Roland-Holst

Roland-Holst

Crisis theories in the Dutch Left

In this third part of the series, we are going to deal with one of the most important theoretical foundations of the Dutch Left. From its origin at the begin­ning of this century, the Dutch Left gave an interpretation of historical materialism which be­came a characteristic mark of the ‘Dutch Marxist school' (Anton Pannekoek, Hermann Gorter, H. Roland-H­olst). This interpretation of Marxist method is often called ‘spontaneism'. We will show in this article why the term is inappropriate. Gorter and Pannekoeks' position on the role of spontaneity allowed the Dutch Left to understand the changes imposed on the class struggle with the onset of capitalist decadence. At the same time, we can see certain weaknesses in Pannekoek which today's ‘councilists' have pushed to their most absurd conclusions.
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