Science and Society 75 (4):480 - 505 (2011)

During the late 1880s and early 1890s, German socialist immigrants grouped around a club called Vorwärts played a key role in the consolidation of the first socialist groups in Argentina. In the context of a deep economic and political crisis, Germán Avé-Lallemant (1835-1910) — a mining engineer and land surveyor born in Lübeck, who later served as the Argentine correspondent of Die Neue Zeit, the theoretical journal of German Social Democracy edited by Karl Kautsky — became the main personality of Argentine socialism before the appearance of juan B. Justo's La Vanguardia in 1894. Distancing themselves from Lassalle and embracing a Marxist ideology more closely aligned with the political line of the SPD, the first Argentine socialist groups also sketched, under Lallemant's direction, an analysis of Argentine history stressing its backwardness and arguing that capitalism would play a progressive historical role in the immediate future — an analysis explaining their originally sympathetic attitude towards the new Radical Party. Lallemant's previously unresearched German writings, set against the background of contemporary political currents in Argentina and the Second International, shed new light on his role in the origins of Argentine socialism
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