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 ?
40) Naylor stresses that labour socialists, even the members of the Manitoba ILP who generally limited their practice to "unimaginative" (59) municipal socialism, considered themselves "revolutionaries" rather than "reformists.
Only a passing mention of austerity and the highlighting of Joseph Chamberlain's brand of municipal socialism could be taken in any way as partisan.
We want local government to go further and put public enterprise back into the heart of our economy and services to meet the needs of local communities, municipal socialism for the 21st century, as an engine of local growth and development.
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.
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.
Militant lost, municipal socialism died, and Liverpool became a byword for urban blight.
The public cost of the games will impose fiscal austerity on Vancouver City Hall for years to come, burying future prospects of municipal socialism under the avalanche of a winter debt.
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.
His views from the 1890s allowed him to continue to support some state enterprises and some aspects of the so-called municipal socialism, modest tax and social welfare policies for redressing social inequality and ameliorating poverty, and profit-sharing and co-operation as more satisfactory working-class instruments for reform than the industrial militancy of the new trade unionism.
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.

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