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The First Socialist Schism


Manufacturer: PM Press

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Subtitled "Bakunin vs. Marx in the International Working Men's Association" this is a massive tome! 

"The First Socialist Schismchronicles the conflicts in the International Working Men’s Association (First International, 1864–1877), which represents animportant milestone in the history of political ideas and socialist theory. Indefending their autonomy, federations in the International became awareof what separated them from the social democratic movement that relied on the establishment of national labor parties and the conquest of politi- cal power. This can be seen as a decisive moment in the history of political ideas: the split between centralist party politics and the federalist grassroots movement. The separate movements in the International — which would laterdevelop into social democracy, communism, and anarchism — found their greatest advocates in Mikhail Bakunin and Karl Marx. However, the significance of this alleged clash of titans is largely a modern invention. It was not the rivalry between two archenemies or a personal vendetta based onmutual resentment that made the conflict between Bakunin and Marx so important. What was significant was that the conflict heralded the first socialist schism between parliamentary party politics aiming to conquer political power and social-revolutionary concepts.

Instead of focusing exclusively on what Marx and Bakunin said, many other contributions to this debate are examined, making this the first reconstruction of a dispute that gripped the entire organization. This book also provides the first detailed account of the International’s Congress of The Hague (September, 1872); including the background, the sequence of events, andinternational reaction. The book sets new standards when it comes to sourcematerial, taking into account documents from numerous archives and libraries that have previously gone unnoticed or were completely unknown.


Wolfgang Eckhardt, who works for the Library of the Free (Bibliothek der Freien) in Berlin, has been actively researching anarchism since the1990s. His publications include the German-languageBakunin Ausgewählte Schriften(Selected Works) series, of which six volumes have been published so far under his editorship (1995–2011). 


Product Code: 9781629630427

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