On the emergence of the new society - Karl Schröder

Militia in Berlin

A text by Karl Schröder, one of the foremen of the KAPD, on the road to a new society and the role of organization. Translated by Stijn Marcus of Council Communist Collective. Original text from: http://www.left-dis.nl/

Submitted by Council Commun… on March 27, 2024

Organization has been one of the most loved and hated words of the past decades. It had a different meaning for everyone; everyone used it differently; everyone filled it with different content. But in the main, people's minds went in two directions. Some saw organization as the basic feature of the new age, which they considered necessary and valuable to propagate with all their might and therefore also elevated to a moral demand. For them, the essence of the times is crystallized in the large state (with colonies) as well as in the trust, in the large city as well as in the registry of the residents' registration office, in the overland headquarters as well as in the patriotic women's association. The individual ethic is replaced by the organization; the "Red Cross" takes over the function of compassion, etc. The others saw in the tendency towards organization the replacement of culture by civilization, the victory of the penitentiary over freedom, the destruction of the organism by the machine. They tried to ram centralism through anarchism. -

This struggle for organization entered a stage of unprecedented intensity through world war and revolution. The European crisis, the world crisis, as a crisis of capitalist society, has opened up the problem theoretically and practically, intellectually and formally, to an extent and depth never seen before.

When we talk about organization, we only briefly touch on the explanation of the word. Philologists may rattle them off. Nor do we talk about the different dispositions and abilities of people and peoples for organizational tasks. This is not unimportant and must be taken into account. But these are only fractions. When we speak of organization, we mean more than that and also something else. First of all this: Negative: Organization is not an outer shell.

It is as little exhausted in paragraphs, guidelines, statutes, regulations, political and police ordinances as the bubbling spring in the pump that hangs it. Positively: Organization is the form of expression inseparably linked to the historical-economic process, to the physical and spiritual growth and development of people and human society; organically connected to the body like the skin, changing with it, stretching or shrinking, tautly stretched or wrinkled and full of fuzz. Organization is the result of a certain foundation, admittedly one that can never be definitively fixed, but is constantly being reformulated. It is an expression of certain social relations. So if we continue to speak of old and new organization, this should not be understood as if the old one had been swallowed up by the abyss, had suddenly fallen off like a larval skin, while the new one flutters into life like a butterfly. The growth, ageing and gradual death of the one is accompanied, threatened, blasted through by the emergence of the other. The whole thing is a revolutionary process. (Although it may be said that everything that finds its formulation in language, everything that is established as becoming, is already somehow present as a fact).

The organization of the past, the organization of the capitalist system, has found its highest and strongest expression for the time being in the modern class state. It is the organization of the people of a certain territory that has become and is willed on the basis of the power relations existing among them. It is the legislative and executive organ of the capitalist class and of those who are or feel connected to it materially or ideologically. Growing and changing with the progress of capitalist development and the needs of those interested in it. The state as an expression of organization is the centralization and concentration of all the aspirations of the ruling class; at the same time, as a concept, it is an expression of capitalist ideology. The bourgeois philosopher of law says:

The state is the realization of the moral idea (2), or: The state is the community organized into a personality, which by virtue of its own right makes the all-round demand for culture and protection against unculture its task, not in isolation, but in all aspects of human activity and human development. - The state is a cultural state and as such it carries justification within itself; indeed, not only justification, but also sanctification: to doubt the state is to doubt culture.

In contrast, we state that the capitalist state is the material and ideal sanctioning of private enterprise and the idea of property. As a fact and as a direction of will, it means the canonization of the individual, of egoism. It is the representative of the ruling class. Historically founded and continuing to be founded on the accumulation of capital and the will to power, this organization grows and seeks to complete itself in the world dictatorship of capital, in centralism as an instrument for the suppression of all resistance. It is heading towards the world economic syndicate, towards the world banking trust in the symbol of the joint-stock company Genghis Khan (3). It expresses itself visibly, most importantly, in the system of bureaucracy, in militarism, in the party, in parliamentarism, in professional leadership, in textbook education, in the degradation of the vast majority to subjects, to the governed, in the degradation of man to an accessory of the machine, in the suppression of all independence. At the top, godly, barely responsible leaders, behind them the administrations that are completely dependent on them, and at the bottom, the disenfranchised masses, who are thrown lumps or the curb is put on them, depending on how easy it is to calm the beast.

Standing in the way of these tendencies is the uneven development of capitalism in the most diverse countries; the competition of nations as cultural or racial communities; the insight into this very capitalist process, and thus the defensive and offensive struggle of the oppressed class, the emergence of a new organization.

A certain transitional period in this process was the gathering of ever larger crowds in the reservoir of social democratic parties and trade unions. But what formed here was essentially not an expression of a new organization, but rather pure negation. The material and especially intellectual anchoring within the old society, within the private economic sphere, proved to be stronger on the whole than the vitality of new shoots. The mechanics and routine of the attitude towards the individual and egoism were more comfortable and plausible than the dynamics of the masses and the social sphere. The longer, the more social democracy became the party of pure negation, failed where it was supposed to go over to creatively creating the social; positively created only structures of a bourgeois character, remained within the confines of the bourgeois world and world view, barricaded itself there and acted like them, only clumsier and without culture. This is illustrated by typical representatives such as Hanisch, Ledebour and Radek (4).

Fundamentally different and yet all connected to the bourgeois world. Hanisch, not without knowledge of scientific socialism, but stuck in the cultural-national German borders. Ledebour, critical negation, word fanatic of German civilization, stuck in parliamentarism, incapable of reaching proletarian means. Radek, international, without culture, theoretically aiming at proletarian ways; practically stuck in the methods of the bourgeoisie; political wheeler-dealer who knows socialism as a businessman knows a science and uses it for his own purposes. They are all without the power of social will, that is life, perhaps even without the ability, because the preconditions for it are lacking. Moreover, there is another thing that embraces them all: the essence of leadership in the capitalist world. And nothing characterizes the old organization more clearly, nothing is more quickly recognized in its type everywhere than leadership.

This is the very characteristic of the old organization: the cult of personality, the cult of heroism, of the billionaire and the specialist. The world is a group of rulers and an army of the ruled, a few clever people and millions of donkeys. The masses are the object: board pieces that are moved around according to need and knowledge of the game. Under the compulsion of such leadership, under the pressure of its scientific etc. Under the compulsion of such leadership, under the pressure of its scientific etc. authorities, almost nothing of the essence of a new world, a becoming, fundamentally different organization from the old one, came to fruition at first.

So-called social democracy as a party, as well as in all other forms of expression and confirmation, in trade unions and cooperatives as well as in attempts at education and upbringing, moved almost consistently along capitalist-bourgeois lines. It adopted the capitalist "knowledge is power"; and instead of solving social problems, instead of releasing the proletarian's own forces in working communities, its teachers and agitators, themselves still completely under the spell of bourgeois culture, fed the hungry and lost with snacks from the department stores of the old world. During a struggle (5) - which in itself was absolutely necessary, which certainly did not require utopian propaganda of a distant goal, but rather pointing out the way to it, i.e. the practical exploitation of all bourgeois bastions for as long as necessary - the SP lost sight of the actual goal. A goal that required laborious construction, but a construction that had to be tackled immediately as the most important thing.

At best, the goal became a propaganda ideal that would supposedly emerge of its own accord once political power had been achieved. Thus the methods became overgrown, taking on a more blatantly bourgeois character from day to day. It is not striking, for example, that the parties, from the German-National to the Spartacus League, differ essentially in nothing at all, if not in the fact that the further to the left we move, the more ruthlessly capitalist methods spread.

If the rule of the bourgeoisie unfolds in parliamentarism, in the gathering of the noblest of the nation as professional leaders, then the parties unfold with parliamentarism. Party rule is the rule of party leaders. Party in this sense is a specific expression of class society. To be a party man means to be a master in the mastery of the language keyboard to disguise or obfuscate egoistic drives and goals, to become a master of tactics, that is the most cunning application of Jesuit wisdom: the end justifies the means. Being a party man means having the courage to be narrow-minded, the courage to be trivial, the courage to kill the human in man. Being a party man means placing the value of the machine higher than the value of the living cell in the pursuit. Parties were involved in the leverage that triggered the world war, parties are engaged in ghouls' work on the carcass of the old society, parties want to gorge themselves on the shooting juices of the new, classless society.

The supposedly socialist trade unions revealed their capitalist character almost more brutally and in many ways. Just look at this: Bureaucracy, professional leadership, capitalist-style centralization, the demand for class antagonisms, the formation of new class antagonisms through professional or industrial associations, joint ventures between employers and employees, the separation of skilled and unskilled, male and female workers, support and insurance systems.

Despite these obstructive moments, despite all the aberrations of a transitional period, the new, proletarian organization naturally crystallizes in the process of capitalist organization, which is called - a hideous name - council organization.

Inevitably, just as the old capitalist society must perish, the new, the proletarian, the classless society bursts through the strongest chains, the thickest braces, the toughest skins. The old shells fall like the bark of the plane trees, soon at the top, soon at the bottom, but they are sure to fall, and the new, young tissues stretch out elastically, springing from the brains and fists of the fighting proletarians.

In that hollow space, however, which is supposed to enclose the spirit of the German philistine, a strange council system is reflected (6). A council system that is nothing other than the old bureaucratic theater with the box, the parterre, the barred seat, the first, second and third ranks, now occupied by members of the "lower" classes. He is gripped by horror, and we too would be gripped by horror at the socialism of the penitentiary, whose halls are teeming with councilors as officials of a new state. But such thoughts can only arise in a German civil servant's soul and only find an echo in working classes whose own lives are muddied in the murky waters of the capitalist environment. Those who cannot raise their eyes above the day, who can only ever do justice to the dead and the past, who cannot grasp ideas as they develop and grow, who cannot sense the irrepressible forces driving them forward in the mire and confusion, under crime and incompetence, cannot even approach the most powerful event of the new era, the birth of proletarian society, which is entering its final stage under terrible pangs.

The council organization appears wherever the idea of the absolute opposition of exploiters and exploited becomes a reality, wherever the process of upheaval emerges in revolutionary purity. Apart from many early individual phenomena, it clearly emerged in the Commune, and was further strengthened, deepened and broadened in the Russian Revolution of 1905.

In Germany, initially only suspected and - weakly enough - sought to formulate theoretically, sunk and buried by the tendencies described above, only war and revolution, with their terrible sharpness, their monstrous force, revealed what had been buried and forgotten and created the necessary conditions for new and independent development, putting everything that seemed to have been running smoothly and comfortably up for debate again and with unprecedented sharpness, as a problem, that is, as a new task to be solved. And not just the small matter of the social democratic party, but the overall questions of the economy and history, the possibilities of a materially and ideologically different world. The conditions are once again in place for the unfolding and development of the new organization.

What does this organization of councils mean? If socialism is the absolute negation of capitalism and at the same time a new economic and spiritual expression of humanity - naturally always conceived as a becoming - then the new organization as the manifestation of this process will and must be fundamentally anti-capitalist in content and form (which are inextricably linked). As a negation (as a pure instrument of struggle, i.e. an instrument of struggle against its opponent), it means the destruction of the old centralist-bureaucratic form of organization, the destruction of the state, the destruction of the League of Nations as the forerunner of the world-dominating joint-stock trust parliament and its ideology, the destruction of entrepreneurship, of private enterprise, the destruction of the world economic syndicate. As the negation of negation, it means the construction of the common economy, the federation of social forces and their development of self-consciousness. In the transitional period it means: the councils as organs of the proletarian revolution, the organization of the councils as a necessary organ for the creation of the fighting unity of the proletariat. The council organization not as the organization of the struggle for the soul of the workers, but as the formulation, the outflow and delimitation of their development of self-consciousness, of their social will. The new organization will therefore have to find and seek its constantly flowing source of strength in the social; it will be founded and anchored not in the individual, in egoism, in property, in the private economy, in centralism and in the state, but in the masses, in the social, in the common economy. The council organization not as the organization of the struggle for the soul of the workers, but as the formulation, the outflow and delimitation of their development of self-consciousness, of their social will. The new organization will therefore have to find and seek its constantly flowing source of strength in the social; it will be founded and anchored not in the individual, in egoism, in property, in the private economy, in centralism and in the state, but in the masses, in the social, in the common economy.
Their nature will develop from this basis. And it is self-evident that a separation - hardly necessary, by the way - into factory councils and workers' councils must under no circumstances take place according to the principle: march separately and strike together. This is a danger that must be combated with the utmost severity. Both must fight in indissoluble unity from the outset. It is in the councils that the methods and weapons of the social and proletarian struggle are formed, and the foundations of the nascent socialist society are broadened and deepened.

A comparison may illustrate, as far as possible, the nature of the organization of councils. If the capitalist form of organization can be compared to a pyramid, the new one to a polyhedron (polygon) in which each corner is strongly and elastically connected to the center. The centripetal and centrifugal forces, those striving inwards and outwards, parry each other. The bourgeois form of organization is geared towards the individual, it blossoms in the cult of the hero, in the idolatry of Goethe and Hindenbur hype, in the engagement of a "star" for 200,000 marks a month. Its types are Don Juan and Faust, its conception and its longing the superman, the billionaire. The masses are the modeling clay for the "favored". The proletarian form of organization leads the individual back to the common, to the social. The personality, be it the greatest, will not be pampered, will not rise to distant heights, it will spread out in all directions in the common, it will penetrate the masses with its streaming embers and grow together with the masses.

As a result, the revolutionary councils are the death of the bureaucrat. They arise and create in the engine of common, necessary production; elected by the trust of their equals, under constant control and recallable at any time, supported only by independent workers, they are the bloodstream and the nerves of the new society, they are the mental functions, the brain that permeates the entire body. The system of revolutionary councils is the only way to force all the destructive, raging elements, loosened by war, into common work and make them subservient. The old organization knows only force, the generals are its prophets and the code of professional ethics its catechism. But the unleashing of all the spiritual forces of the exploited masses is the death of the individual. Thus, oriented towards the masses, taking its point of departure from the workplace, naturally not rooted in the individual enterprise, the council organization will prove to be fundamentally different from the old organization in its form and methods. From the principle of the social necessarily follows the striving for complete publicity, the transfer of education, spiritual education, spiritual life (i.e. political in the broadest sense) to the masses, the abolition of professional leadership, a complete change in the electoral process (temporary, recall, etc.), legislation and administration in the hands of the councils at the same time, etc.

The German revolution is only now beginning to take on the character of a proletarian-social one. Only now does the idea of a proletarian self-development, self-organization, really begin to become conscious, the not only instinctive but intellectual insight into the process of the new organization begins. By contrast, what came to light in November 1918 and later in the first workers' and soldiers' councils and at the so-called soviet congresses (7) was essentially falsification, distraction, misdirection, based on ambiguity, instinctive affection or aversion, dictated by the needs not only of capitalist opponents, but even more so of the threatened official representatives and propagandists of a socialist theory that was virtually slapped in the face by their practice.

They both sensed the tremendous explosive forces slumbering in the development of the councils and from the very first moment did everything they could to suppress and destroy them with lies and murder. Dullness and inertia of thought, lack of clarity and all petty egoistic instincts had to be used to discredit and slander the nascent councils. In addition, the majority of the working masses had not yet achieved the necessary self-knowledge and recognition of their position in the social process. The first soviet congresses with their sad "leaders" and sad resolutions, including the devastating one: Recognition of the National Assembly, elections to it, entrenchment of the councils, were shattering evidence of the inability of the German proletariat to grasp its historical task at that time. An inability which, however, must be overwhelmingly attributed to a historically common "leadership" of parliamentarians and trade unionists.

The now deliberate falsification of the new organization through the establishment of the so-called statutory works councils also belongs in the direction of such vile sabotage, in the direction of tactical maneuvers and diplomatic cunning. The enforced statutory councils, whether parents' councils or factory councils, whether Schiller councils or soldiers' councils, have as little to do with the revolutionary idea of the council as a marriage for sale has to do with love, the pedant with the artist, the machine with the living cell. The revolutionary councils grow in struggle. They will grow, for we are only at the beginning of the great struggles. Then theory will become violence, then they will spring from the loosened soil like the seed in spring everywhere.

Such a process does not take place in a short period of time. The goal is a classless society.

The classless society will be a socialist society. The path to socialism is - economically - the process of transforming the private ownership of everything into common ownership. It is - spiritually - the process of the transformation of the capitalist-bourgeois intellectual world into the socialist one, of individual thinking, feeling and willing into the social one, the merging of individuality and particularity into universality. It is the complete dissolution of the property idol in both economic and spiritual terms; of ownership of things, of one's own life and of spiritual production, self-education and the shaping of life. Such a process is conditioned by the forces of the capitalist economic system, but it can be demanded and its pace accelerated by the proletariat's insight into this process, by its conscious influence, by the conscious attitude of its struggle in this direction. In this struggle the development of self-consciousness of the masses, of the proletarian class, the development of the councils leading to a classless society, will crystallize in ever higher degrees.

The idea of councils will spread in ever wider circles, since the development of the self-consciousness of all those who must be addressed as proletarians, whether store assistants or professors, artists or civil servants, will take place at an ever faster pace. The new organization will present itself all the more smoothly, the more the old one can no longer disturb and pollute it.

The nature and development of the new organization also provide the basic lines for the nature of the International. It will develop and grow in harmony with the new organization. It will be progressively founded in principle and will have to base itself on the common economy, that common economy which, constantly keeping pace with the world revolution, will again and again establish itself according to economic districts which exhaust the last possibilities of satisfying needs in equal measure. It will have to continue to be founded on the ever stronger conscious will of social life, inseparably united with the economic process.

The goal is: humanity as a classless society, as an economic unit, oriented towards the demand for the best possible balance in every direction, the best possible creation of the conditions for social life. This will also complete the new organization. On the way there, it will be the necessary means by which, out of the nature and conditions of proletarian class solidarity, every boundary of any kind will be crossed, by which - with the development of communist details - the progressive common economy, the economic districts to be regulated again and again according to economic-geographical points of view and their equalization will be striven for and enforced. Only with the growth of such a framework and in such a framework, that is, in the striving for and creation of a world common economy, will the organic characteristics and riches of the races, of the nations as cultural communities as well as of individual human beings come to true fruition. Naturally, in the course of such a tremendous development, an uninterrupted symbiosis, i.e. an uninterrupted all-round interpenetration, will take place from the outset. Just as such a process will not take place in the dogmatic one-sidedness of any one theorem.

Many things will have an inhibiting or demanding effect. For example, we may be reminded of the regulation of the population problem. And it must also be said that it is not appropriate to set up unity and freedom as the goal of the international class struggle and then the federation of all nations. Socialism is the corollary, the antipode of capitalism. Capitalism as a system, as a historical-economic process, has its current expression in the modern class state, but it is a system that in its development transcends everything that is given and has become, everything that it itself has co-created, and that necessarily progresses supranationally, supranationally, supra-racially. It does not stop at the creation of national economic units, it only uses them in order to expand faster or slower, violently or haggling, but absolutely to move beyond them to the destruction of competition on the world market, to alleged colonization, etc., possibly to unification in world trusts of a political or economic nature, etc. If socialism emerges from such a process of capitalism, then its economic orientation as well as its ideology, its regulative principle will and must likewise be supranationally oriented, naturally anti-capitalist oriented towards the fact and the demand of anti-capitalist class struggle and anti-capitalist class solidarity. Even if, of course, the proletarians of each country must first fight from their own soil. Furthermore, what counts as a nation is not something uniform, but for the most part a linguistic community enforced with the strongest cooperation of capitalism.

However, there is only an inner necessity for the further development of such an enforced unity if it arises from underlying factors, such as biological or racial factors. Orienting the proletariat towards the concept of the nation, making the nation as a so-called national whole the foundation, the fulcrum for the International, would ultimately mean: A renewed focus on the individual, on egoism, on private enterprise, only in a heightened potency, in the collective form of the nation. It would also mean sabotage, breaking up the development of the soviets, the new organization.

The path of socialism, however, can only go in the above-mentioned direction towards a completely communal economy and completely social forms of expression. And in this development a third international with an executive committee will initially be formed as an instrument of struggle. For its part, it must not establish itself in the spirit of the old organization, in the spirit of the old parties, whereby the method does not change in any way from that of capitalism, but at most something else is played off as an object: the proletariat. Confined by the same conditions as the party in general, it must be aware that the essential thing is to build in the spirit of the new organization. The true International will not be built by the dictatorship of a few heroes, by party leaders as whips. That only hinders. More important, for example, is the creation of links and relations between the real councils of the countries, etc. This is the only way to overcome the danger that - even if only for a time - a supposedly socialist joint-stock company of Genghis Khan will take the place of a capitalist syndicate, which would mean incomparably worse things for the physical and psychological exploitation of the proletariat than could ever happen under capitalism. It is not about the establishment of a centralized world domination for megalomaniacs, but about the economic and spiritual federation, communism, which is emerging and desired from below.

The preceding sections have attempted to explain the innermost and most intimate nature of the new organization, have tackled the problem theoretically in a conscious attitude, as it presents itself as a firm framework and clear line, free of all dross. What current practice demands will be dealt with in detail in a second work. But out of the impetuosity of opinions, a few important points of a fundamental nature may be emphasized here. And these most important points can be illustrated most clearly at the moment by the relationship between the party and the councils. -

The development of the councils as the development of the proletarian form of expression and, furthermore, of a social world is a process of generations. Along the way, this process necessarily leads to the conquest of political power, and the possession of political power naturally becomes the most powerful lever of further development.

It is clear and follows from practice that real councils arise from below, grow and gradually eat their way through and assume an ever-widening scope. It is not the most important thing that elections take place on command and that an external form is created, the general assembly of councils in a district, the congress of councils in Germany - although, of course, the disruption and sabotage of the old organization alone is not without effect; what matters is that the unity of proletarian form and proletarian content grows out of the masses, from below; that the fullest consciousness exists for the new organization. The progressive realization and the conscious will for the new organization is the yardstick for the development of the social revolution. For this reason, the most significant movements within the proletariat are those which, out of this realization, forge the idea of soviets into the axis of their struggle and give it true practical expression. Therein lies the justification and necessity of the factory organizations that are expanding into the General Workers' Union. Therein lies their future. They are literally the only structures today that shape positive social life. In comparison with this great movement, the party is a temporary phenomenon of a lesser degree. Undoubtedly it is still a necessity. Even the outward realization that the new organization is only at the beginning of its development, that a thousand clear-headed proletarians, scattered about, can at first only represent it propagandistically, that the study of all conditions, all events, the training of those not yet completely clarified must take place without interruption, and many other things must lead to this realization.

But of course, the party in the old sense is disreputable and must disappear. Only that proletarian party is necessary for which the idea of soviets is the core of its entire program. The intensity, the power with which it takes on the emerging proletarian independent formations (such as workers' organizations), the desire and strength with which it provides birth and educational assistance in such formations, is the measure of its value.

It is itself an old generation, it is like parents who give everything to their children, who put all their best into them and who are well aware - even if with a certain melancholy - that they will be overtaken, that they will grow old where their children grow old. The party in its present form is only a necessary evil.

It must never forget that it is only a means to an end; that the development of the councils is its main concern, but not a purely party affair. It will participate energetically in all council congresses, but not for the sake of party interests, but for the sake of the councils, in order to make them what they must become, independent organs and not poisoned party instruments.

A dispute has arisen over whether the external organizational form of the councils should be centralist or federalist. This dispute is a dispute over words. Both words, filled with content from the past, lose their meaning in the face of the new. The councils, initially of a purely proletarian nature, lose this character the closer they come to a classless society and become an expression of the socially economic and living totality. This process proceeds from the bottom upwards, spreading out like circles on the water, but - corresponding to the growth in different countries - like many circles from different places that run into each other. Thus practice shows that centralism in the old sense is out of the question if the councils are developing healthily, and that on the other hand federalism makes sense if it is understood as such: A free path for the development of the new organization, as it is wanted from below, but that it becomes nonsense if it is interpreted as narrow-minded complacency and seclusion of the individual enterprises or individual districts, completely on their own. That would be a phase that breathes the oldest centralist spirit; instead of a kingship, many principalities are parasitizing. -

In the transitional period, especially until the conquest of political power, factory councils and workers' councils - as strictly as they must prepare themselves for their tasks, as certainly as their tasks will be different for a long time (even if not permanently) - will have to fight in a kind of union, alliance or similar if possible.
For extraordinary reasons and also to prevent the political parties from tearing each other apart if such a period lasts a long time. Up to now, practice has often found the healthy way that the chairman of the factory council is also the workers' council.

Here are a few of the AAU's organizationally decisive statutes:

2. The General Workers' Union (AAU) is structured according to the council system. The factory organizations form the basis. The factory organizations unite to form local groups and economic areas. The entire local groups and economic areas form the General Workers' Union.
3. In all factories, the workers elect their shop stewards.
4. From among the shop stewards, the members elect a chairman, secretary, treasurer and their deputies. These form the local organization council.
5. Each local group delegates one comrade to the Action Council, which forms the executive of the economic district.
6. Each economic district delegates one comrade to the Reich Economic Council, which forms the executive of the Reich.
7. All functionaries may be dismissed at any time.
10. From the nature of the new organization, from its absolute antagonism to the capitalist-bourgeois world, to its mode of economy and ideology, arises the compelling necessity that among the tasks of a proletarian party, and even more so of the councils themselves, is that they should from the very beginning make themselves the champions of a proletarian-revolutionary world outlook. Everything that belongs to this, proletarian cult (8) above all (as Russia understands it), is not a luxury for which there is no time at the moment, but is precisely the decisive factor for the acceleration of the social revolution at a moment when the economic conditions for upheaval are there. The problem of the German revolution is the problem of the development of the self-consciousness of the German proletariat. The struggle for power, the conquest of power, is a part of it. That is why the full force must be concentrated on this work.

Karl Schröder, around 1946

1) Karl Schröder, Vom Werden der neuen Gesellschaft (Old and New Forms of Organization), Berlin n.d. [July 1920]. [July 1920]. Reprint in Frits Kool, Die Linke gegen die Parteiherrschaft, Walter Verlag, Olten 1970, pp. 338-355.
2) Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts. With Hegel's own marginal notes in his hand copy of the Philosophy of Law. Ed. by Johannes Hoffmeister, 4th ed., Berlin (East) 1956, p. 207 (§ 257).
3) Genghis Khan (1155 (or 1161?) - 1227) (originally: Temüdschin or Temüüdschin), Khan of the Mongols, conquered parts of China, Turkestan and Russia as far as the Dnieper. The giant empire fell apart after his death. His creator is regarded as a textbook example of a ruler who asserted himself through the use of the cruelest means.
4) Konrad Haenisch (1876-1925), before the First World War a representative of the radical left wing of the SPD, since August 1914 of the right wing, 1918-1922 Prussian Minister of Education. Georg Ledebour (1850-1947), co-founder and member of the executive committee of the USPD, took a middle position between the "left" and "right", but in October 1920 (Halle party conference) he opted for the "residual USPD"; in 1922 he rejected the unification with the SPD and, together with six other delegates to the party conference in Gera (September), declared the USPD to continue to exist; member of the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAP) in 1931. After the National Socialists came to power, Ledebour emigrated to Switzerland. On April 21/22, 1946, Ledebour makes his first public statement in support of the unification conference of the KPD and SPD to form the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in the Soviet occupation zone. Karl Radek (pseudonym of Karol Sobelsohn, 1885-1939) was a left-wing socialist and communist active in Poland, Russia and Germany. In 1920, he advised Lenin and Zinoviev on German issues and advocated a course that the KAPD condemned as opportunist or counter-revolutionary (participation in parliamentary elections, "cell building" in the trade unions, collaboration in the statutory works councils, etc.). Radek expressed his nationalism in 1923 in his speech "Schlageter, the Wanderer into Nothingness", in which he and the KPD of the time used Schlageter as a symbolic figure of national conservatism: "The nation is disintegrating. The legacy of the German proletariat ... is threatened by the military boot of the French Soldateska and the cowardly, profit-seeking weakness of the German bourgeoisie. Only the working class can save the nation." In 1934, a Pravda article by Radek gave the starting signal for the deification of Stalin. In 1937, Radek was indicted as a former supporter of Trotsky in the second Moscow show trial. He was finally sentenced to ten years in prison. Probably killed on May 19, 1939 in the Verkhne-Uralsk camp (Chelyabinsk Oblast, southern Urals) by a criminal fellow prisoner.
5) Meaning: during the (long) period of its existence as a fighting organization.
6) The 2nd Congress of the Workers', Peasants' and Soldiers' Councils of Germany (April 1919), in which the Communists did not take part, practically meant the end of the political councils. The Works Council Law adopted by the National Assembly in January 1920 was opposed by the KPD; however, it decided to participate in the elections to the (statutory) works councils, which was rejected by the KAPD.
7) On the 2nd Congress of Councils. The 1st Reich Council Congress ("General Congress of the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils of Germany") met from December 16-21, 1918; it spoke out in favor of the National Assembly and thus against a soviet republic. The 1st Congress of Councils was a bitter disappointment for the entire left.
8) The Russian Proletkult (abbreviation for "proletarian culture", Пролетарская культура) was a recognized branch of education for a number of years. In art workshops, at the "proletarian university" and in short-term courses, workers were trained, who then preferably took up their old profession again. In a broader sense, "proletkult" also meant the fight against illiteracy, the pursuit of (extracurricular) education in general and the pursuit of the ideal of a genuinely proletarian art and culture, which was to replace the rotten bourgeois civilization in the intellectual sphere. See "Der russische 'Proletkult'", in: Die Aktion, Vol. X, No. 3/4, January 24, 1920, p. 29 ff. The contribution by a "Russian comrade" was introduced by Franz Pfemfert with the following sentence: "This essay may show that proletarian culture is a matter for the proletariat, but not a seasonal sensation for theater reformers." - Lenin rejected "all the intelligentsia fantasies, all the 'proletarian cultures'" (May 1919) and rebuked attempts "to devise a special culture of their own, to isolate themselves in their own organizations (...) or to establish an 'autonomy' of the proletarian cult within the institutions of the People's Commissariat for Education" as "theoretically false and practically harmful" (Lenin, Werke, Vol. 29, and 31).

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