Socialist Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a
societycan ultimately change a society's fundamental economic relations and political structures. This belief grew out of opposition to revolutionary socialism, which contends that revolutionsare necessary to fundamentally change a society.
Socialist reformism was first put forward by
Eduard Bernsteinand Karl Kautsky, two leading social democrats. Reformism was quickly targeted by revolutionary socialists, with Rosa Luxemburgcondemning Bernstein's " Evolutionary Socialism" in her 1900 essay " Reform or Revolution?". While Luxemburg died in the German Revolution, the reformists soon found themselves contending with the Bolsheviksand their satellite communist parties for the support of the proletariat. After the Bolsheviks won the Russian Civil Warand consolidated power in the Soviet Union, they launched a targeted campaign against the Reformist movement by denouncing them as "social fascists." Arthur Koestler, a former member of the Communist Party of Germany, the largest communist party in Western Europein the interwar period, confessed in The God That Failedthat communists aligned with the Soviet Union continued to consider the "social fascist" Social Democratic Party of Germanyto be the real enemy in Germany--even after the Nazi Partyhad usurped power. [Koestler, Arthur. " The God That Failed." Edited by Richard Crossman. Bantam Matrix, Tenth Edition. pp 41-42.]
Reformism in the United Kingdom's Labour Party
The term was applied to elements within the
United KingdomLabour Party in the 1950s and subsequently, on the party's right. Anthony Croslandwrote " The Future of Socialism" (1956) as a personal manifesto arguing for a reformulation of the term. For Crosland, the relevance of nationalization(or public ownership) for socialists was much reduced as a consequence of contemporary full employment, Keynesian management of the economy and reduced capitalist exploitation. In 1960, after the third successive defeat of his party in the 1959 General Election Hugh Gaitskellattempted to reformulate the original wording of Clause IVin the party's constitution, but proved unsuccessful.
Some of the younger followers of Gaitskell, principally
Roy Jenkins, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williamsleft the Labour Party in 1981 to found the Social Democratic Party, but the central objective of the Gaitskellites was eventually achieved by Tony Blairin his successful attempt to rewrite Clause IV in 1995.
The use of the term is distinguished from the
gradualismassociated with Fabianism (the ideology of the Fabian Society), which itself should not be seen as being in parallel with the revisionism associated Bernstein and the German SPD, as originally the Fabians had explicitly rejected Marxism
* [http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:kSZKEC64aoEJ:www.reformist.org/+reformist&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3 reform v. to improve (an existing institution, law, practice, etc) by alteration or by correction of abuses or malpractices; n. a principle, campaign, or measure aimed at achieving such change]
* [http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1900/reform-revolution/index.htm Reform or Revolution? by Rosa Luxemburg (1900)]
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Look at other dictionaries:
reformism — REFORMÍSM s.n. 1. Atitudine politică bazată pe propagarea (propaga) reformelor. 2. Curent politic care preconizează progresul şi schimbările în societate numai pe calea reformelor. – Din fr. réformisme. Trimis de IoanSoleriu, 13.09.2007. Sursa:… … Dicționar Român
reformism — [ri fôr′miz΄əm] n. the practice or advocacy of reform, esp. political or social reform reformist n., adj. * * * re·form·ism (rĭ fôrʹmĭz əm) n. A doctrine or movement of reform. re·formʹist n. * * * … Universalium
reformism — [ri fôr′miz΄əm] n. the practice or advocacy of reform, esp. political or social reform reformist n., adj … English World dictionary
reformism — [[t]rɪfɔ͟ː(r)mɪzəm[/t]] N UNCOUNT Reformism is the belief that a system or law should be reformed … English dictionary
reformism — reformist ► ADJECTIVE ▪ supporting or advocating gradual reform rather than abolition or revolution. ► NOUN ▪ a supporter or advocate of such a policy. DERIVATIVES reformism noun … English terms dictionary
reformism — noun Date: 1904 a doctrine, policy, or movement of reform • reformist noun or adjective … New Collegiate Dictionary
reformism — noun Any of several movements that promote reform … Wiktionary
reformísm — s. n … Romanian orthography
reformism — re·form·ism … English syllables
reformism — /rəˈfɔmɪzəm/ (say ruh fawmizuhm), /ˈrɛfəmɪzəm/ (say refuhmizuhm) noun the policy of bringing about reform within the means and limitations of the existing system of government, usually without radically changing the current political system … Australian English dictionary