Pioneers of social democracy

Stories, thoughts and activities in the life of 49 thinkers of social democracy tell the history of social democracy, now also eternalized in typo quotes.

Photo: FES / Mila Shopova

"The workers have no nation," Friedrich Engels once said about the identity of the labor movement.

If Christian Krell, political scientist and editor of “Thinkers of Social Democracy” could invite the historical personas presented in this volume to a discussion about the quote, they would probably all second Engels by mutual agreement. Among them are August Bebel, Rosa Luxemburg, Kurt Schumacher and many more. They were academics, auto-didacts and manual workers of the 19th and 20th centuries, all of them unequivocally invested in the history of the labour movement.

Published by Verlag J.H.W. Dietz Nachf, “Thinkers of Social Democracy” traces the career and pluralistic character of social democracy in Germany and Europe, based on the writings, actions and lived experiences of 49 pioneer thinkers and practitioners who shaped the theory and practice of social democracy.

“Social democracy is to be understood here not only as a political movement in the sense of social democratic parties,” writes Krell in the introduction to the edited volume. “Social democracy is, on one hand a conception of democracy at the heart of which stands equal freedom for all and which expresses the close connection between political and social emancipation.”

By reading this book one thing is clear: the practice of social democracy can be found in the similarities. No matter what country or continent its protagonists came from, their experience, ideas and actions were not limited by state territories or historical identity. They discovered their frames for theory and action in the values ​​of equality, freedom and solidarity.

Inspired by the preview in the history of social democracy this book affords, the team of FES Connect prepared a small collection of typography quotes selecting and sourcing quotes by a dozen among the protagonists featured in the book.

Download and share. Follow us on twitter daily, starting 22th December, for a typo storm happening in the next two weeks.

The FES Connect Team would like to thank Florian Neumann and Victoria Scheyer, former interns at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, for the support in preparing this post and the typo quote collection. To Kawin Tadtiam, a graphic designer, thank you for the design.

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