Austromarxism

Last updated

Austro-Marxism was a Marxist theoretical current, led by Victor Adler, Otto Bauer, Karl Renner and Max Adler, members of the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Austria in Austria-Hungary and the First Austrian Republic (1918–1934). It is known for its theory of nationality and nationalism, and its attempt to conciliate it with socialism in the imperial context. Hence, Otto Bauer thought of the "personal principle" as a way of gathering the geographically divided members of the same nation. In Social Democracy and the Nationalities Question (1907), he wrote that "The personal principle wants to organize nations not in territorial bodies but in simple association of persons", thus radically disjoining the nation from the territory and making of the nation a non-territorial association.

Victor Adler Foreign minister of Austria

Victor Adler was an Austrian politician, a leader of the labour movement and founder of the Social Democratic Workers' Party (SDAP).

Otto Bauer Austrian Social Democrat

Otto Bauer was an Austrian Social Democrat who is considered one of the leading thinkers of the left-socialist Austro-Marxist grouping. He was also an early inspiration for both the New Left movement and Eurocommunism in their attempt to find a "Third way" to democratic socialism.

Karl Renner First Chancellor of Austria, Fourth President of Austria

Karl Renner was an Austrian politician of the Socialist Party. He is often referred to as the "Father of the Republic" because he led the first government of German-Austria and the First Austrian Republic in 1919 and 1920, and was once again decisive in establishing the present Second Republic after the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945, becoming its first President after World War II.

Contents

Overview

Beginning in 1904, the Austro-Marxist group organized around magazines such as the Blätter zur Theorie und Politik des wissenschaftlichen Sozialismus and the Marx-Studien. Far from being a homogeneous movement, it was a home for such different thinkers and politicians as the Neokantian Max Adler and the orthodox Marxist Rudolf Hilferding.

Orthodox Marxism body of Marxist thought that emerged following the death of Karl Marx which became the official philosophy of the socialist movement

Orthodox Marxism is the body of Marxist thought that emerged after the death of Karl Marx (1818–1883) and which became the official philosophy of the socialist movement as represented in the Second International until the First World War in 1914. Orthodox Marxism aims to simplify, codify and systematize Marxist method and theory by clarifying the perceived ambiguities and contradictions of classical Marxism.

Rudolf Hilferding German politician

Rudolf Hilferding was an Austrian-born Marxist economist, leading socialist theorist, politician and chief theoretician for the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) during the Weimar Republic, almost universally recognized as the SPD's foremost theoretician of his century, and a physician.

In 1921 the Austro-Marxists formed the International Working Union of Socialist Parties (also known as 2½ International or the Vienna International), hoping to unite the 2nd and 3rd Internationals, something which eventually failed.

The International Working Union of Socialist Parties was a political international for the co-operation of socialist parties.

The Second International (1889–1916), the original Socialist International, was an organization of socialist and labour parties formed in Paris on 14 July 1889. At the Paris meeting, delegations from twenty countries participated. The International continued the work of the dissolved First International, though excluding the still-powerful anarcho-syndicalist movement and unions and by 1922 April 2 at a major post-World War I conference it began to reorganize into the Labor and Socialist International.

Austro-Marxism inspired later movements such as Eurocommunism and the New Left, all searching for a democratic socialist middle ground between communism and social democracy and a way to eventually unite the two movements.[ citation needed ]

Eurocommunism political ideology

Eurocommunism was a revisionist trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties, which said they had developed a theory and practice of social transformation more relevant for Western Europe. During the Cold War, they sought to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It was especially prominent in Italy, Spain and France.

New Left political ideology

The New Left was a broad political movement mainly in the 1960s and 1970s consisting of activists in the Western world who campaigned for a broad range of social issues such as civil and political rights, feminism, gay rights, abortion rights, gender roles and drug policy reforms. Some saw the New Left as an oppositional reaction to earlier Marxist and labor union movements for social justice that focused on dialectical materialism and social class, while others who used the term saw the movement as a continuation and revitalization of traditional leftist goals.

Communism socialist political movement and ideology

In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.

Austro-Marxism also instituted economic and social reforms such as healthcare, municipal housing, and educational system in Vienna, which later inspired the Scandinavian social democratic parties and the British Labour Party.

Gemeindebau type of public housing buildings in Austria, especially in Vienna

Gemeindebau is a German word for "municipality building". It refers to residential buildings erected by a municipality, usually to provide low-cost public housing.

Vienna Capital city and state in Austria

Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Scandinavia Region in Northern Europe

Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries.

Austro-Marxism was also the first movement in Europe to mount an armed resistance to a fascist government, although eventually defeated in 1934.

Austrian Civil War conflict

The Austrian Civil War, also known as the February Uprising, is a term sometimes used for a few days of skirmishes between Fascist and Socialist forces between 12 February and 16 February 1934, in Austria. The clashes started in Linz and took place principally in the cities of Vienna, Graz, Bruck an der Mur, Judenburg, Wiener Neustadt and Steyr, but also in some other industrial cities of eastern and central Austria.

The Austro-Marxist principle of national personal autonomy was later adopted by various parties, among them the Bund (General Jewish Labour Union), left-wing Zionists (Hashomer Hatzair) in favour of a binational solution in Palestine, the Jewish Folkspartei between the two world wars and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania after 1989.

Heritage

Austro-Marxism can be seen as the predecessor of Eurocommunism.[ citation needed ] Both ideologies are conceived as alternatives to Marxism-Leninism.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

Leninism political, social, and economic theory developed by Vladimir Lenin

Leninism is the political theory for the organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party and the achievement of a dictatorship of the proletariat as political prelude to the establishment of socialism. Developed by and named for the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, Leninism comprises socialist political and economic theories, developed from Marxism and Lenin's interpretations of Marxist theories, for practical application to the socio-political conditions of the Russian Empire of the early 20th century.

Council communism Political Ideology

Council communism is a current of socialist thought that emerged in the 1920s. Inspired by the November Revolution, councilism was characterized by its opposition to state capitalism/state socialism and its advocacy of workers' councils and soviet democracy as the basis for dismantling the class state. Strong in Germany and the Netherlands during the 1920s, council communism continues to exist today within the greater socialist and communist movements.

Eduard Bernstein German politician

Eduard Bernstein was a German social-democratic Marxist theorist and politician. A member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Bernstein had held close association to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, but he saw flaws in Marxist thinking and began to criticize views held by Marxism when he investigated and challenged the Marxist materialist theory of history. He rejected significant parts of Marxist theory that were based upon Hegelian metaphysics and rejected the Hegelian dialectical perspective.

The National Question is a term used for a variety of issues related to nationalism. In history and politics, the subject is often related to the interplay of territorial, cultural and ethnic factors of peoples. In terms of political theories and movements, the socialist and communist ideologies intensely addressed the topic.

The Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany was a Marxist socialist political party in the North German Confederation during the period of unification. Founded in Eisenach in 1869, the SDAP endured through the early years of the German Empire. Often termed the Eisenachers, the SDAP was one of the first political organizations established among the nascent German labor unions of the 19th century. It officially existed under the name SDAP for only six years (1869–1875), but through name changes and political partnerships its lineage can be traced to the present-day Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

Max Adler was an Austrian jurist, politician and social philosopher; his theories were of central importance to Austromarxism. He was a brother of Oskar Adler.

The Austromarxist principle of national personal autonomy, developed by Otto Bauer in his 1907 book Die Nationalitätenfrage und die Sozialdemokratie was seen by him a way of gathering the geographically divided members of the same nation to "organize nations not in territorial bodies but in simple association of persons", thus radically disjoining the nation from the territory and making of the nation a non-territorial association. The other ideological founders of the concept were another Austromarxist, Karl Renner, in his 1899 essay Staat und Nation, and the Jewish Labour Bundist Vladimir Medem, in his 1904 essay Di sotsial-demokratie un di natsionale frage.

Social Democratic Party of Austria one of the oldest political parties in Austria

The Social Democratic Party of Austria is a social-democratic political party in Austria that is, along with the People's Party, one of the country's two traditional major parties.

<i>Marxism and the National Question</i>

Marxism and the National Question is a short work of Marxist theory written by Joseph Stalin in January 1913 while living in Vienna. First published as a pamphlet and frequently reprinted, the essay by the ethnic Georgian Stalin was regarded as a seminal contribution to Marxist analysis of the nature of nationality and helped to establish his reputation as an expert on the topic. Stalin would later become the first People's Commissar of Nationalities following the victory of the Bolshevik Party in the October Revolution of 1917.

Friedrich Adler (politician) Austrian politician

Friedrich Wolfgang "Fritz" Adler was an Austrian socialist politician and revolutionary. He is perhaps best known for his assassination of Minister-President Karl von Stürgkh in 1916.

Karl Kautsky Czech-Austrian philosopher, journalist, and Marxist theoretician

Karl Johann Kautsky was a Czech-Austrian philosopher, journalist, and Marxist theoretician. Kautsky was recognized as among the most authoritative promulgators of Orthodox Marxism after the death of Friedrich Engels in 1895 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

Since its foundation in 1889, the Social Democratic Party has often been one of the main political forces in Austria. At the start of the First World War it was the strongest party in parliament, and on the ending of that war in 1918 the party leader Karl Renner became chancellor of the First Republic. The party lost power in 1920, but retained a strong base of support in the capital Vienna. A period of rising political violence culminated in the banning of the Social Democratic Party under the Austrofascist dictatorship (1934–38).

Outline of Marxism Overview of and topical guide to Marxism

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Marxism:

The Conference of the Three Internationals took place in Berlin between 2–6 April 1922. The three internationals were the Berne International, the International Working Union of Socialist Parties and the Communist International or 3rd International.

References

Further reading