- 'Socialism in one country' before Stalin: German origins
- Journal of Political Ideologies
- Volume | Issue number
- 15 | 2
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
This article discusses the prehistory of the Stalinist concept of ‘socialism in one country’ in the German social democratic movement, from 1875 through to the first decade of the twentieth century. The internationalist Marxist discourse on the geography of socialism did not remain unchallenged in the party. German social-democrats hoped for their country to become the first to introduce the supposedly very efficient socialist mode of production. Anticipating other capitalist powers would have been a way to compensate for Germany’s
disadvantages. In the early versions of ‘socialism in one country’, expounded most
prominently by Ferdinand Lassalle and Georg Vollmar, the socialist mode of production might allow Germany to dominate the world market. In later ones, represented by Karlis Balodis, Richard Calwer and others, the acquisition of a colonial empire, or fusion with continental neighbours, would create the conditions for a socialist Germany to occupy her rightful Platz an der Sonne.
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