forms. The Bordigists and the SPGB championed a super-Marxian intransigence in theoretical matters. Other socialists made a return "behind Marx" to the anti-positivist programme of German idealism. Libertarian socialism has frequently linked its anti-authoritarian political aspirations with this theoretical differentiation from orthodoxy... Karl Korsch... remained a libertarian socialist for a large part of his life and because of the persistent urge towards theoretical openness in his work. Korsch rejected the eternal and static, and he was obsessed by the essential role of practice in a theory's truth. For Korsch, no theory could escape history, not even Marxism. In this vein, Korsch even credited the stimulus for Marx's Capital to the movement of the oppressed classes. "
The Soviet achievement in the 1930s seemed hugely impressive from the outside, and convinced many people, not necessarily Communists or even socialists, of the virtues of state planning and authoritarian models of social development. This was later to have important consequences in countries like China, India and Egypt, which tried to copy some aspects of the Soviet model. It also won large sections of the western intelligentsia over to a pro-Soviet view, to the extent that many were willing to ignore or excuse such events as Stalin's Great Purge of 1936–38, in which millions of people died. The Great Depression, which began in 1929, seemed to socialists and Communists everywhere to be the final proof of the bankruptcy, literally as well as politically, of capitalism. Socialists were unable to take advantage of the Depression to either win elections or stage revolutions.
Labor governments in Britain and Australia were disastrous failures.[clarification needed] In the United States, the New Deal liberalism of President Franklin D. Roosevelt won mass support and deprived socialists of any chance of gaining ground. In Germany, it was the fascists of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party who successfully exploited the Depression to win power, in January 1933. Hitler's regime swiftly destroyed both the German Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, the worst blow the world socialist movement had ever suffered. This forced Stalin to reassess his strategy, and from 1935 the Comintern began urging a popular front against fascism. The socialist parties were at first suspicious, given the bitter hostility of the 1920s, but eventually effective Popular Fronts were formed in both France and Spain. After the election of a Popular Front government in Spain in 1936 a fascist military revolt led to the Spanish Civil War. The crisis in Spain also brought down the Popular Front government in France under Léon Blum. Ultimately the Popular Fronts were not able to prevent the spread of fascism or the aggressive plans of the fascist powers. Trotskyists considered Popular Fronts a "strike breaking conspiracy" and considered them an impediment to successful resistance to fascism. When Stalin consolidated his power in the Soviet Union in the late 1920s, Trotsky was forced into exile, eventually residing in Mexico. He maintained active in organising the Left Opposition internationally, which worked within the Comintern to gain new members. Some leaders of the Communist Parties sided with Trotsky, such as James P. Cannon in the United States. They found themselves expelled by the Stalinist Parties and persecuted by both GPU agents and the political police in Britain, France, the United States, China, and all over the world. Trotskyist parties had a large influence in Sri Lanka and Bolivia.
In 1938, Trotsky and his supporters founded a new international organisation of dissident communists, the Fourth International. In his Results and Prospects and Permanent Revolution Trotsky developed a theory of revolution uninterrupted by the stagism of Stalinist orthodoxy. He argued that Russia was a bureaucratically degenerated workers' state in his work The Revolution Betrayed, where he predicted (?) that if a political revolution of the working class did not overthrow Stalinism, the Stalinist bureaucracy would resurrect capitalism. Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution is considered a work of primary importance by Trotsky's followers.
Once the world's most powerful nation, Britain avoided a revolution during the period of 1917–1923 but was significantly affected by revolt. The Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, had promised the troops in the 1918 United Kingdom general election that his Conservative-led coalition would make post-war Britain "a fit land for heroes to live in". But many demobbed troops complained of chronic unemployment and suffered low pay, disease and poor housing. In 1918, the Labour Party adopted as its aim to secure for the workers, "the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange". In 1919, the Miners Federation, whose Members of Parliament predated the formation of the Labour Party and were since 1906 a part of that body, demanded the withdrawal of British troops from Soviet Russia. The 1919 Labour Party Conference voted to discuss the question of affiliation to the Third (Communist) International, "to the distress of its leaders". A vote was won committing the Labour Party committee of the Trades Union Congress to arrange "direct industrial action" to "stop capitalist attacks upon the Socialist Republics of Russia and Hungary." The threat of immediate strike action forced the Conservative-led coalition government to abandon its intervention in Russia.
In 1914 the unions of the transport workers, the mine workers and the railway workers had formed a Triple Alliance. In 1919, Lloyd George sent for the leaders of the Triple Alliance, one of whom was miner's leader Robert Smillie, a founder member of the Independent Labour Party in 1889 who was to become a Labour Party MP in the first 1924 Labour government. According to Smillie, Lloyd George said: "Gentlemen, you have fashioned, in the Triple Alliance of the unions represented by you, a most powerful instrument. I feel bound to tell you that in our opinion we are at your mercy. The Army is disaffected and cannot be relied upon. Trouble has occurred already in a number of camps. We have just emerged from a great war and the people are eager for the reward of their sacrifices, and we are in no position to satisfy them. In these circumstances, if you carry out your threat and strike, then you will defeat us. But if you do so, have you weighed the consequences? The strike will be in defiance of the government of the country and by its very success will precipitate a constitutional crisis of the first importance. For, if a force arises in the state which is stronger than the state itself, then it must be ready to take on the functions of the state, or withdraw and accept the authority of the state. Gentlemen, have you considered, and if you have, are you ready?" "From that moment on", Smillie conceded to Aneurin Bevan, "we were beaten and we knew we were". When the 1926 United Kingdom general strike broke out, the trade union leaders, "had never worked out the revolutionary implications of direct action on such a scale", Bevan says. Bevan was a member of the Independent Labour Party and one of the leaders of the South Wales miners during the strike. The TUC called off the strike after nine days. In the North East of England and elsewhere, "councils of action" were set up, with many rank and file Communist Party of Great Britain members often playing a critical role. The councils of action took control of essential transport and other duties. When the strike ended, the miners were locked out and remained locked out for six months. Bevan became a Labour MP in 1929.
In January 1924, the Labour Party formed a minority government for the first time with Ramsay MacDonald as prime minister. The Labour Party intended to ratify an Anglo-Russian trade agreement, which would break the trade embargo on Russia. This was attacked by the Conservatives and new elections took place in October 1924. Four days before polling day the Daily Mail published the Zinoviev letter, a forgery that claimed the Labour Party had links with Soviet Communists and was secretly fomenting revolution. The fears instilled by the press of a Labour Party in secret Communist manoeuvres, together with the halfhearted "respectable" policies pursued by MacDonald, led to Labour losing the October 1924 general election. The victorious Conservatives repudiated the Anglo-Soviet treaty. The leadership of the Labour Party, like social democratic parties almost everywhere, (with the exception of Sweden and Belgium), tried to pursue a policy of moderation and economic orthodoxy. At times of depression this policy was not popular with the Labour Party's working class supporters. The influence of Marxism grew in the Labour Party during the inter-war years. Anthony Crosland argued in 1956 that under the impact of the 1931 slump and the growth of fascism, the younger generation of left-wing intellectuals for the most part "took to Marxism" including the "best-known leaders" of the Fabian tradition, Sidney and Beatrice Webb. The Marxist Professor Harold Laski, who was to be chairman of the Labour Party in 1945–6, was the "outstanding influence" in the political field. The Marxists within the Labour Party differed in their attitude to the Communists. Some were uncritical and some were expelled as "fellow travellers", while in the 1930s others were Trotskyists and sympathisers working inside the Labour Party, especially in its youth wing where they were influential.
In the general election of 1929 the Labour Party won 288 seats out of 615 and formed another minority government. The Great Depression of that period brought high unemployment and Prime Minister MacDonald sought to make cuts in order to balance the budget. The trade unions opposed MacDonald's proposed cuts and he split the Labour government to form the National Government of 1931. This experience moved the Labour Party leftward, and at the start of the Second World War an official Labour Party pamphlet written by Harold Laski stated that "the rise of Hitler and the methods by which he seeks to maintain and expand his power are deeply rooted in the economic and social system of Europe... economic nationalism, the fight for markets, the destruction of political democracy, the use of war as an instrument of national policy." In The Labour Party, the War and the Future (1939), Laski wrote: "The war will leave its meed of great problems, problems of internal social organisation... Business men and aristocrats, the old ruling classes of Europe, had their chance from 1919 to 1939; they failed to take advantage of it. They rebuilt the world in the image of their own vested interests... The ruling class has failed; this war is the proof of it. The time has come to give the common people the right to become the master of their own destiny... Capitalism has been tried; the results of its power are before us today. Imperialism has been tried; it is the foster-parent of this great agony. Given power [the Labour Party] will seek, as no other Party will seek, the basic transformation of our society. It will replace the profit-seeking motive by the motive of public service... there is now no prospect of domestic well-being or of international peace except in Socialism."|
After embracing anarchism, Albert Parsons turned his activity to the growing movement to establish the 8-hour day. In January 1880, the Eight-Hour League of Chicago sent Parsons to a national conference in Washington, D.C., a gathering which launched a national lobbying movement aimed at coordinating efforts of labour organisations to win and enforce the 8-hour workday. In the fall of 1884, Parsons launched a weekly anarchist newspaper in Chicago, The Alarm. The first issue was dated October 4, 1884, and was produced in a press run of 15,000 copies. The publication was a 4-page broadsheet with a cover price of 5 cents. The Alarm listed the International Working People's Association as its publisher and touted itself as "A Socialistic Weekly" on its page 2 masthead. On May 1, 1886, Parsons, with his wife Lucy Parsons and two children, led 80,000 people down Michigan Avenue, in what is regarded as the first-ever May Day Parade, in support of the eight-hour work day. Over the next few days 340,000 laborers joined the strike. Parsons, amidst the May Day Strike, found himself called to Cincinnati, where 300,000 workers had struck that Saturday afternoon. On that Sunday he addressed the rally in Cincinnati of the news from the "storm center" of the strike and participated in a second huge parade, led by 200 members of The Cincinnati Rifle Union, with certainty that victory was at hand. In 1886, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (FOTLU) of the United States and Canada unanimously set 1 May 1886, as the date by which the eight-hour work day would become standard. In response, unions across the United States prepared a general strike in support of the event.
On 3 May, in Chicago, a fight broke out when strikebreakers attempted to cross the picket line, and two workers died when police opened fire upon the crowd. The next day on 4 May, anarchists staged a rally at Chicago's Haymarket Square. A bomb was thrown by an unknown party near the conclusion of the rally, killing an officer. In the ensuing panic, police opened fire on the crowd and each other. Seven police officers and at least four workers were killed. Eight anarchists directly and indirectly related to the organisers of the rally were arrested and charged with the murder of the deceased officer. The men became international political celebrities among the labour movement. Four of the men were executed and a fifth committed suicide prior to his own execution. The incident became known as the Haymarket affair, and was a setback for the labour movement and the struggle for the eight-hour day. In 1890 a second attempt, this time international in scope, to organise for the eight-hour day was made. The event also had the secondary purpose of memorialising workers killed as a result of the Haymarket affair. Although it had initially been conceived as a once-off event, by the following year the celebration of International Workers' Day on May Day had become firmly established as an international worker's holiday. Albert Parsons is best remembered as one of four Chicago radical leaders convicted of conspiracy and hanged following a bomb attack on police remembered as the Haymarket affair. Emma Goldman, the activist and political theorist, was attracted to anarchism after reading about the incident and the executions, which she later described as "the events that had inspired my spiritual birth and growth." She considered the Haymarket martyrs to be "the most decisive influence in my existence". Her associate, Alexander Berkman also described the Haymarket anarchists as "a potent and vital inspiration." Others whose commitment to anarchism crystallized as a result of the Haymarket affair included Voltairine de Cleyre and "Big Bill" Haywood, a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World. Goldman wrote to historian, Max Nettlau, that the Haymarket affair had awakened the social consciousness of "hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people".
In the 1912 United States presidential election, Eugene V. Debs received 5.99% of the popular vote (a total of 901,551 votes), while his total of 913,693 votes in the 1920 campaign, although smaller percentage-wise, remains the all-time high for a Socialist Party candidate in the United States. In the United States, the Communist Party USA was formed in 1919 from former adherents of the Socialist Party of America. One of the founders, James P. Cannon, later became the leader of Trotskyist forces outside the Soviet Union. The Great Depression began in the US on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929. Unemployment rates passed 25%, prices and incomes fell 20–50%, but the debts remained at the same dollar amount. 9,000 banks failed during the decade of the 30s. By 1933, depositors saw $140 billion of their deposits disappear due to uninsured bank failures. In 1921 occurred the largest armed, organised uprising in American labour history: the Battle of Blair Mountain. Ten to fifteen thousand coal miners rebelled in West Virginia, assaulting mountain-top lines of trenches established by the coal companies and local sheriff's forces. Workers organised against their deteriorating conditions and socialists played a critical role. In 1934 the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike led by the Trotskyist Communist League of America, the West Coast waterfront strike led by the Communist Party USA, and the Toledo Auto-Lite strike led by the American Workers Party, played an important role in the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the USA.
In Minnesota, the General Drivers Local 574 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters struck, despite an attempt to block the vote by American Federation of Labor officials, demanding union recognition, increased wages, shorter hours, overtime rates, improved working conditions and job protection through seniority. In the battles that followed, which captured country-wide media attention, three strikes took place, martial law was declared and the Minnesota National Guard was sent in. Two strikers were killed. Protest rallies of 40,000 were held. Farrell Dobbs, who became the leader of the local, had at the outset joined the "small and poverty-stricken" Communist League of America, founded by James P. Cannon and others in 1928 after their expulsion from the Communist Party USA for Trotskyism. Success for the CIO quickly followed its formation. In 1937, one of the founding unions of the CIO, the United Auto Workers, won union recognition at General Motors Corporation after a tumultuous forty-four-day sit-down strike, while the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, which was formed by the CIO, won a collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel. The CIO merged with the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1955 becoming the AFL–CIO.
In 1928, the Communist International, now fully under the leadership of Stalin, turned from the united front policy to an ultra-left policy of the Third Period, a policy of aggressive confrontation of social democracy. This divided the working class at a critical time. Like the Labour Party in the UK, the Social Democratic Party in Germany, which was in power in 1928, followed an orthodox deflationary policy and pressed for reductions in unemployment benefits in order to save taxes and reduce budget deficits. These policies did not halt the recession and the government resigned. The Communists described the Social Democratic leaders as "social fascists" and in the Prussian Landtag they voted with the Nazis to bring down the Social Democratic government. Fascism continued to grow, with powerful backing from industrialists, especially in heavy industry, and Hitler was invited into power in 1933.
Hitler's regime swiftly destroyed both the German Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party, the worst blow the world socialist movement had ever suffered. This forced Stalin to reassess his strategy, and from 1935 the Comintern began urging the formation of Popular Fronts, which were to include not just the Social Democratic parties but critically also "progressive capitalist" parties which were wedded to a capitalist policy. After the election of a Popular Front government in Spain in 1936 a fascist military revolt led to the Spanish Civil War. The crisis in Spain brought down the Popular Front government in France under Léon Blum. Ultimately the Popular Fronts were not able to prevent the spread of fascism or the aggressive plans of the fascist powers. Trotskyists considered Popular Fronts a "strike breaking conspiracy", an impediment to successful resistance to fascism due to their inclusion of pro-capitalist parties which demanded policies of opposition to strikes and workers’ actions against the capitalist class.
The Swedish Social democrats formed a government in 1932. They broke with economic orthodoxy during the depression and carried out extensive public works financed from government borrowing. They emphasised large-scale intervention and the high unemployment they had inherited was eliminated by 1938. Their success encouraged the adoption of Keynesian policies of deficit financing pursued by almost all Western countries after World War II.
During the Spanish Civil War, anarchists set up different forms of cooperative and communal arrangements, especially in the rural areas of Aragon and Catalonia. However, these communes were disbanded by the Popular Front government of the Second Spanish Republic.
Main article: Labor Zionism
Jewish Zionists established utopian socialist communities in Palestine, which were known as kibbutzim, a small number of which still survive.
In the 1930s, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), a reformist socialist political party that was up to then based upon revisionist Marxism, began a transition away from Marxism towards liberal socialism beginning in the 1930s. After the party was banned by the Nazi regime in 1933, the SPD acted in exile through the Sopade. In 1934 the Sopade began to publish material that indicated that the SPD was turning towards liberal socialism. Sopade member Curt Geyer was a prominent proponent of liberal socialism within the Sopade, and declared that Sopade represented the tradition of Weimar Republic social democracy—liberal democratic socialism, and declared that Sopade's held true to its mandate of traditional liberal principles combined with the political realism of socialism. After the restoration of democracy in West Germany, the SPD's Godesberg Program in 1959 eliminated the party's remaining Marxist-aligned policies. The SPD then became officially based upon freiheitlicher Sozialismus (liberal socialism). West German Chancellor Willy Brandt has been identified as a liberal socialist.
In 1945, the three great powers of the Allies of World War II met at the Yalta Conference to negotiate an amicable and stable peace. UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill joined USA President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee. With the relative decline of Britain compared to the two superpowers, the US and the Soviet Union, however, many viewed the world as "bi-polar" – a world with two irreconcilable and antagonistic political and economic systems. As a result of the failure of the Popular Fronts and the inability of Britain and France to conclude a defensive alliance against Hitler, Stalin again changed his policy in August 1939 and signed a non-aggression pact, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, with Nazi Germany. Shortly afterwards World War II broke out, and within two years Hitler had occupied most of Europe, and by 1942 both democracy and social democracy in Central and Eastern Europe fell under the threat of fascism. The only socialist parties of any significance able to operate freely were those in Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. But the entry of the Soviet Union into the war in 1941 marked the turning of the tide against fascism, and as the German armies retreated another great upsurge in left-wing sentiment swelled up in their wake. The resistance movements against German occupation were mostly led by socialists and communists, and by the end of the war the parties of the left were greatly strengthened.
One of the great postwar victories of democratic socialism was the election victory of the British Labour Party led by Clement Attlee in June 1945. Socialist (and in some places Stalinist) parties also dominated postwar governments in France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Norway and other European countries. The Social Democratic Party had been in power in Sweden since the 1932 general election, and Labour parties also held power in Australia and New Zealand. In Germany, on the other hand, the Social Democrats emerged from the war much weakened, and were defeated in Germany's first democratic elections in 1949. The united front between democrats and the Stalinist parties which had been established in the wartime resistance movements continued in the immediate postwar years. The democratic socialist parties of Eastern Europe, however, were destroyed when Stalin imposed so-called "Communist" regimes in these countries.
The Second International, which had been based in Amsterdam, ceased to operate during the war. It was refounded as the Socialist International at a congress in Frankfurt in 1951. Since Stalin had dissolved the Comintern in 1943, as part of a deal with the imperialist powers, this was now the only effective international socialist organisation. The Frankfurt Declaration took a stand against both capitalism and the Communism of Stalin and stated that "Socialism aims to liberate the peoples from dependence on a minority which owns or controls the means of production. It aims to put economic power in the hands of the people as a whole, and to create a community in which free men work together as equals... Socialism has become a major force in world affairs. It has passed from propaganda into practice. In some countries the foundations of a Socialist society have already been laid. Here the evils of capitalism are disappearing... Since the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, Communism has split the International Labour Movement and has set back the realisation of socialism in many countries for decades. Communism falsely claims a share in the Socialist tradition. In fact, it has distorted that tradition beyond recognition. It has built up a rigid theology which is incompatible with the critical spirit of Marxism... Wherever it has gained power it has destroyed freedom or the chance of gaining freedom..."
Anarcho-pacifism became influential in the Anti-nuclear movement and anti war movements of the time<refGraham, Robert. "Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, Volume Two: The Emergence of the New Anarchism (1939-1977)".</ref> as can be seen in the activism and writings of the English anarchist member of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Alex Comfort or the similar activism of the American catholic anarcho-pacifists Ammon Hennacy and Dorothy Day. Anarcho-pacifism became a "basis for a critique of militarism on both sides of the Cold War." The resurgence of anarchist ideas during this period is well documented in Robert Graham's Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas, Volume Two: The Emergence of the New Anarchism (1939–1977).
The first socialist government of Canada and one of the most influential came to power in the province of Saskatchewan in 1944. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation of Tommy Douglas won an overwhelming victory toppling the age old Liberal regime which had dominated Saskatchewan politics since the founding of the province in 1905. Douglas and the CCF won five consecutive electoral victories. During his time in office he created the Saskatchewan Power Corporation which extended electricity services to the many rural villages and farms who before did without, created Canada's first public automobile insurance agency, created a substantial number of Crown Corporations (government and public owned businesses) many of which still exist today in Saskatchewan, allowed the unionisation of the public service, created the first system of Universal Health Care in Canada (which would later be adopted nationally in 1965), and created the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights, the first such charter in Canada. This preceded the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the previous Canadian Bill of Rights.
The New Democratic Party (as the CCF became known in 1962) went on to dominate the politics of Saskatchewan and form governments in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and the Yukon Territory. Nationally the NDP would become very influential during four minority governments, and is today by far Canada's most successful left-wing political party. In 2004 Canadians voted Tommy Douglas in as The Greatest Canadian as part of a nationwide contest organised by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
The social democratic governments in the post war period introduced measures of social reform and wealth redistribution through state welfare and taxation policy. For instance the newly elected UK Labour government carried out nationalisations of major utilities such as mines, gas, coal, electricity, rail, iron and steel, and the Bank of England. France claimed to be the most state controlled capitalist country in the world, carrying through many nationalisations. In the UK the National Health Service was established bringing free health care to all for the first time. Social housing for working-class families was provided in council housing estates and university education was made available for working-class people through a grant system. However, the parliamentary leadership of the social democracies in general had no intention of ending capitalism, and their national outlook and their dedication to the maintenance of the post-war 'order' prevented the social democracies from making any significant changes to the economy. They were termed 'socialist' by all in 1945, but in the UK, for instance, where Social Democracy had a large majority in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, "The government had not the smallest intention of bringing in the 'common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange'" as written in Clause 4 of the Labour Party constitution. In Germany, the Social Democratic Party of Germany adopted the Godesberg Program in 1959, which rejected class struggle and Marxism.
In the UK, cabinet minister Herbert Morrison famously argued that, "Socialism is what the Labour government does", and Anthony Crosland argued that capitalism had been ended. However many socialists within the social democracy, at rank and file level as well as in a minority in the leadership such as Aneurin Bevan, feared the 'return of the 1930s' unless capitalism was ended, either directly or over a definite period of time. They criticised the government for not going further to take over the commanding heights of the economy. Bevan demanded that the "main streams of economic activity are brought under public direction" with economic planning, and criticised the Labour Party's implementation of nationalisation for not empowering the workers in the nationalised industries with democratic control over their operation. In the post war period, many Trotskyists expected at first the pattern of financial instability and recession to return. Instead the capitalist world, now led by the United States, embarked on a prolonged boom which lasted until 1973. Rising living standards across Europe and North America alongside low unemployment, was achieved, in the view of the socialists, by the efforts of trade union struggle, social reform by social democracy, and the ushering in of what was termed a "mixed economy".
Social democracy at first took the view that they had begun a "serious assault" on the five "Giant Evils" afflicting the working class, identified for instance by the British social reformer William Beveridge: "Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor, and Idleness". At the same time, the wartime alliance between the Soviet Union and the west broke down from 1946 onward, and relations between the Communist parties and the democratic socialist parties broke down in parallel. Once the Stalinists helped stabilise the capitalist governments in the immediate upheavals of 1945, as per the agreements between Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill, the capitalist politicians had no more use for them. The French, Italian and Belgian Communists withdrew or were expelled from post-war coalition governments, and civil war broke out in Greece. The imposition of Stalinist regimes in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia not only destroyed the socialist parties in those countries, it also produced a reaction against socialism in general. The Australian and New Zealand Labour governments were defeated in 1949, and the British Labour government in 1951. As the Cold War deepened, conservative rule in Britain, Germany and Italy became more strongly entrenched. Only in the Scandinavian countries and to some extent in France did the socialist parties retain their positions. But in 1958 Charles de Gaulle seized power in France and the French socialists (SFIO) found themselves cast into opposition.
In the 1960s and 1970s the new social forces, introduced, the social democrats argued, by their 'mixed economy' and their many reforms of capitalism, began to change the political landscape in the western world. The long postwar boom and the rapid expansion of higher education produced, as well as rising living standards for the industrial working class, a mass university-educated white collar workforce, nevertheless began to break down the old socialist-versus-conservative polarity of European politics. This new white-collar workforce, some claimed, was less interested in traditional socialist policies such as state ownership and more interested expanded personal freedom and liberal social policies. The proportion of women in the paid workforce increased and many supported the struggle for equal pay, which, some argued, changed both the composition and the political outlook of the working class. Some socialist parties reacted more flexibly and successfully to these changes than others, but eventually the leaderships of all social democracies in Europe moved to an explicitly pro-capitalist stance. Symbolically in the UK, the socialist clause, Clause four, was removed from the Labour Party constitution, in 1995. A similar change took place in the German SDP.
Particularly after the coming to power of British Premier Margaret Thatcher in 1979 and US President Ronald Reagan in 1981, and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, many social democratic party leaders were won to the ideological offensive which argued that capitalism had "won" and that, in the words of Francis Fukuyama's essay, capitalism had reached "the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.". Some parties reacted to these changes by engaging in a new round of revisionist re-assessment of socialist ideology, and adopting a neo-liberal outlook. Some critics argue that in practice the Social Democratic parties, and the Labour Party in particular, can no longer be described as socialist. On Prime Minister Tony Blair's departure in June 2007, left wing trade union leader Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union (RMT), argued that Blair will be remembered for "seamlessly continuing the neo-liberal economic and social policies of Margaret Thatcher".
Main article: New Left
Another manifestation of this changing social landscape was the rise of mass discontent, including the radical student movement, both in the United States – where it was driven mainly by opposition to the Vietnam War, and in Europe. Aside from the Civil Rights Movement, in which socialists participated, the anti-war movement was the first left-wing upsurge in the United States since the 1930s, but neither there nor in Europe did the traditional parties of the left lead the movement. In the mid-20th century some libertarian socialist groups emerged from disagreements with Trotskyism which presented itself as Leninist anti-stalinism. As such the French group Socialisme ou Barbarie emerged from the Trotskyist Fourth International, where Castoriadis and Claude Lefort constituted a Chaulieu–Montal Tendency in the French Parti Communiste Internationaliste in 1946. In 1948, they experienced their "final disenchantment with Trotskyism", leading them to break away to form Socialisme ou Barbarie, whose journal began appearing in March 1949. Castoriadis later said of this period that "the main audience of the group and of the journal was formed by groups of the old, radical left: Bordigists, council communists, some anarchists and some offspring of the German "left" of the 1920s". Instead Trotskyist, Maoist and anarchist groups arose. They became particularly influential in 1968, when riots amounting almost to an insurrection broke out in Paris in May 1968. Between eight and ten million workers struck, challenging the view becoming popular amongst socialists at the time that the working class were no longer a force for change. There were also major disturbances such as the 1968 Democratic National Convention protest activity in Chicago, the Columbia University protests of 1968 in New York, the embryonic Red Army Faction in West Berlin, and in other cities. In the short-term these movements provoked a conservative backlash, seen in De Gaulle's 1968 election victory and the election of Richard Nixon in the 1968 United States presidential election. In the 1970s, as particularly the far left Trotskyist groups continued to grow, the socialist and Communist parties again sought to channel people's anger back into safe confines, as they did in 1945. The British Labour Party had already returned to office under Harold Wilson in 1964, and in 1969 the German Social Democrats came to power for the first time since the 1920s under Willy Brandt. In France François Mitterrand buried the corpse of the old socialist party, the SFIO, and founded a new Socialist Party in 1971, although it would take him a decade to lead it to power. Labour governments were elected in both Australia and New Zealand in 1972, and the Austrian Socialists under Bruno Kreisky formed their first post-war government in 1970.
The emergence of the New Left in the 1950s and 1960s led to a revival of interest in libertarian socialism. The New Left's critique of the Old Left's authoritarianism was associated with a strong interest in personal liberty, autonomy (see the thinking of Cornelius Castoriadis) and led to a rediscovery of older socialist traditions, such as left communism, council communism, and the Industrial Workers of the World. The New Left also led to a revival of anarchism. Journals like Radical America and Black Mask in America, Solidarity, Big Flame and Democracy & Nature, succeeded by The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy, in the UK, introduced a range of left libertarian ideas to a new generation. Social ecology, autonomism and, more recently, participatory economics (parecon), and Inclusive Democracy emerged from this.
The New Left in the United States also included anarchist, counter-cultural and hippie-related radical groups such as the Yippies who were led by Abbie Hoffman, The Diggers and Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers. By late 1966, the Diggers opened free stores which simply gave away their stock, provided free food, distributed free drugs, gave away money, organised free music concerts, and performed works of political art. The Diggers took their name from the original English Diggers led by Gerrard Winstanley and sought to create a mini-society free of money and capitalism. On the other hand, the Yippies employed theatrical gestures, such as advancing a pig ("Pigasus the Immortal") as a candidate for president in 1968, to mock the social status quo. They have been described as a highly theatrical, anti-authoritarian and anarchist youth movement of "symbolic politics". Since they were well known for street theatre and politically themed pranks, many of the "old school" political left either ignored or denounced them. According to ABC News, "The group was known for street theatre pranks and was once referred to as the 'Groucho Marxists'."
Autonomist Marxism, Neo-Marxism and Situationist theory are also regarded as being anti-authoritarian variants of Marxism that are firmly within the libertarian socialist tradition. For libcom.org "In the 1980s and 90s, a series of other groups developed, influenced also by much of the above work. The most notable are Kolinko, Kurasje and Wildcat in Germany, Aufheben in England, Theorie Communiste in France, TPTG in Greece and Kamunist Kranti in India. They are also connected to other groups in other countries, merging autonomia, operaismo, Hegelian Marxism, the work of the JFT, Open Marxism, the ICO, the Situationist International, anarchism and post-68 German Marxism." Related to this were intellectuals who were influenced by Italian left communist Amadeo Bordiga but who disagreed with his leninist positions; these included the French publication Invariance edited by Jacques Camatte, published since 1968, and Gilles Dauvé who published Troploin with Karl Nesic.
After the Stonewall Rebellion, the New York Gay Liberation Front based their organisation in part on a reading of Murray Bookchin's anarchist writings.". In 1968 in Carrara, Italy the International of Anarchist Federations was founded during an international anarchist conference held there in 1968 by the three existing European federations of France, the Italian and the Iberian Anarchist Federation as well as the Bulgarian federation in French exile. During the events of May 68 the anarchist groups active in France were Fédération anarchiste, Mouvement communiste libertaire, Union fédérale des anarchistes, Alliance ouvrière anarchiste, Union des groupes anarchistes communistes, Noir et Rouge, Confédération nationale du travail, Union anarcho-syndicaliste, Organisation révolutionnaire anarchiste, Cahiers socialistes libertaires, À contre-courant, La Révolution prolétarienne, and the publications close to Émile Armand.
The early 1970s were a particularly stormy period for socialists, as capitalism had its first worldwide slump of 1973-4, suffered from rising oil prices, and a crisis in confidence. In southern Europe, for example, the Portuguese Carnation Revolution of 1974 threatened the existence of capitalism for a while due to the insurrection and the occupations which followed. A New York Times editorial on February 17, 1975, stated "a communist takeover of Portugal might encourage a similar trend in Italy and France, create problems in Greece and Turkey, affect the succession in Spain and Yugoslavia and send tremors throughout Western Europe." The Greek military dictatorship fell in Greece, PASOK arose at first with a strong socialist outlook, and in Spain, the Spanish State fell in a period of rising struggle. In Italy there was continual unrest, and governments fell almost annually. The Italian workers won and defended the "scala mobile", the sliding scale of wages linked to inflation. However, as before, neither the Communists nor the social democracy had any plans to abolish capitalism, and the occupations in Portugal, variously estimated to have taken between 70 - 90% of the economy, were gradually rolled back. The UK saw a state of emergency and the three-day week, with 22 million days lost in strike action in 1972, leading to the fall of the Heath government. The Trotskyist Militant, an entryist group active in the Labour Party, became the "fifth most important political party" in the UK for a period in the mid-1980s, according to the journalist Michael Crick.
In Indonesia within the Indonesian killings of 1965–66, a right wing military regime killed between 300,000 and one million people mainly to crush the growing influence of the Communist Party of Indonesia and other leftist sectors In Latin America in the 1960s a socialist tendency within the catholic church appeared which was called Liberation theology
Immediately after the Second World War, a period known as the Cold War began. It represented a period of conflict, tension and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies. Throughout the period, the rivalry between the two superpowers was played out in multiple arenas: military coalitions; ideology, psychology, and espionage; military, industrial, and technological developments, including the space race; costly defence spending; a massive conventional and nuclear arms race; and many proxy wars. The term "Cold War" was introduced in 1947 by Americans Bernard Baruch and Walter Lippmann to describe emerging tensions between the two former wartime allies. There never was a direct military engagement between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, but there was a half-century of military buildup, and political battles for support around the world, including significant involvement of allied and satellite nations. Although the U.S. and the Soviet Union had been allied against Nazi Germany, the two sides differed on how to reconstruct the postwar world even before the end of World War II. Over the following decades, the Cold War spread outside Europe to every region of the world, as the U.S. sought the "containment" of communism and forged numerous alliances to this end, particularly in Western Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
In 1946, speaking at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, former British prime minister Winston Churchill warned that, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent." In the months that followed, Josef Stalin continued to solidify a Soviet sphere of influence in eastern Europe. For example, Bulgaria received its new Communist premier, Georgi Dimitrov, in November 1946, a Communist government under Bolesław Bierut had been established in Poland already in 1945, and by 1947, Hungary and Romania had also come under full communist rule. The last democratic government in the eastern bloc, Czechoslovakia, fell to a Communist coup in 1948, and in 1949 the Soviets raised their occupation zone in Germany to become the German Democratic Republic under Walter Ulbricht. To coordinate their new empire, the Soviets established a number of international organisations, first the Cominform to coordinate the policies of the various Communist parties, then the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), in 1948, to control economic planning, and finally (in response to the entry of the Federal Republic of Germany into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) the Warsaw Pact in 1955, which served as a military alliance against the West. One crack within that sphere of influence emerged after 1948, when Marshal Josip Broz Tito became the president of Yugoslavia. Initial disagreement was over the level of independence claimed by Tito as the only East European Communist ruler commanding a strong domestic majority. Later the gap widened when Tito's government initiated a system of decentralised profit-sharing workers' councils, in effect a self-governing, somewhat market-oriented socialism, which Stalin considered dangerously revisionist. Stalin died in 1953.
In the power struggle that followed Stalin's death, Nikita Khrushchev emerged triumphant. In 1956, at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he denounced the "personality cult" that had surrounded Stalin in a speech entitled On the Personality Cult and its Consequences. In the de-Stalinization campaign that followed, all buildings and towns that had been named for him were renamed, pictures and statues were destroyed. Although in some respects Khrushchev was a reformer and allowed the emergence of a certain amount of intra-party dissent, his commitment to reform was thrown into doubt with the brutal use of military force on the civilian population of Hungary in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution and the March 9 massacre in Tbilisi, 1956.
By the late 1960s, the people of several Eastern bloc countries had become discontented with the human and economic costs of the Soviet system, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic especially so. As a result of the growing discontent, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia began to fear a popular uprising. They initiated reforms to attempt to save the regime, but eventually relied on help from the Stalinists in Russia. In 1968, Alexander Dubček initiated what is known as the Prague Spring, ending censorship of the press and decentralizing production decisions, so that they were to be made not by central planners but by the workers and managers of the factories. People were to be allowed to travel abroad. Brezhnev reacted by announcing and enforcing what became known as the Brezhnev doctrine, which stated: "When forces that are hostile to socialism try to turn the development of some socialist country towards capitalism the suppression of these counter-revolutionary forces becomes not only a problem of the country concerned, but a common problem and concern of all socialist countries." In August 1968, pursuant to this announcement, Soviet Armed Forces troops occupied Czechoslovakia. The following year, the Ukrainians responded to a campaign of passive disobedience on the part of the Czech populace by arranging the replacement of Dubček as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The new first secretary, Gustáv Husák, would prove more compliant. He presided over a 'cleansing' of the Czech Communist Party and the introduction of a new constitution.
The early 1970s saw a period of détente. The arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union slackened. Brezhnev worked with US President Richard Nixon to negotiate and implement the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty of 1972. Brezhnev also scored some diplomatic advances with the non-aligned world, such as a 1971 friendship pact with India, and the close relations the Soviet Union enjoyed with several Arab countries after Soviet material support in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. After his death in 1982, Brezhnev was succeeded by Yuri Andropov, who died in 1984, and then Konstantin Chernenko, who died in 1985. Andropov's brief tenure as General Secretary indicated that he might have had reformist plans, and though Chernenko put them aside, Andropov had had time to groom a group of potential reformist successors, one of whom was Mikhail Gorbachev. It was also during Andropov's tenure and this period of generational turmoil that the rule of Communists next door, in Poland, came under challenge from Solidarność, or Solidarity, a labour union under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa. The union was sufficiently threatening to the government that on 13 December 1981, the head of state, Wojciech Jaruzelski declared martial law, suspended the union, and imprisoned most of its leaders.
Through the Second World War, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the leadership of Mao Zedong and the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek lived in an uneasy truce in order to combat the common foe, the Japanese occupation. Upon the Surrender of Japan, the Chinese Civil War immediately resumed. Another truce, negotiated by American general George C. Marshall early in 1946, collapsed after only three months. While war raged in the Republic of China, two post-occupation governments established themselves next door, in Korea. In 1948, Syngman Rhee was proclaimed president of the Republic of Korea (South Korea), at Seoul, while the Communist Workers Party of North Korea in the north proclaimed the establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea).
In January 1949, the Republic of China Armed Forces suffered a devastating defeat by the Communist People's Liberation Army at Tientsin. By spring, Chiang Kai-shek, now losing whole divisions by desertion to the Communists, began the removal of remaining forces to Formosa (Taiwan). In August, U.S. aid to the Nationalists ended due to Chiang's regime, which was corruption. In October, Mao Zedong took office as the Chairman of the Central People's Administrative Council of the People's Republic of China in Beijing. Zhou Enlai was named premier and foreign minister of the new state. The nascent People's Republic did not yet control all of the territory of the Republic of China. Mao declared it his goal in 1950 to "liberate" Hainan, Tibet, and Formosa, and while he accomplished that of the first two, the third was interrupted: On 25 June 1950, the Korean People's Army invaded South Korea unleashing the Korean War. The United States Seventh Fleet was summarily dispatched to protect Formosa from a mainland Red Chinese invasion. Although Mao was apparently unenthusiastic about that war, a Chinese volunteer force entered the Korean War in November.
Claiming a victory against colonialism in the Korean War stalemate, the Communist government in China settled down to the consolidation of domestic power. During the 1950s, they redistributed land, established the Anti-Rightist Movement, and attempted mass industrialisation, with technical assistance from the Soviet Union. By the mid-1950s, after an armistice in Korea and the surrender of French Union forces in the First Indochina War, China's borders were secure. Mao's internal power base was likewise secured by the imprisonment of those he called "left-wing oppositionists". As the 1950s ended, Mao became discontented with the status quo. On the one hand, he saw the Soviet Union attempting "peaceful co-existence" with the imperialist Western powers of NATO, and he believed China could be the centre of worldwide revolution only by breaking with Moscow. (Mao viewed then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev as a revisionist [i.e. not a true Communist] and a traitor to socialism.) On the other hand, he was dissatisfied with the economic consequences of the revolution thus far, and believed the country had to enter into a program of planned rapid industrialisation known as the Great Leap Forward.
The economic planning of the Great Leap period focused on steel – because steel was considered emblematic of industry. The government arranged to have small backyard steel furnaces built in communes, in the hope that the mobilisation of the entire populace would compensate for the absence of the usual economies of scale. During this period, Mao stepped down as head of state in favour of Liu Shaoqi, but Mao remained Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. The rushed program of industrialisation was a disaster. It diverted labour and resources from agriculture to marginally productive cottage industry and so contributed to years of the Great Chinese Famine. It also caused a loss of Mao's influence upon the Communist Party and government apparatus. Modernisers such as Liu and Deng Xiaoping sought to relegate him to the status of figurehead. Mao was not ready to be a figurehead. In the early 1960s he gathered around himself the so-called "Shanghai Mafia" consisting of his fourth wife, Jiang Qing (a.k.a. "Madame Mao"), as well as Lin Biao, Chen Boda, and Yao Wenyuan, unleashing the Cultural Revolution.
In the People's Republic of China (PRC) since 1967, the terms Ultra-Left and left communist refers to political theory and practice self-defined as further "left" than that of the central Maoist leaders at the height of the GPCR ("Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution"). The terms are also used retroactively to describe some early 20th century Chinese anarchist orientations. As a slur, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has used the term "ultra-left" more broadly to denounce any orientation it considers further "left" than the party line. According to the latter usage, in 1978 the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party denounced as "ultra-left" the line of Mao Zedong from 1956 until his death in 1976. "Ultra-Left" refers to those GPCR rebel positions that diverged from the central Maoist line by identifying an antagonistic contradiction between the CCP-PRC party-state itself and the masses of workers and "peasants" conceived as a single proletarian class divorced from any meaningful control over production or distribution. Whereas the central Maoist line maintained that the masses controlled the means of production through the Party's mediation, the Ultra-Left argued that the objective interests of bureaucrats were structurally determined by the centralist state-form in direct opposition to the objective interests of the masses, regardless of however "red" a given bureaucrat's "thought" might be. Whereas the central Maoist leaders encouraged the masses to criticise reactionary "ideas" and "habits" among the alleged 5% of bad cadres, giving them a chance to "turn over a new leaf" after they had undergone "thought reform," the Ultra-Left argued that "cultural revolution" had to give way to "political revolution" – "in which one class overthrows another class".
Main article: Revolutions of 1989
Mikhail Gorbachev (born 1931), who took control in 1985, was the first Soviet leader to have been born after the October revolution. He is remembered for three initiatives: glasnost, perestroika, and the "Frank Sinatra doctrine". Glasnost, or "openness", was Gorbachev's term for allowing public debate in the Soviet Union to an unprecedented degree. Perestroika was his term for market-oriented economic reforms, in recognition of the stagnating effects of central planning. The "Frank Sinatra" doctrine was his reversal of the Brezhnev doctrine. Sinatra sang "My Way", and the doctrine named for him was that each Warsaw Pact country could find its own "way" of doing things.
In 1989, Gorbachev also withdrew Soviet troops from their engagement in Afghanistan, ten years after Brezhnev had sent them there. They had been fighting the anti-government Mujahideen forces which since 1979 as part of its cold war strategy had been covertly funded and trained by the United States government through the Pakistani secret service known as Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). By August 1991, anti-reform Communists in both the Communist Party and the Soviet Armed Forces were sufficiently desperate to attempt a military coup. Coup leaders called themselves the State Committee on the State of Emergency. They announced that Gorbachev had been removed from his position as President of the Soviet Union due to illness. Although the coup rapidly collapsed and Gorbachev returned to Moscow, it was Boris Yeltsin who had played a leading role in the street resistance to that Committee, and the incident marked a shift of power away from Gorbachev toward Yeltsin. By the end of that year, Yeltsin was the President of Russia, and the Soviet Union was no more.
In 1965, Wenyuan wrote a thinly veiled attack on the deputy mayor of Beijing, Wu Han. Over the six months that followed, on behalf of ideological purity, Mao and his supporters purged many public figures, Liu Shao-chi among them. By the middle of 1966, Mao had not only put himself back into the centre of things, he had initiated what is known as the Cultural Revolution, a mass and army-supported action against the Communist Party apparatus itself on behalf of a renovated conception of Communism. Chaos continued throughout China for three years, particularly due to the agitations of the Red Guards until the CCP's ninth congress in 1969, when Lin Biao emerged as the primary military figure, and the presumptive heir to Mao in the party. In the months that followed, Lin Biao restored domestic order, while diplomatic efforts by Zhou Enlai cooled border tensions with the Soviet Union. Lin Biao died under mysterious circumstances in 1971. Mao's final years saw a notable thaw in the People's Republic's relations with the United States, the period of "Ping Pong Diplomacy". Mao died in 1976, and almost immediately his ideological heirs, the Gang of Four lost a power struggle to more "pragmatic" figures such as Deng Xiaoping. The term "pragmatic" is often used in media accounts of these factional struggles but should not be confused with the philosophy of pragmatism proper.
Deng launched the "Beijing Spring", allowing open criticism of the excesses and suffering that had occurred during the Cultural Revolution period. He also eliminated the class-background system, under which the communist regime had limited employment opportunities available to people deemed associated with the pre-revolutionary landlord class. Although Deng's only official title in the early 1980s was chairman of the central military commission of the CP, he was widely regarded as the central figure in the nation's politics. In that period, Zhao Ziyang became premier and Hu Yaobang became head of the party. Near the end of that decade, the death of Hu Yaobang sparked a mass demonstration of mourning students in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. The mourning soon turned into a call for greater responsiveness and liberalisation, and the demonstration was captured live on cameras to be broadcast around the world. On May 30, 1989, students erected the "Goddess of Democracy" statue, which looked a bit like Lady Liberty in New York Harbor. On 4 June 1989 under the orders of Deng Xiaoping, troops and tanks of the People's Liberation Army ended the protest. Thousands were killed in the resultant massacre.
By the start of the 21st century, though, the leadership of China was embarked upon a program of market-based reform that was more sweeping than had been Soviet leader Gorbachev's perestroika program of the late 1980s, which is traceable to Deng's Socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is in this context that Leo Melamed, chairman emeritus and senior policy adviser to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, spoke to the 2003 Beijing Forum on China and East Asian Prospects of Financial Cooperation on September 23. He said that the CME applauds the National People's Congress for recognising their country's need for additional trading in futures contracts.
Since the 1998 election of Hugo Chávez as president in Venezuela and the beginnings of his "Bolivarian Revolution" aimed at creating greater equality, Latin American nations have seen a tide of democratically elected socialist and centre-left governments emerge. They have been elected in increasing numbers as the poor and middle classes of many countries have become increasingly disillusioned with the neoliberal economic policies still encouraged by the United States and as a very large gap continues to exist between rich and poor, denying millions of people basic opportunities and necessities. A long and very controversial history of U.S. military and political intervention in the region dating back to the 19th century has severely tarnished the image of the United States in the eyes of many Latin Americans and shapes governments' policies to this day. A recent example of the influence of the aforementioned sentiment was the Latin American and Caribbean Congress in Solidarity with Puerto Rico's Independence, an international summit held at Panama City, Panama, in which fifteen incumbent political parties (in government) requested that the United States "relinquish its colonial rule over said island-nation and recognise Puerto Rico's independence". Chavez is joined by the democratic socialist president of Bolivia, Evo Morales (that nation's first indigenous leader), who has adopted strong reformist agendas and attracted overwhelming majority electoral victories. The democratically elected president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa is also an ally of Chavez. Correa describes himself as a humanist, Christian of the left and proponent of socialism of the 21st century.
A number of centre-left/social democratic presidents have also come to power in Latin American countries recently promising a greater redistribution of wealth within the framework of the free market. They include Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Tabaré Vázquez of Uruguay, Alan García of Peru, Álvaro Colom in Guatemala and Fernando Lugo of Paraguay. In Brazil Lula da Silva and his The Workers Party were in power for 13 years. The majority of these governments are still enjoying high approval ratings in their nation's public opinion polls. In Nicaragua's 2006 elections the former Sandinista President Daniel Ortega was re-elected President after having been out of office since 1990. In Colombia's previous presidential elections, Carlos Gaviria Díaz of the socialist Alternative Democratic Pole came in second place to Álvaro Uribe of Colombia First, a conservative party. While in Peru's previous presidential election Alan García's main challenger was Ollanta Humala of the Union for Peru, a left-wing Peruvian nationalist with close ties to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. The results of the 2006 Peruvian election were close. In El Salvador, the FMLN a former left-wing guerrilla group which once fought against a military dictatorship is now the official opposition to the Salvadoran government.
Other parts of the developing world have also seen a rise in radical socialist parties and movements. In Nepal following the end of the Civil War, the formerly militant Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the more moderate Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) have emerged as the two most powerful opposition parties in the country. In Nepal's 2008 Constituent Assembly elections the Maoists emerged as the largest party allowing them to form an interim government. Their leader, Prachanda has vowed to respect multiparty democracy. In some of the poorest parts of India, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has also been fighting the violent Naxalite–Maoist insurgency against the Government of India and controls the "red corridor"; a similar rebellion is being waged by the Maoist, New People's Army in the Philippines.
Main article: Left-wing populism
In many developed nations, the rise of Third Way policies and the increase in capitalism and free-market economies has led to the rise of many new socialist parties. They include Sinn Féin in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (they also represent the Nationalist constituency of Northern Ireland), The Left of Germany, Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, Left Party of Sweden, Left Alliance of Finland, New Zealand Progressive Party, Socialist Party of Ireland, Socialist Party of the Netherlands, Respect Party of the United Kingdom, Scottish Socialist Party and Québec solidaire in the Canadian province of Quebec.
The Progressive Alliance is a political international founded on 22 May 2013 by political parties, the majority of whom are current or former members of the Socialist International. The organisation states the aim of becoming the global network of "the progressive, democratic, social-democratic, socialist and labour movement".
Main article: African socialism
African socialism has been and continues to be a major ideology around the continent. Julius Nyerere was inspired by Fabian socialist ideals. He was a firm believer in rural Africans and their traditions and ujamaa, a system of collectivisation that according to Nyerere was present before European imperialism. He believed Africans were already socialists.
Other African socialists include Jomo Kenyatta, Kenneth Kaunda, Nelson Mandela and Kwame Nkrumah. Fela Kuti was inspired by socialism and called for a democratic African republic. In South Africa the African National Congress (ANC) abandoned its partial socialist allegiances after taking power and followed a standard neoliberal route. From 2005 through to 2007, the country was wracked by many thousands of protests from poor communities. One of these gave rise to a mass movement of shack dwellers, Abahlali baseMjondolo that despite major police suppression continues to work for popular people's planning and against the creation of a market economy in land and housing.
In Asia, states with socialist economies—such as the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Laos and Vietnam—have largely moved away from centralised economic planning in the 21st century, placing a greater emphasis on markets. Forms include the Chinese socialist market economy and the Vietnamese socialist-oriented market economy. They use state-owned corporate management models as opposed to modelling socialist enterprise on traditional management styles employed by government agencies. In China living standards continued to improve rapidly despite the Great Recession, but centralised political control remained tight. Brian Reynolds Myers in his book The Cleanest Race, later supported by other academics, dismisses the idea that Juche is North Korea's leading ideology, regarding its public exaltation as designed to deceive foreigners and that it exists to be praised and not actually read, pointing out that North Korea's constitution of 2009 omits all mention of communism.
Although the authority of the state remained unchallenged under Đổi Mới, the government of Vietnam encourages private ownership of farms and factories, economic deregulation and foreign investment, while maintaining control over strategic industries. The Vietnamese economy subsequently achieved strong growth in agricultural and industrial production, construction, exports and foreign investment. However, these reforms have also caused a rise in income inequality and gender disparities.
Elsewhere in Asia, some elected socialist parties and communist parties remain prominent, particularly in India and Nepal. Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) in particular calls for multi-party democracy, social equality and economic prosperity. In Singapore, a majority of the GDP is still generated from the state sector comprising government-linked companies. In Japan, there has been a resurgent interest in the Japanese Communist Party among workers and youth. In Malaysia, the Socialist Party of Malaysia got its first Member of Parliament, Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, after the 2008 general election. In 2010, there were 270 kibbutzim in Israel. Their factories and farms account for 9% of Israel's industrial output, worth US$8 billion and 40% of its agricultural output, worth over $1.7 billion. Some Kibbutzim had also developed substantial high-tech and military industries. Also in 2010, Kibbutz Sasa, containing some 200 members, generated $850 million in annual revenue from its military-plastics industry.
Main article: Socialism in Europe
The United Nations World Happiness Report 2013 shows that the happiest nations are concentrated in Northern Europe, where the Nordic model is employed, with Denmark topping the list. This is at times attributed to the success of the Nordic model in the region that has been labelled social democratic in contrast with the conservative continental model and the liberal Anglo-American model. The Nordic countries ranked highest on the metrics of real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.
The objectives of the Party of European Socialists, the European Parliament's socialist and social democratic bloc, are now "to pursue international aims in respect of the principles on which the European Union is based, namely principles of freedom, equality, solidarity, democracy, respect of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and respect for the Rule of Law". As a result, today the rallying cry of the French Revolution—Liberté, égalité, fraternité—is promoted as essential socialist values. To the left of the PES at the European level is the Party of the European Left (PEL), also commonly abbreviated "European Left"), which is a political party at the European level and an association of democratic socialist, socialist and communist political parties in the European Union and other European countries. It was formed in January 2004 for the purposes of running in the 2004 European Parliament elections. PEL was founded on 8–9 May 2004 in Rome. Elected MEPs from member parties of the European Left sit in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group in the European parliament.
The socialist Left Party in Germany grew in popularity due to dissatisfaction with the increasingly neoliberal policies of the SPD, becoming the fourth biggest party in parliament in the general election on 27 September 2009. Communist candidate Dimitris Christofias won a crucial presidential runoff in the 2008 Cypriot presidential election, defeating his conservative rival with a majority of 53%. In Ireland, in the 2009 European election Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party took one of three seats in the capital Dublin European constituency. In Denmark, the Socialist People's Party (SF) more than doubled its parliamentary representation to 23 seats from 11, making it the fourth largest party. In the 2011 Danish general election, the Social Democrats, Socialist People's Party and the Danish Social Liberal Party formed government, after a slight victory over the main rival political coalition. They were led by Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and had the Red-Green Alliance as a supporting party. In Norway, the Red-Green Coalition consists of the Labour Party (Ap), the Socialist Left Party (SV) and the Centre Party (Sp) and governed the country as a majority government from the 2005 general election until 2013.
In the Greek legislative election of January 2015, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) led by Alexis Tsipras won a legislative election for the first time while the Communist Party of Greece won 15 seats in parliament. SYRIZA has been characterised as an anti-establishment party, whose success has sent "shock-waves across the EU". In the United Kingdom, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers put forward a slate of candidates in the 2009 European Parliament elections under the banner of No to EU – Yes to Democracy, a broad left-wing alter-globalisation coalition involving socialist groups such as the Socialist Party, aiming to offer an alternative to the "anti-foreigner" and pro-business policies of the UK Independence Party. In the following May 2010 United Kingdom general election, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, launched in January 2010 and backed by Bob Crow, the leader of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), other union leaders and the Socialist Party among other socialist groups, stood against Labour in 40 constituencies. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition contested the 2011 local elections, having gained the endorsement of the RMT June 2010 conference, but gained no seats. Left Unity was also founded in 2013 after the film director Ken Loach appealed for a new party of the left to replace the Labour Party, which he claimed had failed to oppose austerity and had shifted towards neoliberalism. In 2015, following a defeat at the 2015 United Kingdom general election, self-described socialist Jeremy Corbyn took over from Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour Party.
In France, Olivier Besancenot, the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) candidate in the 2007 presidential election, received 1,498,581 votes, 4.08%, double that of the communist candidate. The LCR abolished itself in 2009 to initiate a broad anti-capitalist party, the New Anticapitalist Party, whose stated aim is to "build a new socialist, democratic perspective for the twenty-first century". On 25 May 2014, the Spanish left-wing party Podemos entered candidates for the 2014 European parliamentary elections, some of which were unemployed. In a surprise result, it polled 7.98% of the vote and thus was awarded five seats out of 54 while the older United Left was the third largest overall force obtaining 10.03% and 5 seats, 4 more than the previous elections. The government of Portugal established on 26 November 2015 was a Socialist Party (PS) minority government led by prime minister António Costa, who succeeded in securing support for a Socialist minority government by the Left Bloc (B.E.), the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Ecologist Party "The Greens" (PEV). All around Europe and in some places of Latin America there exists a social centre and squatting movement mainly inspired by autonomist and anarchist ideas.
Main articles: History of the socialist movement in the United States and Socialism in Canada
See also: Millennial socialism
According to a 2013 article in The Guardian, "[c]ontrary to popular belief, Americans don't have an innate allergy to socialism. Milwaukee has had several socialist mayors (Frank Zeidler, Emil Seidel and Daniel Hoan), and there is currently an independent socialist in the US Senate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont". Sanders, once mayor of Vermont's largest city, Burlington, has described himself as a democratic socialist and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy. In 2016, Sanders made a bid for the Democratic Party presidential candidate, thereby gaining considerable popular support, particularly among the younger generation, but lost the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries to Hillary Clinton. As of 2019, the Democratic Socialists of America have two members in the United States Congress, and various members in state legislatures and city councils. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 37% of American adults have a positive view of socialism, including 57% of Democrat-leaning voters and 16% of Republican-leaning voters. A 2019 YouGov poll found that 7 out of 10 millennials would vote for a socialist presidential candidate, and 36% had a favorable view of communism. An earlier 2019 Harris Poll found that socialism is more popular with women than men, with 55% of women between the ages of 18 and 54 preferring to live in a socialist society while a majority of men surveyed in the poll chose capitalism over socialism.
Anti-capitalism, anarchism and the anti-globalisation movement rose to prominence through events such as protests against the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999 in Seattle. Socialist-inspired groups played an important role in these movements, which nevertheless embraced much broader layers of the population and were championed by figures such as Noam Chomsky. In Canada, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the precursor to the social democratic New Democratic Party (NDP), had significant success in provincial politics. In 1944, the Saskatchewan CCF formed the first socialist government in North America. At the federal level, the NDP was the Official Opposition, from 2011 through 2015.
In their Johnson linguistics column, The Economist opines that in the 21st century United States, the term socialism, without clear definition, has become a pejorative used by conservatives to attack liberal and progressive policies, proposals, and public figures.
For the Encyclopedia Britannica, "the attempt by Salvador Allende to unite Marxists and other reformers in a socialist reconstruction of Chile is most representative of the direction that Latin American socialists have taken since the late 20th century. ... Several socialist (or socialist-leaning) leaders have followed Allende's example in winning election to office in Latin American countries". The success of the Workers' Party (Portuguese: Partido dos Trabalhadores – PT) of Brazil, formed in 1980 and governing Brazil from 2003 to 2016, was the first major breakthrough for this trend.
Foro de São Paulo is a conference of leftist political parties and other organisations from Latin America and the Caribbean. It was launched by the Workers' Party in 1990 in the city of São Paulo, after the PT approached other parties and social movements of Latin America and the Caribbean with the objective of debating the new international scenario after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the consequences of the implementation of what were taken as neoliberal policies adopted at the time by contemporary right-leaning governments in the region, the stated main objective of the conference being to argue for alternatives to neoliberalism. Among its members have been socialist and social-democratic parties in government in the region such as Bolivia's Movement for Socialism, the Communist Party of Cuba, Ecuador's PAIS Alliance, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, the Socialist Party of Chile, Uruguay's Broad Front, Nicaragua's Sandinista National Liberation Front, El Salvador's Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front and members of Argentina's Frente de Todos.
In the first decade of the 21st century, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Bolivian President Evo Morales and Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa referred to their political programmes as socialist, and Chávez adopted the term "socialism of the 21st century". After winning re-election in December 2006, Chávez said: "Now more than ever, I am obliged to move Venezuela's path towards socialism". Chávez was also reelected in October 2012 for his third six-year term as president, but he died in March 2013 from cancer. After Chávez's death on 5 March 2013, Vice President from Chávez's party Nicolás Maduro assumed the powers and responsibilities of the President. A special election was held on 14 April of the same year to elect a new president, which Maduro won by a tight margin as the candidate of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and he was formally inaugurated on 19 April. Pink tide is a term used in political analysis, in the media and elsewhere to describe the perception that leftist ideology in general and left-wing politics in particular were increasingly influential in Latin America in the 2000s. Some of the pink tide governments were criticised for turning from socialism to populism and authoritarianism. The pink tide was followed in the 2010s by a "conservative wave" as right-wing governments came to power in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, and Venezuela and Nicaragua experienced political crises. However, socialism saw a resurgence in 2018–19 after successive electoral victories of left-wing and centre-left candidates in Mexico, Panama, and Argentina.
Australia saw an increase in interest of socialism in the early 21st century, especially amongst youth. It is strongest in Victoria, where three socialist parties have merged into the Victorian Socialists, who aim to address problems in housing and public transportation.
In New Zealand, socialism emerged within the budding trade union movement during the late 19th century and early 20th century. In July 1916, several left-wing political organisations and trade unions merged to form the New Zealand Labour Party. While Labour traditionally had a socialist orientation, the party shifted towards a more social democratic orientation during the 1920s and 1930s. Following the 1935 general election, the First Labour Government pursued socialist policies such as nationalising industry, broadcasting, transportation, and implementing a Keynesian welfare state. However, the party did not seek to abolish capitalism, instead opting for a mixed economy. Labour's welfare state and mixed economy were not challenged until the 1980s. During the 1980s, the Fourth Labour Government implemented a raft of neoliberal economic reforms known as Rogernomics which saw New Zealand society and the economy shift towards a more free market model. Labour's abandonment of its traditional values fractured the party. Successive Labour governments have since pursued centre-left social and economic policies while maintaining a free-market economy. The current Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern formerly served as President of the International Union of Socialist Youth. Ardern is a self-described social democrat who has criticized capitalism as a "blatant failure" due to high levels of homelessness and low wages. New Zealand still has a small socialist scene, mainly dominated by Trotskyist groups.
Melanesian socialism developed in the 1980s, inspired by African socialism. It aims to achieve full independence from Britain and France in Melanesian territories and creation of a Melanesian federal union. It is very popular with the New Caledonia independence movement.
In Noldke's opinion, 'Mazdak's Socialism is different from the socialism of our own time in that his socialistic thoughts were based on religion and a negation of the world; whereas in our time socialism is based on materialism.[']
There would be equal means of subsistence, support, education, and opportunity for every child, boy or girl, until maturity, and equal resources and facilities in adulthood to create his own well-being by his own labor.
One widespread distinction was that socialism socialised production only while communism socialised production and consumption.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Josiah Warren: The First American Anarchist — A Sociological Study, Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1906, p. 20
In the forties and fifties, anarchism, in fact if not in name, began to reappear, often in alliance with pacifism, as the basis for a critique of militarism on both sides of the Cold War. The anarchist/pacifist wing of the peace movement was small in comparison with the wing of the movement that emphasized electoral work, but made an important contribution to the movement as a whole. Where the more conventional wing of the peace movement rejected militarism and war under all but the most dire circumstances, the anarchist/pacifist wing rejected these on principle.
In the 1950s and 1960s anarcho-pacifism began to gel, tough-minded anarchists adding to the mixture their critique of the state, and tender-minded pacifists their critique of violence. Its first practical manifestation was at the level of method: nonviolent direct action, principled and pragmatic, was used widely in both the Civil Rights Movement in the USA and the campaign against nuclear weapons in Britain and elsewhere.
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Socialism is not "the government should provide healthcare" or "the rich should be taxed more" nor any of the other watery social-democratic positions that the American right likes to demonise by calling them "socialist"—and granted, it is chiefly the right that does so, but the fact that rightists are so rarely confronted and ridiculed for it means that they have successfully muddied the political discourse to the point where an awful lot of Americans have only the flimsiest grasp of what socialism is. And that, in a country that sent tens of thousands of men to die fighting socialism, is frankly an insult to those dead soldiers' memories.
South America, a historical bastion of populism, has always had a penchant for the left, but the continent's predilection for unsustainable welfarism might be approaching a dramatic end. ... This "pink tide" also included the rise of populist ideologies in some of these countries, such as Kirchnerismo in Argentina, Chavismo in Venezuela, and Lulopetismo in Brazil.
The wrong left, by contrast, was said to be populist, old-fashioned, and irresponsible ...
... the populous of Latin America are voting in the Pink Tide governments that struggle with reform while being prone to populism and authoritarianism.