Spanish socialism has often been characterized by its ideological poverty. No Spanish theorist has made any significant theoretical contribution to Marxism. Spanish socialism has been largely derivative, particularly from French socialism, and has also been influenced by Catholicism, which lent it a strong ethical tone. Moreover, the development of socialism in Spain was hampered by the fact that neither the First nor Second International showed much interest in the Iberian peninsula and provided no specific guidance to Spanish socialists. The early Spanish socialists thus lacked any deep understanding of Marxist analysis which resulted in an incoherent programme, combining reformist political practice with a reductionist revolutionary rhetoric. By failing to provide an adequate framework to analyse the socio-economic and political reality of Spain effectively, the ideological poverty of Spanish socialism also contributed to its organizational weakness. Thus, although the PSOE, founded in 1879, is one of the oldest socialist parties in Europe, it initially remained a weak force due to its preoccupation with organizational questions rather than theoretical analysis. Consequently, vital issues such as the agrarian problem and regional diversity in Spain were ignored. Moreover, the socialists" determination to make Madrid the centre of socialist activities rather than Catalonia, the most industrialized region of Spain, which was far more fertile ground for a radical socialist movement, led to the dominance of anarchism, rather than socialism, in that region.
   The socialists" essentially incorrect analysis of the political situation in Spain was particularly damaging during the Second Republic (1931–6). By then the socialists were the most important political party in the country, yet they were unable to provide an adequate response to the problems which beset the Republic because they mistakenly believed, in accordance with their own schematic interpretation of Marxism, that the Republic heralded the long-delayed bourgeois revolution. Their misplaced faith in their ability to realize a programme of wide-ranging social reforms by parliamentary means, in a political system where parliamentary democracy remained a façade, thus prevented them from forestalling the military revolt which began the Civil War. Socialism remained dormant, both ideologically and organizationally, throughout the Francoist dictatorship. With the transition to democracy in 1975–7, however, the PSOE initially displayed its previous inconsistency by emphasizing its radical Marxist heritage whilst simultaneously adopting a reformist political strategy. Subsequently, however, the PSOE dropped its Marxist label in order to achieve electoral success, and, in office from 1982 until 1996, became one of the most cautious socialdemocratic parties in western Europe. Ironically, therefore, although the PSOE finally enjoyed a hegemonic position within Spanish politics during the 1980s, socialism as an ideology is still arguably deprived of a voice.
   See also: political parties; politics
   Further reading
   - Anderson, P. and Camiller, P. (eds) (1994) Mapping the Western European Left, London: Verso (includes an excellent chapter on the survival of socialism in Spain).
   - Gallagher, T. and Williams, A. (eds) (1989) Southern European Socialism. Parties, Elections and the Challenge of Government, Manchester: Manchester University Press (there is an excellent detailed chapter on Spain).
   - Heywood, P. (1990) Marxism and the Failure of Organised Socialism in Spain, 1879-1936, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (an excellent, well-documented study of the early development of Socialism in Spain).
   - PSOE (1991) Manifiesto del Programa 2000, Madrid: Editorial Sistema (this is PSOE's own vision of the future development of Spanish socialism; it contains an introduction and conclusion by Willy Brandt, Felipe González and Alfonso Guerra).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Socialism — socialism …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Socialism — • A system of social and economic organization that would substitute state monopoly for private ownership of the sources of production and means of distribution Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Socialism     Socialism …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • socialism — SOCIALÍSM s.n. 1. Ansamblul doctrinelor social politice care urmăresc reformarea (reforma) societăţilor umane prin desfiinţarea proprietăţii private asupra mijloacelor de producţie şi de schimb şi punerea acestora sub controlul statului. ♦… …   Dicționar Român

  • Socialism — So cial*ism, n. [Cf. F. socialisme.] A theory or system of social reform which contemplates a complete reconstruction of society, with a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor. In popular usage, the term is often employed to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • socialism — so‧cial‧is‧m [ˈsəʊʆl ɪzm ǁ ˈsoʊ ] noun [uncountable] ECONOMICS a system of political beliefs and principles whose main aims are that everyone should have an equal opportunity to share wealth and that industries should be owned by the government …   Financial and business terms

  • socialism — An economic and social theory that seeks to maximize wealth and opportunity for all people through public ownership and control of industries and social services. Dictionary from West s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. socialism …   Law dictionary

  • socialism — 1832, from Fr. socialisme or from SOCIAL (Cf. social) + ISM (Cf. ism). Cf. SOCIALIST (Cf. socialist). Apparently first in reference to Robert Owen s communes. Pierre Leroux (1797 1871), idealistic social reformer and Saint Simonian publicist,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • socialism — [n] socialist government Bolshevism, collective ownership, collectivism, communism, Fabianism, Leninism, Maoism, Marxism, state ownerhsip; concept 301 …   New thesaurus

  • socialism — ► NOUN ▪ a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. DERIVATIVES socialist noun & adjective socialistic… …   English terms dictionary

  • socialism — [sō′shəl iz΄əm] n. 1. any of various theories or systems of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society or the community rather than by private individuals, with all members of society or the community… …   English World dictionary

  • Socialism — This article is about socialism as an economic system and political philosophy. For socialism as a specific stage of socioeconomic development in Marxist theory, see Socialism (Marxism) …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”