Topic: The 1921 ‘Kronstadt Tragedy’ – Beginning of the Counterrevolution?

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Kronstadt uprising and its defeat we present a small selection of titles from the vast literature available, which we consider of interest in order to go into its wider historical significance and implications:

  • The Program of the Kronstadt Uprising is presented and analyzed in a chapter of the work by Ida Mett: La commune de Cronstadt. Crépuscule sanglant des soviets (Paris 1938, 1948) [“The Kronstadt Commune. Bloody Twilight of the Soviets”]. It was first published in English by Solidarity, London 1967.

  • A council communist analysis that came about contemporaneous to the publication of Mett’s work in the West can be read in Willy Huhn’s work “Trotsky – The Failed Stalin” (1952), from which we provide a chapter in translation.

  • An extensive bibliography and documents‘ collection established by ‘Fragments d’Histoire de la gauche radicale’ (“Fragments of the History of the radical Left“, mainly in French language) in collaboration with ‘Les Révolutions-1917’ is presented at the hand of the authors’ survey text.

  • Last but not least, we recommend The Retreat of the World-Revolution – The 1921 ‘Kronstadt Tragedy’, an extract from Chapter V: Gorter, the KAPD and the Foundation of the Communist Workers’ International (1921–7) of Ph. Bourrinet’s political historiography The Dutch and German Communist Left (1900–68) (Brill, Leiden – Boston 2017).

The editor, April 26, 2021.

 

Click to read these contributions to The 1921 ‘Kronstadt Tragedy’ – Beginning of the Counterrevolution?

 

Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914? (II)

Discussion Contributions

Apropos of the recently started series The Falsehoods of the International Communist Current (ICC) — A Critique, we have opened a new section on our topics pages, which collects Discussion Contributions on the Question of Capitalism’s Decadence by commentators of this work in progress. At present it contains the following essays:

Autumn 2020:

Decline and Senility of Capitalism with Marx, Engels and Communism.

A critical recapitulation and determination of capitalism’s historical phase (Anibal & materia, May 22, 2020)

Some Key Questions for Luxemburg’s Theory of Accumulation.

Problems for the modern day supporters of Luxemburg’s theory of total dependence on precapitalist markets (Link, November 27, 2020)

Spring 2021:

Capitalism is coming to an end. But how?

Does China’s further integration into capitalism lead to the latter’s “obsolescence”? Fredo Corvo replies to C.Mcl. (Version of March 14, 2021)

The Decadence of Capitalism. A Discussion

Aníbal & materia (Version of March 22, 2021)

 

Click to read Discussion Contributions on the Question of Capitalism’s Decadence

 

This section may be updated with new contributions. We invite interested readers to send in their commentaries and/or contributions. Please read the modalities in the Colophon.

 

A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.5 #1 (January – March 2021)

Contents:

36 pages (A4, pdf)

Available for free download here:

210131 A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.5 Nr 01

(Note: due to a correction the initial pdf file has been replaced)

The next release is envisaged in the second half of April 2021. The deadline for notifications and contributions has been set to Sunday, April 4, 2021.

Continue reading “A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.5 #1 (January – March 2021)”

Capitalism, Wars and Epidemics (IV. Conclusion)

To be buried by capitalism or to free the entire Earth from a vampiric system?

In the following we publish the conclusion of this article attempting to situate the corona-virus pandemic and its consequences in a broader perspective and from different angles. The previous three parts are also available on this blog:

Part I: §1 Commodity, Commerce and Confinement;  §2 The Precedent of the Spanish Flu: Defense Secrets, Brainwashing and War Economy to better cut up the Cannon Fodder. (Online: March 31, 2020, ‘AFRD’ Vol.4#2 (April – June 2020) p.9 ff.)

Part II: §3 Capitalism, Imperialism and the War of Microbes.
(Online: July 4, 2020, ‘AFRD’ Vol.4#3 (July – September 2020) p.19 ff.)

Part III: §4 The destruction of health systems and of the ecosystem. The commodification of the world. (Online: September 27 (§4.a). Completed on December 15, 2020)

Continue reading “Capitalism, Wars and Epidemics (IV. Conclusion)”

250 years of modern Capitalism: A reconstruction of its dynamics (Part 2)

“I pre-suppose, of course, a reader who is willing to learn something new and therefore to think for himself. […] Every opinion based on scientific criticism I welcome.” (Karl Marx, Preface to the First German Edition of ‘Capital, critique of political economy’, 1867).

Taking up a longstanding concern of Marx’s that he was unable to fulfill, this work in progress treats the development of modern capitalism over the past 250 years, with special attention to the classic country of its origin: Great Britain/the UK, at the hand of examined statistic sources and according to criteria developed by Marx.

With its third chapter: “An economically polarized World” now available in the topics section of this site, our translation is up to date with the work’s version of March 17, 2020 at ‘Capitalisme & Crises Économiques’.

We invite our readers to consult the article through its Table of Contents.

The editor

Election of Biden: Successful democratic campaigns against the US and international proletariat

IGCL: Communiqué on the Situation in the United States (November 7, 2020)

“Trump has been beaten. After a week of counting the pro-Biden ballots sent in by mail, the  electoral ‘recovery’, announced by Trump himself as well, did take place. The American bourgeoisie can legitimately shout success. Isn’t this proof of its political mastery? Didn’t it succeed in imposing the presidential change that it had obviously deemed necessary since the outbreak of the economic crisis and the pandemic? And to appoint Biden? Wasn’t he supported by practically all the different bourgeois factions and the state apparatus, including the highest military officers, some of the Republicans themselves, and even by Fox News, the pro-Trump news channel? But, perhaps more importantly for its success, did it not succeed in mobilizing as never before for these elections? In a country where voter turnout has historically always been low, around 50%, all records since 1900 have been broken and 67% of the American electorate voted.”

Continue reading “Election of Biden: Successful democratic campaigns against the US and international proletariat”

Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914?

The Falsehoods of the International Communist Current (ICC) — A critique (Ch.1 & 2)

The following contribution challenges a fundamental programmatic position shared by several groups of the contemporary communist Left, in continuity with the beginnings of the III. (or Communist) International, namely that capitalism has entered its phase of decline as an historical mode of production since the outbreak of World War 1. It does so following the method that Marx applied in his (unfinished) magnum opus ‘Capital’, comparing the evolution of capitalism before and since 1914 at the hand of documented empirical data. These are summarized in a series of graphs and contrasted with the affirmations by one of the most outspoken protagonists of this position.

Continue reading “Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914?”

Essay: On unionism and its revolutionary overcoming

A contribution to a debate between council communists
(Roi Ferreiro, August 17, 2020)

The following essay is a discussion contribution on the (trade- or industrial) union question from the perspective of overcoming the latter’s inherent limitations, which has been proposed in a recently emerging, council communist discussion forum.

Departing from the radicalizing tendencies that openly combated the official trades’ unions during the revolutionary upsurge in Germany 1917-1923, the essay  takes care to reestablish the vision of Marx and Engels on the possibilities and limits of ‘unionism’, both in their own time and in general. It subsequently attempts a terminological clarification, relating the ‘union’ or ‘syndicalist’ types of organizations and struggles to their historical period and respective aims and origins. Based on these preliminary considerations, the essay engages in an  investigation of the limitations and pitfalls in the conceptions, slogans and practices embodied by the K.A.P.D. and the Arbeiter-Unionen, as the most advanced expressions of a workers’ struggle for class autonomy at the time. Limitations and pitfalls that can also be found in more recent manifestations of proletarian struggles since the 1960s, albeit in a profoundly altered political-historical context, engaging very different force relations. A series of reflections is advanced that amount, a.o. to situating the workers’ struggles of the past decades as marked by a decline of ‘unionist’ illusions, and to re-calibrating the question of self-organizing in workers’ struggle. It appears that the old theses defended by the GIC in the 1930s are considered as still of use.

Continue reading “Essay: On unionism and its revolutionary overcoming”

The Corona-virus and the Communists Today

I.O.D.: An invitation to an open debate among proletarian internationalists

Whereas ‘A Free Retriever’s Digest‘ does not adhere to Leninist conceptions of the role and function of politicized minorities of the proletariat, it is not blind to relevant analyses of burning questions either, let alone to promising efforts to contribute to a renewal of Marxism, that may originate from Leninist tendencies. As such we consider the Istituto Onorato Damen (I.O.D.), that has originated from a split of Battaglia Comunista in 2009. We present its latest revue and its long-term project (AFRD Vol.4 issue #3, on page 7 ff.). The following article sets forth their vision on the actual tasks and responsibilities of proletarian internationalists and a proposition for an open debate on the basis of an historical materialist approach, criticizing certain tendencies with origins in the historical Italian communist Left for abandoning this terrain.

Continue reading “The Corona-virus and the Communists Today”

Revolt to carve out an individual existence within Capitalism?

Some necessary criticisms apropos of “Social Contagion – Microbiological Class War in China” (Chuǎng)

At the end of February, the Chuǎng collective published an elaborate article on the Corona-virus pandemic in China, Social Contagion. Microbiological Class War in China, that develops their reflections on its origins and societal significance along two axes: 1. “how capitalist production relates to the non-human world at a more fundamental level—how, in short, the “natural world,” including its microbiological substrata, cannot be understood without reference to how society organizes production”; “how capitalist accumulation produces such plagues” and 2. on the present state of Chinese society; on how the pandemic itself is “a contradictory instance of political crisis, making visible to people the unseen potentials and dependencies of the world around them, while also offering yet another excuse for the extension of systems of control even further into everyday life.”

Being one of the first publications that invite its readers to delve deeper into the structural and societal questions posed by a rapidly expanding, overwhelming virus pandemic, it has found a widespread interest in certain political milieus, as is shown by the variety of languages in which it has been translated, from Spanish to Russian.

The following statement by the French blog Pantopolis criticizes the group’s conception of the class character of Chinese society and its main contradictions, for showing a remarkable attachment to the state capitalist visions of Maoism.  One that we can find in their “Conversations with Lao Xie” (A State Adequate to the Task” in Chuǎng issue no. 2, 2019) as well.

Continue reading “Revolt to carve out an individual existence within Capitalism?”