Council communism: reading guide

The German Revolution, a huge influence on the development of council communism.
The German Revolution, a huge influence on the development of council communism.'s reading guide on council communism, a tradition of anti-Leninist Marxism which rejects the role of the vanguard party and argues instead for workers' councils as forms of working-class organisation and struggle.

Submitted by Ed on May 17, 2018

Key texts

Key people and groups

  • KAPD - Communist Workers Party of Germany, 1920 councilist split from the Communist Party. Instrumental in defining the German-Dutch model of left communism.
  • AAUD/AAUD-E - Factory organisations set up in the wake of the 1918 German revolution by members of the KAPD in order to challenge the traditional trade unions. The AAUD-E was a later split of the AAUD, which combined revolutionary political and economic functions (until then separated between the KAPD and AAUD, respectively) within a single organisation.
  • GIK - Dutch left communist group set up in 1926 whose ideas were shaped by the outcomes of the 1917 Russian revolution and 1918 German revolution.
  • International Council Correspondence - Council communist publication of the United Workers Party of America in the 1930s/early 1940s, edited by Paul Mattick.
  • Anton Pannekoek - Dutch Marxist (and astronomer!); one of the founding theorists of the council communist tradition.
  • Otto Ruhle - German left communist, participant in the 1918 German revolution and leading figure in the AAUD-E.
  • Herman Gorter - Dutch poet, council communist and fierce critic of Lenin who helped found the KAPD.
  • Paul Mattick - German council communist and participant in the 1918 German Revolution who wrote widely on the German and Russian revolutions and the Marxist critique of political economy.


Other recommended texts

Other media

  • Gerd Arntz illustrations - A collection of working class and other assorted illustrations by German council communist artist Gerd Arntz.



6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Entdinglichung on May 18, 2018

loads of original texts, newspapers, etc. of the Dutch-German left:


5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by

Submitted by BigFluffyTail on August 22, 2018

The lack of Karl Korsch is saddening.