Austrian Social Democratic Party

Austrian Social Democratic Party
   Founded in the midto late 18th century under the guidance of Victor Adler, the Austrian Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs— SPÖ) was modeled on its German namesake, which it later joined in the International Working Union of Socialist Parties. In its early years, the SPÖ was plagued by factional infighting between advocates of orthodox Marxism such as Max Adler and Karl Kautsky, and reformists led by Karl Renner, but by 1919 had unified enough to form a government under the latter. It was 1945 before the SPÖ was to govern again, largely because of the ban placed on the party by the Third Reich. The SPÖ reemerged in 1945 as the Austrian Socialist Party (Sozialistische Partei Österreichs—SPÖ), and governed Austria until 1966. The SPÖ affiliated to the non-Marxist Socialist International in 1951, and by 1958 had dropped explicit mentions of Marxism from its program entirely. The newly moderate SPÖ took the reins of government again from 1971 until 1983, and subsequently as a partner in various coalition administrations. In this era, the party softened its policy on nationalization and advocated privatization and free market economics. In 1994 it polled its lowest total in the post–World War II period, still a healthy 35 percent of all votes cast. Into the 21st century, the firmly non-Marxist SPÖ held the Austrian presidency under Heinz Fischer and remained the second largest party in parliament.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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