Communism in History and Theory: The European Experience

By Donald F. Busky | Go to book overview

Appendix

“The Internationale”

INTRODUCTION

“The Internationale” (or International) is the song of the democratic socialist, communist, and anarchist movements, and was for many years the official anthem of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The original lyrics were a poem composed in French in June 1871 by Eugène Pottier, as the French army crushed the rebellious Parisian workers of the Paris Commune. 1 The poem praised the idea of an international organization to fight for workers' rights, the International Workingmen's Association, commonly called the First International. The First International had been founded a few years before, in 1864 by Karl Marx, meeting in Geneva, Lausanne, Brussels, and Basel between the years 1866 and 1872. After the First International died in Philadelphia in 1876 due to infighting between the Marxists and the anarchists, a Second International was formed in 1889 in Paris, minus the anarchists. The Second International, interrupted by World War I and World War II, would give rise in 1951 to the Socialist International. The Third International, also called the Comintern, would be founded in March 1919. The music for the song “The Internationale” would be composed by the Belgian wood turner Pierre Degeyter for the Second International in 1889. The song would become internationally famous, sung by generations of socialists, communists, and anarchists. Although the song has five stanzas, at most meetings of radicals I have attended, only the first stanza and refrain have been sung. As we shall see, the refrain can slightly vary.

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Communism in History and Theory: The European Experience
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction: Communism in Europe xvii
  • 1 - Eastern Europe 1
  • 2 - Western Europe 41
  • 3 - Neo-Marxism 93
  • 4 - A Critique of Marxism 119
  • Appendix 159
  • Bibliography 163
  • Index 169
  • About the Author 173
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