What's So Funny About Peace, Love, And Council Meetings?

OpenSentence Type Foundry typefoundry at opensentence.org
Wed Nov 19 21:43:55 MST 2003

> Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2003 16:40:26 -0500 (EST)
> From: dwalters at marxists.org
> Subject: Re: KAPD/Nazis
> There was a large transfer of working class cadre from KADP to NSDAP during the
> early 20s. The KADP, formally internationalists and advocates of
> Bukharin's "Revolutionary War" approached the early Comintern about alliances
> with the various sects and parties in the Ruhr that were a combination of
> radical German nationaism and socialism, the early Nazi's included. Zinoviev
> said absolutly not. This precipated a further distancing of the KADP from the
> Comintern, especially as sections of the KADP went back into the KDP. Thousands
> of working class members of the KADP went to the far-right organizations, not
> just the "leaders". Influenced as they were by the 'early Strasser', there
> wasn't often much difference between the KDP/KADP propaganda and that of the
> nazi-like parties in south Western Germany at this time.

You're melding (as opposed to fusing) a couple different things here.
Firstly, the aforementioned AAUD, which was a syndicalist, not a political,
organization; and as Columbia sweetheart Mussolini demonstrated, that's not
necessarily a cool thing -- and Fascism was really pretty much in line with
syndicalism.  Secondly, a front for the political doctrines of the KAPD (the
"Fichte-Bund") which was assimilated to syrupy but poisonous
spiritual-nationalist intellectual doctrines based on *Addresses to the
German Nation*.  Thirdly, the "Black Front": active but disorganized
resistance to Hitler based in an older "Proletarierbund" model also
partially arising from Fichte, led by the Strasser brothers, and kicking a
lot of Nazi ass in fond memory of good comrades until the Night Of The Long

> There is an urban legend that Strasser, while in the US, was a Wobbly and was
> deported during the Palmer raids, adding to his stature as a revolutionary
> socialist *and* nationalist.

I don't know about this: there was an Adolph Strasser, cigar maker, who was
a major figure in the early AFL (which was as nonfascist as anyone could ask
for, *except for being kind of racist*).  The early Strassers were in the
Freikorps which crushed the Bavarian *Raeterepublik* (known to us by a
slightly different name); hardly likely to endear them to the KAPD, which
they were never members of.  In terms of councilism in general (which the
other Dutch fellow felt a great need to distance himself from, and I'm not
quite sure why) it's not anything that ever excited me too much but the
plain fact is that in the US "councilism" is "left" in terms of having deep
roots and thusly a wide appeal to the American public.  Many here may be
familiar with the Hannah Arendt essay discussing Thomas Jefferson's quite
"correct" views on the topic of districting, to my mind none too correctly;
I think the real margin-of-tolerance for the American left is set a lot
higher than the practical level very loose discussion groups which currently
maintain it go to.

Also that the real tragedy of Weimar was the sequence USPD-KPD-KAPD; even
when conditions are *not* auspicious, which they often are, you should
"play" with the very radical ideas first to see what the real stake of
possible agitators is in short-to-long term action (and parliamentarianism
is really excluded from political options at your own peril, if you know
what I mean).  My feeling is that currently, people with a great deal of
political education have no great stake and a lot of other people have much
more of a stake than they are allowed or *per se* "competent" to express;
and that this could be a period where the American (that's a continent) left
could be building strong crossnational organizations rather than squeezing
all remaining juice out of the New Deal-Great Society dispensation(s).

> On the Leftist Trainspotters list there is a participant by a young activist
> from Puerto Rico who is probably the best read on this subject than anyone I've
> known. His name is Carlos, aka "sks". Ask him for sources and/or scan this
> Yahoo list for "fascism" and see what comes up...it is very interesting.
I've put my request in, and I look forward to looking at it.

Jeff Rubard

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