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.

Continue reading “What is the Communist Left?”

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.

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

In this article you find:

  • The book description by the Editor

  • The review: Willy Huhn, an unknown coun­cil communist

 

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

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.

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

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’”

Program of the K.A.P.D., 1924 (Reprint)

Not only is the council movement of 1918 – 1923 dead (beaten to death), council communism is only just a historical reality. However, a new beginning of the revolutionary movement cannot develop in the void of the present incomprehension of the so-called ‘Left’. We want to draw the attention of those who try to enter into the theoretical achievements of the German communist Left to a new edition of the program of the K.A.P.D. (Berlin Tendency) of 1924. In the following we present extracts with some comments. Hopefully they inspire further study and debate. Continue reading “Program of the K.A.P.D., 1924 (Reprint)”

On the Extreme Margins of the Centennial of the October Revolution

The Legacy of 1917 We Can Affirm. By Loren Goldner

The year 1917 is most closely associated with the Russian Revolution, but it is more important to locate  that revolution in the global tidal wave of  working-class struggle  from 1917 to 1921 (continued up to 1927 in China), which forced the end of the first inter-imperialist world war (1914-1918).
Continue reading “On the Extreme Margins of the Centennial of the October Revolution”

N. Ossinsky’s Critique of State Capitalism in Russia (‘Kommunist’, April 1918)

On its website the CWO has recently published an English translation of the first part of a two part article, written by Nikolai Ossinsky for the review Kommunist, with the title: The construction of Socialism. This article appeared in the first two issues (April 20 and April 27, 1918) of the organ of the first left fraction that emerged within the Bolshevik party after the takeover of power in Russia by the soviets in October 1917. The latter organized in the course of the Spring of 1918 around Bukharin and Radek in the Moscow party bureau, in opposition to the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk separate ‘peace treaty’ by the Soviet government with Germany and on the question of addressing the catastrophic economic situation the revolution in Russia was facing in the most dire and immediate ways. In his article Ossinsky drew on the latter questions from a proletarian perspective. In the following we reproduce the CWO’s introduction to Ossinsky’s article with reference to Lenin’s polemic, who made a turn on the question of the economic and political measures to be taken by the soviet government, and thereby on the question of “nationalization” and the role of the proletariat. We want to encourage our readers to take notice of the forthcoming translation of this article as a whole. H.C.  Continue reading “N. Ossinsky’s Critique of State Capitalism in Russia (‘Kommunist’, April 1918)”