“The Young” (early 1890s)

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).

The Young, who were highly criticised by Engels, fought against tendencies within the SPD that were viewed as reformist and petty bourgeois; eventually the group had to leave the party. Although the SPD’s understanding of its own history often treats The Young as a “literati and student movement”, the group actually had a significant proletarian base.