1914: The Great Schism

Marcel Liebman

Abstract


History has come to ascribe to Bolshevism the responsibility for the rift in the international workers' movement. But the role of the historian is to challenge established notions and to undo the damage wrought by the distorting myths of the past. A case in point is the emergence of Communism and the breach it is supposed to have caused in the international socialist movement. In fact, that breach was not the result of the foundation in Moscow, in March 1919, of the Third International: it was the result of the collapse of socialism in August 1914, of the failure of internationalism, of the dramatic revelation of incapacity hitherto concealed by verbal daring and electoral successes.

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