Popular socialism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Popular socialism or people's socialism is a distinct form of socialism in various countries.

Nordic countries[edit]

Popular socialism or people's socialism (Danish: Folkesocialisme) is a distinct socialist current in the Nordic countries.

In that context the term can be said to represent a distinct ideological tendency, originating from Aksel Larsen's split from the Communist Party of Denmark in 1956. Larsen founded the Socialist People's Party (SF), which placed itself between communism and social democracy.[1] In Norway a similar party, the Socialist People's Party, was formed by an anti-NATO/anti–European Economic Community split from the Labour Party and later became the backbone of Socialist Left Party (SV). Today, both the Danish SF[2][3][4] and the Norwegian SV identify their ideological base as 'popular socialism'.[citation needed] In Sweden the term has sometimes been used and there were at one point discussions within the rightist section of the Left Party on forming a political project with the Danish SF as a model, but the split was eventually avoided.[citation needed]

Inspired by green politics and democratic socialism, popular socialism places emphasis on grassroots democracy, social justice, and environmentalism. Popular socialist parties participate in democratic elections to gain popularity and influence policy, but do not consider the power of government as their primary goal, preferring to work within participatory systems on a local level.[3]

United States[edit]

The American People's Party[5] was a populist farmer-labor movement that advocated a progressive income tax, federal farm credit, the communization of railroads, telegraphs, and banks, the eight-hour workday, the right to form labor organizations, and other demands typical of popular socialist movements.[6][needs update]

Eastern European countries[edit]

People's socialism in Eastern Europe originated in the 1890s as an effort to differentiate from traditional social democracy with basic ideological patterns modeled after those of the National-Social Association in Imperial Germany. The most prominent parties were the People's Socialist Party in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Popular Socialists and Narodniks in the Russian Empire, and the "National Socialist", understood as "people's socialist", Czechoslovak National Social Party in Czechoslovakia. This Eastern European form is less leftist in ideological placement than in Nordic countries' form of socialism, strictly refusing Marxism, with certain revisionist elements. During the 1920s they were active as observer parties in the Labour and Socialist International but never became full members, although Czechoslovak National Social Party later joined Radical International and its delegates were even among founding members of the Liberal International in 1947.[7]


Popular socialism (German: Volkssozialismus) was a distinct course introduced in 1930s by Wenzel Jaksch, leader of the German Social Democratic Workers' Party in the Czechoslovak Republic. While inspired by Otto Strasser, this course connects Non-Marxist social democracy with German nationalism as a form to fight Nazism. It was also promoted by politicians like Wilhelm Sollmann inside the Social Democratic Party of Germany, where it was present also after end of the World War II, represented by Sudeten German leaders of the Federation of Expellees.[8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Folkesocialisme. 1977. Retrieved 2015-12-17 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Liberal Politological Institute". Lpi-bg.org. 1995-10-06. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  3. ^ a b Aage Frandsen (2015-01-02). "SF har været alt andet end folkesocialisme" (in Danish). Politiken.dk. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  4. ^ http://sfunet.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/folkesocialisme-rc3b8de-skoleelever.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ "America Populist Party: History & Formation".
  6. ^ Charles Postel (2019-11-25). ""Populism" and the Significance of Left and Right". Jacobin. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  7. ^ Holub, Ondřej (2017). "Na druhé koleji." Vnímání socialismu Československou stranou národně socialistickou (PDF) (in Czech). Hradec Králové: University of Hradec Králové. p. 103. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Der Weg sudetendeutscher Sozialdemokraten in die Regierung". 27 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Jaksch, Wenzel – Kulturstiftung".