Russian Communist Left

The Communist Left in Russia: Manifesto of the Workers’ Group of the Russian Communist Party (Part 4)

We publish here the fourth and final part of the Manifesto (the first three parts were published in the last three issues of the International Review). This addresses two particular issues: on the one hand, the organisation of workers in councils to take power and transform society; on the other, the nature of oppositional politics in the Bolshevik Party conducted by other groups formed in reaction to its degeneration.

The Communist Left in Russia: Manifesto of the Workers’ Group of the Russian Communist Party (Part 3)

We saw in the previous part of the Manifesto (published in International Review n°143) how it violently opposed any united front with the social democrats. In contrast, it called for a united front of all genuine revolutionary elements, among which it included the parties of the Third International as well as the Communist Workers’ Parties (KAPD in Germany). Faced with the national question that arose in the soviet republics, dealt with in the third part of this document, it advocated making a united front with the CPs of these republics which, according to the CI, “will have the same rights as the Bolshevik Party.

The Communist Left in Russia: Manifesto of the Workers’ Group of the Russian Communist Party (Part 2)

We published the first part of the Manifesto in the last issue of the International Review. To recall, the Workers’ Group of the Russian Communist Party, which produced this Manifesto, formed part of what is called the communist left, constituted by the left currents that appeared in response to the opportunist degeneration of the parties of the Third International and of soviet power in Russia.

Russian communist left: reponse to Simon Pirani

In WR 329 we reviewed a recent book by Simon Pirani, which deals sympathetically with the left-wing communist oppositions expelled from the Bolshevik Party in the early 1920s. Here, in a response written by a close sympathiser, we want to deal with his specific criticisms of our book, and to comment on what seem to us to be the wider issues raised.

The Communist Left in Russia, 1918-1930, Part 1

When one talks about the revolutionary opposition to the degeneration of the revolution in Russia, or of the Communist International, it is generally assumed that one is referring to the Left Opposition led by Trotsky and other Bolshevik leaders. The wholly inadequate criticisms of the degeneration made after much delay by those who had played an active part in that degeneration are taken to be the be all and end all of communist opposition inside Russia or the International. The much deeper and more consistent critique elaborated by the ‘left wing communists' long before the Left Opposition came into existence in 1923 is either ignored or dismissed as the ravings of sectarian lunatics cut off from the ‘real world'. This distortion of the past is simply an expression of the long ascendancy of the counter-revolution since the years of the revolutionary struggle ended in the 1920s. It is always in the interests of the capitalist counter-revolution to hide or distort the genuinely revolutionary history of the working class and its communist minorities, because only in this way can the bourgeoisie hope to obscure the historic nature of the proletariat as the class that is destined to lead mankind into the reign of freedom.

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