• The Fate of Social Democracy and Communism

    Pages: 7

    According to revisionist history, both the social democratic and communist wings of the socialist movement attempted to change society by working to save the oppressed from a capitalist state. The reason for their failure is that they were both trying to change the world and gain power at a time when Russia had just been devastated in World War I and, for many years, had no backing to follow through on its stated goals. But the overall problem is that even though socialist programs were established in Russia, the Communist party in power, as well as the social democrats (whose ideas infiltrated the party), failed by not acting on their promises to the proletariat. Bibliography lists 4 sources. jvSocCom.rtf

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    oppressed from a capitalist state. The reason for their failure is that they were both trying to change the world and gain power at a time when they had just  been devastated in World War I and, for many years, had no backing to follow through on their stated problems. But the overall problem is that even though socialist programs  were established in Russia, the Communist party in power, as well as the social democrats (whose ideas infiltrated the party), failed by not acting on their promises to the proletariat.  In other words, they fell prey to the very thing Marx said would happen to capitalism. The need for power by the few would drive a wedge between the people  and government, which would lead to failure of the system. Historical Background Leading Up to the Revolution The roots of democratic socialism  and communism were foreshadowed as early as 1789 when France broke with medievalism and legislated the formal abolition of feudalism. With the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the  Citizen at the end of the French Revolution, peasants were liberated from their enslavement and this opened up debate around the world. Over the next century, individuals banded together to  form constitutional governments that, in turn, formed nations. This great upheaval brought about large economic entities based in capitalism. Since capitalist states suffer from an unequal distribution of wealth, they  became the targets of revolution. Such an uprising occurred in 1871 when "a popular regime which drew to itself a wide range of radicals and reformers set itself up in  the capital as the Commune of Paris," (Roberts 604). This new Commune offered something novel, socialism, a concept based in the egalitarian 

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