The Dutch and German Communist Left 1900-68: Neither Lenin Nor Trotsky Nor Stalin! (Historical Materialism)
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The Dutch-German Communist Left, represented by the German KAPD-AAUD, the Dutch KAPN and the Bulgarian Communist Workers Party, separated from the Comintern (1921) on questions like electoralism, trade-unionism, united fronts, the one-party state and anti-proletarian violence. It attracted the ire of Lenin, who wrote his Left Wing Communism, "An Infantile Disorder against the Linkskommunismus," while Herman Gorter wrote a famous response in his pamphlet "Reply to Lenin." The present volume provides the most substantial history to date of this tendency in the twentieth-century Communist movement. It covers how the Communist left, with the KAPD-AAU, denounced 'party communism' and 'state capitalism' in Russia; how the German left survived after 1933 in the shape of the Dutch GIK and Paul Mattick s councils movement in the USA; and also how the Dutch Communistenbond Spartacus continued to fight after 1942 for the world power of the workers councils, as theorised by Pannekoek in his book "Workers Councils" (1946)."
itself in a quite different position. Against the advice of Rühle, Wolffheim, and Laufenberg, they refused to consider the formation of another party, and demanded, as the majority of the old party, the readmission into the KPD (Spartakus) of those who had been excluded. However, the KPD (Spartakus) Congress of February 1920 refused any readmission. The KAPDs formation was precipitated by the events that accompanied the Kapp Putsch. Levi and Brandler’s party declared that it would not attack the
contrary, it declared that it was the Spartakusbund (KPD) which was in contradiction with the International. The KAPD’s first act, agreed unanimously by the founding Congress, was to declare – not to request – its immediate attachment to the 3rd International. (57) Nonetheless, although the KAPD’s programme was inspired more by the Theses of Gorter and Pannekoek than by those of the CI, it was from the outset much less homogeneous than the Dutch Left. With the KAPD’s foundation, the opposition
Holland. He remains a great figure of the international workers’ movement, in an epoch when Marxists and anarchists could coexist within the same organisation. After Against the threat of war, he was more a pacifist and anti-militarist than a revolutionary guided by a coherent theory. Unlike anarchist leaders like Kropotkin, Cornelissen, or Jean Grave who put themselves at the service of imperialist war, in the Allied camp, during World War I, Domela Nieuwenhuis remained an internationalist. It
the Rabotnitcheska Iskra, (‘Workers’ Spark’), ‘edited by proletarians’. Very workerist, the party was made up of more than 1,000 militants and was essentially composed of workers, who had a solid, and justified distrust for the intellectuals of the party. c) The exclusion of the German communist Left All these exclusions took place with the endorsement of the Executive Committee, including in the Netherlands, where Wijnkoop relied on the support of German delegates of the VKPD on the Executives’
collection of heterogeneous strata, oscillating between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. If history is punctuated by innumerable peasant revolts, they have never resulted in a peasant revolution building its own state. Marxism recognises only two forms of state under capitalism, the bourgeois state and the transitional state, under proletarian control. The proletarian revolution can degenerate, until it disappears, but in no case can it be transformed into a bourgeois revolution. All the