Action against War

Anton Pannekoek in ‘New Review’, 1915 (Fragment)

» It is not enough for the workers to oppose war, every war, to refuse to be led astray by the cry of national defense. They must also have the power and the means to prevent war. « (1)

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The G.I.C. and the economy of the transition period (1)

Origin and meaning of the ‘Fundamental Principles’

The work Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution (further: Fundamental Principles) of the Group of International Communists (GIC) is an important text of the communist Left on the economic problems of the transition period from capitalism to communism. The GIC describes the relevance of the Fundamental Principles as follows:

As soon as the rule of the working class has become a fact in an industrialized country, the proletariat is confronted with the task of carrying through the transformation of economic life on new foundations, those of communal labor. The abolition of private property is easily pronounced, it will be the first measure of the political rule of the working class. But that is only a juridical act which aims at providing the legal foundation for the real economic proceeding. The real transformation and the actual revolutionary work then only begins.”  (1)

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The G.I.C. and the economy of the transition period (2)

Misunderstandings and anti-critique

In the foregoing, reference has been made to the misunderstandings that have arisen over time due to inadequate translations and summaries of the Fundamental Principles and unfamiliarity with the three preliminary studies. This section introduces the most important of these misunderstandings and corrects them with references to the 1935 version of the Fundamental Principles.
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What is the Communist Left?

‘Nuevo Curso’ on the communist Lefts that broke with the III. International, and their political heirs

In a concise overview ‘Nuevo Curso’ sets out the primary points of rupture for the left communist currents that have emerged against the degeneration of the Communist International (1919 – 1927), and attempts to trace their main contemporary political heirs or continuations. Special attention is paid to the left communist current in Spain around Grandizo Munis (1912 – 1989) that broke with Trotskyism on the question of the defense of the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The article testifies of the comrades’ vision of left-communism and its currents as a whole, and of their open, critical attitude toward the contemporary political milieu that lays claim to their respective heritage(s), including the Spanish Left they refer to in particular.

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Willy Huhn (1948): ‘Lenin as a Utopian’

Documents of the historical communist Left

» The first characteristic of Utopian socialism resides in the superstition of the power of science. A rational system is supposed to change the social world in such a decisive way that something ethically better and socially sound will be effected. The practical consequence from this conviction is that the scholars have to take the fate of humanity into their hands, or rather onto their heads.

With the first Utopian of Western history, Plato, the philosophers are at the helm of the State, and the island “Utopia” of Thomas More is governed by a “class of scholars”. Do not the intellectuals raise a similar claim – once the juridical intelligentsia (Engels has at one occasion treated this “lawyers’ socialism exhaustively) (1) and presently the technical or even the economical intelligentsia (technocracy and bureaucracy)?

The Utopians are searching for a “social science” in order to create new social conditions with its help. This action departs from their intellectual initiative, relies on the insight and the power to act of the intelligentsia, whereas the proletariat “offers to them the spectacle of a class without any historical initiative or any independent political movement”, as the “Communist Manifesto” states. (2)   Continue reading “Willy Huhn (1948): ‘Lenin as a Utopian’”

The impact of the Russian revolution in Germany 1914 – 1918

Presentation at the ‘internationalist week’ in Toulouse, 3 – 11 November 2017 (Revised version)

 

“Old mole History, you have bravely worked! At this moment the slogan, the call resounds again over the international, the German proletariat, that only the great hour of a worldwide turning point can bring: imperialism or socialism! War or revolution! There is no third!”

(Rosa Luxemburg, “Der alte Maulwurf”, Spartakusbriefe No. 5, May 1917)

“Doubt is out of the question. We are on the threshold of a world proletarian revolution.”

(Lenin, “The crisis has matured”, October 20 (7), 1917 in the newspaper Rabochy Put – “The Workers’ Path” – No. 20)

On August 4th, 1914, German Social-Democracy – considered the jewel of the organization of the conscious proletariat” (1) – capitulates without condition by subjecting itself with body and soul to its bourgeoisie. It votes unanimously for the war credits. Opposed to this vote, Karl Liebknecht was obliged to side with it by discipline, which he very quickly will consider as “a grave error” on his part. Only on December 2nd, 1914, he publicly votes against. He is disavowed by all SPD deputies, including the so-called left around Ledebour and Hoffmann who would form the USPD in 1917.   Continue reading “The impact of the Russian revolution in Germany 1914 – 1918”

Book Review: “In Search of Rosa’s Heritage”

The German Marxist Willy Huhn (1909 – 1970)

Jochen Gester

Auf der Suche nach Rosas Erbe. Der deutsche Marxist Willy Huhn (1909-1970)

Die Buchmacherei, Berlin, 2017, German.

Paperback, 628p. + CD 207p. (Pdf); 22,-. ISBN 978-3-00-056463-5. Orders via Die Buchmacherei, with postal charges.

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The Crisis in Socialist Theory: The “Group of International Communists” in Holland (1947)

Title:

The Crisis in Socialist Theory; The “Group of International Communists” in Holland (Dr. Anton Pannekoek)

Language:

English

Document:

Left, No. 132 (London, October 1947), p. 225-228; Reprinted in: Southern Advocate for Workers’ Councils, No. 40 (Melbourne, December 1947).

Author(s):

Anton Pannekoek

Web links:

http://www.aaap.be/Pages/Pannekoek-en-1947-The-Crisis-In-Socialist-Theory.html

Subject:

Socialist theory; Marxism

Categories:

Council Communism; G.I.C.; Anton Pannekoek

Remarks:

Source transcription from MIA revised by Vico/AAAP (January 9, 2018). With bibliographical references. Dutch & French translations are available at the Antonie Pannekoek Archives website.

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Internationalist Marxism or Islamist Nationalism?

The Dutch Left and Islamism (Barend Luteraan, Henk Sneevliet, Tan Malaka)

The following article is an excerpt from the chapter on the colonial question in the forthcoming re-edition of the History of the German-Dutch Communist Left (1990) by Philippe Bourrinet. Publication of this revised and aug­mented edition in French language is foreseen by the Editions ‘Moto Proprio’ in the course of next Spring. A Free Retriever’s Digest will certainly come back to this important work of historiography on the internationalist communist Left in due time.  Continue reading “Internationalist Marxism or Islamist Nationalism?”

On the Bookshelves: ‘Envers et contre tout’

From the Left Opposition to the Foundation of the ‘Union Communiste’ (France, 1924 – 1939)

Presentation by the Author

Presenting a work is always hazardous. This work was, at its beginning, about writing the history of the Left Opposition in a period in which the international revolution had been defeated in 1921 – 1923, a defeat that has been continued by the eradication of the revolutionaries in Russia and everywhere else in the world, including China.

Our historical saga concludes with the birth of the ‘Union Communiste’ (“Communist Union”) who represents the bundling in France of the internationalist communists.

Well, this book can be read from a different angle: how has the bourgeoisie arrived at defeating the working class morally and physically in order to take it into the Second imperialist war?  Continue reading “On the Bookshelves: ‘Envers et contre tout’”