Impossibilism (late 19th and early 20th century)

In the late 19th century, the Western European workers’ movement was characterised by a contrast between reform-oriented forces on the one hand, and socialists who continued to hold on to their revolutionary programme on the other.

The UK’s Socialist League (founded in 1885) and the later Socialist Party of Great Britain (established in 1904) are examples of organisations that continued to adhere to revolutionary principles. In the Netherlands, the split in social democracy occurred earlier than in Germany: the left wing of the Social Democrats split from the party as early as 1909 to found an independent party. This led to the development of the Communist Party of Holland.