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A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central EuropeVolume I: Negotiating Modernity in the 'Long Nineteenth Century'$
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Balázs Trencsényi, Maciej Janowski, Monika Baar, Maria Falina, and Michal Kopecek

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737148.001.0001

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The Left and the Ambiguity of the Marxist Package

The Left and the Ambiguity of the Marxist Package

(p.431) 11 The Left and the Ambiguity of the Marxist Package
A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe

Balázs Trencsényi

Maciej Janowski

Mónika Baár

Maria Falina

Michal Kopeček

Oxford University Press

With the rising prominence of leftist ideologies throughout Europe, thinkers from this region were faced with the challenge of translating and adapting socialist doctrine to local realities, characterized especially by the lack of a mass proletariat. As a result, various groups and paradigms emerged. Apart from the social democrats connected to the Second International, there were “agrarian populists” who believed that “orthodox” Marxism could not solve the problems of an agrarian society. There were anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists, who rejected Marxist socialism as bureaucratic and detrimental to real freedom. Lastly, there were “civic radical” intellectuals who sympathized with a broadly conceived socialist left but were wary of party discipline and critical of what they saw as reductionist materialism. In all these subcultures, the question of the peasantry, the relationship of nationalism and internationalism, and the divergence of evolutionary and revolutionary visions of transformation were central to the debate.

Keywords:   socialism, Marxism, civic radicalism, proletariat, peasantry, Second International, agrarian populism, anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism, internationalism, revolution

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