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 ?
"This would be a vision of the economy fundamentally delivered in partnership with local government and inspired by the tradition of 'municipal socialism' which is being reinvigorated now in parts of Wales - with councils looking at local delivery of energy and bus services, some even digital infrastructure, to address the punitive cost of these modern essentials.
"We're immensely proud of this manifesto - it builds on Birmingham's rich heritage but also outlines how we create a new municipal socialism that benefits all.
Naylor emphasizes that in their hands this important practice, inherited from pre-1914 socialism, went "far beyond the rote study of texts from a narrowly Marxist tradition." (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." While they spent little time debating how "revolution"--socialism--might be achieved, they generally looked down on, but did not categorically rule out, the Communists' insurrectionary mode.
"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.
Remi Lefebvre outlines how socialists in Roubaix reacted to the communist challenge between the wars, and draws striking parallels between 'municipal socialism' and 'municipal communism'.
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.
Decades later, commending his beloved Vienna's mayor for building this "municipal socialism," Hitler wrote, "Everything we have today in terms of municipal autonomy goes back to him [Lueger].
The Business of Improvement: Joseph Chamberlain and the Limits of Municipal Socialism. Jules Gehrke, Saginaw Valley State University
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.
However, even such municipal socialism had many economic and moral dangers.

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