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Political party

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A political party is a political group whose members share the same ideology or policy views. Though political factions have existed since antiquity, modern political parties have emerged starting from the late 17th century, following the collapse of feudalism. Socialists often believe in a different model of party politics than is commonly accepted by the bourgeois interpretation, wherein the socialist party is either the sole legal party or the hegemon among other parties, ensuring that views by non-socialists don't interfere with the socialist direction of the state but still allowing them a voice in politics. Certain colors have been associated with particular ideologies over time, with red signifying social democratic, socialist, and communist parties.[1][2][3]

History

Following the 1848 Revolutions in Europe, liberal and socialist sentiments spread through the continent and many political parties were formed, some adhering to Marxism and some others to social democracy, the latter preferring the use of reformist and gradualist methods.[4]

In socialist states

Whether socialist states had one or more parties depended on their own particular circumstances. For instance, in the case of the USSR, all groups and parties in the Russian Civil War either ended up joining the Bolsheviks or fighting against them, and thus there was no opposition left following the Bolshevik victory — the USSR became a single-party state, while the German Democratic Republic, having experienced no such polarization, largely inherited the political movements of the state before it and as a result allowed non-socialist parties to exist; with the hegemony of the socialist party, of course. There were other socialist states with a multi-party system, however were not of the bourgeois sort where each party competed against each other; rather, the parties worked together under the acknowledged leadership of the socialists, which capitalist countries largely treated as a single-party system. It was important to maintain the leading role of the socialist party, though, as parties which would genuinely compete with it would become forces of counterrevolutionary activity by the overthrown classes and reactionaries who were unwilling to limit themselves to purely electoral methods of gaining power, who would in this also receive assistance from imperialist countries. Within socialist states, elections were proclaimed to be more democratic than any bourgeois parliamentary system, as it was viewed that democracy is determined not by how many parties exist, but the degree of participation by the people in political life. The existence of political parties, particularly within the framework of a state oriented towards the goal of socialism, was considered unnecessary as socialist society was not divided into antagonistic classes, nor had competing groups of exploiters. If anything, competing parties would allow counterrevolutionary elements to undermine the stability and cohesion of the dictatorship of the proletariat, such as through weakening political unity, disrupting economic planning, etc., especially when the economy fell into hardship that could be exploited by bourgeois demagogues. This is in practice applicable to the sort of situation experienced by socialist states in the late 1980s, whose leading parties were losing popular support and legitimacy as the economies stagnated, after which "free" elections were held, ones which allowed bourgeois parties to come to power, and which ended up in such a dismantling of socialism.

References

  1. Adams, Sean; Morioka, Noreen; Stone, Terry Lee (2006). Color Design Workbook: A Real World Guide to Using Color in Graphic Design. Gloucester, Mass.: Rockport Publishers. pp. 86. ISBN 159253192X.
  2. Kumar, Rohit Vishal; Joshi, Radhika (October–December 2006). "Colour, Colour Everywhere: In Marketing Too". SCMS Journal of Indian Management. 3 (4): 40–46. ISSN 0973-3167.
  3. Cassel-Picot, Muriel "The Liberal Democrats and the Green Cause: From Yellow to Green" in Leydier, Gilles and Martin, Alexia (2013) Environmental Issues in Political Discourse in Britain and Ireland. Cambridge Scolars Publishing. p.105
  4. Busky, Donald F. (2000). Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey. Westport, Connecticut, USA: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc. p. 8. The Frankfurt Declaration of the Socialist International, which almost all social democratic parties are members of, declares the goal of the development of democratic socialism