Recent Variations of Socialism
In the freer environment created in nations of western Europe by the success of liberal revolutions were born both socialism and, somewhat earlier, nationalism. The two movements, dynamic and expanding, were bound to interact. For several generations, most socialists had, at least theoretically, few if any doubts. They rejected nationalism in its implications of absolute sovereignty and arrogant pride in any nation’s uniqueness-the negation of all men’s fundamental equality, a socialist article of faith. Most socialists advocated instead an internationalism compatible with a good deal of autonomy for national communities but not with total independence. Internationalism went together with pacifism. For socialists, nationalism was a manifestation of bourgeois middle-class interests and values, to be rejected with capitalism. The brotherhood of all workers ignored national boundaries and national interests. Equality as uniformity, not as equal rights for different groupings, meant the elimination not only of classes but also of everything making for differences that were bound to lead to antagonisms and tensions. Lassalle is considered an early spokesman for a socialist position in which nationalism played an important role. But the overwhelming majority of socialists, even when accepting Lassalle’s expedient democraticism, rejected his nationalism.
KeywordsSocial Justice Communist Party Arab World Recent Variation Socialist Party
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