chapter  6
46 Pages

Socialism and Communism After Marx

In the early twenty-fi rst century, socialism-especially of the top-down, authoritarian, central-planning variety-seems to be an idea whose time has passed. In the early twentieth century, by contrast, socialism seemed to many in Europe and North America to be an idea whose time had come. The period from Marx’s death in 1883 until the outbreak of World War I in 1914 was a time of intense political and theoretical ferment-and growing popular support for socialism and socialist parties. One observer has called this the “golden age” of socialism, and of Marxian socialism in particular.1