Since the 1866 introduction of universal male franchise the SPD had proved that old methods of, “shock assaults, of revolutions carried through by small conscious minorities at the head of plenty lacking consciousness is previous”. Marxists, Engels emphasised, must “win over the nice mass of the people” before initiating a revolution. When World War I started in 1914, many European socialist leaders supported their respective governments’ warfare goals. The social democratic events in the UK, France, Belgium and Germany supported their respective state’s wartime military and economic planning, discarding their commitment to internationalism and solidarity. However, in many instances this caused the fragmentation between socialists who were keen to help the struggle effort and those who weren’t.
The event also had the secondary purpose of memorialising employees killed as a result of the Haymarket affair. Although it had initially been conceived as a once-off event, by the following yr the … Read More