Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party (Broad Socialists)

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Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party (Broad Socialists) (Bulgarian: Българска работническа социалдемократическа партия (широки социалисти), Balgarska rabotnicheska sotsialdemokraticheska partia (shiroki sotsialisti)) was a reformist socialist political party in Bulgaria. The party emerged from a division at the Tenth Party Congress of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party held in 1903 (the other faction forming the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party (Narrow Socialists)). The 'Broad Socialist' faction had appeared inside the pre-split party around 1900, when Yanko Sakazov had started the magazine Obshto delo ('Common Action'). The Broad Socialists, analogous to the Mensheviks in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, argued in favour a broad social base of the party and broad class alliances.[1][2]

In 1909 the Social Democratic Union 'Proletarian' of Dimitar Blagoev (a group that had been expelled from the Narrow Socialists) merged into the Broad Socialist party. The grouping would function as a leftwing tendency inside the Broad Socialist party for the years to come.[1]

The party was divided in right, centre and left factions. Its membership had a mixed social background. As of 1910 workers constituted about 35% of the party membership. Rural workers were generally absent in the party ranks.[3]

The party published the daily newspaper Narod between 1911 and 1934. The rightist tendency inside the party ran a newspaper of their own, Epoha, between 1923 and 1925. The Socialist Youth Union was the youth wing of the party. The Free Trade Unions were politically close to the party.[4]

The party was a member of the Labour and Socialist International 1923–1940. It was represented by Sakazov in the LSI Executive during the entire existence of the International (until August 1925 Sakazov's seat was shared with the Yugoslav socialist leader Živko Topalović).[5]

In 1948 the party merged into the Bulgarian Communist Party (into which the Narrow Socialists had developed). The process of verification of memberships began in June 1948, around half of the Broad Socialist party members were allowed to enter the Communist Party. The merger was finalized in December 1948.[6]

Historiography in Socialist Bulgaria generally downplayed the Broad Socialists, repeatedly denouncing the party as 'opportunists'. The first book to be published in Socialist Bulgaria about the Broad Socialist party came in 1981, Klara Pinkas' Reformistkata sotsialdemokratsia v Balgaria. Ideologia, politika, organizatsia, 1903–1917.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Linden, Marcel van der, and Jürgen Rojahn. The Formation of Labour Movements, 1870-1914: An International Perspective. Contributions to the history of labour and society, v. 2. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990. p. 406
  2. ^ Nation, R. C. War on war: Lenin, the Zimmerwald Left, and the origins of communist internationalism. Durham [u.a.]: Duke Univ. Pr, 1989. p. 12
  3. ^ Linden, Marcel van der, and Jürgen Rojahn. The Formation of Labour Movements, 1870-1914: An International Perspective. Contributions to the history of labour and society, v. 2. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990. p. 408
  4. ^ Kowalski, Werner. Geschichte der sozialistischen arbeiter-internationale: 1923 - 19. Berlin: Dt. Verl. d. Wissenschaften, 1985. p. 288
  5. ^ Kowalski, Werner. Geschichte der sozialistischen arbeiter-internationale: 1923 - 19. Berlin: Dt. Verl. d. Wissenschaften, 1985. p. 283
  6. ^ Kersten, Krystyna. The Establishment of Communist Rule in Poland 1943 - 1948. Societies and culture in East-Central Europe, 8. Berkeley [u.a.]: Univ. of California Press, 1991. p. 432