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Marx Dies Earlier and it’s effect on Socialism?

Time Enough

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So I have two ideas;
One in which Marx dies from taking part in a dual with Prussian officer before writing the Communist Manifesto. This means that the spark of Communism does become a fire and alternate ideas like Owenism and other ideas still exist. What effect would that have on Socialist movements?

The second is Marx dies abruptly after finishing the 1848 Communist manifesto. So the basic idea of Communism has been established but the ideas of Marxism and his later works haven’t. What effect would that have on Socialist movements particularly if Engels is the one to lead the charge instead of Marx.

Would Utopian/Christian Socialism still be the Socialism of choice? Would something similar to Communism raise? How would this effect the Anarchist movement?
 

Nyvis

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Hmm, with just the manifesto, it'd be pretty easy to fall even deeper into the ills of social democracy.

Capital missing is a theoretical problem. But the gothacritik missing is a party platform problem.

Without the manifesto at all, who knows, I'd need to dig more.

Edit: I don't think the big winner is Owen, sadly. I'd bank on Lassalle.
 

Time Enough

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A world-wide Communist movement without Marx's magnum opus on the analysing capitalism ("Das Kapital")? Interessovatting. It will be Engels who will writing on the Civil War in France in the Franco-Prussian War that led to the Paris Commune.
That could be intresting because all though Marx and Engels agreed on a lot of things they would probably be different in there analysis. Also Engels has the personal wealth and revolutionary past that could maybe make his view of Marxism more popular with Revolutionary past. Also the lack of analysis from Das Kapital means that Marxism would probably be more open to other ideas.
Without the manifesto at all, who knows, I'd need to dig more.
It would leave things even more up in there air if anything, but if there isn't a unifying idea for Revolutionary Socialism etc. then Socialism and ideas of Communism would probably be more diverse as a result.
Edit: I don't think the big winner is Owen, sadly. I'd bank on Lassalle.
Hmm, a Social Democratic movement more committed to Reform from early on whilst not as fiery as Marx, could spread easier and further than Marx's ideas could. Could lead to a world where Revolutionaries are Anarchist in nature whilst Socialists are Lassalle in nature.
 

Nyvis

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Hmm, a Social Democratic movement more committed to Reform from early on whilst not as fiery as Marx, could spread easier and further than Marx's ideas could. Could lead to a world where Revolutionaries are Anarchist in nature whilst Socialists are Lassalle in nature.
Had a similar enough thought. Without Marx's philosophical background, Engels just becomes one more social democratic platform thinker.

The parliamentarian-inclined socialists follow into social democracy with Lassalle being the big name, but also Engels as someone who has a sharper analysis of the state and advocates for more participatory structures, still built through electoral demands. I think the Fabians would also fit into that so maybe the Labour party is more explicitly Social Democratic when it forms down the line? Trade unions would be a big part of it too and I could see opposition to Lassallean thought taking the form of reformist syndicalism while claiming descent from Engels' criticism of Lassalle.

They look good for a while, but the Paris Commune still happens and wakes up the more revolutionary minded, while highlighting the bloody repression a bourgeois democracy is capable of. As a consequence, the first internationale reject parliamentarism. It's still more pluralistic than with Marx, as it would include non statist utopian socialists who just want to build communes and coops, revolutionary anarchists and straight up Blanquists, in addition to the more radical wing of labour organization. I could see something akin to the Platform develop though, as the commune (and later repression) is going to demonstrate the need for unity in action.

Karl Kautsky should feel right at home with a looser Revolutionary Socialism more inclined to Social Democracy.
Hmm, in the cadre above, I'm not sure Kautsky would fit fully within the Lassallean paradigm so I could see him being the successor to Engels as the internal party challenger to the social democratic status quo.


What I wonder about is Russia. I could easily see the OTL Bolsheviks starting as the Engels wing of the united RSDLP while the OTL Mensheviks would be Lassalleans. But without Marx's stagist theory, would the latter be as opposed to a socialist government skipping the capitalist stage? If peace still splits the party, I could see Lenin being the Engelist-Kautskyist mad enough to try bridging the gap with the revolutionary internationale, who would probably have a following among OTL left-SR and internationalists.

Also, Blanquist Trotsky?
 
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Time Enough

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The parliamentarian-inclined socialists follow into social democracy with Lassalle being the big name, but also Engels as someone who has a sharper analysis of the state and advocates for more participatory structures, still built through electoral demands. I think the Fabians would also fit into that so maybe the Labour party is more explicitly Social Democratic when it forms down the line? Trade unions would be a big part of it too and I could see opposition to Lassallean thought taking the form of reformist syndicalism while claiming descent from Engels' criticism of Lassalle.
So the split is more between Social Democracy vs. Reformist Syndicalism. I could see also a revived Cooperative movement too, piggybacking on Syndicalism to gain more traction.

They look good for a while, but the Paris Commune still happens and wakes up the more revolutionary minded, while highlighting the bloody repression a bourgeois democracy is capable of. As a consequence, the first internationale reject parliamentarism. It's still more pluralistic than with Marx, as it would include non statist utopian socialists who just want to build communes and coops, revolutionary anarchists and straight up Blanquists, in addition to the more radical wing of labour organization. I could see something akin to the Platform develop though, as the commune (and later repression) is going to demonstrate the need for unity in action.
That makes sense, I could Blanquism having more sway with the revolutionary crowd and in a world where Marxism doesn’t become the ideology of choice then Anarchism is probably competing with Blanquism. Hmm, would this mean Bakhurian and the ideas of Anarcho-Communism become more popular.
What I wonder about is Russia. I could easily see the OTL Bolsheviks starting as the Engels wing of the united RSDLP while the OTL Mensheviks would be Lassalleans. But without Marx's stagist theory, would the latter be as opposed to a socialist government skipping the capitalist stage? If peace still splits the party, I could see Lenin being the Engelist-Kautskyist mad enough to try bridging the gap with the revolutionary internationale, who would probably have a following among OTL left-SR and internationalists.
I could see that, though other factors could be at play. Maybe other countries have revolutions before hand in a similar mould to the Paris Commune in which a broad group of Leftists take over?

Maybe Lenin is just content to be a Democratic Socialist of Engels-Kautskyist type instead of a Revolutionary.
Also, Blanquist Trotsky?
He seems like a Blanquist so yeah probably.
 

Nyvis

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So the split is more between Social Democracy vs. Reformist Syndicalism. I could see also a revived Cooperative movement too, piggybacking on Syndicalism to gain more traction.
Reform syndicalism would be part of social democracy and competing to control it with the state socialists, I think? Coops I could see going either way depending on whether they're radically engaged or want to piggyback on capitalist property norms to establish themselves.

That makes sense, I could Blanquism having more sway with the revolutionary crowd and in a world where Marxism doesn’t become the ideology of choice then Anarchism is probably competing with Blanquism. Hmm, would this mean Bakhurian and the ideas of Anarcho-Communism become more popular.
Bakunin wasn't great, he really lacked depth of analysis. Anarcho Communism will have to wait for Kropotkin and Malatesta I think.

I could see that, though other factors could be at play. Maybe other countries have revolutions before hand in a similar mould to the Paris Commune in which a broad group of Leftists take over?

Maybe Lenin is just content to be a Democratic Socialist of Engels-Kautskyist type instead of a Revolutionary.
If WW1 happens, I think a split in Social Democracy is inevitable and Russia being the most hurt country, it'll be where it goes the furthest.

Lenin was visionary because even among the Bolsheviks, he was one of the first few willing to say "this war is bollocks, we should lose to get out". Even some of the Bolsheviks and most of the left SR & left Mensheviks who favoured peace wanted to try for an unrealistic "peace without annexation". Lenin was the only one willing to say that Russia's pride and empire was a cheap price to pay for socialism. That's never going to fit within a broad tent Social Democratic party.

You see a similar thing with the USPD split in Germany. Even if quite a few of them weren't revolutionaries and didn't follow into the KPD, the SPD's participation in the war government was too much for them.

That's probably what breaks the Lassallean/Engels-Kautsky-Thought coalition for good.
 

Time Enough

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Reform syndicalism would be part of social democracy and competing to control it with the state socialists, I think? Coops I could see going either way depending on whether they're radically engaged or want to piggyback on capitalist property norms to establish themselves.
I could see Coops becoming the main port of call for Christian Socialists since often they intersected in real life so probably be of the Old School Radical Christian persuasion over the more ‘rational’ models from Engels and co.
Bakunin wasn't great, he really lacked depth of analysis. Anarcho Communism will have to wait for Kropotkin and Malatesta I think.
Well the seeds are there, you probably still have folks like William Morris who seemed to be a Anarcho-Socialist/Communist in persuasion spreading the word around. Probably could lead to a more ‘environmentally’ conscious movement if he manages to articulate his thoughts.
That's probably what breaks the Lassallean/Engels-Kautsky-Thought coalition for good
True, which would diversify Socialist thought across the world more.
If WW1 happens
Hmm, I wonder if World War 1 would happen? Though with out Marx there’s probably more Nationalist Revolutionaries in the early 20th Century so a conflict like that could happen.
 

Nyvis

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I could see Coops becoming the main port of call for Christian Socialists since often they intersected in real life so probably be of the Old School Radical Christian persuasion over the more ‘rational’ models from Engels and co.
Coops being the left wing of Christian Democracy would be funny, just a thought.

But without Marx being a dominant voice, Christian Socialism as a wing of Social Democracy is a possibility too. Though it kinda hits a brick wall in countries where the church is a reactionary institution. Which is what lead Marx's thought against it, really.

Hmm, I wonder if World War 1 would happen? Though with out Marx there’s probably more Nationalist Revolutionaries in the early 20th Century so a conflict like that could happen.
Germany was too big for its britches, Russia's panslavism is unlikely to disappear, France still wants Alsace Lorraine and Austria-Hungary is an ethnonationalist powderkeg.

In all likelihood it still happens. What could be different is it happening in a way that turns the whole Social Democratic movement against it. Or in reverse, split it earlier. Jean Jaurès is unlikely to be conveniently assassinated just before it happens, for one, so it's possible France has a stronger anti war voice on the left.
 

Time Enough

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oops being the left wing of Christian Democracy would be funny, just a thought.

But without Marx being a dominant voice, Christian Socialism as a wing of Social Democracy is a possibility too. Though it kinda hits a brick wall in countries where the church is a reactionary institution. Which is what lead Marx's thought against it, really.
Not surprising from Marx, I could see the Christian Socialism being more popular in Western European Countries like Britain. Though a Christian Democracy movement that invests in economically Left Wing ideas could become a factor in more reactionary countries to keep the spectre of Social Democracy away.
In all likelihood it still happens. What could be different is it happening in a way that turns the whole Social Democratic movement against it. Or in reverse, split it earlier. Jean Jaurès is unlikely to be conveniently assassinated just before it happens, for one, so it's possible France has a stronger anti war voice on the left.
True, also Social Democratic movements would have likely been established more much longer in places like Britain etc. and would maybe be more connected with there other national counterparts.
 

Nyvis

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True, also Social Democratic movements would have likely been established more much longer in places like Britain etc. and would maybe be more connected with there other national counterparts.
Would they? Marx and the manifesto was the call to internationalism.

What I sketched out above is the first internationale being reduced to the revolutionaries... So would there even be an equivalent for social democrats?
 

Time Enough

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What I sketched out above is the first internationale being reduced to the revolutionaries... So would there even be an equivalent for social democrats?
Maybe, I could see folks following the Engels method maybe going down the Internationale route. We could see things similar to the Syndicalist movements in early 20th Century Europe which often interacted with each other due to similar ties.

Also I could see Christian Socialism expanding based upon which sect your part of and that sort of thing.
 

Time Enough

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Hmm so far the Left Wing in this world seems to be split into the following factions as it were:
-Social Democratic Parties consisting of Lassallean Reformist Social Democracy vs. The Engels (and it’s various variations) inclined Reformist Syndicalism.

-Revolutionaries who seem to lean Blanquist/Anarchist (maybe Anarcho Communist too)

-Anarcho-Syndicalism and Christian Socialism are probably a bit more prominent without the all consuming void of Marxism. Maybe the ideas of folks like William Morris are more prominent.

-Hmm, the Far Left would probably gravitate to something like Council Communism/Workers Opposition style ideas in time.

Hmm, what other factions, folks or ideas could be at play?

@Nyvis
 

Nyvis

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I don't think Engels Thought would be reduced to syndicalism. Reform syndicalists would pick up on it as an alternative to Lassalle, but I can see Kautsky and Lenin building their own branch of it out of it based on a stronger party and less concessions to the bourgeois democratic model.

Just like OTL, the left communist movement is in fact two movements. The OTL council communists are likely to be directly into the revolutionary internationale because there's no Marxist analysis to tie them to Social Democracy, while the OTL left communists who emerged as a criticism of the USSR's lackluster commitment to Marxist economics are likely to be the left wing of Engels thought because they were very much statists.

Anarcho syndicalism is likely to gravitate towards the revolutionary internationale too, as a way to distinguish themselves from reformist trade unions.

Christian socialism is likely to vary from countries to countries depending on how accepting local Social Democracy is of religion. I imagine it could be big in the US, where the SPA could run a preacher, but is going to be rejected by social democrats in places like France, Russia or Germany, where it's likely to gravitate to other Christian movements and try pulling them to the left. It could be a coalition partner though.
 

Time Enough

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I don't think Engels Thought would be reduced to syndicalism. Reform syndicalists would pick up on it as an alternative to Lassalle, but I can see Kautsky and Lenin building their own branch of it out of it based on a stronger party and less concessions to the bourgeois democratic model.
I could see that, though without Marx it would probably be more fluid and malleable which is good and bad. Though they would be more ready to work with other parties and form Popular Front style organisations instead of Vanguard Party style politics.
Just like OTL, the left communist movement is in fact two movements. The OTL council communists are likely to be directly into the revolutionary internationale because there's no Marxist analysis to tie them to Social Democracy, while the OTL left communists who emerged as a criticism of the USSR's lackluster commitment to Marxist economics are likely to be the left wing of Engels thought because they were very much statists.
I could see Council Communists working with Anarcho-Communists if a Revolution occur which could be interesting. A more Anarchist leaning Revolution somewhere would maybe lead to less authoritarian governments who knows.
Anarcho syndicalism is likely to gravitate towards the revolutionary internationale too, as a way to distinguish themselves from reformist trade unions.
Of course, though I could see Entryism occurring as Anarcho Syndicalist influence groups sympathetic to there’s cause.
Christian socialism is likely to vary from countries to countries depending on how accepting local Social Democracy is of religion. I imagine it could be big in the US, where the SPA could run a preacher, but is going to be rejected by social democrats in places like France, Russia or Germany, where it's likely to gravitate to other Christian movements and try pulling them to the left. It could be a coalition partner though.
Certainly, Christian Socialism would be stronger in Anglophone countries much like OTL. Socialism/Social Democracy could actually be more successful in America instead of Red Scares and stuff though Anarchism will probably still be a target.
 

Nyvis

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I could see that, though without Marx it would probably be more fluid and malleable which is good and bad. Though they would be more ready to work with other parties and form Popular Front style organisations instead of Vanguard Party style politics.
For a while, they're going to be part of Social Democracy. I'm not sure you can escape the vanguard party though, because that's quite Kautskyist and it was also a reaction to how the wide spread of social democracy hadn't really delivered socialism

I could see Council Communists working with Anarcho-Communists if a Revolution occur which could be interesting. A more Anarchist leaning Revolution somewhere would maybe lead to less authoritarian governments who knows.
Russia is a possibility again. Anarchists will benefit from an internationale that's sympathetic to them, so I could see them growing on the left wing of the SRs as peace fail to materialize. Which could lead to a more explicit coalition between the breakaways of Social Democracy who oppose the war and the internationale affiliated revolutionaries. Lack of Marxist stagism is going to make it easier to convince average socialists that they can jump straight into it rather than have to oversee the creation of a bourgeois republic.

Spain or France are also possibilities because they had strong syndicalist movements who might not be satisfied with the Social Democratic reforms.

Certainly, Christian Socialism would be stronger in Anglophone countries much like OTL. Socialism/Social Democracy could actually be more successful in America instead of Red Scares and stuff though Anarchism will probably still be a target.
A more coherent anarchism part of a more grounded internationale might avoid propaganda of the deed, which is really what put a target on its back.

Someone like Debs probably create a Social Democratic party here, and with a broader approach it may grow more easily. One thing to look out for is whether you can get the CIO to take a more political line. Potentially avoid the merger with the AFL and embrace being a Social Democratic federation of unions?
 

Nyvis

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I had a thought: it's possible Russian social democracy would have three factions, if a reform syndicalist model spread more, for example if UK Labour form a social democratic party. That would weaken both the OTL Mensheviks and Bolsheviks by having a three way divide. And maybe the party wouldn't implode right away due to it because no one can take the advantage. I could see Shliapnikov being involved in the union side of the party.

So the party could last up to the war, at which point the Kautskyists (OTL Bolsheviks) and Syndicalists push out the Lassallean (OTL Mensheviks) because their position on the war is increasingly toxic.

Meanwhile the SR have their own split earlier and more cleanly than OTL over links to the revolutionary internationale, with their left looking to join and their right more interested in working with bourgeois parties and the Lassalleans to form a republic.

Without Marx, there's less fear of skipping a historical stage and Russia has a more diverse revolution that repudiates Lassalle entirely. That in turn spooks the social democratic parties in the rest of the world, and cause their radicals to drift away from the party model towards whatever the internationale is still doing when they get pushed out.
 

Time Enough

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Without Marx, there's less fear of skipping a historical stage and Russia has a more diverse revolution that repudiates Lassalle entirely. That in turn spooks the social democratic parties in the rest of the world, and cause their radicals to drift away from the party model towards whatever the internationale is still doing when they get pushed out.
This is a possibility, though a split would likely occur between Social Democrats vs. The Internationale. The difference is that the Internationale would likely be a collective of different groups with different ideas of Socialism instead of becoming an appendage of the Marxist Leninist idea.

In a world where Syndicalism is a thing would something like Fascism raise? Would instead National Syndicalism and similar movements (like folks who took part in the National Bolshevik movement) raise as the Right Wing ideology for Economic Socialist leaning people.
 

Nyvis

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This is a possibility, though a split would likely occur between Social Democrats vs. The Internationale. The difference is that the Internationale would likely be a collective of different groups with different ideas of Socialism instead of becoming an appendage of the Marxist Leninist idea.

In a world where Syndicalism is a thing would something like Fascism raise? Would instead National Syndicalism and similar movements (like folks who took part in the National Bolshevik movement) raise as the Right Wing ideology for Economic Socialist leaning people.
My idea for Russia was that the people willing to work with the internationale aligned groups because they see the window for revolution push out the Lassalleans and you have a Russian revolution with two allied parties, one being fairly similar to OTL Bolsheviks and the other being a very diverse internationale mostly united through being anti statist. TTL's more moderate Social Democracy would prove very weak when the time to seize power because of local conditions comes. Without Marx's analysis, the Bolshevik side of it is weaker and doesn't dominate the revolution, but also more open to working with people who don't share their exact positions because their analysis is a bit more diffuse. And the rejection of Lassalle due to the reformist social democracy having no angle in Russia means they're more willing to entertain non statists.

But alternatively, it could also go pretty badly due to increased divisions.

Or lead to an unified Russian Social Democracy that's more willing to step up and take power along with agrarian socialists without worries of stageism and a less revolutionary alt-Bolshevik wing without Marx. The internationale minded people probably either get crushed or just retreat into parallel society projects then.

Concerning fascism... I think some kind of petty bourgeois & lower bourgeoisie focused movement of reaction to communism is kinda inevitable.
 
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