Gerrit Voerman: A political chameleon: the history of the maoist Socialistische Partij (1971-2008)

Abstract

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2010. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 93–108

In 1971 the Dutch Socialistische Partij(Socialist Party) started as a maoist sect. Over the course of its existence, the party has considerably changed in appearance. The revolutionary avant-garde metamorphosed into a reformist, change-oriented but still radical party which got 16% of the vote in the national elections of November 2006. This article deals with the change of the party seen as a political pariah into the third party of the Netherlands. The driving force behind all of its adaptations until today was the SP’s populist orientation, which was embedded in the party’s Maoist outlook that outlasted all of the reforms. In the 1980s the party began to view itself as the ‘voice of the people’, claiming that it was in a better position than anyone else to know the mind of the populace. This pretence of the SP was founded on its implementation of Mao’s ‘mass line’. The doctrinal and organizational innovation was meant to remove obstacles between the party and its grassroots support potential.

Über den Autor

Gerrit Voerman, Dr. phil., geb. 1957, Historiker, Direktor des Dokumentationszentrums für Niederländische Politische Parteien an der Universität Groningen. 1977–1985 Studium an der Universität Groningen, Promotion 2001. Regelmäßige Veröffentlichungen zum Thema »Politische Parteien in den Niederlanden« u. a.: De meridiaan van Moskou. De CPN en de Communistische Internationale 1919–1930, Amsterdam, Antwerpen 2001 (Dissertation); Koautor: Verloren illusie, geslaagde fusie? GroenLinks in historisch en politicologisch perspectief, Leiden 1999; Koautor: Om de stembus. Verkiezingsaffiches 1918–1998, Amsterdam 2002; Koautor: Handelsreiziger in revoluties. Fre Meis (1921–1992), Zutphen 2002; in Arbeit: Geschichte der Socialistische Partij.