Don't believe a word of this, it might all be untrue and I must admit,
it is highly selective.
Up until the middle of the 19th century, the churches, religious ideas,
mysticism, idealism and creationism dominated Europe and the "modern"
world. Then along came Darwin and other evolutionists, and in a famous
debate which took place between one leading exponent of Creationism, and
one leading exponent of the theory of natural selection... i.e.
everything was created by one God, a Christian God, of various
denominations, on the one hand, and the theory of natural selection or
evolution was what created the different species, on the other, took place.
See url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1860_Oxford_evolution_debate
The argument for the theory of evolution was so well done that it
managed to refute the basis of the creationist theory that was until
then the ruling idea of of human existence, and replace it with the
beginnings of the theory of the scientific method.
Alongside this debate was a political, economic, social and cultural
one, which sprung out of some of the earlier philosophers, and
economists, such as Adam Smith and his "Wealth of Nations" and his
hidden hand theory.
And later in the 1840's Karl Marx published his 3 volumes of Das Kapital
which was an analysis of the Capitalist system basically existing in the
UK but also applied to Europe at the time, though Marx had read Adam
Smith and based a number of his own theories and analysis on it.
Around this time too, the political concept of Social Democracy came
into being, a new concept called Social Darwinism was invented, which
tried to apply the scientific method laid down in the natural selection
of the species, into the natural selection of the most powerful
individuals of the species being the strongest, rather than the most
adaptable, but there again, personally, I don't think it can be done, or
should be done, and that it is wrong to apply the theory of evolution to
individuals rather than a species, but that is another argument.
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Darwinism
various ideas on how to re-organise society, to change from a Capitalist
society, controlled, run and owned by a few rich and wealthy people, to
a more social socialist, community or communal or social democratic kind
of society, where the wealth was spread out and shared more equitably,
and where everyone having the right to vote, and to stand for the
legislature, parliament, the executive and government, developed.
Simply said, it was a theory to put people before profits and introduce
social ownership of the means of production, distribution, land and
exchange via the state, set up a workers republic, and once every one
was sorted out via the "dictatorship of the proletariat", i.e.
controlling those naughty capitalists and private entrepreneurs, and
their camp followers, the state would wither away, with no money, no
army, no lawyers, no Big Yins, people would rule themselves and
cooperate with one another, and as there was an abundance of goods and
foods, no one would ever need to fight with each other again over land,
bread or money. For this to be successful, it had to happen in every
part of the world at the same time. This was called Communism, or a
Communist Utopia...and is explained in Karl Marx's book, called "The
Manifesto of a Communist Party" Europe was in turmoil at the time, wars
going on everywhere, revolution and the overthrow of old regimes and
kings and queens, was going on; mainly due to all these ideas springing
up from all over the place, because at that time religious Creationism,
the divinity of kings and popes, as the only true philosophy was
defeated. Communism would be the ideal society, the perfect society and
the human species would live happily within it for ever and ever.
Of course, most of you can see what a load of ole spherical objects this
theory is, but you see, you have the good fortune of enlightenment, and
a more sophisticated view of politics and political philosophy than
those early pioneers had, plus, you have the "scientific method" to
reframe and refine your ideas. The benefit of hindsight is like magic,
it hides the seen and unmasks the unseen.
Karl Marx held lots of meetings on his new theory, and tried to form an
international working class movement and party which would eventually
overthrow the old ruling classes in Europe and develop a new, working
class one which would rule the world, and as he had to start somewhere,
he decided on Europe as he knew it best. However, he wasn't the only one
to have such ideas, and different strands of political thought started
to develop, which was eventually called Social Democracy, there were all
sorts of different schools and ideas floating around. There was of
course the counter arguments, how impractical it all was, a bunch of
dreamers, especially from those who had a vested interest in keeping
society exactly as it was. These people weren't going to give up their
wealth for an idealist, socialist utopia, hand over their land and
factories for the benefit of the masses, particularly here in England
when land ownership went back to 1066 and the Norman's conquered England
and farmed it all out in the names of the victors, and dispossessed the
old lot who had held the land for a thousand years before hand...and who
in turn had been dispossessed by the Romans...etc. etc. etc.
Why should the wealthy pay for the education, the social welfare, the
national health service of the masses, unemployment benefits, pensions
for the elderly, when it was them who created all the wealth in the
first place and conserved the land and property, whilst the workers were
the spendthrifts and could never save any money and were always in debt
or drunk...or on drugs, just like today...?
To cut a long story short, Social Democracy split into two main
groupings and spread over Europe, one lot finishing up as the Nazi
Party...or to give it its proper name, The National Socialist Democratic
Workers Party, and being led by Hitler and all the associated stuff what
went down with it, and him. Rosa Luxembourg and
Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Lichtenstein got bumped off, along with the
rest of the social democratic opposition, workers opposition, trade
unions, Jews and any other opposition to Hitler and his Goons who dared
to challenge the takeover of power by the German National Socialists.
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Party
see url; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_Luxemburg
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Liebknecht
The other lot finished up as the Bolsheviks or majority party and they
were based in Russia. They were called the Russian Social Democratic
Party, and eventually, after the Russian revolution in 1917 and their
defeat of the Bolsheviks, and the White Guards became the Communist
Party of the Soviet Union. They were supposed to be internationalist.
However, Lenin died, Stalin took over and Trotsky, the internationalist
got bumped off by Stalin's secret service monkeys who found him in
Mexico...along with lots of other people, whether in Russia or the Ukraine.
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensheviks
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Civil_War
Trotsky; life and theory: see url:
Again, like the American Revolution, revolutions have to start somewhere
and get started by someone or group. And the difficulty was whether
Communism could be created in one jump in one country, or whether it
could be started in one country under Socialism and be spread to the
rest of the world.
It is as well to remember though, that before Social Democracy was
invented, and before Karl Marx lived, and before Marxism and Marxists
were invented, the world still went to war, suffered pestilence,
suffered dictatorships, empires, pogroms, discrimination, murder, rape,
based on age, sex, race, ethnicity, class, poverty, great differences in
society between wealthy and poor and so on. Just as there has always
been a ruling class with ruling ideas of some kind, there have been
oppositions, with opposing ideas.
Now, whether the debate between the Republicans and Democrats, is about
a debate over Conservatism and Marxism...I very much doubt, more about
what it has always been about, the division of the spoils, the personal
ambition, and the individual and group quest for political and economic
power, so that they can dole it out between themselves. Make Me Great,
should really be the slogan, but who is going to vote for that...:-)
Any questions and any constructive criticism would be most welcome. I
am sure that I have made lots of mistakes, and that I have been highly
selective, but perhaps you guys might like to expand a little..
P.S. It is interesting to note that the word Utopia comes from the Greek
and the first main work on it was written by a very religious man and
powerful big yin in the English court, called Sir Thomas More. There
have been many books on various kinds of Utopia, and Dystopias which is
very interesting in itself. Walden, Animal Farm, 1984 to name but a few.