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Shouldn't this be under "reformer", or is there somehow a difference between a reformer and a reformist? Ah, language... -- April

Reformists also want to fundamentally change society. At least that is what they say. The term was first used in the beginning of the 20th century sometime when Social Democratic parties decided it was better to gradually change capitalism to socialism instead of via a (violent?) revolution. That lead to a split in these parties between revolutionaries and reformists. Most of the revolutionary parties used a name containing "Communist" possibly to distinguish themselves from the Social Democratic parties that used the label "Socialist". BL 10:57, Jan 21, 2004 (UTC)

Um, seems narrow[edit]

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I never considered reformism to be limited to socialist/communist politics. I know that it is a common debate in progressive and left movements, but is it confined to that? Greens, dems and even republicans are reformist (at least as I always thought of it). Am I mistaken, or is this article in need of serious expansion. The Ungovernable Force 22:51, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree, reformism can be seen talked about in contrast with conservatism without socialism and 'revolutionary socialism' being discussed. --fs 17:36, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes and yes. Reformism is a bad word to right wing politics, who seem to want it to be linked somehow to Marxism in some form. Shouldn't be, and I have added Capitalism and another outside link. Actually, it should not be thought of as a political movement at all, but rather as a goundswell protest from the general public, fed up with the general corruption seen today in politics, left and right, and business, and the law, and in some notable cases, religion. This article needs an unbiased rewrite. I have added a "buzzword" tag, all the extreme left wing labels are distractions to be balanced, if the article is to be useful. JohnClarknew 08:46, 24 December 2006 (UTC).

Labour Party[edit]

Is the rewriting of Clause IV really considered reformist? As I understand it, wasn't that Labour moving away from its more socialist background, and no longer committing to keeping public services public? If that is the case, then does reformism just mean any kind of change at all, regardless of in which direction? The opening paragraph of the article seems to imply that reformism refers to gradual changes in a socialist direction, of which the rewriting of Clause IV was clearly not. Just trying to understand! Bobmonkey 10:46, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

No politics here[edit]

Wiktionary, curiously, does not seem to cover the reformist word. However, the American Heritage thesaurus has this to say:

  • Noun 1. reformist - a disputant who advocates reform, crusader, meliorist, reformer, controversialist, disputant, eristic
  • a person who disputes; who is good at or enjoys controversy
  • abolitionist, emancipationist - a reformer who favors abolishing slavery
  • birth-control campaigner, birth-control reformer - a social reformer who advocates birth control and family planning.
  • Chartist - a 19th century English reformer who advocated better social and economic conditions for working people.
  • Civil rights activist, civil rights leader, civil rights worker - a leader of the political movement dedicated to securing equal opportunity for members of minority groups
  • protester, demonstrator - someone who participates in a public display of group feeling
  • prohibitionist - a reformer who opposes the use of intoxicating beverages
  • Conservationist, environmentalist - someone who works to protect the environment from destruction or pollution.
  • Feminist, libber, women's liberationist, women's rightist - a supporter of feminism.
  • flower child, hippie, hippy, hipster - someone who rejects the established culture; advocates extreme liberalism in politics and lifestyle
  • freedom fighter, insurgent, insurrectionist, rebel - a person who takes part in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions)
  • activist, militant - a militant reformer
  • non-resistant, passive resister - a reformer who believes in passive resistance
  • preservationist - someone who advocates the preservation of historical sites or endangered species or natural areas
  • Utopian - an idealistic (but usually impractical) social reformer; "a Utopian believes in the ultimate perfectibility of man"
  • Anthony Comstock, Comstock - United States reformer who led moral crusades against art and literature that he considered obscene (1844-1915)
  • Hus, Huss, Jan Hus, John Huss - Czechoslovakian religious reformer who anticipated the Reformation; he questioned the infallibility of the Catholic Church was excommunicated (1409) for attacking the corruption of the clergy; he was burned at the stake (1372-1415)
  • Owen, Robert Owen - Welsh industrialist and social reformer who founded cooperative communities (1771-1858)
  • Girolamo Savonarola, Savonarola - Italian religious and political reformer; a Dominican friar in Florence who preached against sin and corruption and gained a large following; he expelled the Medici from Florence but was later excommunicated and executed for criticizing the Pope (1452-1498)
  • Francis Everett Townsend, Townsend - United States social reformer who proposed an old-age pension sponsored by the federal government; his plan was a precursor to Social Security (1867-1960)
  • John Wilkes, Wilkes - English reformer who published attacks on George III and supported the rights of the American colonists (1727-1797)
  • Adjective. 1. reformist - favoring or promoting reform (often by government action), reform-minded, progressive
  • governing, government activity, governance, government - the act of governing; exercising authority; "regulations for the governing of state prisons"; "he had considerable experience of government"
  • liberal - tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition

Note that Socialism and Communism and other off-putting political labels are not even mentioned. The word does not suggest a "fundamental change in society" which otherwise comes by revolution. It can also call for reforms and cleanup of moral corruption in the system we've got, and is the best sense of the word. Reformist is not a dirty word, and the Wikipedia article needs a rewrite. Come to think of it, Wikipedia and its mission is reformist in today's world. JohnClarknew 19:15, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Religious reformism[edit]

There has been quite a bit of reformism within religion, and this should maybe taken into account at some point. The Protestant Reformation is a notable movement of Reform within 16th century Christianity. The Second Vatican Council was primarily a reformist council. Reform Judaism takes a similar standpoint in the Jewish tradition, while Wahhabism has tried to reform Islam by making it more fundamentalist. ADM (talk) 15:11, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Rename article?[edit]

I saw some articles (can't recall which but more than a handfull) in wikipedia where reformism is described as the ideology of a party in obviously a non-socialist way. Shouldn't this be changed to Reformism (Socialism) or Socialist Reformism and create a new article for the political philosophies (that may appear in many ideologies) unified by support of social (or even religious as it has already been pointed out) reformism without necessarily a slower and gentler way to socialism, just called Reformism? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Much of the handwringing in this Talk seems to wish this article contained what Reform movement currently contains. I don't necessarily disagree but a Google search for "reformism" does return a majority of hits related specifically to reformist socialism. Some kind of disambiguation is clearly necessary, conflating the subject of the present article with "reform of <whatever>" is however not. (talk) 01:30, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Kautsky a reformist?[edit]

I question Kautsky being listed along with Bernstein as a reformist theorist. Kaustsky was one of Bernstein's major opponents during the debates over Revisionism within the Social Democratic Party. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 23 November 2009 (UTC)