The collapse of communist rule in Eastern Europe has led to a widespread view that socialism is a dead, or at least a dying force. Peter Beilharz believes that this assumption is based on the popular conception that socialism's various traditions are simply different means to a common end. He looks at three strands of socialism - Bolshevism, Fabianism and German Social Democracy - in order to assess whether this argument is justified concluding that, in fact, each has its own distinct vision of an ideal future. He also argues that, in the approach to the millenium, there is still a strong need for Utopian vision, a vision that Bolshevism was never really equipped to provide. Instead, Beilharz sees the reformist traditions as the most viable alternatives to capitalism. Fabianism is introduced as a substantial independent alternative, albeit one that ultimately succumbed to Stalinism, whilst Social Democracy is revealed as an even richer source of inspiration for the future. The author asks not how Bolshevism failed us, but how socialism is to survive the triumphant but ethically bankrupt capitalism of the 1990s. This book should be of interest to students of politics, history and sociology. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Working Class Politics in the Great Powers-- The Price of National Legitimacy-- German Socialism and the Rout of the Weimar Democracy-- The Adolescence of British Labour-- A Popular Front for the French Republic-- The Alternative Party of Government.
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The development of social democratic politics in the dominant states of Western Europe has been influenced by both domestic and international forces. A succinct history of the expanding popularity of social democracy in these countries, this work explains why political parties, whose electoral following was rooted in the growth of the industrial working class, failed to become dominant parliamentary forces in their respective political systems. The book concludes by discussing the implications of the social democratic past in Europe for the future of socialist politics in a post-Cold War context. (source: Nielsen Book Data)