I just posted this on libcom, with the aim of preovoking some discussion prior to thursday's meeting on the book Communism is not just......(see page one for details)
In 2005, I wrote a retrospective summary of the series (initially conceived as just one or two articles)so far, explaining the circumstances in which it came to be written - the need to respond at the theoretical level to the vast bourgeois campaign, after 1989, about the 'death of communism', by tracing the history of the real communist movement to its roots in the distant past (for example, the early hunter gatherers), through its return as a dream in the minds of the exploited in pre-capitalist civilisations, to the emergence of the 'modern' proletariat and therefore to the breakthrough achieved by Marx in his vision of communism. The first volume then looks at the further efforts made by those who sought to continue and develop Marx's contribution, such as Engels and Morris, but ending in the late 19th century, on the verge of betrayal by social democracy.
The second volume begins with the mass strikes of 1905, centres on the 1917-20 revolutionary upsurge and the communist political programmes it gave rise to - Communist International, KPD, KAPD, Russian Communist Party -and ends with the efforts of the left communists to understand the degeneration and defeat of the revolution. Volume three mainly seeks to show how the communist left of the 1930s began, along with their balance sheet of the defeat'. to look forward to what an authentic and victorious proletarian dictatorship would look like: thus the translation and publication of the series 'Problems of the period of transition', first published in Bilan between 1934 and 1936 (ish) and written by the Belgian communist Mitchell. And that's where the series stalled. But the next task would be to show that there was a genuine proletarian debate on this question between the eItalian/Belgian left and the 'Dutch internationalists', who had produced the Ground principles of communist production and Distribution. (Any ideas about that discussion would be very welcome....).
just thinking aloud about what I am going to say on Thursday.
Here is the summary to volume one and you can find the rest sumamrised in the next two issues of the International Review