Anti-critique of a leftist book review of
The Dutch and German Communist Left (1900-1968)
In Vol. 1#2 (Try-out issue, May 2017) of this Digest, we briefly presented this elaborate work of political history in its first English translation, that has appeared with Brill (Leiden/Boston) in 2016. This was followed by the introduction of a review on Libcom titled “Council communism or councilism? – The period of transition”.
Since, we have had occasion to present its 3rd, revised Edition in French (June 2018) in Vol. 2#4 (August- September 2018) and on pages of this blog, in a more extensive way.
Unfortunately, serious reviews of this important work, in either language, and notably by adherents of the communist Left, or of proletarian internationalism in a broad sense, are very rare. When we discovered a rather extensive review of the English edition in a bourgeois left-wing, Trotskyist, periodical appearing in the Netherlands, our curiosity was raised. What follows is the result of a considerate examination.
Continue reading “An answer to “Questions without answers””
The 3rd, revised Edition in French (June 2018)
Back cover text
The German-Dutch Communist Left, represented by the German KAPD and AAUD, the Dutch KAPN and the Bulgarian Communist Workers Party, separated from the Comintern in September 1921 because of principled disagreements on all important questions: parliamentarism, syndicalism, united fronts, the Bolshevik party-state using anti-proletarian violence (Kronstadt). This radical current had the audacity to assert that it was not the “communist party”, but the workers’ councils that constituted the finally discovered form of the proletarian dictatorship, and thereby of the communist transformation. It attracted the ire of Lenin, who wrote in June 1920 his famous book on left extremism, “Left-wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder, () to which Herman Gorter delivered a slashing response in his pamphlet Open letter to comrade Lenin. ()
Continue reading “Book Presentation: The German-Dutch Communist Left from its Origins to 1968”
The Author’s Introduction to the new Edition (Prepublication)
Despite the theoretical and political renown of Gorter and Pannekoek in the international labor movement, the Communist Left in the Netherlands is the least known of the left currents that emerged within the II. International, and later joined the Communist International. Their exclusion in 1921 from the Komintern wrapped the names that had symbolized the most intransigent internationalism in a veil of oblivion.
Continue reading “A political History of the German-Dutch communist Left (Preface)”