The Rise and Fall of the Second International

This useful article on the Second International shows the almost tragic history of the (marxist) left as it emerged from the nineteenth century. In some ways the early success of the movement and in particular in the German case seems almost mythical now. Where every attempt in the US to create a worker’s party has failed in every case, we are reminded of the strange case of the US in history and its peculiar fate. This has been analyzed many times, but the analysis can never quite arrive at at any kind of answer. The issues are a reminder that the questions raised by The Last Revolution remain in part unsolved: the question of a new International lurks in the analysis that is in principle a general one, but in fact a discussion of the potential of socialism in the US.
But perhaps this history can help us realize that a new left is needed and that it must learn from but break with the past.

On July 14, 1889, the Second International was born to unite the workers of the world. What happened to that dream?

Source: The Rise and Fall of the Second International

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