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Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the Communist Left, which opposes the political ideas of the Bolsheviks from a position that is asserted to be more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views of Leninism held by the Communist International after its first two Congresses. Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists ( Большевик Большевист (singular, derived from bolshe, "more" were a faction Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The proletariat (from Latin la ''proles'' "offspring" is a term used to identify a lower Social class; a member of such a class is proletarian Leninism refers to various related political and economic theories elaborated by Bolshevik revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. The Comintern ( Com munist Intern ational also known as the Third International) was an international Communist organisation founded in Moscow
Proponents of left communism have included Herman Gorter, Anton Pannekoek, Otto Rühle, Karl Korsch, Amadeo Bordiga and Paul Mattick. Herman Gorter ( Nov 26 1864, Wormerveer - Sep 15 1927, Brussels) was a Dutch poet and Socialist. Otto Rühle (23October 1874 - 24 June 1943 was a German Left Communist active in opposition to both the First and Second World Wars and a founder with along with Karl Korsch ( August 15, 1886 - October 21, 1961) was a German Marxist theorist Amadeo Bordiga (also misspelt "Amedeo" 13 June 1889 &ndash 23 July 1970) was an Italian Marxist, a contributor Paul Mattick ( 13 March 1904 – 7 February 1981) was a Marxist political writer and activist
Prominent left communist groups existing today include the International Communist Current and the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party. This is a list of Socialist, Communist, and Anarchist internationals The International Communist Current is an international centralised left communist organisation which was formed in 1975 and which has sections in France Great Britain The International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party is an international tendency whose member organisations identify with the Italian Left communist tradition Also, different factions from the old Bordigist International Communist Party are considered left communist organizations. The International Communist Party was a left communist international which was also described as a Bordigist party
Two major traditions can be observed within Left Communism, the Dutch-German tradition and the Italian tradition. The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Their political positions those tradition have in common are a shared opposition to what is termed frontism, nationalism, all kinds of national liberation movements and parliamentarianism and there is an underlying commonality at a level of abstract theory. In Politics a common front is an alliance between different groups forces or interests in pursuit of a common goal or in opposition to a common enemy The term nationalism can refer to an Ideology, a sentiment, a form of Culture, or a Social movement that focuses on the Nation A parliamentary system, also known as parliamentarianism (and parliamentarism in American English) is a System of government in which Crucially, Left Communist groups from both traditions tend to identify elements of commonality in each other.
The historical origins of Left Communism can be traced to the period before the First World War, but it only came into focus after 1918 . World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All All Left Communists were supportive of the October Revolution in Russia, but retained a critical view of its development. The October Revolution (Октябрьская революция Oktyabrskaya revolyutsiya) also known as the Soviet Revolution Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending Some, however, would in later years come to reject the idea that the revolution had a proletarian or socialist nature, asserting that it had simply carried out the tasks of the bourgeois revolution by creating a state capitalist system. The proletariat (from Latin la ''proles'' "offspring" is a term used to identify a lower Social class; a member of such a class is proletarian Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the Means of production and distribution State capitalism, in its classic meaning is a private capitalist economy under State control
Left Communism first came into being as a clear movement in or around 1918. Its essential features were: a stress on the need to build a Communist Party entirely separate from the reformist and centrist elements who were seen as having betrayed socialism in 1914, opposition to all but the most restricted participation in elections, and an emphasis on the need for revolutionaries to move on the offensive. A Political party described as a communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of Communism through a communist form of Socialist Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a Society can ultimately change a society's fundamental economic relations and political structures In Politics, centrism usually refers to the political ideal of promoting Moderate policies which land in the middle ground between different political extremes Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the Means of production and distribution An election is a Decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold formal office Apart from that, there was little in common between the various wings. Only the Italians accepted the need for electoral work at all for a very short period of time, and the German-Dutch, Italian and Russian wings opposed the "right of nations to self-determination", which they denounced as a form of bourgeois nationalism. Bourgeois nationalism is a term from Marxist phraseology It refers to the practice of dividing people by Nationality, race, Ethnicity, or
Russian Left Communism began as a faction in the Russian Communist Party in 1918, logically named the Left Communists, which opposed the signing of the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty with Germany. Not to be confused with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (February 9 1918, a similar treaty involving Ukraine and the Central Powers. The Left Communists wanted international Proletarian Revolution across the world. This is about the concept of world revolution in Marxist theory The leader of this faction, in the beginning, was Bukharin. Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (Никола́й Ива́нович Буха́рин ( &ndash March 15, 1938) was a Bolshevik They stood for a revolutionary war against the Central Powers; opposed the right of nations to self-determination (specifically in the case of Poland, since there were many Poles in this communist group and they did not want a Polish capitalist state to be established); and they generally took a voluntarist stance regarding the possibilities for social revolution at that time. A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, "a turnaround" is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively The Central Powers ( German: "Mittelmächte" Hungarian: "Központi hatalmak" Turkish: "İttifak Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland Voluntarism can refer to Voluntarism (action, the use of or reliance on voluntary action to maintain an institution carry out a policy or achieve an end
They began to publish a newspaper, Kommunist, which offered a critique of the direction in which the Bolsheviks were heading. They argued against the over-bureaucratisation of the state, and further argued that nationalisation should proceed at a quicker pace than Lenin desired.
The Left Communists faded as Lenin proved too strong a figure to argue against. They also lost Bukharin as a leading figure, since he moderated his own position and eventually came to agree with Lenin. Being defeated in internal debates, they dissolved. A few very small Left Communist groups surfaced within the RSFSR in the next few years, but later fell victim to repression by the state. In many ways, the Left Communist faction's positions were inherited by the Workers Opposition faction however the main left communist group is considered to be Gabriel Myasnikov's Workers Group of the Russian Communist Party. The Workers' Opposition (Рабочая оппозиция was a faction of the Russian Communist Party that emerged in 1920 as a response to the perceived over-bureaucratisation Gavril Ilyich Myasnikov (1889-1945 also transliterated as Gavriil Il'ich Miasnikov, was a Russian metalworker from the Urals, who participated in the Revolution
The Italian Left Communists were named Left Communists at a later stage in their development, but when the Communist Party of Italy was founded they were actually the majority of Communists in that country. The Communist Party of Italy (Partito Comunista d’Italia was an Italian Political party which existed from 1921 to 1926 This was a result of the Abstentionist Communist Fraction of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) being in advance of other sections of the PSI in their realisation that a separate Communist Party had to be formed which did not include reformists. The Italian Socialist Party ( Partito Socialista Italiano, PSI was a democratic socialist / social democratic political party founded in Genoa Socialist Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a Society can ultimately change a society's fundamental economic relations and political structures This gave them a great advantage over the sections of the PSI who looked to figures such as Serratti and Gramsci for leadership. Antonio Gramsci ('ɡramʃi ( January 23, 1891 &ndash April 27, 1937) was an Italian Philosopher, Writer, It was a consequence of the revolutionary impatience common at a time when revolution, in the narrow sense of an insurrectionary attempt at the seizure of power, was expected to develop in the very near future.
Under the leadership of Amadeo Bordiga, the Left was to control the PCd'I (Communist Party of Italy) until the Lyons Congress of 1926. Amadeo Bordiga (also misspelt "Amedeo" 13 June 1889 &ndash 23 July 1970) was an Italian Marxist, a contributor In this period, the militants of the PCd'I would find themselves isolated from reformist workers and from other anti-fascist militants. Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist ideologies organizations governments and people At one stage this isolation was deepened when Communist militants were instructed to leave defense organisations that were not totally controlled by the party. These sectarian tactics produced concern in the leadership of the Communist International and led to a developing opposition within the PCd'I itself. Eventually these two factors led to the displacement of Bordiga from his position as first secretary and his replacement by Gramsci. By then, Bordiga was in a fascist jail and he was to remain outside organised politics until 1952. The development of the Left Communist Fraction was not the development of the Bordigist current (as it is often portrayed).
The year 1925 was a turning point for the Italian left as it was the year that the so-called Bolshevisation took place in the sections of the Communist International. This plan was designed to eliminate all social democratic deviations from the Comintern and develop them on Bolshevik lines or at least along the lines of what Zinoviev, the secretary of the International, considered Bolshevik lines. Social democracy is a Political ideology of the left and centre-left The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists ( Большевик Большевист (singular, derived from bolshe, "more" were a faction Zinoviev, Zinovyev, Zinovieff (Зиновьев or Zinovieva (feminine Зиновьева is a Russian surname and may refer to In practice, this meant top-down bureaucratic structures in which the members were controlled by a leadership approved of by the Comintern's International Executive Committee. Bureaucracy is the structure and set of regulations in place to control activity usually in large organizations and government In Italy this meant that the leadership which had formerly been in the hands of Bordiga was given to a body that came into being when the Serrati-Maffi minority of the PSI joined the PCd'I, although Bordiga's group were in a majority. The new leadership was supported by Bordiga, who, as a centralist, accepted the will of the International.
Nevertheless, Bordiga fought the IEC from within, only to have an article of his which was favourable to Trotsky's positions on the disputed Russian questions suppressed. Leon Trotsky ( Russian:, Lev Davidovich Trotsky, also transliterated Leo, Lyev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij Meanwhile, sections of the left motivated by Onorato Damen formed the Entente Committee. Onorato Damen ( 4 December 1893 - 14 October 1979) was an Italian Left communist Revolutionary who was This committee was ordered to dissolve itself by the incoming leadership, led now by Gramsci who only then opposed Bordiga's positions, which had gained prestige after a successful recruitment campaign. With the party Congress of 1926 held in Lyons, crowned by Gramsci's famous Lyons Theses, the left majority was now defeated and on course to becoming a minority within the party. With the victory of fascism in Italy, Bordiga was jailed and when he opposed a vote against Trotsky in the prison PCd'I group, he was expelled from the party in 1930 . Fascism is a totalitarian nationalist and corporatist ideology He took a stance of non-involvement in politics for many years after this. The victory of fascism also meant that the Italian left would enter into a new chapter in its development - this time in exile.
The German-Dutch tradition of Left Communism was so named because the movement in both countries was very closely connected. Among the leading theoreticians of the more powerful German movement were Anton Pannekoek and Herman Gorter (for example) and German activists found refuge in the Netherlands after 1933 . Herman Gorter ( Nov 26 1864, Wormerveer - Sep 15 1927, Brussels) was a Dutch poet and Socialist. This current could trace its origins back before World War I, since in the Netherlands a revolutionary wing of Social Democracy had broken from the reformist party even before the war and had built links with German activists. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All After the beginning of the German Revolution in 1918, a leftist mood could be found among sections of the Communist Parties of both countries. In Germany this led directly to the foundation of the Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD) after its leading figures were expelled from the Communist Party (KPD) by Paul Levi. The Communist Workers Party of Germany ( German: Kommunistische Arbeiter-Partei Deutschlands; KAPD was an anti-parliamentarian and Council communist party The Communist Party of Germany ( German Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands &ndash KPD) was a major political party in Germany between 1918 Paul Levi ( 11 March 1883 &ndash 9 February 1930) was a German Communist politician This development was mirrored in the Netherlands and on a smaller scale in Bulgaria, where the Left Communist movement was to mimic that of Germany. The state of Bulgaria (България transliterated bg-Latn ''Balgaria'' The country preserves the traditions (in ethnic name language and alphabet of the First Bulgarian
When it was founded, the KAPD included some tens of thousands of revolutionaries. However, within a few years, it had broken up and practically dissolved. This was because it was founded on the basis of revolutionary optimism and a purism that rejected what became known as frontism. Frontism was seen as the idea of working in the same organisations as reformist workers. Such work was seen by the KAPD as unhelpful at a time when the revolution was thought to be an imminent event, and not merely a goal to be aimed at. This led the members of the KAPD to reject working in the traditional trade unions in favour of forming their own revolutionary unions. A trade union or labour union is an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in key areas such as wages hours and working conditions forming The Revolutionary Communist Party USA ( RCP USA) known originally as the Revolutionary Union, is a Maoist Communist party formed in These unionen, so called to distinguish them from the official trade unions, had 80,000 members in 1920 and peaked in 1921 with 200,000 members, after which they declined rapidly. They were also organisationally divided from the beginning, with those unionen linked to the KAPD forming the AAU-D, and those in Saxony around Otto Rühle who opposed the conception of a party in favour of a unitary class organisation being organised as the AAU-E. Otto Rühle (23October 1874 - 24 June 1943 was a German Left Communist active in opposition to both the First and Second World Wars and a founder with along with
The KAPD was unable to reach even its founding Congress prior to suffering its first split when the so-called National Bolshevik tendency around Fritz Wolffheim and Heinrich Laufenberg appeared (it should be noted that this tendency has no connection with modern political tendencies in Russia which use the same name). National Bolshevism is a political movement that claims to combine elements of Nationalism and Bolshevism. Fritz Wolfheim (1888-1942 after several years spent in the United States, he became involved with the Industrial Workers of the World in San Francisco Heinrich Laufenberg (1872 - 1932 was a leading German Communist and is claimed as a forerunner of National Bolshevism. More seriously, the KAPD lost most of its support very rapidly as it failed to develop lasting structures. This also contributed to internecine quarrels and the party actually split into two competing tendencies known as the Essen and Berlin tendencies to the historians of the Left. The recently established Communist Workers International (KAI) split on exactly the same lines as did the tiny Bulgarian Communist Workers Party. The Communist Workers International ( German: Kommunistische Arbeiter-Internationale, KAI or Fourth International was a Council communist The only other affiliates of the KAI were the Communist Workers Party of Britain led by Sylvia Pankhurst, the KAPN in the Netherlands and a group in Russia. Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst ( May 5, 1882 September 27, 1960) was a notable campaigner for the Suffragette movement in the United Communist Workers Party of the Netherlands (Kommunistische Arbeiders-Partij Nederland was a council communist party in the Netherlands. The AAU-D split on the same lines, and it rapidly ceased to exist as a real tendency within the factories.
As discussed above, the Left Communists initially rallied to the Russian Revolution of October 1917 and to the new Communist International. In fact, they controlled the first body formed by the Comintern to coordinate its activities in Western Europe, the Amsterdam Bureau. However, this was little more than a very brief interlude and the Bureau never functioned as a leadership body for Western Europe as was originally intended. The Vienna Bureau of the Comintern may also be classified as Left Communist, but its personnel were not to evolve into either of the two historic currents that made up Left Communism. Rather, the Vienna Bureau adopted the ultra-left ideas of the earliest period in the history of the Comintern.
Left Communists supported the Russian Revolution, but did not accept the methods of the Bolsheviks. Many of the German-Dutch tradition adopted Rosa Luxembourg's criticisms, as outlined in her posthumously published essay entitled "Marxism or Leninism?". Rosa Luxemburg (Róża Luksemburg 5 March 1870 or 1871 15 January 1919 was a Polish-born Jewish German Marxist theorist, socialist In this essay, she rejected the Bolshevik position on distribution of land to the peasantry, and their espousal of the "Right of nations to Self Determination" which she rejected as historically outmoded. The Italian Left Communists did not at the time accept any of these criticisms and both currents would evolve, as we shall see, over the course of the coming years.
To a considerable degree, Lenin's well known polemic Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder  is an attack on the ideas of the emerging Left Communist currents. Polemics (pəˈlɛmɪks/ /poʊ- is the practice of disputing or controverting religious, philosophical, or political matters "Left-Wing" Communism An Infantile Disorder ( Russian: Детская болезнь "левизны" в коммунизме is a work by His main aim was to polemicise with currents moving towards pure revolutionary tactics by showing them that they could remain based on firmly revolutionary principles while utilising a variety of tactics. Therefore Lenin defended the use of parliamentarism and working within the official trade unions.
As the Kronstadt Rebellion occurred at a time when the debate on tactics was still raging within the Comintern, it has been wrongly seen as being Left Communist by some commentators. This article is about the historical event known as the Kronstadt rebellion In fact, the Left Communist currents had no connection with the rebellion - although they did rally to its support when they learned of it. In later years, the German-Dutch tradition in particular would come to see the suppression of the revolt as the historic turning point in the evolution of the Russian state created after October 1917.
After 1926, Italian Left Communism took shape in exile and without the participation of Bordiga. Contacts between the Italians and the Germans had been made and were developed in France, but the Italian Left saw the KAPD's stress on factory organisation as being similar to the ideas of Gramsci's L'Ordine Nuovo and therefore rejected closer contact. Attempts to work with the group around Karl Korsch also failed. Karl Korsch ( August 15, 1886 - October 21, 1961) was a German Marxist theorist The Left Fraction of the PCd'I was formally established in July 1927 by a number of young militants. This new group had members in France, Belgium and the USA and published a review entitled Prometeo. Prometeo ( Prometheus) is an Opera, described as a "Tragedia dell'Ascolto" ("Tragedy for listening" with music by Luigi Nono It was estimated in 1928 that it had at most 200 militants, but it would seem that while it never had more than 100 militants active at any one time its influence was actually far greater. The control of the PCd'I apparatus by the Stalinists, however, meant that attempts to reach other exiles was almost impossible and they were driven back into small circle work. Stalinism is the political regime named after Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union from 1929–1953
The Italian Left Fraction was for the rest of the 1930s led by Ottorino Perrone (also known with the pseudonym Vercesi), although it was fiercely opposed to the cult of the personality which was developing in the Comintern around Stalin in these years and resisted similar pressures in its own organisation. A pseudonym is a fictitious alternative to a person's legal name (see Alias) The Fraction had members in France, Belgium and the USA; how many in Italy looked to it cannot be ascertained (since all communist activities there had been driven underground by the fascist government). The main activity of the Fraction through these years was the publishing of its press, which consisted of the paper Prometeo and the journal Bilan. With its establishment as a group, the Fraction also looked for international co-thinkers. Seeing the International Left Opposition, led by Leon Trotsky, as central to the non-Stalinist Communist movement, they sought contact with it. Left communism and the Left Opposition are distinct Left communism should not be confused with the Trotskyist tendency described below Leon Trotsky ( Russian:, Lev Davidovich Trotsky, also transliterated Leo, Lyev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij These contacts were to be severed when agreement on basic principles proved impossible (see note below). Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the Communist Left, which opposes the political ideas of the Bolsheviks
The political distance between the Fraction and other communist currents would deepen throughout the 1930s as the Fraction declared itself opposed to the tactics adopted by the Left Opposition to broaden its support (i. e. the Fraction affirmed its opposition to fusion with centrist groups, opposition to entryism, etc. In Politics, centrism usually refers to the political ideal of promoting Moderate policies which land in the middle ground between different political extremes Entryism (or entrism or enterism) is a political tactic by which an organisation encourages members to infiltrate another organisation in an attempt to gain recruits ) Always opposed to the United Front tactic of the Comintern, the Fraction now declared itself firmly opposed to the Popular Front after 1933 . A popular front is a broad Coalition of different political groupings often made up of leftists and centrists who are united by opposition to another group Like the Trotskyists, it saw the failure of the Communist Party of Germany in the face of fascism as its historic failure and ceased to consider itself a fraction of the Communist Party from the date of its 1935 Congress, held in Brussels. Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Brussels (Bruxelles pronounced; Brussel pronounced) officially the Brussels Capital-Region, is
Isolated, the Left Fraction sought to discover allies within the milieu of groups to the left of the Trotskyist movement. Typically these discussions came to nothing, but they were able to recruit from the disintegrating Ligue des Communistes Internationalistes (LCI) in Belgium, a group which had broken from Trotskyism. The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those A loose liaison was also maintained with the Council Communist groups in the Netherlands and in particular with the GIK. The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands However, these discussions were pushed into the background as the attempted fascist coup in Spain led to revolution and civil war. Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. A civil war is a War between a State and domestic political actors that are in control of some part of the territory claimed by the state
Immediately after the civil war began, a minority emerged within the Left Fraction whose members sought to participate in the events in Spain. This minority, including long time members of the fraction, numbered some 26 militants mainly belonging to the Parisian federation of the Fraction. They traveled to Barcelona to enlist in the workers militias and after a fruitless meeting in September with a delegation from the Fraction back home, they were expelled. Barcelona ( Catalan bəɾsəˈlonə Spanish baɾθeˈlona is the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary Citizens to provide defense emergency law enforcement or Paramilitary service The problem for the Fraction was that the military support given to the Republican forces by this minority was accompanied by political support (in that the minority wished to halt strikes among loyalist workers in the name of military victory against fascism). Republicanism is the Ideology of governing a nation as a Republic, with an emphasis on Liberty, Rule of law, Popular sovereignty Strike action, often simply called a strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal by Employees to perform work. According to the Fraction, no support could be given to a bourgeois state, even in a struggle against fascism.
The question of Spain forced the Belgian LCI to clarify its positions and a split ensued as a result of debate within its ranks. At its February 1937 conference a minority of the LCI led by Mitchell defended the positions of the Italian Left and were expelled. Although less than ten in number, they formed a Belgian Fraction of the Communist Left. It was at this point that the Italian Left learned of a group called the Grupo de Trabajadores in Mexico with very similar positions to their own. The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. It was led by Paul Kirchhoff and had left the Mexican Trotskyist movement. Paul Kirchhoff ( 17 August, 1900 –1972 was a German Anthropologist, most noted for his seminal work in defining and elaborating the Culture Kirchoff had formerly been a member of the KAPD in Germany, then a Trotskyist in the USA but his tiny group would seem to have disappeared at the outbreak of war in 1939. In early 1938 the Italian and Belgian Fractions formed an International Bureau of the Left Fractions which published a review called Octobre.
During this period the Italian Left also reviewed a number of positions which it thought had become outdated. They rejected the idea of national self-determination and began to develop their views on the war economy and capitalist decadence. Self-determination is defined as free choice of one’s own acts without external compulsion and especially as the freedom of the people of a given Territory to determine their War economy is the term used to describe the contingencies undertaken by the modern State to mobilise its Economy for War production. Decadence can refer to a personal trait or to the state of a society (or segment of it Much of this was carried out by Vercesi, but Mitchell from the Belgian Fraction was also a leading figure in the work. Perhaps most dramatically they also reviewed their understanding of the Russian Revolution and the state that had emerged from it. Eventually they came to argue that the Russian state was by the late 1930s state capitalist and was not to be defended. State capitalism, in its classic meaning is a private capitalist economy under State control In short, they believed there was need for a new revolution.
Many small currents to the left of the mass Communist Parties collapsed at the beginning of the Second World War and the Left Communists were initially silent too. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Despite having foreseen the war more clearly than some other factions, when it began they were overwhelmed. Many were persecuted by either German Nazism or Italian fascism. Leading militants of the Communist Left like Mitchell, who was Jewish, were to die in the Buchenwald concentration camp. Buchenwald concentration camp (German Konzentrationslager or 'KZ' Buchenwald) was a Nazi concentration camp established on the Ettersberg (Etter Mountain near
Meanwhile, in Germany the final council communist groups had disappeared in the maelstrom and in the Netherlands the International Communist Group (GIK) was moribund. Council communism is a Far-left movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s The former "centrist" group led by Henk Sneevliet (the Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party, RSAP) transformed itself into the Marx-Lenin-Luxemburg Front. In Politics, centrism usually refers to the political ideal of promoting Moderate policies which land in the middle ground between different political extremes Hendricus Josephus Franciscus Marie Sneevliet, known as Henk Sneevliet or the Pseudonym Maring (May 13 1883 - April 13 1942 was a Dutch The Marx-Lenin-Luxemburg-Front was a resistance movement founded by Henk Sneevliet, Willem Dolleman and Ab Menist, some months after the German invasion But in April 1942 its leadership was arrested by the Gestapo and killed. The ( contraction of ge heime Sta ats' po' lizei: "Secret State Police" was the official Secret police of Nazi Germany The remaining activists then split into two camps, on the one hand some turned to Trotskyism forming the Committee of Revolutionary Marxists (CRM) while the majority formed the CommunistenBond-Spartacus. The latter group turned to council communism and was joined by most members of the GIK. Council communism is a Far-left movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s
In 1941 the Italian Fraction was reorganised in France and along with the new French Nucleus of the Communist Left came into conflict with the ideas which the Fraction had propagated from 1936: of the social disappearance of the proletariat and localised wars, etc. The proletariat (from Latin la ''proles'' "offspring" is a term used to identify a lower Social class; a member of such a class is proletarian These ideas continued to be defended by Vercesi in Brussels. Gradually the Left Fractions adopted positions drawn from German Left Communism. They abandoned the conception that the Russian state remained in some way proletarian and also dropped Vercesi's conception of localised wars in favour of ideas on imperialism inspired by Rosa Luxemburg. Vercesi's participation in a Red Cross committee was also fiercely contested. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is an International humanitarian movement with approximately 97 million volunteers worldwide who stated
The strike at FIAT in October 1942 had a major impact on the Italian Fraction in France, which was deepened by the fall of Mussolini's regime in July 1943. The Italian Fraction now saw a pre-revolutionary situation opening in Italy and prepared to participate in the coming revolution. Revived by Marco in Marseilles, the Italian Fraction now worked closely with the new French Fraction, which was formally founded in Paris in December 1944. However in May 1945 the Italian Fraction, many of whose members had already returned to Italy, voted to dissolve itself so that it's militants could integrate themselves as individuals into the Internationalist Communist Party. The conference at which this decision was made also refused to recognise the French Fraction and expelled Marco from their group.
This led to a split in the French Fraction and the formation of the Gauche Communiste de France by the French Fraction led by Marco. The history of the GCF belongs to the post-war period. Meanwhile the former members of the French Fraction who sympathised with Vercesi and the Internationalist Communist party formed a new French Fraction, which published the journal L'Etincelle and was joined at the end of 1945 by the old minority of the Fraction who had joined L'Union Communiste in the 1930s.
One other development during the war years merits mention at this point. A small grouping of German and Austrian militants came close to Left Communist positions in these years. Best known, to those few who know of them, as the Revolutionary Communist Organisation, these young militants were exiles from Nazism living in France at the start of World War II and were members of the Trotskyist movement but they had opposed the formation of the Fourth International in 1938 on the grounds that it was premature. The Fourth International ( FI) is a communist international organisation working in opposition to both Capitalism and Stalinism. They were refused full delegates' credentials and only admitted to the founding conference of the Youth International on the following day. They then joined Hugo Oehler's International Contact Commission for the Fourth (Communist) International and in 1939 were publishing Der Marxist in Antwerp. Hugo Oehler (1903 - 1983 was an American Communist. Biography An active Trade unionist, Oehler joined the Communist Party USA ||-||-||-||} Antwerp ( Dutch:, French: Anvers) is a City and Municipality in Belgium and the capital of the
With the beginning of the war, they took the name Revolutionary Communists of Germany (RKD) and came to define Russia as state capitalist, in agreement with Ante Ciliga's book The Russian Enigma. At this point they adopted a revolutionary defeatist position on the war and condemned Trotskyism for its critical defence of Russia (which was seen by Trotskyists as a degenerated workers' state). In Trotskyist political theory the term degenerated workers' state has been used since the 1930s to describe the state of the Soviet Union after Stalin 's After the fall of France, they renewed contact with militants in the Trotskyist milieu in Southern France and recruited some of them into the Communistes Revolutionnaires in 1942. This group became known as Fraternisation Proletarienne in 1943 and then L'Organisation Communiste Revolutionnaire in 1944 . The CR and RKD were autonomous, and clandestine, but worked closely together with shared politics. As the war ran its course, they evolved in a councilist direction, while also identifying more and more with Rosa Luxemburg's work. They also worked with the French Fraction of the Communist Left and seem to have disintegrated at the end of the war. This disintegration was speeded no doubt by the capture of a leading militant, Karl Fischer , who was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp where he was to participate in writing the Declaration of the Internationalist Communists of Buchenwald when the camp was liberated.
The closing stages of the Second World War marked a watershed in the history of Left Communism, as was true for every other political tendency. Left Communists, like the Trotskyists, expected the war to end with at least the beginnings of a revolutionary wave of struggle similar to that which had marked the end of the First World War. Therefore strikes in Italy from 1942 onwards were of intense interest to them. Many Left Communists formerly in exile, in jail or simply inactive due to repression returned to active political activity in Italy. This had the result that new organisations identifying with Left Communism came into being and older ones dissolved themselves. We look at these organisations and in particular at the International Communist Party below. The International Communist Party was a left communist international which was also described as a Bordigist party
If for the Italian Left the end of war marked a new beginning, it also did so for the German-Dutch Left. Although in Germany it was the case that the Communist Left tradition was all but extinguished, surviving only in the form of a few scattered groups holding councilist views, France, by comparison, saw an interesting development with the beginning of a conscious attempt to develop a synthesis of the two strands of Left Communism in the form of the Gauche Communiste de France, which built on pre-war contributions.
The year 1952 signaled the definitive end of any remaining mass influence on the part of Italian Left Communism, as its sole remaining representative, the Internationalist Communist Party, split in two sections. By coincidence, the Gauche Communiste de France (GCF) also dissolved in the same year. Left Communists entered a period of constant decline from this point onwards, although they were somewhat rejuvenated by the events of 1968. For other events in May 1968 see 1968.
The uprisings of May 1968 led to a small resurgence of interest in left communist ideas. For other events in May 1968 see 1968. Various small left communist groups emerged around the world, predominantly in the leading capitalist countries. A series of conferences of the communist left began in 1976, with the aim of promoting international and cross-tendency discussion, but these petered out in the 1980s without having increased the profile of the movement or its unity of ideas. 
Prominent post-1968 proponents of Left Communism have included Paul Mattick and Maximilien Rubel. Paul Mattick ( 13 March 1904 – 7 February 1981) was a Marxist political writer and activist Prominent left communist groups existing today include the International Communist Current and the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party. This is a list of Socialist, Communist, and Anarchist internationals The International Communist Current is an international centralised left communist organisation which was formed in 1975 and which has sections in France Great Britain The International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party is an international tendency whose member organisations identify with the Italian Left communist tradition Also, different factions from the old Bordigist International Communist Party are considered left communist organizations. The International Communist Party was a left communist international which was also described as a Bordigist party
The International Communist Current, itself a Left Communist grouping, has produced a series of studies of what it views as its own antecedents. Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based See also Marxian economics, Marxism Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are terms which cover work in Philosophy Class struggle is the active expression of Class conflict looked at from any kind of socialist perspective International Socialism redirects here For the journal of the same name see International Socialism (journal Proletarian internationalism is a A Political party described as a communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of Communism through a communist form of Marxism is the political philosophy and practice derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Leninism refers to various related political and economic theories elaborated by Bolshevik revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Maoism, variably and officially known as Mao Zedong Thought ( is a variant of Marxism derived from the teachings of the late Chinese leader The Juche Idea (주체사상 Juche Sasang) is the official state Ideology of North Korea and the Political system based on it Council communism is a Far-left movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s Religious communism is a form of Communism centered on religious principles Eurocommunism was a new trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties to develop a theory and practice of social transformation that National Communism, is an Islamic form of Communism which had a strong Nationalist element The Communist League was the first Marxist international organisation The Second International (1889-1916 was an organization of socialist and labour parties formed in Paris on July 14, 1889. The Comintern ( Com munist Intern ational also known as the Third International) was an international Communist organisation founded in Moscow The Fourth International ( FI) is a communist international organisation working in opposition to both Capitalism and Stalinism. Friedrich Engels (28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895 was a German social scientist and philosopher, who Rosa Luxemburg (Róża Luksemburg 5 March 1870 or 1871 15 January 1919 was a Polish-born Jewish German Marxist theorist, socialist Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party Leon Trotsky ( Russian:, Lev Davidovich Trotsky, also transliterated Leo, Lyev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij Mao Zedong ( 26 December 1893 – 9 September 1976) was a Chinese Military and political leader who led Anarchism is a Political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which support the elimination of all compulsory Government, i Anti-capitalism describes a wide variety of movements ideas and attitudes which oppose Capitalism. Anti-communism refers to opposition to Communism. Historically the word "communism" has been used to refer to several types of communal social organization and Communist state is a term used by many Political scientists to describe a Form of government in which the State operates under a one-party system Communist symbolism consists of a series of Symbols that represent (either literally or figuratively a variety of themes associated with communism Criticisms of Communism can be divided in two broad categories Those concerning themselves with the practical aspects of 20th century Communist state and those concerning Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist The " dictatorship of the proletariat " or workers' state is a term employed by Marxists that refers to what they see as a temporary state between the This article intentionally focuses only on the history of communism as a self-contained self-aware political movement Luxemburgism (also written Luxembourgism) is a specific revolutionary theory within Communism, based on the writings of Rosa Luxemburg. The New Class is a term to describe the privileged Ruling class of Bureaucrats and Communist party functionaries which typically arises in a Stalinist The New Left were the Left-wing movements in different countries in the 1960s and 1970s that unlike the earlier leftist focus on union activism instead adopted a Post-Communism is a name sometimes given to the period of political and economic Transition in former Communist states located in parts of Europe and Primitive communism is A term usually associated with Karl Marx, but most fully elaborated by Friedrich Engels (in The Origin of the Family 1884 and referring Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the Means of production and distribution Stalinism is the political regime named after Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union from 1929–1953 Socialist economics is a broad and sometimes controversial term Titoism is an adaptation of communist ideology named after Josip Broz Tito, leader of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, primarily used to describe The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Council communism is a Far-left movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s Luxemburgism (also written Luxembourgism) is a specific revolutionary theory within Communism, based on the writings of Rosa Luxemburg. Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that aim to create a society without political economic or social hierarchies – a society in which all violent In the People's Republic of China since 1967, the terms " Ultra-Left " and " left communist ( 共产主义左翼)" Ultra-leftism has two overlapping uses It is used as a generally Pejorative term for certain types of positions on the left that are seen as extreme or intransigent This is a list of Socialist, Communist, and Anarchist internationals This is a list of theorists and political figures who have identified themselves as Left communist, Communist left, or Council communist. Autonomism refers to a set of Left-wing political and social movements and theories close to the socialist movement. The book on the German-Dutch current in particular contains an exhaustive bibliography.