Councilism v. Left Communism

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automattick
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Jun 20 2010 00:32
Councilism v. Left Communism

What are the differences between councilism and left communism? I often get the sense that with councilists, they are much more "hands-off" when it comes to participating in strikes, etc. While left communists are more active, or "militant" in that they do participate.

Are there are more demarcations between the two tendencies? Or are they essentially one in the same, and only degrees of one another?

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Jun 20 2010 02:23

Left Communists include Daniel Deleon, Slyvia Pankhurst (she goes back and forth), Rosa Luxembourg etc. Basically Left Communists are against Reformism and a Revolutionary Party. They tried to distance themselves from Social Democracy and the degeneration of Russian revolution. They believe in participating in government, but understand the Emancipation of the working class is the act of the working class itself. Most left communists see Industrial Trade Unions as a tool of Class struggle.

Councilists include Anton Pannekoek, Herman Gorter, Paul Mattick, etc. They believe in spontaneity like Left Communists (hence why they are a current of Left Communism), but are against participating in Government and Trade Unions. Most Councilists still believe in a party though.

I've always seen Left Communists as early Councilists, who are unable to let go of old conventions of Class struggle. They are not necessary more Authoritarian or Right Wing, their tactics are just deeply rooted in the countries and times they lived in.

petey
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Jun 20 2010 02:52
Paulappaul wrote:
Left Communists include Daniel Deleon

*koff*

Paulappaul wrote:
Basically Left Communists are against Reformism and a Revolutionary Party.

against a vanguard party, not against a revolutionary party

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Jun 20 2010 03:58
Quote:
Quote:
Paulappaul wrote:

Basically Left Communists are against Reformism and a Revolutionary Party.

against a vanguard party, not against a revolutionary party

Left Communists are against the Idea that the Proletariat has to be lead, that it can't lead itself to victory. So yes Left Communists are against Reformism and a Revolutionary Party. The idea isn't confined to Vanguardism it's against all parties acting for proletariat in the fight against Capitalism and the making of a Socialist society.

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Jun 20 2010 07:13
Paulappaul wrote:
Most left communists see Industrial Trade Unions as a tool of Class struggle.

I don't think this is at all true.

Paulappaul wrote:
Most Councilists still believe in a party though.

Nor this.

Paulappaul wrote:
Petey wrote:
against a vanguard party, not against a revolutionary party

So yes Left Communists are against Reformism and a Revolutionary Party.

and this certainly isn't. Left Communist believe in a evolutionary vanguard party though perhaps they understand the term 'vangaurd' in a different way to anarchists.

Devrim

ajjohnstone
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Jun 20 2010 09:55

A good article is Adam Buick's article in the Socialist Standard focussing on Bordiga and Pannekoek

http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/jan04/panbordiga.html

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Jun 20 2010 17:44
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Quote:
Paulappaul wrote:

Most Councilists still believe in a party though.

Nor this.

To quote Pannekoek's theses on the Fight of the Working Class Aganist Capitalism,

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For the parties—then remains the second function, to spread insight and knowledge, to study, discuss and formulate social ideas, and by their propaganda to enlighten the minds of the masses. The workers’ councils are the organs for practical action and fight of the working class; to the parties falls the task of the bolding up of its spiritual power. Their work forms an indispensable part in the self-liberation of the working class.

So yes, the Party is for spiritual and educational reasons, not for the actual struggle against Capitalism.

Quote:
Quote:
Paulappaul wrote:

Most left communists see Industrial Trade Unions as a tool of Class struggle.

I don't think this is at all true.

Uh.. Marceau Pivert was a Trade Unionist. Daniel De Leon says that "industrial union is at once the battering ram with which to pound down the fortress of Capitalism" and even Paul Mattick organised for the I.W.W. Left Communists are opposed the bureaucracy and Nature of conventional Trade Unions, but not Industrial Unions, for the reason that they are not so different from Workers' Councils.

So yes, most, not all Left Communists believe that Industrial Unions can be tool for the Proletariat against Capitalism.

Quote:
Left Communist believe in a evolutionary vanguard party though perhaps they understand the term 'vangaurd' in a different way to anarchists

Vanguardism presupposes that the Proletariat has to be lead, that the Spontaneous acts of the of the Proletariat are chaotic. Left Communists don't believe in this, and therefor they are against any sort of Vanguard party.

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Jun 20 2010 23:42
Paulappaul wrote:
Vanguardism presupposes that the Proletariat has to be lead, that the Spontaneous acts of the of the Proletariat are chaotic. Left Communists don't believe in this, and therefor they are against any sort of Vanguard party.

The two main left communist organisations today are the ICC and the ICT. The ICC says in its basic positions:

ICC wrote:
The revolutionary political organisation constitutes the vanguard of the working class and is an active factor in the generalisation of class consciousness within the proletariat. Its role is neither to ‘organise the working class’ nor to ‘take power’ in its name, but to participate actively in the movement towards the unification of struggles, towards workers taking control of them for themselves, and at the same time to draw out the revolutionary political goals of the proletariat’s combat.
...
The regroupment of revolutionaries with the aim of constituting a real world communist party, which is indispensable to the working class for the overthrow of capitalism and the creation of a communist society.

The ICT used to be called the 'International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party' until very recently. I think that speaks for itself.

I don't agree with your definition of 'vangaudism' though.

Quote:
Uh.. Marceau Pivert was a Trade Unionist. Daniel De Leon says that "industrial union is at once the battering ram with which to pound down the fortress of Capitalism" and even Paul Mattick organised for the I.W.W. Left Communists are opposed the bureaucracy and Nature of conventional Trade Unions, but not Industrial Unions, for the reason that they are not so different from Workers' Councils.

Pivert wasn't a left communist though. Neither was DeLeon as has already been pointed out on this thread. Mattick was, though maybe more of a councilist, and you have a point here. He was an exception.

To go back to today's main left communist organisations:

ICC wrote:
With the decadence of capitalism, the unions everywhere have been transformed into organs of capitalist order within the proletariat. The various forms of union organisation, whether ‘official’ or ‘rank and file’, serve only to discipline the working class and sabotage its struggles.
ICT wrote:
Acknowledging the anti-workers functions of unions does not mean at all to despise or to look with sufficiency to “economic” struggles. At the contrary, with Marx, we believe that a class unable to defend its own immediate living and working conditions, is not able nor deserving to fight for revolution. For us, it is the union-form which is (since long time) no more useful, also for true struggles directed to achieve partial “smaller” objectives; it is not the economical struggle in itself. This needs other tools — i.e. struggle committees, strike committees etc. — arising from below, outside and if necessary also against union praxis. In those organisms, the party carries on its political battles, to guide them in the direction of the communist and revolutionary program.

The party itself, to intervene in proletarian struggles, organizes so called “internationalist groups of factory and territory”. These political organisms of the party strive to promote economical struggle — continuously trying to address the working class toward higher level of political consciousness and determined conflictuality — and to attract to itself the most active and conscious elements in the unavoidable phases of reflux of the struggle, to give continuity to the communist program and organization, enriching them with the experiences from the living events of the class struggle. Not necessarily all workers adhering to the groups are members of the party, but they share its fundamental guidelines, including anticapitalism and the denunciation of the union-form.

On the point about Panokeok, I think that councilism has changed since that was written.

Devrim

petey
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Jun 20 2010 23:39
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Its role is neither to ‘organise the working class’ nor to ‘take power’ in its name,

ok, that's why i said it wasn't vanguardist

Quote:
The ICC used to be called the 'International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party'

small typo, that should be ICT

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Jun 20 2010 23:43
petey wrote:
small typo, that should be ICT

Thank you. I have corrected it.

Devrim

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Jun 21 2010 01:56
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The two main left communist organisations today are the ICC and the ICT

I've never seen the ICC as Left Communist, regardless of what they proclaim themselves to be. I'm sure our definitions of Vanguardism are different though, as they are with everyone. When I talk about Vanguardism I mean the idea that the Working Class is not it's own Vanguard, that is requires someone/something else to be it's Vanguard for the creation of a Socialist society.

Quote:
Pivert wasn't a left communist though. Neither was DeLeon as has already been pointed out on this thread. Mattick was, though maybe more of a councilist, and you have a point here. He was an exception.

So what is Pivert I ask you? Besides being friends with Daniel Guerin, besides being labelled as a Left Communist by the movement, besides being labelled as a Left Communist by Marxists.org and who when expelled from the SFIO he founded the PSOP, which was voice on the independent, anti-authoritarian Marxist left.

Deleon was a Left Communist, he argued that State Ownership is not Socialism. He believed the Emancipation of the working class to be the act of the working class itself. He help found the I.W.W and believed it to be the Socialist society in the making. He understood reformism cannot create a Socialist that only revolution can do this. He wasn't a Leninist, he wasn't a reformist. His view of a Socialist society was libertarian, he was a Left Communist.

Councilism is a current of Left Communism, so I see my comments on Mattick are still truthful.

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On the point about Panokeok, I think that councilism has changed since that was written.

Automattick referred to Councilists. Not just new Councilists, but old ones as well. Knowing that there are those who are aganist a Party I have said,

Quote:
Most Councilists still believe in a party though.

I didn't say all Councilists believe in a party, I said most, as early Council Communists were in Parties, if not leading those parties.

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Jun 21 2010 05:37
Paulappaul wrote:
I've never seen the ICC as Left Communist, regardless of what they proclaim themselves to be. I'm sure our definitions of Vanguardism are different though, as they are with everyone.

We have very different definitions of what left communism is too. So much so that I don't see much point in discussing what left communists think as we are discussing two different set of people.

Devrim

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Jun 21 2010 06:38

My definition of Left Communism is the following,

Quote:
The Left Communists were those Marxists who supported the 1917 Russian Revolution, but differed with Lenin and Trotsky over a number of issues including the formation of the Soviet government in the U.S.S.R., the tactics of the Comintern in Europe and America, the role to be given to autonomous and spontaneous organisations of the working class as opposed to the working class political parties, participation in Parliament, the relationship with the trade unions and the trade union leadership.

which can be found here,

http://www.marxists.org/subject/left-wing/index.htm

How would you disagree with this? All Left Communist literature as lead me to believe this to be pretty evident.

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Jun 21 2010 08:05
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I've never seen the ICC as Left Communist, regardless of what they proclaim themselves to be.

What are we then?

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Jun 21 2010 10:01

Oh , my , you really are setting yoursleves up as a target to lampoon with that question but you did ask it. So here is some answers for you !

Quote:
"After interesting beginnings, the ICC has mutated into an organisation regarded by virtually all other political groups (including those on the communist left previously well-disposed towards it) as a paranoid sect"
http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/sep05/text/page16.html
Quote:
"[not] all Leninist groups are cults in the sense that the DWP was. But some are. It is clear, for instance, from their external behaviour that the... 'left communist' International Communist Current are ...In 2000 a group of ex-members of the French section of the ICC published a pamphlet Que Ne Pas Faire? (‘What Is Not To Be Done?’) which exposed similar practices to some of those described by Lalich in the DWP (an older, charismatic leader; adoption of a new name; an order-giving hierarchy; interrogations; a security service)."
http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/nov05/page10.html
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"other-wordly paranoid conspiracy theory for which the ICC is well-known".
http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/aug04/contents.html

But name-calling isn't only reserved for ourselves , of course. The SPGB is described by the ICC as

Quote:
"a completely degenerate bourgeois organisation which can only play a counter-revolutionary role within the working class" and as "a parliamentarian leftist sect renowned for their Menshevism" (WR3). However, they seemed to have had second thoughts and have upgraded us from "a completely degenerate bourgeois" organisation to a "confused proletarian" one: http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/etheory/1905-1985/80WorldRevolution.htm
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“In the coming r e v o l u t i o n a r y confrontations between the working class and the bourgeoisie the role of the SPGB will be indistinguishable from that of any of the other bourgeois parties”. (World Revolution, organ of the International Communist
Current, July 1976).
http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/june04/others.html
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Jun 21 2010 12:02

The Left Communists were those Marxists who supported the 1917 Russian Revolution, but differed with Lenin and Trotsky over a number of issues including the formation of the Soviet government in the U.S.S.R., the tactics of the Comintern in Europe and America, the role to be given to autonomous and spontaneous organisations of the working class as opposed to the working class political parties, participation in Parliament, the relationship with the trade unions and the trade union leadership.

yes, so why are we not left communists? This is precisely the tradition we come from. Question is addressed to Paulapaul. Ajj's contribution was not in the least helpful.

ajjohnstone
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Jun 21 2010 14:09

What are we then?

Quote:
Ajj's contribution was not in the least helpful.

Left Communists with little sense of humour tongue

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Jun 21 2010 15:04

Ajj, it's not a question of humour ... I'm genuinely intrigued.

I know that the SPGBers regard us a cult, a sect, and all the rest of it. We can add in idealist from the CWO. A general bunch of bastards from other sundry critics.

Occasionally, these cruel and heartless insults make me cry myself to sleep but I've never heard anyone say we're not left communists!

redtwister
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Jun 21 2010 20:57

Alf is at least speaking to the actual history.

Communist Left had its origins in the Left-wing of Social Democracy prior to WWI, and overlapped at times with Lenin and the Bolsheviks, Rosa Luxemburg, and others. At the end of WWI, after the Russian Revolution, Luxemburg moved towards the center, away from the Communist Left, and towards conciliation with Kautsky's organization, and her surviving followers largely rejoined it or took the side of Lenin and RCP against the Communist Left in Germany.

In the Netherlands and Germany, the Communist Left was made up of a number of groups, including the Bremen Left, the Dutch and German communists around Pannekoek and Gorter and elements around Otto Ruhle, and so on, which cohered into the KAPD in Germany. None of these people referred to themselves as Council Communists until the late 1920's-early 1930's, esp. with the formation of the GIK.

The KAPD still viewed itself as a revolutionary party that would lead, that is, that it would be the coming together of the most class conscious communist workers and intellectuals, but not one that was the product of a handful of intellectuals. They also viewed the KAPD as separate from the councils and viewed the councils as the power. They had openly rejected the Bolshevik distrust of the masses and party-dictatorship, as well as the imposition of strategic and tactical lines derived not from the particular conditions of different countries but wholly fro the Russian experience. The KAPD viewed the unions as counter-revolutionary (a well-deserved accusation as the unions formed the right-wing of every socialist party in Europe and primarily excluded unskilled workers and the unemployed, and often were openly racist, national-chauvinist and sexually exclusive, even more so outside Europe.) they also opposed any kind of participation in Parliament as a kind of recuperation of workers into the state and opposed the policy of the United Front as a policy between leaders against the mass of workers.

In Italy the situation was different with Bordiga and company. While they agreed with the opposition to the United Front and to participation in parliaments, they did not oppose membership in the trade unions and viewed it as necessary. They also put a greater emphasis on political power. it was not enough to take over the means of production and setup councils. The state needed to be smashed and the political power of the proletariat established to directly undermine capitalist social relations.

This was the historical split in the Communist Left, prior to the formation of councilism which broke with the political perspectives of the KAPD and moved towards political organizations as more forms of self-organization for revolutionaries and as propaganda societies.

With the end of WWII and the development of political struggles in the 1960's, councilism gained a new lease on life vis-a-vis its relationship to splinters from Trotskyism (the Johnson-Forrest Tendency, i.e. CLR James and Raya Dunayevskaya; Socialisme ou Barbarie, and tendencies which grew out of these tendencies, such as Solidarity UK, ICO), as well as elements which came out of the remaining councilist milieu, such as Root & Branch in the USA, and the Situationist International (itself influenced by contact with Socialism or Barbarism).

Around the same period the Italian communist left also get bolstered by the development of French Bordigists Jacques Camatte and Gilles Dauve and the development of a number of groups today, which have some common roots from this period: ICC, ICT (formerly IBRP), Internationalist Perspective, Mouvement Communiste, Internationalist Communist Group.

There are also a host of groups (some no more than a few people putting out a magazine) that have derived significant parts of their politics from these two historical tendencies and they constitute a large part of what is alive in the communist milieu. The list is long an includes Aufheben, Wildcat (Germany), TPTG (Greece), Theorie communiste, riff raff (I believe still extant, its comrades are still active), Endnotes, Echanges et Movement, and so on.

This is all fairly straightforward and has little to do with DeLeonists, the SPGB, or other elements who pre-existed the historical designations of communist Left (they generally for example do not want to be called communists and are quite allergic to that designation) or council communists.

In any case, you can get into the wide array of differences over who, from within this milieu, considers who a real communist and who is not, just as you can with the Trotskyists or the Maoists, but the historical origins and designation are fairly well documented at this point.

Philippe Bourrinet's books (the ones he revised after his stint in the ICC, which "edited" his texts) are excellent sources.

Cheers,
Chris

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Jun 22 2010 07:23
redtwister wrote:
Philippe Bourrinet's books (the ones he revised after his stint in the ICC, which "edited" his texts) are excellent sources.

Cheers,
Chris

Chris, do you know what the main differences are between Bourrinet's revisions and the ICC versions? I know the revised ones exist online, but are far too long to read or print, whereas I have physical copies of the ICC ones, and I wonder if there are particular sections of Bourrinet's versions to read concurrently that might not be unmanagably long...

soyonstout
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Jun 22 2010 11:50

I would generally say that the term is intimately connected to the Third (Communist) International, and deals with the politics of groups and currents deemed too far left by the ComIntern leadership before the departure of the Left Opposition around Trotsky and some groups who left Trotskyism and began contacting these others and working with these others. I think the inclusion of people who died before the founding of the congress of the CI (March 1919) means that one is not really talking about the historical communist left (even if all the people mentioned may have some views close to those of some left communists)

Redtwister's history is good but I think a lot could be added to it about the Italian left in exile in (mostly in France and Belgium) and the development of their ideas far beyond anything that Bordiga was criticized for in Lenin's pamphlet ("Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder") on the nature of the state, the new cycle of crises in the epoch of imperialist decay / decadence, Kronstadt, etc.

-soyons tout

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Jun 22 2010 19:30
soyonstout wrote:
Redtwister's history is good but I think a lot could be added to it about the Italian left in exile in (mostly in France and Belgium) and the development of their ideas far beyond anything that Bordiga was criticized for in Lenin's pamphlet ("Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder") on the nature of the state, the new cycle of crises in the epoch of imperialist decay / decadence, Kronstadt, etc.

Are you referring above mostly to the groups and individuals Redtwister discussed below here?

Quote:
Around the same period the Italian communist left also get bolstered by the development of French Bordigists Jacques Camatte and Gilles Dauve and the development of a number of groups today, which have some common roots from this period: ICC, ICT (formerly IBRP), Internationalist Perspective, Mouvement Communiste, Internationalist Communist Group.

There are also a host of groups (some no more than a few people putting out a magazine) that have derived significant parts of their politics from these two historical tendencies and they constitute a large part of what is alive in the communist milieu. The list is long an includes Aufheben, Wildcat (Germany), TPTG (Greece), Theorie communiste, riff raff (I believe still extant, its comrades are still active), Endnotes, Echanges et Movement, and so on.

Also would you and others still consider the groups in the second paragraph above "Ultra Left" or "Left Communist" considering many of these contemporary/neo-communist groupscules also take much from class struggle anarchism, autonomist marxism, and the situationists?

Or is it just a difference between the historical communist left and the contemporary communist left?

soyonstout
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Jun 23 2010 04:25
laozi wrote:
Are you referring above mostly to the groups and individuals Redtwister discussed below here?
Quote:
Around the same period the Italian communist left also get bolstered by the development of French Bordigists Jacques Camatte and Gilles Dauve and the development of a number of groups today, which have some common roots from this period: ICC, ICT (formerly IBRP), Internationalist Perspective, Mouvement Communiste, Internationalist Communist Group.

There are also a host of groups (some no more than a few people putting out a magazine) that have derived significant parts of their politics from these two historical tendencies and they constitute a large part of what is alive in the communist milieu. The list is long an includes Aufheben, Wildcat (Germany), TPTG (Greece), Theorie communiste, riff raff (I believe still extant, its comrades are still active), Endnotes, Echanges et Movement, and so on.

No. I'm specifically referring to developments within the Italian Left in exile in France and Belgium (mostly, as well as contact with Paul Kirchoff's Grupo de Trabajadores in Mexico) between the world wars. This would have been the Italian Fraction of the Communist Left which published Prometeo (militant, agitational paper) and Bilan (theoretical journal)* which was later joined by the Belgian Fraction of the Communist Left (made up of many members of Ligue de Communistes Internationalistes and L'Union Communiste, both of which I believe had broken with Trostkyism in the 30s and had contact with the council communists in Germany and Holland). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_communism#Italian_left_communism_1926.E2.80.931939 for the brief story, the ICC's Italian Communist Left for the long version.

There were also the RKD which again I believe left Trotskyism before the war, had contact with the GIK (council communists) and also the Italian left in France/Belgium.

Quote:
Also would you and others still consider the groups in the second paragraph above "Ultra Left" or "Left Communist" considering many of these contemporary/neo-communist groupscules also take much from class struggle anarchism, autonomist marxism, and the situationists?

Or is it just a difference between the historical communist left and the contemporary communist left?

I don't know. I think they are definitely influenced by left communism but certainly they do borrow from anarchism/autonomism/situationism. I would say they're not 'strictly' left communist. The more eclectic groups like those you mention were in the past (I don't know if anymore) called 'modernist' by the ICC, partly to distinguish them from those that drew primarily on the historical left communist tradition--some would also probably be called 'councilist' (which ICT/ICC tend to use differently than 'council communist') which is a term often applied to groups that are less interventionist in the class struggle and less inclined to things like central organization, drawing up a concrete platform/program of political positions, etc. This doesn't mean that anyone who has learnt and adopted something from situationism or one of those currents is necessarily 'councilst,' but I think a number of them have a very different view of the role that revolutionaries play.

Hope that makes sense.

-soyons tout

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Jun 23 2010 04:33
laozi wrote:
Or is it just a difference between the historical communist left and the contemporary communist left?

This seems to be part of it, but I also think there's also the question of whether groups see themselves in continuity with the left of the CI (3rd International), and again I think part of this continuity is things like organizational models (of course left communists aren't attempt to build a top-down organization like the 'Bolshevized' CI, but the more historical ones tend to be more organizational, I think). Some of this may seem like arbitrary boundaries, but again, that's why there are the different groups and while many consider many of the other to be basically on the same side, there is disagreement as to who's a real left communist and whether certain groups are too one-sidedly left communist (I assume this would be a disagreement between for example the ICT/ICC and say folks like Dauve).

-soyons tout

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Jun 23 2010 08:51
Quote:
This is all fairly straightforward and has little to do with DeLeonists, the SPGB, or other elements who pre-existed the historical designations of communist Left (they generally for example do not want to be called communists and are quite allergic to that designation) or council communists.

Your history is pretty sound in my opinion right up to this point, where I disagree with you. The first thing I disagree with you is that, Deleonists and the Impossibilists "pre-existed" the historical designations. Wait what Historical Designations? Oh! The ones prior WW1, in the left wing of Social Democracy? We can place this around oh... 1910 - 1914? Daniel De Leon wrote a brilliant piece about Industrial Unionism, ONE YEAR before World War 1, outlining that Goals determine methods, therefore Socialism can only be created by the working class, arguing against "parliamentary idiocy" i.e. Reformism. The Socialist Labour Party was Considered the Left-Wing Socialist Party in America, as it advocated Revolution over Reformism.

Left Communism existed before Leninism, 1917 and the third international.

Battlescarred
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Jun 23 2010 09:47

I've NEVER heard of Marceau Pivert being described as a Left Communist before ( let alone De Leon!)
Pivert's PSOP was most similar , if you're looking for British comparisons, to the Independent Labour Party and to the POUM in Spain with which it had fraternal relations. That current is a lot different from what I regard as Left Communism. You seem to have a completely different definition of what Left Communism is from most of us on libcom , Paulappaul

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Jun 23 2010 10:00
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Left Communism existed before Leninism, 1917 and the third international.

Certainly there was a "left-wing" to Social Democracy, but this included Luxemburg and the Bolsheviks as well as those who later became Left Communists (the Dutch Left around Tribune, the Italian Left around Bordiga).

But the term "left communism" was developed exclusively in the context of Leninism, especially his "Infantile Disorder" pamphlet.

I'm also still bemused by the idea that the ICC isn't left communist, even given your unusual definition...

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Jun 23 2010 21:36
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I've NEVER heard of Marceau Pivert being described as a Left Communist before ( let alone De Leon!)
Quote:
You seem to have a completely different definition of what Left Communism is from most of us on libcom , Paulappaul

Roll your self over to Wikipedia and Marxists.org. It's not unusual, I've shown how they were Left Communists, using the definition on Marxists.org and redtwister's "origins of Left Communism".

Quote:
Certainly there was a "left-wing" to Social Democracy, but this included Luxemburg and the Bolsheviks as well as those who later became Left Communists (the Dutch Left around Tribune, the Italian Left around Bordiga).

But the term "left communism" was developed exclusively in the context of Leninism, especially his "Infantile Disorder" pamphlet.

I agree with this. I'm not denying the term came about during Leninism, more however that the theory required you to be in certain historical conditions.

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Jun 23 2010 21:42

Paulappaul- DeLeonism is usually thought of and referred to as being a branch of its own. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeLeonism

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Jun 23 2010 22:13

Key word is branch. Meaning it is subject to a higher category. Search Left Communism on Wikipedia, find "People" and you see Daniel De Leon is third on the list. Scroll down and you see "Related topics" Where you find other branches of Left Communism i.e. Council Communism, Impossiblism (influnced by Deleon), Libertarian Marxism, De Leonism, etc.

They are all considered to have their own theories, but agreeing on very basic things, which draws them together in an overarching current.

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jesuithitsquad
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Joined: 11-10-08
Jun 23 2010 22:30

Yeah except wikipedia, while very useful at times, is far from an authority on stuff that isn't well-known like this. (Not to mention DeLeonism isn't even an article in the Left Communist series.) I'd be more inclined to trust the accuracy of actual left communists and modern left communist organizations.