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(3,984 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. History and Church History I. Philosophy 1. Terminology Communism (<Lat. communis, “common”) denotes (a) notions of a future social order in which private ownership is abolished and the means of production are owned collectively and administered by agencies of society. Consumption, i.e. the distribution of goods and services, is also regulated by collective distribution of the goods produced by society on the basis of its members' ma…

Soviet System

(540 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] Theory. Soviets (councils) are formed through equal, free, but not necessarily secret ballots (Elections) by an electorate organized by factory or military unit, and in part also by residential district. They are broadly responsible for economic, political, and legal matters. The concentration of all power in these soviets eliminates separation of powers. The elected members of these councils, whose discussions and decisions are ongoing and always public, are subject to an imperat…

Lassalle, Ferdinand

(290 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] (to 1846: Lassal; Apr 11, 1825, Breslau [Wrocław] – Aug 31, 1864, Geneva, following a duel). On May 23, 1863, Lassalle became president of the first German labor party, the General German Workers' Association, one of the two parties that later formed the Social Democratic Party. He came from a well-to-do merchant family of liberal, assimilated Jews in Breslau. As a student of law and philosophy in Breslau, Berlin, and Paris, he was attracted to the left-wing Hegelians. During the …

Huber, Victor Aimé

(249 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] (Mar 10, 1800, Stuttgart – Jul 19, 1869, Wernigerode). After studying medicine and practicing briefly, Huber, who had converted to Protestantism, concentrated on historical and philological studies. In England and France he became acquainted with the early forms of industrialized society. From 1832 he was a professor in Rostock and Marburg, then appointed to a chair in literary history in Berlin in 1843, where as the editor of the periodical Janus (1845–1848) he advocated conservative social reforms. Disappointed by the socio-political indifference …


(408 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] (derived from Lat. proles “offspring”). The lowest stratum of Roman citizens, whose only wealth was their children, was classified as proletarian. Closely related is the concept of “populace,” which, since the early modern period, has designated the lowest levels of the population, from whom potential unrest emanates. During the Industrial Revolution (Indus-¶ trialization), the (at times pejorative) term “proletariat” prevailed in the characterization of the economically and socially disintegrated segments of the population and the…

Owen, Robert

(278 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] (May 14, 1771, Newton, Wales – Nov 17, 1858, Newton), successful industrialist, who pioneered a multitude of social reforms and in his writings formulated the basic ideas of utopian socialism. Owen became famous for his cotton mill in New Lanark, Scotland, which set a new standard for technical operations, working conditions, and social programs. In 1815 he began to use his authority in public, supporting occupational safety in general and employment programs, and opposing child l…


(967 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Marxism-Leninism as a Worldview – III. The Leninist Concept of the Party – IV. The Leninist Theory of Revolution – V. Assessment I. Concept In various writings immediately after the death of V. Lenin, J. Stalin coined the term “Leninism” to characterize Marxist theory as elaborated by Lenin. Since the 1920s, the communist parties (Communism) have placed Lenin's writings, in canonical fashion, alongside the works of K. Marx and F. Engels. In the self- concept of the Soviet Communist move…

Social Movements

(884 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] I. Definition Social movements are agents of social change that concentrate on revolutionary transformation of society (social-revolutionary movements), reform within an existing social system (reform movements), or defense or restoration of a status quo (resistance movements). They play a central role in understanding social conflicts and analyzing social change. II. History The expression social movement arose in Europe in the late 18th century, initially in Britain and France. Its earliest clear use in Germany is in the work of Lo…

Social Question

(1,023 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] I. Definition The term social question is linked indissolubly to the social history of the 19th century; it denotes the diagnoses of the crises produced by the emergence of industrial society and the strategies for dealing with it. By the 1840s, soziale Frage was already in use in Germany as a translation of the French question sociale; against the background of dramatically rising mass poverty and the first food riots, it summarized various social transformations that were experienced as extreme crises. In particular, we can identify …


(266 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] Derived from French syndicat (“trade union”), the term denotes an influential current in the labor movement (Trade unions) at the turn of the 20th century, especially in the Romance countries of Europe. Radically anti-statist, its goal was a federally structured society based on producers’ cooperatives, with extensive self-determination of workers in their workplaces. In the spirit of K. Marx, it viewed the social conflict between capital and labor as an antagonistic opposition that …

Evangelisch-Sozialer Kongreß

(760 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] (ESK; Protestant Social Congress). E. Troeltsch described the ESK as an institution designed to “deal with all the basic problems of ethics with theoretical or practical significance” ( Soziallehren, 593) in light of the modern situation. In the fluid socio-political climate around 1890, A. Stoecker, A. Wagner, and L. Weber came forward, founding the ESK “to unite all social Christians in a neutral working forum” (Brakelmann, 177). Once the reservations of A. v. Harnack regarding the possibility of being co-opted into partisan politics had been satisfied, the ESK ¶ wa…

Lenin, Vladimir Ilich

(440 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[German Version] (Apr 22, 1870, Simbirsk [now Ulyanovsk] – Jan 21, 1924, Gorki [now Gorki Leninskiye], near Moscow; pseudonym since 1901 of V. Ilich Ulyanov). On Nov 8, 1917, after the successful October Revolution, the theoretician, organizer, and widely influential spokesman of the radical, Bolshevik wing of Russian social democracy was elected “chairman of the Council of People's Commissars,” thus becoming the head of the Soviet Russian government. In his theoretical works and through his political activity, he laid the foundations of Soviet communism. When he began to study…

Trade Unions

(3,524 words)

Author(s): Brakelmann, Günter | Jähnichen, Traugott | Pierard, Richard V.
[German Version] I. History The emergence of trade unions is associated with the development of modern capitalistic industrial society. The nascent unions considered themselves primarily representatives of the economic and social interests of their organized members but also as representatives of the unorganized workers in the various trades and professions. By virtue of their organizational goals and structures, they were organized as opponents to the employers and thus formed an integral part of t…

Soziale Bewegungen

(787 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[English Version] . I.Begriff. S.B. sind Akteure des sozialen Wandels, die sich entweder auf eine revolutionäre Veränderung der Gesellschaft (sozialrevolutionäre Bewegung), auf eine Reform innerhalb eines bestehenden Gesellschaftssystems (Reformbewegung) oder auf die Verteidigung bzw. Wiederherstellung eines status quo (Widerstandsbewegung) konzentrieren. S.B. spielen für das Verständnis von sozialen Konflikten und für die Analyse des sozialen Wandels eine zentrale Rolle. II.Historisch. Der Begriff s.B. entstand im Europa des späten 18.Jh., zuerst in…


(260 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[English Version] Owen, Robert (14.5.1771 Newton, Wales – 17.11.1858 ebd.), erfolgreicher Unternehmer, der eine Vielzahl sozialreformerischer Projekte initiiert und in seinen Schriften Grundideen des utopischen Sozialismus formuliert hat. O. wurde durch seine hinsichtlich der technischen Abläufe, der Arbeitsbedingungen sowie der sozialen Einrichtungen mustergültige Baumwollspinnerei in New Lanark (Schottland) berühmt. Seit 1815 setzte er seine Autorität in der Öffentlichkeit u.a. für einen allg. Ar…


(253 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[English Version] . Abgeleitet von dem franz. »syndicat« (dt. Gewerkschaft) bez. der Begriff eine um die Wende zum 20.Jh. v.a. in den romanischen Ländern Europas einflußreiche Richtung der Gewerkschaftsbewegung (Gewerkschaften), die – radikal antietatistisch geprägt – eine föderal strukturierte Gesellschaft auf der Basis von Produktionsgenossenschaften mit einer weitreichenden Selbstbestimmung der Arbeitenden an ihrem Arbeitsplatz anstrebte. Der soziale Konflikt zw. »Kapital« und »Arbeit« wurde in…


(372 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[English Version] . Der Begriff leitet sich ab vom lat. »proles« (Nachkommenschaft). Als Proletarier wurde die unterste Schicht der röm. Bürger, deren einziges Vermögen in ihren Kindern bestand, klassifiziert. Eng verwandt ist der Begriff »Pöbel«, der seit der frühen Neuzeit die untersten Bevölkerungsschichten bez., von denen ein Unruhepotential ausging. Während der industriellen Revolution (Industrialisierung) setzte sich der z.T. pejorativ gebrauchte Terminus P. zur Charakterisierung der wirtsch…


(463 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[English Version] . Idealtypische Kennzeichen: Räte werden durch die nach Betrieben oder Militäreinheiten, z.T. auch nach Wohngebieten erfaßte Wählerschaft in gleichen, freien, jedoch nicht notwendig geheimen Wahlen gebildet. Ihnen kommt eine umfassende Zuständigkeit für ökonomische, polit., juristische u.a. Fragen zu. Durch die Konzentration aller Gewalt bei den Räten ist die Gewaltenteilung aufgehoben. Die gewählten Mitglieder der permanent und stets öfftl. diskutierenden und entscheidenden Räte s…

Soziale Frage

(878 words)

Author(s): Jähnichen, Traugott
[English Version] . I.Begriff. Der Begriff s.F. ist untrennbar mit der Sozialgeschichte des 19.Jh. verknüpft und bez. die Krisendiagnosen und entsprechende Bewältigungsstrategien seit der Herausbildung der Industriegesellschaft. Bereits in den 40er Jahren läßt sich der Begriff in Deutschland als Übers. des franz. »question sociale« nachweisen, der vor dem Hintergrund einer dramatisch zunehmenden Massenarmut und erster Hungerrevolten zusammenfassend verschiedene, äußerst krisenhaft erlebte gesellsc…