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The German left and the Social Democratic Party, 1945-1967: A study of the socialist opposition in the German Federal Republic.

Graf, William David (1975) The German left and the Social Democratic Party, 1945-1967: A study of the socialist opposition in the German Federal Republic. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis is a study of the socialist opposition in the Federal Republic of Germany after World War II. The first chapter develops a working definition of the Left and socialism as synonymous and, in the modern capitalist state, necessarily system-opposed. The substance deals with the forms which socialist opposition has evolved in its specific West German political, social and economic conditions, whereby the relationship between the Social Democratic Party and the capitalist state occupies the forefront. It is argued here that the various oppositional forms of the SPD have profoundly conditioned the forms of the independent left wing opposition. So long as the SPD represented a fundamental or basic opposition to, initially, the Allied Military Governments, and subsequently to the CDU/CSU-led government, the socialist Left was essentially an inner-SPD force. As German Social Democracy gradually became integrated into the capitalist state, in response to a number of crucial factors--the Cold War, the policies of the Occupation Powers, the successes of the bourgeois coalition, the ''Economic Miracle", the integration of the other labour organizations, etc.--the system-opposed Left tended increasingly to carry on its political activities from outside the SPD, and ultimately began to search for alternative political organizational forms and new socialist theories. The pivotal event in this development was the SPD's Bad Godesberg Programme of 1959, and its climax was attained with the formation of the Grand Coalition of 1966/67. Corresponding with each stage or pattern of left wing opposition between 1945-1967, this thesis attempts to examine the content and form of socialist theory and socialist praxis which have developed, and to evaluate these within their socio-economic context. It further considers the Left as a function of the existence and actions of the Right, and hence also examines the practice and ideology of the occupation powers, the ruling political parties, the upper classes, the churches, the trade unions--and, above all, the post-1952 Social Democratic Party, in the light of their determining influence upon the Left.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, History, European
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1990

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