Submitted by libcom on August 6, 2005

Appendix 1

There was some international influence of the German Council communist movement of the 1920s. In particular, the 'ultra left' ideas of the KAPD spread - they were the first to suggest a Fourth International, an idea taken up by the Trotskyists after their break with Moscow. In Russia, the Workers Opposition (Shliapnikov, Mme Kollontai etc.) kept in contact with the KAPD but finally integrated into the Bolshevik party. Sympathetic groups existed in the Balkans (Greece, Romania and what was Yugoslavia, where one of their leaders was betrayed to the police by the Leninists) especially in Bulgaria, where a strong tendency existed of direct action and individual terrorism as against Leninist parliamentarism (insurrection of 1923, dynamiting of bridges, blowing up in 1925 of Sofia cathedral). There were groups in Belgium and Holland in particular, originally around Gorter, later in the International Communist group (GIK-H). The last active council communist groupings existed in Holland, where the 'Principles' was produced, as a collective effort by German and Dutch workers. (Grundprinzipien der Kommunsitischen Produktion und Verteilung 1930)

There were others which had a sporadic existence in Czechslovakia, Denmark, France (around Andre Prudhommeaux, who later went over to Anarchism) in the United States (around ex KAPDer Paul Mattick and the reviews International Council Correspondence, Living Marxism and New Essays) in Australia, the journal Southern Advocate for Workers Councils which published the basic work of Anton Pannekoek Workers Councils (Melbourne 1950)

In Britain, there was originally an active movement that included Sylvia Pankhurst and the Workers Dreadnought who raised many of the issues during the negotiations to found the Communist Party in this country. ( A real appraisal of the foundation of the CPGB has still to be made.) Willie Gallagher, later a 'Communist' MP, sided with the 'Lefts' as a young man and was lectured by Lenin at the Second Congress of the Third International in 1921 into giving up his opposition to Parliamentary Politics. The most consistent advocate of council communism in this country was Guy Aldred, and a movement was kept alive under his influence in Glasgow for many years, known as the Anti Parliamentary Communist Federation.

Those who can read German or French will find more material than is available in English, by consulting the following:

Bibliothek der Ratekommunisten. Rudiger Blankertz Verlag. Friedrich-Wilhelm Strasse 35 . 1 Berlin 42 or Internationale Instituut voor Sociale Geschiednis 262 266 Herengracht, Amsterdam