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The Social Democratic Workers’ Party, Eisenach Program (August 8, 1869)

With the founding of the Social Democratic Workers’ Party at Eisenach in 1869, the leaders of the Saxon People’s Party took the decisive step towards establishing a socialist party in all of Germany. In its founding program the party calls, among other things, for radical change of the status quo, fundamental democratization, abolition of class privileges, economic liberation of workers, and universal, equal, direct and secret elections for all levels of government.

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I. The Social Democratic Workers’ Party strives for the establishment of a free people's state.

II. Each member of the Social Democratic Workers’ Party is committed to supporting the following principles with wholehearted effort:

1. The current political and social conditions are extremely unjust and thus have to be combated with the utmost energy.

2. The struggle for the liberation of the working class is not a struggle for class privileges and special rights, but for equal rights and obligations and for the abolition of class rule.

3. The economic dependency of the worker on the capitalists constitutes the basis of any form of servitude, and therefore the Social Democratic Party aims for each worker to get the full earnings from labor through a cooperative system; concomitant to this is the abolition of the current method of production (wage system).

4. Political freedom represents the most essential precondition for the economic liberation of the laboring classes. Consequently, the social question is inseparable from the political one; its solution is conditional on the latter and is only possible in a democratic state.

5. Considering that the political and economic liberation of the working class is only possible if the struggle is conducted under common, united principles, the Social Democratic Workers’ Party is adopting a unified organization, which nevertheless allows each individual member to assert influence for the general welfare.

6. Considering that the liberation of labor is neither a local nor a national but rather a social task, encompassing all countries with a modern [form of] society, the Social Democratic Workers’ Party regards itself, to the extent that the associational laws permit, as a branch of the International Workers’ Association and is affiliated with the efforts of that body.

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