Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9740600:

Every time 5 3, 1:38am


Exactly - that's why I wrote what I did. :-)

And Germany is a prime example of this.

Marx was of course German - and many other early socialists came from Germany as well.
Socialist ideas where hugely influential in Germany already during the 19th century, the Social Democratic Party became the largest party in the German parliament already before the First World War and there was widespread belief in the world that if a socialist revolution ever was to occur, it was most likely to happen in Germany.

The political rights answer to all of this was Paternalistic conservatism, which was he idea that by giving workers small concession now, you could offset the risk of them demanding much more later - or at least delay those demands.

This was both implemented by leaders like Bismarck for entire countries - but also locally in many countries by individual factory owners who could for instance build better housing for their own workers, to blunt demands for higher wages or better working conditions.

It was never a case of the political right actually accepting that the workers had legitimate demands and a right to larger political influence, but always just a way to try to buy the support of workers with small benefits that would cost companies and business owners less.

It was a smart short term policy that avoided larger social conflicts - but in the end it obviously couldn't satisfy the legitimate demands for political power and larger social change that the socialist movement pushed for.