Born July 9, 1879; died Jan. 2, 1960. A leader of the Austrian Social Democratic Party and a theoretician of Austro-Marxism; son of Viktor Adler.
Between 1907 and 1911, Adler was a privatdocent at the University of Zürich in the faculty of theoretical physics. He joined the social democratic movement at that time. A follower of Mach’s philosophy, from 1911 to 1916 he was secretary of the Austrian Social Democratic Party. V. I. Lenin criticized Adler’s view in his work Materialism and Empiriocriticism. From 1914 to 1916, Adler was a member of the so-called Marxist Left, a centrist group in the Austrian Social Democratic Party. He favored the “neutrality” of the proletariat with respect to the imperialist war and denied the need for a revolutionary mass struggle against the imperialist bourgeoisie in his country. On Oct. 21, 1916, he shot and killed Stürgkh, the head of the government. V. I. Lenin called this act of individual terror “a Kautskyite act of despair” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 49, p. 313). Adler was condemned to death, but the sentence was commuted to long-term imprisonment. After his release by an act of amnesty (Nov. 1, 1918), Adler resumed active work in the party and openly became a reformist. He was one of the leaders of the Second and a Half International (1921–23), later becoming secretary of the executive committee of the so-called Socialist Workers’ International (1923–40). In the last years of his life, Adler was connected with the leadership of the Socialist International. He fought against the communist movement and rejected any attempts to unite the workers. Denying the existence of an Austrian nation, Adler welcomed the Anschluss. From 1946 he lived in Zürich.
REFERENCESLenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 18, pp. 47–48, 53, 59, 117, 329–30.
Lenin, V. I. Ibid., vol. 37, pp. 388–93.
Lenin, V. I. Ibid., vol. 40, pp. 136–39.
Lenin, V. I. Ibid., vol. 41, pp. 4–5, 12, 19–20.
Lenin, V. I. Ibid., vol. 49, pp. 311–14.
M. A. POLTAVSKII