Communism — Chapter 14 : Anti-Parliamentarism, 1927: Germany, Holland and Russia

By Guy Aldred (1935)

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(1886 - 1963)

Scottish Bakuninist and Anarcho-Communist from Glasgow

: Guy Alfred Aldred had worked ceaselessly at his propaganda, writing, publishing and public speaking, he took on injustices wherever he saw it. He had spoken at every May Day for 60 years except the years he spent in prison. (From: Glasgow Caledonian University.)
• "It is only the effect of this menace, only the fear of the power of the revolutionary agitator outside parliament, that persuades the capitalist class to tolerate the presence of Labor members inside." (From: Socialism and Parliament.)
• "Anti-Parliamentarism is now the recognized Socialism of the Proletariat." (From: Socialism and Parliament.)
• "To dream of a society not founded on the 'law of constructive murder,' of a social state in which all are brethren and peace and good fellowship prevail, of a society founded on truth and freedom, is to become an enemy of the society that is, and to be regarded as a dreamer of the most fanatical type." (From: Studies in Communism.)


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Chapter 14

The purpose of this chapter is not to discuss the activity of the Anti-Parliamentary movement that was conducting a vigorous propaganda in England and Scotland during the year 1927. That was merely part and parcel of the general movement that had been conducted in Britain since 1906, and of which some details are given in the appendices to my pamphlet Socialism and Parliament, Part I. In this chapter my desire is to trace the evolution of the Anti-Parliamentary movement in Germany and Holland and also of the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Opposition groups in the Soviet Union. The period covered is confined to the year 1927, because during that year, the British movement was brought into contact with the movement on the continent of Europe, and first hand information was published in the columns of The Commune from March to October, 1927, Volume II.

In The Communes mentioned I published a most interesting correspondence from German and Dutch comrades. Appended to that correspondence was a review of the movement as it had developed in Germany and Holland. That correspondence is reproduced, with such abridgment as time and space render necessary. Repetition has been omitted in order to further interest. The heading of the correspondence is reproduced from The Commune : —


IT GROWS! IT GROWS!
ANTI-PARLIAMENTARY INTERNATIONAL LETTER-BOX.

Dear Comrade,
My friend, our comrade and “ manager “ of the “ INO,” Ernest Liebetrau, asks me to acknowledge receipt of the “ Communes “ and pamphlets, for which we thank you very much.
We shall do all we can to meet your wishes as to the translation of the pamphlets sent to us, especially “ Socialism or Parliament “ and “ Labor in Office.” The latter has already been translated in German by the writer of this letter., and we will publish it in our various anti-authoritarian papers: “ Die Proletarische Revolution,” “Der Freie Arbeiter,” “ Der Proletarische Zeitgeist,” etc....
With fraternal greetings from all comrades of the “ INO.”
Frankfurt-a-Main, Feb. 3, 1927. HEINRICH BERGES.


Dear Comrade,
By hazard we got some days ago a copy of your paper, “ The Commune “ for December, 1926.
We, the extreme group of the Opposition in the Communist Party of Germany — called Entschiedene Linke — are now, after long development, anti-parliamentarian as well as anti-trade unionist....
Our meetings are frequented by thousands of German workers and their numbers are growing steadily. We work in close alliance with the Communist Workers’ Party (K.A.P.) and the ‘General Workers’ Union organization (A.A.U.)....
With revolutionary greetings in the great struggle, yours,
For the Political Office of Entchiedene Linke.
Berlin, Feb. 12, 1927, CARL PORTH.

Dear Comrade,
... The way in which Russia has broken up the revolutionary workers, the way of the parliament and of the trade unions may be considered the way of reformism, the way which holds the laborers back from the revolution. Russia is already very far on the way to capitalism. It cannot longer be a revolutionary factor for the working class of Europe. In this situation we have to look for those international forces which are willing to make really revolutionary tactics.
As for Germany, we have the K.A.P.D., the Kommunistische Arbeiter Partei Deutschlands (the Commun. Lab. Party), which was born during the German Revolution. Its principles are: Dictation of the working class. (The Moscow Commun. Party will dictation OVER the working class by the Comm. Party.) The weapon of the dictation are the soviets, roughly the shop committees in your land. Further, the K.A.P.D. is against the parliament, and will rally all the proletarian forces in the committees....
Amsterdam, Feb. 28, 1927. H. CANNE MEIJER.

Dear Comrade,
Your last “ Commune “ calls: “ It grows! It grows! “ and really, I was as glad as you, when I saw how different German and Dutch comrades have addressed themselves to your group, because it inspires us to feel that the revolution cannot be besieged, that the head of the revolution always peeps above the swamps of capitalistic-reformistic machinations of the Second and the Third International. Therefore the Dutch comrades which have rallied on a revolutionary basis, express the desire that you convey their greetings to all British Anti-Parliamentarian comrades.
I send you a translation of a pamphlet broadcasted by us showing how Russia is supplying the German bourgeoisie with arms. I send you some issues of “ Imprecorr.” To the Third International the capitalistic moral appeals: Money never stinks. You will note the theoretical statement of the nationalistic policy of the Third International during the Ruhr War and why the nationalistic struggle overshadowed the class-struggle. That is also the theoretical statement why it is a revolutionary act to supply the German bourgeoisie with arms....
By parliamentarism we mean, in Holland, not merely the parliament, but also trades unionism. Parliamentarism is the necessary complement of unionism. The
“ democratic “ supports of capitalism are parliament and union, the two, real obstacles to world revolution and the workers’ emancipation. Therefore we fight the union as well as the parliament. It is our conviction that capitalism cannot break down before the unions are broken down. In our propaganda we say: LEAVE the Unions. Break them down. All power to the workers themselves.
Britain is the classic land of Unionism. Therefore the propaganda against trades unionism will be most difficult. But we believe that the British workers cannot wage the class struggle except by and through committee organization against trades unionism. We must oppose the unions as capitalistic organisms.
The “ Entchiedene Linke “ is the fortnightly review of the Opposition section of the Communist Party of Germany. But only some of these groups still belong to the K.P.D. Other groups have been expelled.
No. 20 of this journal deals with the question, THE CONQUEST OF THE TRADE UNIONS by the Communists! It concludes that it is an illusion to think and to believe that the trade union machinery can be conquered and used for revolutionary purposes, by capturing the majority of the membership. It is no less an illusion to believe that the workers can conquer political power by parliamentary means.
The workers cannot expel the bureaucrats from the unions. They cannot rescue their parliamentary representations from the bureaucrats. “ Leave the Unions “ is the true revolutionary slogan.
“ The Kommunist Arbeiter Zeitung “ is the organ of the K.A.P.D. It is published twice a week. In its issue for March 17, this journal published an important article to prove how the Third International has arrived, from one alteration to another, to the standpoint held by the Second International on August 4, 1914. At the Fourth Congress of the Comintern, on November 18, 1923, Bucharin declared that there was no difference between a loan from a bourgeois state, and a military block with a bourgeois state: and that it was sound proletarian tactics to conclude a military alliance with one bourgeois state in order to overthrow another bourgeois state: and that where such a military alliance was concluded by the Soviet Government, “IT IS THE DUTY OF THE COMRADES OF SUCH A LAND TO HELP THIS BLOCK” (sic) to the capitalist siege of the Soviet Republic!
It goes without saying that the military block that was meant was Germany. And so the German proletarians are pledged, by the Communist Party and the Third International, to support the German capitalistic class in a coming war. And that is all STILL called Communism! ...
With greetings, Amsterdam, March 14, 1927. H. CANNE MEIJER.

Dear Comrade,
The Executive of the Fourth (Communist Workers’) International decided, in its session of February 20–26, to put itself into communication with your group. It believes that the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, inside the British Empire, is undergoing a fundamental change. This change will compel the working class of Britain to evolve an independent class movement, in opposition to the present miscalled “ Labor “ movement, freed, in its forms and its integrity, from all that chains the
“ labor “ movement to bourgeois interests and so subjects the workers to the domination of capitalism. The total defeat which the British working class have suffered through the betrayal of the General Strike and of the miners will have brought the British proletarians to the acknowledgment that their existing political and industrial organizations and methods have become means of oppression of the worker in the hands of the bourgeoisie and its labor-leading satellites. An improvement in the existence level of the proletariat was impossible owing to the general crisis of capitalism, but the bourgeois and capitalistic mentality of the working class as a whole, cannot understand this fact.
It was during the German Revolution (1918–1921) that the Communist Workers’ Parties and Revolutionary Industrial Councils rose to organize the workers, not for reforms, but on the tactic and theory of the death crisis of capitalism, the direct historical struggle towards Communism.
The Communist Workers International calls upon all real revolutionary elements in the proletariat to form a substantial international proletarian class-movement against capitalism and the bourgeois state.
The C.W.I. considers it as its first task to unite all real revolutionary Communists into a world movement round the banner of Communism, for the proletarian revolution must be a world industrial movement. This movement must stand for the destruction, by untiring agitation — on the ground of its “ cynical reactionary, avowedly counter-revolutionary, andd definitely anti-proletarian character — of the existing so-called Labor movement, consisting of the Second and Third tnternationals, with its Labor Parliamentarism and Trades Unionism.
A penetrating discussion on these issues is needed.
With Communist greetings we remain, for the Executive of the Fouth International.
Amsterdam, March 20, 1927. L. CARDOZA (Secretary).

The editorial comment published on this correspondence brought further communications from Cardoza, Canne Meijer, and Kate Rumonova. Consequently I was able to publish a complete account of the phases and divisions of the anti-parliamentary and semi-anti-parliamentary movement in Germany and Holland.

1. ENTSCHIEDENE LINKE. — This group arose under the influence of the opposition in the official (Moscow) Communist Party of Germany (K.P.D). Originally consisted of the followers of the Korsch-Schlagewcrt section and those of Korsch. At the time of The Commune correspondence consisted of the followers of Schwarz only. Schwarz was still a member of the Reichstag but turned to the K.A.P.D. and appealed to his followers to enter that party. The old Anti-Parliamentary Party of the workers of Germany (K.A.P.D.) welcomed this appeal.

Before joining the K.A.P.D. completely in September, 1927, this group declared its attitude towards Trades Unionism. It stood for the breaking down of Trades Unionism by
wothdrawal and from without, and the building of shop-committees. Theoretically, until its definite merging into the K.A.P.D., the Schwarze Entschiedene Linke group stood for party dictatorship as opposed to the supreme importance of the industrial struggle. This involved Zinoviev’s view that Soviet organization was useless unless the Communist Party dominated it; an oppressive political dictatorship stagnating real proletarian emancipation, and finally making for the exile, imprisonment and execution of Zinoviev himself. The Entschiedene Linke was Moscow with a left-terminology that finally developed a left understanding. Hence its complete break with Moscow and Parliamentary Communism.

The Entschiedene Linke emphasized this break when it published an account of the resignation from the Weissenfels Town Council of August Meerheim. The mayor or Provost of Weissenfels, that is, the chief magistrate, demanded an explanation from Meerheim, as to his reasons for his resigning from the Town Council, to which he had ,been elected. Meerheim replied as follows : —
Weissenfels, March 12, 1927.
“ I hereby acknowledge the receipt of your letter of February 12, and beg to state that I decline to keep the place of Councilor which I used to occupy.
“ As an explanation of my viewpoint, I submit the following considerations: —
“ In view of the resolutions of the second congress of the Communist (Moscow) International, I thought I would be justified, as a revolutionary Communist, in using parliament as a tribune to show the proletariat that bourgeois society only uses parliament as a pseudo-democracy to keep the proletariat down. But my activity, for years, as a Councilor, and the increasing tendency of the German Communist Party towards Reformism, have forced me to realize that parliament and its subsidiary local bodies, are created by Capitalism to deceive THE MOST ADVANCED SECTION of the proletariat.
“ This development shows itself, very distinctly, in the latest resolutions of the K.P.D. (Comm. Party of Germ.), wherein it is acknowledged that the Communists must stabilize the class institutions of Capitalist Society. The bourgeois character of these institutions reveals itself, for example, in the diminishing of publicity to a minimum, and in the obligation to keep all resolutions and discussions of the nonpublic sessions secret, which MUST lead to corruption.
“Therefore, I hereby REJECT parliamentarism and declare my belief in the revolutionary class-struggle, and in the demand, ALL POWER TO THE SOVIETS, pioneered by Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht.
“ I think this explanation should suffice to convince a magistrate of the senselessness of retaining my mandate as Councilor. The favor of an early acknowledgment of my resignation will oblige. (Signed) AUGUST MEERHEIM.

2. SCHLAGEWERT-KORSCH GROUP.- This group originated from C.P. members. Thrown out on account of their radically Communist tendencies and opposition to Moscow reformism. Believed in returning members to the Reichstag to carry on Anti-Parliamentary activity, and to develop definite political opposition to parliamentarism. It carried on a powerful anti-parliamentary activity outside of Parliament. The parliamentary representatives of this group were good comrades, always living and agitating among the workers, and devoting their official salary to the furtherance of Anti-Parliamentary propaganda. They were loyal to the proletarian struggle and definitely revolutionary in their sympathy. Like the Proletarische Zietgeist group, they stood for federation as opposed to centralism.

The Korsch group identified Communism and Anti-Parliamentarism. It did not consider Anti-Parliamentarism to be merely a tactic. On the contrary, it deemed Anti-Parliamentarism to be an accurate description of the theory or conception of Communism in relation to the State or the political machinery of class society. It defined Anti-Parliamentarism as the fundamental principle of the new social order. The workers’ emancipation could not be brought about by a Labor or Social Democratic, or even Communistic Administration sitting in the Reichstag, pledged to uphold and administer capitalist society and maintain capitalist Imperialism. It could be achieved only by the definite, practical, anti-parliamentary organization of the workers on the political field in opposition to, in definite challenge to, parliamentarism. For the Schlagewert-Korsch group, therefore, Anti-Parliamentarism defined Communism politically under capitalism, its antagonism towards the bourgeois political constitution. And it defined Communism politically after the proletarian revolution, in that it pointed the meaning of Anti-Parliamentarism was the end of political society, and the dawn of practical society. The Korsch group stood for an industrial federation of labor, linked industry, workers’ council administration; a commonweal administered by the producers. Soviets were to replace municipalities (which were representative only of the consumers’ interests and so conserved the autonomy of the capitalist state) and the Soviet system would replace parliamentarism.

The Schlagewert-Korsch group worked inside the Reichstag and on the streets to give expression to this idea of the class-war and to develop the machinery of action that would effect the revolution that it involves.

When the Mjasnikow group in Berlin issued, illegally, an appeal on behalf of Mjasnikow and the jailed left Russian Communists, the leaflet was ignored by the Kommunistische Arbeiter Zeitung and the Entschiedene Linke. But Schlagewert published it, accepting responsibility for its circulation. It was then published by the Anti-Parliamentary Proletarischer Zeitgeist (No. 22), and widely circulated in Austria. As a result it was translated and published in Czecho-Slovakia, France, and Russia, and led to much anxiety in Comintern circles. Two long articles in the International Press Correspondence attempted to answer the appeal.

The leaflet was signed, on behalf of the International Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation, by representatives of the groups in Czecho-Slovakia, Germany, France, and Russia, as well as Britain, and took the form of an Open Letter, addressed “ To the Workers’ Delegations going to Russia from Europe and America.”

It began as follows
Dear Comrades; As you would possibly travel to Siberia; we desire that you look for the Left Communists (Anti-Parliamentarians, as they say in Britain and Germany; Communist Workers’ Group, as they say in Russia), viz., Comrades Gabriel Mjasnikov (Tomsk), Nicolai Kusnetzov (Semipalatinsk), Prostatow (Nicolaevsk), rotting in Siberian prisons, and that you speak with them personally at length, and report to us your opinions and impressions of their condition and that of their families.

Concerning Kusnetzow, the leaflet mentioned that he had been imprisoned since January, 1924, was known to have been three times on hunger strikes of long duration, but his present fate was unknown.

The delegations were asked to investigate the fate of the Anti-Parliamentary Communists banished to Chardinsk, without warning, on December 27, 1924; of the 11 Anti-Parliamentary Communists arrested at Perm, on December 8, 1924; and of the following Anti-Parliamentary Communists : — Alexander Medvedyev (Moscow Electro-trust), Kochnov, Tinnov, Moisseyev, Miphailov, Sorwin, Rersina, Demidov, Polosov, Matrosov.

The signatories to this manifesto were : Germany, Lauterbach, E. Grillisch; France, F. D’apon; Russia, Ivan Karpelanky, Chruschenko ; Czecho-slovakia, Swetlik, Anton, Johann; Orient, Ali Alibar (India); Yamada (Japan); Poland, W. Muszynski. I signed for Britain.

My signature was the cause of most interesting expressions of sectarian feeling that were vented in letters published in The Commune, and commented on at the time: —
Berlin, May 16, 1927.
“ Dear Comrade Aldred,
“ ....We were astonished to see your signature to a manifesto issued, in behalf of the political prisoners in Russia, by the Korsch-Schlagewerth Group in Germany, which decided, IN OPPOSITION TO US, to take part in further elections.
“ We approve, of course, of every protest issued or arranged on behalf of Mjasnikov and his comrades. But we were not informed by our parliamentarian Oppositionists of their intention to make this protest. Surely the protest should be complete and inclusive if it is to be of representative value ...
“With heartiest best wishes in the great fight, For thePolitical Office of Entschiedene Linke,
KARL PORTH.” Amsterdam, June 5, 1927.

“ Dear comrades!
“... We see that you are publishing excerpts from the ‘Entschiedene Linke.’ Do you know that the leader of this Group (Schwarz) is still a Member of the German Parliament (Reichstag)? Their Anti-Parliamentarism is of a very stumbling kind indeed. Moreover, they follow in the wake of reformism. We hope to inform you about the facts later.
“ With best wishes to the Commune Group of Glasgow and our British Anti-Parliamentary: comrades.
“ Yours- fraternally in the Struggle, for the Ex, of the 4th (Anti-Parley) Int., L. LOPES CARDOZA.”

3. 4TH INTERNATIONAL. — Has never existed as a practical organization. In 1927 it was a pioneer anti-parliamentary idea of organization. Originated from the idea of federating Anti-Parliamentary Communist groups into a Fourth International, for propaganda purposes, to combat the misrepresentations and reformist activity of the 3rd International; but developed the idea of controlling, through congresses and an executive, the world propaganda of Communism and Anti-Parliamentarism and developing an actual organization of action.

The secretary, Comrade L. Lopes Cardoza, writing on behalf of the Executive Committee, objected that, in summarizing his letter dated March 20, 1927, q.v., I omitted the entire programmatic portion, and did not make clear the attitude of the 4th International on the subject of AntiParliamentarism. Cardoza declared :
“ COMMUNISM OR ANTI-PARLIAMENTARISM: We do not identify these two ideas. Anti-Parliamentarism is only a tactic which urges itself upon the proletariat. Communism is the final goal of the class-struggle. We must not mix up MEANS AND AIM, TACTIC AND GOAL.”

It is to the credit of the Anti-Parliamentarians, whatever faction, that they anticipated the reluctant demand, years. afterwards, and with much greater pretenses to understanding, of the Trotsky and Leninist Opposition groupings for a 4th International.

4. K.A.P.D. (COMMUNIST WORKERS’ PARTY OF GERMANY). — Arose in 1920, after the collapse of the Spartacist movement. The policy, program, and early history of this movement is dealt with fully in another chapter. Although it fathered the 4th International (Communist Workers’ International), it was not identical with the 4th International, which was a distinct expression and development. The K.A.P.D. was a powerful propaganda body of AntiParliamentarism.

The literature (1927) of the K.A.P.D. made most interesting reading. Max Hampel, writing in Proletarier for August, the monthly organn of the K.A.P.D., on Marx-Engels and Lenin, declared that State Communism was a mere form of capitalism. Hampel insisted that Marxism did not mean organization from “ above, “ for which all parliamentarians stood, but its opposite, the free association of the producers into Free Communes. Accordingly, it was necessary fo organize the workers into industrial organizations, and not in trade unions. Trades Unionism was not the industrial organization of the workers, but the studied organized negation of the workers’ industrial organization.

The Kommunistiche Arbeiter Zeitung, defining the policy of the K.A.P.D., declared that the “ Socialistic “ real politics of the Bolshevik Government and International led to victories for the N.E.P. bourgeoisie and world capitalism and to defeats for the Russian workers and the working-class movement of the world. The Bolsheviks placed a fatal chain of compromise and disaster on the Russian Revolution by the adoption of the New Economic Policy in 1921. The revolution was surrendered to the Anti-Communist farmers at the very moment when the Bolshevik Governmentt was boasting most loudly of its imprisonment of real (perhaps) and (alleged) counter-revolutionary elements. The Russian proletarians were forced to abandon their control of production, the private initiative of the bourgeois specialist was introduced and the Russian workers had to take up once again the heavy lot of an exploited class, which possessed only the commodity of its working energy, and was subjected, in the matter of its social condition of life, to the operations of the “ free “ capitalistic market. This economic negation of Communism was followed directly by a change in the class relations, a fundamental change of the government of the State.

Leaning upon their potency in the field of organized production, the N.E.P. men and the Kulaki (rich farmers) had conquered political power in the Soviet Union without resort to force. The Russian Soviet system had become only a miserable caricature of the Sovietism of 1917, and since 1921, had been but the red-harnessed bull of capitalism, at home and abroad. Nowhere had Soviet diplomacy defended or advanced Communism. Everywhere the “ red “ diplomats warred on real Communism, the spontaneous movement of the workers. After several years of “ United Front “ policy, the “ conquering of the Trades Unions “ tactic, the Communist Party and the Third International were bankrupt. The Communist Party in Germany and in Holland had been conquered by reformist Trades Unionism.

This excellent essay was summarized in The Commune, for October, 1927, p. 149.
The Kommunistische Arbeiter Zeitung (July, 1927, Nos.52, 54 and 57) translated and published in full my pamphlet Labor in Office, forerunner of Government By Labor[i]. It was translated for this organ by a sailor, known as Icarus. He was released from prison in 1926, after serving five years’ imprisonment, for his loyalty to the workers’ cause. In 1927, he was organizing the fishermen in Cuxhafen (Germany), in the Soviet form. “ Every ship is an organization ! “ That was his slogan.

5. PROLETARISCHE ZIETGEIST. — This group published an organ of this name. It consisted of the majority of the members of the original A.A.U.E. (General Workers’ Union or Unity Organization), who had not linked up with the Spartacus movement. Partly Marxist and partly Anarchist , workers belonged to this group. The members were strict antiauthorita rians and anti-parliamentarians, standing for a federation as opposed to a centralized organization.

The [i]Proletarische Zeitgeist (Nos. 22–25, and 27) translated and published my pamphlet, Labor in Office. It was an entirely different translation from that published by the K.A.Z., and seemed less diffuse.

6. THE INTERNATIONAL BURO OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNISTS. — Held that it was impossible for the various AntiParliamentary groups, owing to weakness, to take the initiative in developing the direction of the Labor movement. But maintained that Anti-Parliamentarians had to spread a good analysis of the policy of the Communist Party, the Labor Party, and the Trade Unions. Declared Anti-Parliamentarians had to trace the beginnings of the rank and file movement, exhibit its activity, and study the forms in which it appears. Affirming that all revolutions criticize themselves, the Buro stated that the upheavals of 1917, ’18, ’21, ’23 and ’27 (Vienna) had taught the failure of the leader or parliamentary organizations, and revealed a new proletarian tactic. Now was the time for the Anti-Parliainentarians to investigate these lessons and deliver the word to the workers.

The Buro stressed the slogan : “ All power to the workers themselves. “ And it insisted that the positive form in which to organize this power was that of shop-conmiittees.

Commenting on the article of Hampel, already quoted, the Buro said :
“ [b]When we see matters in this light, the anti-parliamentary-factory-organization-movement is not only a matter of tactics but also of total difference in aim. Here is a touch-point between Syndicalism and Marxism. ”

Writing from Amsterdam, on behalf of the International Buro, H. Canne Meyer says :
By your heavy attack on Russia, you are menaced with isolation. We have experienced this on the Continent. Since 1921 we have exposed the counter-revolutionary character of the Third International, of Russian diplomacy, and the trade unions. Everybody left us. We were ‘doctrinaires’, who isolated themselves from the masses! Which was right, only to the extent that the masses responded for the time to reformism, and so forsook Socialism, while we hold aloft the banner of revolution.

7. SPARTACUS (PFEMFERT) GROUP. — Originally, the Spartacus League and K.P.D. Described in the Spur, 1920. A small group that broke away from the K.P.D., owing to left tendencies. Included a remnant of the A.A.U.E. (General Workers’ Union, or Unity Organization). Had a progressive centralistic tendency, like the Entschiedene Linke and 4th International groups.

8. OPSTAND GROUP. — Group publishing the Dutch Anarchist paper, Opstand. This group stood on the special platform of factory organization as opposed to trade unionism. With this group, the Anti-Parliamentarians in Holland were on very friendly terms.

9. MJASNIKOW GROUP (Berlin).-This was a small group of active Russian Anti-Parliamentary comrades. Owing to the friendliness existing in 1927 between the German and Russian Governments, these comrades were subjected to the menace of deportation and police restrictions, and their activity was treated as illegal. They were branded as undesirable aliens. They urged a 4th International, for propaganda purposes, as against the 3rd, but not as a practical organization of action, issuing decrees, and passing binding resolutions. They endorsed the British Anti-Parliamentarian attitude as to the relative non-importance and non-usefulness of International Congresses.

The Mjasnikov group held that it was essential to heal and not to emphasize divisions that were not fundamental, repudiated the several mutual denunciations and recriminations within the Anti-Parliamentary movement, and declared that the true proletarian policy was to federate the left revolutionary forces, and not scatter them. It saw not revolutionary life and energy, but dullness of thought and expression in wordy theses of inordinate length and tiresome detailed exactness.

This group was associated closely with the Anti-Parliamentary activity of the much imprisoned Russian Bolshevik, Mjasnikov. It rejected all ideas of political dictatorship and also peasant Anarchism. Definining parliamentarism, whether Social Democratic or Communistic, as counter-revolution, it bade the workers of the world respond to the great call of Anti-Parliamentarism to Communism and Social Revolution.

10. SAPRONOV OPPOSITION (Russia).-Attacked (1927) by the Chairman of the Communist Party of Russia in the German issue of Imprecorr. This opposition was not permitted to write in the Soviet papers. It broadcasted its platform illegally. Declared that (1) the struggle within the Soviet Union and the Russian Communist Party had developed a class character; (2) the fight against Stalin could not be limited to the party, but had to be conducted outside the party, among the workers generally; (3) the fight was the fight of the workers against the petty bourgeoisie who supported Stalin; (4) to unmask Stalin and his policy, it was necessary to unmask the tottering and sham of the Trotsky-Zinoviev “ opposition.”

Sapronov claimed to be the true Communist Opposition in the Soviet Union against Trotsky and Zinoviev, as well as against Stalin, against the 3rd International, and its compromising, subsidized Communist Parties abroad.

The Trotsky-Zinoviev Opposition played a disgraceful part in the class struggle. It urged a new policy for Russia and the 3rd International, opposed the Nep-bourgeoisie and maintained that Russia was not building Communism, but Capitalism. After which, the Trotsky party announced that it did not intend to fight the Stalin party of Thermidor and declared that it stood “ absolutely and unreservedly for the defense of the Soviet Union under the present central committee of the Party and the present leadership of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. ”

It added that the Soviet Union, under this guidance, “ is the Fatherland of all Toilers. “ (Imprecorr,” English issue, No. 48, p. 1079).

Which, as time proved, was a platform of disaster and liquidation.

From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org

(1886 - 1963)

Scottish Bakuninist and Anarcho-Communist from Glasgow

: Guy Alfred Aldred had worked ceaselessly at his propaganda, writing, publishing and public speaking, he took on injustices wherever he saw it. He had spoken at every May Day for 60 years except the years he spent in prison. (From: Glasgow Caledonian University.)
• "Anti-Parliamentarism is now the recognized Socialism of the Proletariat." (From: Socialism and Parliament.)
• "To dream of a society not founded on the 'law of constructive murder,' of a social state in which all are brethren and peace and good fellowship prevail, of a society founded on truth and freedom, is to become an enemy of the society that is, and to be regarded as a dreamer of the most fanatical type." (From: Studies in Communism.)
• "It is only the effect of this menace, only the fear of the power of the revolutionary agitator outside parliament, that persuades the capitalist class to tolerate the presence of Labor members inside." (From: Socialism and Parliament.)

Chronology

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Chapter 14 — Publication.

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