NEW BOOK-----Wild Socialism: Workers Councils in Revolutionary Berlin, 1918-21

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Joined: 15-04-06
Oct 10 2012 23:19
NEW BOOK-----Wild Socialism: Workers Councils in Revolutionary Berlin, 1918-21

Marty Comack, WSA founding member and longtime Boston Wobbly, has written what looks like to be an interesting book. i hope to review it when I get a copy.

For now, this is from the book sellers press release:

Wild Socialism: Workers Councils in Revolutionary Berlin, 1918-21 [Paperback]

| ISBN-10: 0761859039 | ISBN-13: 978-0761859031
Wild Socialism examines the rise, development, and decline of revolutionary councils of industrial workers in Berlin at the end of the First World War. This popular movement spread throughout Germany, and was without precedent in either the theory or practice of the Social Democratic party and the trade unions allied to it.

These workers councils were most highly developed in Berlin, within its particular industrial, political, and cultural milieu. The Berlin Shop Stewards group provided a hard core of militant revolutionaries within the movement, many of whose adherents were more moderate or ambiguous in their views. Externally, the councilists faced a hostile Social Democratic-trade union bureaucracy who characterized council rule as “wilde Sozialismus,” a reconstituted and repressive state power, and a revolutionary rival in the rise of German Bolshevism. This work considers the experience of the Berlin councils as alternative institutions outside of traditional union, party, and governmental structures.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Joined: 5-07-09
Oct 11 2012 04:34

As I am becoming a German Revolution nerd, I am excited about this, despite sectarian reasons. grin

mikail firtinaci's picture
mikail firtinaci
Joined: 16-12-06
Oct 11 2012 07:26

Looks promising. Looking forward to read it. Recently there appeared a few books on the German revolution. Gabriel Kuhn for instance has collected some essays which came out of PM books.

I think one interesting aspect of the German revolution is that different regions have followed very different trajectories in the revolution. For instance Bavaria was very different than Berlin or Bremen. In some regions there were anarchist-communist (like Bavaria) influence, in others proto-left communists influenced by Pannekoek were strong (i.e. Bremen, IKD's and future KAPD's stronghold). Berlin of course was a complete mix of revolutionaire obleute, spartacists and others.

This complexity was underwritten by lots of historians focusing solely on the relations between KPD and Komintern and having a priori assumptions about kpd that "they were late to form the party to be successful." Actually this is too ignorant because in Russia itself there was a lot of disunity even inside the bolsheviks (Rabinowitch) and in the provinces. In Germany and Russia the dynamics was very similar on that regard. So what happened in Germany that the revolution was defeated? This is still obscure to me...

David in Atlanta
Joined: 21-04-06
Oct 15 2012 02:13

I found this article recently that touches on some of this
Rosa Luxemburg and the Revolutionary Antiwar Mass Strikes in Germany during World War I A bit over focused on Rosa, making the Revolutionäre Obleute sound almost like a Spartacus Group auxiliary but still worth a read.