From Marx’s death until the October Revolution
The first Marxist parties and movements formed during Karl Marx’s lifetime in a period that extends from the publication of Anti-Dühring by Friedrich Engels (1877) until German social democracy drew up its Erfurt Program (1891).
This phase also witnessed the establishment of the Second International (1889), an association of workers’ organisations from various countries. Moreover, the period was marked by the spread of Marxism at the international level via popular works such as Engels’ manuscript Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. It also saw the canonisation of certain writings that brought together Marx and Engels’ school of thought and developed it into a more or less coherent worldview; however, this contradicted Marx’s own stance and thought. Clearly, in the run-up to the period stretching from 1914 to 1917, a considerably diverse number of currents existed at the international level that claimed Marx’s ideas for themselves.
The Young refers to the second most significant left-wing oppositional current within German social democracy during this period. The group formed in the wake of Johann Most being expelled from the SPD (a left-wing opposition also formed from within Danish social democracy).Weiter
The coexistence of a fundamentally revolutionary manifesto and reform-minded realpolitik had already influenced the 1891 Erfurt Program.
Karl Kautsky was the leading protagonist within the SPD’s “orthodox centre” and largely shaped the socialist understanding of Marxism at the time with its determinist and “objectivist” traits.Weiter
Austro-Marxism refers to a bundle of theoretical approaches that were linked both in terms of people and politically to Austrian social democracy.
Austro-Marxism attempted to develop several aspects of Marxism and adapt it to the contemporary situation. For example, Rudolf Hilferding’s Finance Capital (1910) analysed contemporary processes of capitalist accumulation that went beyond those put forward in Marx’s Capital. See also the entry on Austro-Marxism in Theories and debates following Marx.Weiter
The Narodniks (“populists” – “or to the people”) were a revolutionary movement formed by the Russian intelligentsia in the late 19th century; the group looked to the peasantry for its support.Weiter
In 1883, representatives of the Narodnik movement founded Emancipation of Labour whilst in exile in Switzerland.Weiter
Although Legal Marxism was more of a theoretical current than a political one, in the Russian debate about Marx, its theories had political implications.Weiter
In the Russian Empire, a Jewish workers’ movement took shape quite early because the parts of the “rayon” in which the Jewish population lived was also one of the first regions to undergo industrialisation.Weiter
Westeuropa und Nordamerika
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.Weiter
Guesdism refers to a politically significant current within the Section Française de l’International Ouvrière.Weiter