Social Democratic Party of Germany

From Mises Wiki, the global repository of classical-liberal thought
Jump to: navigation, search

German Social Democratic Party is a German political party.[1]


In the late nineteenth century the party was a leading member group of the Second International, the most influential movement for the spread of Marxism, and a model for the Social Democratic parties of other countries.

The Party was founded in 1869 by Wilhelm Liebknecht (1826-1900) and August Bebel, devoted advocates of Marxian doctrines, including those of noncompromising class warfare, the inevitable collapse of capitalism and the eventual proletarian seizure of power. In 1874-1875, the Party, in merging with a group of followers of Ferdinand Lasalle, an advocate of socialism by interventionism, adopted the Gotha Program opposed by Karl Marx. From 1878-1890, German law declared the advocacy of socialism to be subversive. All Party meetings and literature were thus banned, but the Party continued to grow at the polls and in members of the Reichstag. In 1891, in adopting the Erfurt Program, the Party reendorsed Marxian doctrines as rewritten by Karl Kautsky. However, the Party in practice drifted into endorsement of the "revisionist" policies of political opportunism and interventionism sponsored by Eduard Bernstein. The Party thus attempted to hold the loyalty of trade union members for which the government was bidding with "social insurance" and other "pro-labor" interventions. In 1912, the Party received one-third of the total Reichstag vote. During World War I, dissension split the Party into two groups: the so-called Majority Socialists, who endorsed the war effort; and the Independents. After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution (1917), a group seceded from the Independents to form the German Communist Party which later joined the Communist International. Between the World Wars, the Social Democratic Party was the largest German political party, although it never succeeded in winning a majority.

In 1933, the Nazis abolished the Social Democratic Party and all other rival parties. Since World War II, the Party has rejected nationalization and sponsored welfare-state-planned-economy policies. It has been the leading rival of the dominant Christian Democratic Union Party.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Percy L. Greaves, Jr. "Mises Made Easier ", 1974. Referenced 2014-08-22.

External links