Municipal Socialism

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Municipal Socialism


one of the trends in reformist socialism. According to municipal socialism, the transfer of urban transportation, electric power stations, gas supply, schools, and hospitals to the ownership or control of the bodies of local self-government (municipalities) is the means for the gradual, peaceful “growth” of capitalism into socialism. In the 1880’s and 1890’s the ideas of municipal socialism were defended by reformists in many countries, including the Possibilists in France, the Fabians and the leaders of the Independent Labour Party in Great Britain, Bernstein’s followers in Germany, and the Economists in Russia. The Menshevik program for the municipalization of the land was a variation on municipal socialism. The ideas of municipal socialism are part of the theory of contemporary reformists.

Advocates of “municipal socialism,” striving to distract the workers from the fundamental problems of the class struggle, draw their attention “to the sphere of minor local questions, not the question of the class rule of the bourgeoisie, nor to the question of the chief instruments of that rule, but to the question of distributing the crumbs thrown by the rich bourgeoisie for the ’needs of the population’ “ (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 16, p. 339).

Although the Communist parties in France, Italy, and other countries have paid a great deal of attention, particularly since World War II, to the participation of Communists and all working people in the operations of the municipalities, they reject the opportunist conceptions of municipal socialism.

References in periodicals archive ?
I imagine conversations like these took place in working-class households up and down the country, as wellmeaning people convinced themselves that collective struggle and municipal socialism were one election away from revival.
Those were the headline acts of municipal socialism, but there were plenty of others.
As mayor of Birmingham from 1873 to 1876, he pushed forward an ambitious policy of municipal socialism and transformed it into what an American journalist declared was "the best-governed city in the world".
The Business of Improvement: Joseph Chamberlain and the Limits of Municipal Socialism.
Brother Jim was an ardent proponent of municipal socialism, a member of the Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) who left municipal politics to take up IOOF work, eventually rising to become Grand Master; he was a pacifist haunted by the premonition of his eldest son's death in WWI, a premonition he recalled from their last encounter.
He investigates the array of ideologies and fashions that gripped the 19th-century imagination, among them medievalism, municipal socialism, social Darwinism, the cultural triumph of the middle classes, and the suburban sanctuary.
It's a symbol of civic pride, of ( dare I say it ( municipal socialism and a partnership forged with a Labour Government with Labour ideals and Labour values.
Traditional historiography subscribes the growth of municipal socialism largely to the rise of the municipal bureaucracy from the 1890s onwards.
It can encompass the profit motive and the desire to 'start one's own business,' or municipal socialism with workers control.
During the period 1875-90, the City's traditional civic elites, threatened by the emergence of electoral democracy on the national level and the rising tide of municipal socialism and democratic reformers at the local level, consciously and continually employed ceremony and ritual (as well as new, or |invented' traditions) for defensive political purposes.
This programme of municipal socialism was led by a capitalist and entrepreneur, but Chamberlain realised that a large local authority had a duty to own the utilities that were essential for the health and happiness of the citizens.
Of course Birmingham has a track record here - the last Conservative-Lib Dem administration liked to spend public money on grand social projects like the new library and council houses - the very essence of municipal socialism, whereas Labour had previously tried to sell off the housing stock and is now considering contracting out the bins.

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