forgotten great theoreticians

Submitted by Noa Rodman on April 1, 2010

Peter Stuchka AKA Pēteris Stučka

Not a single of his articles on the internet! Maybe someone could find some of his writings in Russian/Latvian.

RedHughs

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hmm,

Perhaps you could give us a hint as to why you consider him important.

Somehow, foundations of proletarian legality just isn't a subject that grabs me ...

Noa Rodman

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Michael Head states in his critical appraisal of Pashukanis:

"Stuchka proposed the election of all judges, the equalisation of all judicial
salaries and the earliest possible replacement of the old legal institutions
with revolutionary courts."

Don't go by wikipedia.

Victor Serge in his Memoirs of a revolutionary remarks as well that Stuchka is sadly forgotten.

jura

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think both Stučka and Pashukanis were important, perhaps not as much for the content of their theories (or their political leanings - according to most sources, they seem like pretty sleazy Chekists), but for the method. Pashukanis tried to build a theory of law on Marx's fragmentary remarks in Capital (like in Chapter 2, where he says commodity exchange presupposes the mutual recognition of private owners) which would complement the theory of value. He proposed that a theory of law must similarly proceed from the "elementary form" (for Marx, the commodity, for Pashukanis, IIRC, the legal subject) to the more concrete categories. He also developed a theory of "legal fetishism".

I'd say there is still a lot of treasures to be discovered in early (1920s, 1930s) Soviet marxism and science in general, perhaps not all as bright as Rubin, Voloshinov or Vygotsky, but interesting still.

Noa - I assume you're based in Germany - I had the impression that Stučka and Pashukanis influenced the state-derivation debate a lot and were not at all forgotten since, am I wrong?

Noa Rodman

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I disagree with your stress on method, but in academia that is in fact all what matters.

My problem is that I can't tell you people much about how Stuchka's contributions on the subject of the role of law and state during the dictatorship of the proletariat would make him a great theoretician because, unlike Pashukanis, Rubin, Voloshinov or Vygotsky, there is nothing of his work online (not even in Russian) and very rare in ordinary libraries. I should say I meant this thread to be about great political theoreticians (which excludes Vygotsky and Voloshinov), so this isn't about the lost treasures of Soviet science, and certainly not about the, from what I have read, worthless state-derivation debate (may it be forgotten as quick as possible!).

Noa Rodman

I disagree with your stress on method, but in academia that is in fact all what matters.

Hmm, is that supposed to be an argument against concerning oneself with methodological questions? Anyway, I've read some of Pashukanis' works (they were translated into Slovak and published in the late 1980s, after he was "rehabilitated', presumably) and as a "libertarian communist" I cannot but disagree with much of what he says. But I find interesting his general approach to analysis. (BTW, Stuchka, while at first a proponent of the theory of the "withering away of law" under socialism, resigned later on, underwent self-criticism and in some of his works provided theoretical foundations for the later Soviet legal orthodoxy and Stalin's strengthening of the state. Pashukanis IIRC, on the other hand, kept on defending his "commodity-form" theory of law and died in the purges.)

Noa Rodman

I should say I meant this thread to be about great political theoreticians (which excludes Vygotsky and Voloshinov)

I don't see how this excludes Voloshinov in any way. His semiotics stress precisely the political aspects of language, i.e. language being a terrain of class struggle.

Noa Rodman

certainly not about the, from what I have read, worthless state-derivation debate (may it be forgotten as quick as possible!).

Having read parts of Holloway's and Picciotto's collection, I don't think the debate was worthless at all. Anyway, what the early Soviet theoreticians of law like Stučka and Pashukanis were doing was basically trying to derive the basic categories of a marxian understanding of bourgeois law (and its implications for proletarian dictatorship) from Marx's writings (and the theory of value specifically, in Pashukanis' case). And that's why they were rediscovered in the state-derivation debate.

Noa Rodman

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Stuchka, while at first a proponent of the theory of the "withering away of law" under socialism, resigned later on, underwent self-criticism and in some of his works provided theoretical foundations for the later Soviet legal orthodoxy and Stalin's strengthening of the state

You are giving here the impression of having read Stučka himself, is that the case or is it what you gather from the second hand literature? What you are saying about Stuchka is just the generally prevailing confusing opinion about the bolshevik revolution in Russia and subsequent Stalinism. You say that Stuchka first was good, but then turned into the bad Stalinist while at the same time you hold that Stuchka had from the beginning a Stalinist worm in him.

And that's why they were rediscovered in the state-derivation debate.

You answered your own question, I can't comment on the veracity with regards to Stučka. I'm sure they gave Pashukanis the obligatory nod.

(original post deleted)

me culpa

After doing on archive search on Noa Rodman, I don't think he's associated with Principia Dialectica

Noa Rodman

You are giving here the impression of having read Stučka himself, is that the case or is it what you gather from the second hand literature?

Secondary literature + Pashukanis, many of whose works are replies to Stučka.

Noa Rodman

What you are saying about Stuchka is just the generally prevailing confusing opinion about the bolshevik revolution in Russia and subsequent Stalinism. You say that Stuchka first was good, but then turned into the bad Stalinist while at the same time you hold that Stuchka had from the beginning a Stalinist worm in him.

The fact that it's a "prevailing confusing opinion" has nothing to do with the fact that Stučka provided the theoretical basis for the Stalinist "class consciousness" theory of law in his later works (which Pashukanis criticized).

Edit: I don't see any reason for the hostility BTW, I'm just trying to contribute the little I know about Stučka & co. to this thread. I didn't attack you in any way, quite the contrary, I'm glad to see a thread on Stučka (or any "forgotten theoretician") on here. If you disagree with anything I said, I'm interested in arguments, not in academic-baiting and you putting words in my mouth.

Noa Rodman

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I read you too closely, but with all due respect I still disagree. Stuchka, after his natural death in 1932, together with Pashukanis and all the other legal theorists of the 20s period were condemned as foreign spies or what have you. If his later activity was in the service of Stalinism (which nobody denies it was), the interesting question is why a man of such importance (the number two guy after Lenin in legal matters, etc.), has not even been remembered in a negative way as a notorious Stalinist pre-cursor.

But if you take Stuchka down in this way (without arguments), you have to be consistent and note how in the late twenties, it was Pashukanis who became more authoritative/popular than Stuchka. The criticisms Pashukanis made of Stuchka (and vice versa) were in the service of the regime, both men denounced each other on this level (this is what I get from the secondary literature).

Other forgotten great political theoreticians may be added to the thread please.

P.S.

I'm now curious what was in angelus novus's deleted post.

EDIT

I found only one piece by Stuchka called Questions to Vandervelde & the Second International; its very good.

Hit the jackpot; Selected writings on Soviet law and Marxism

Noa Rodman

12 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

EDIT: deleted the whole post

revolut

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's possible that the curiosity about this is as dead as the thread, but I'll provide small answers.

jura

BTW, Stuchka, while at first a proponent of the theory of the "withering away of law" under socialism, resigned later on, underwent self-criticism and in some of his works provided theoretical foundations for the later Soviet legal orthodoxy and Stalin's strengthening of the state. Pashukanis IIRC, on the other hand, kept on defending his "commodity-form" theory of law and died in the purges.

I think this information could be, at least, clarified. Although my knowledge of Pashukanis is very limited (mostly second-hand literature -mainly in Spanish-, and I didn't continue reading in this issue, as I found Pashukanis' point of view too unrealistic and dogmatic), but AFAIK, I think it was on the contrary. It was Pashukanis who underwent in self-criticism and renounce some of his ideas of the former decade. Stuchka didn't renounce his theories, but he was some kind of "contextualizer": without leaving it, he adapted his vision of the law to several circumstances (sometimes in a crude way).

If we consider "socialism" in the marxist-leninist way, as the dictatorship of the proletariat, the transitory period between capitalism and communism, I think you're wrong. It was Pashukanis who defended the theory of "whithering away of law" in a complete sense (he considered "socialist law" an oxymoron). On the contrary, Stuchka defended since the first days of the revolution the creation of a "socialist legality" in the transitory period.

Noa Rodman

What you are saying about Stuchka is just the generally prevailing confusing opinion about the bolshevik revolution in Russia and subsequent Stalinism. You say that Stuchka first was good, but then turned into the bad Stalinist while at the same time you hold that Stuchka had from the beginning a Stalinist worm in him.

Both Stuchka and Pashukanis had a "Stalinist worn in them", in the sense that they had the bolshevik's "instrumentalist" view about the State, and sometimes they provided philosophical justifications of what we could call "Chekist activities". Of course, you could make a difference between their views and the "Stalinist conception of Law and State", which its 'bourgeois' conception of law and its defense of a Leviathan State, but their role in the Soviet State is undeniable, specially in the case of Stuchka who in some of his polemics was near of the stalinist classic style of denunciation.

I haven't read anything about the State-Derivation Debate, so I can't reply about it.

devoration1

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can add 1 theoritician who is rightly forgotten: William Z Foster. Opportunism in human form. Produced toxic debates in the IWW (which he quit), spread the most authoritarian brand of anarcho-syndicalism (which he brought back to the US from France where he met with the CGT before WWI), fell in love with the right-wing of Bolshevism after visiting the USSR in the early 1920's, merged his syndicalist group into the CPUSA, became a leading proponent of entryism/ burrowing from within the AFL, became a devoted Stalinist, wrote a bunch of Stalinist trash and died. For a theoritician, I don't think he left behind one useful document (though he did leave behind quite a shitty legacy).

I suppose the 'theoriticians who should be forgotten' would be a more crowded category than those who shouldn't be.

Noa Rodman

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for reviving the thread revolut.

Lyubov Axelrod 1868 - 1946) was a Russian revolutionary, Marxist philosopher and an art theoretician.

"She was critical of both Alexander Bogdanov and Vladimir Lenin during their debate over Empiriocriticism in 1908-1909, branding their ideas anti-Marxist."

Noa Rodman

12 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Vagarshak Arutiunovich Ter-Vaganian

Member of Left Opposition; editor of "Under the Banner of Marxism"; close friend of Voronsky; worked at the Marx-Engels Institute; defendant at the Trial of Sixteen in August 1936; shot.

http://sovlit.org/vav/index.html

Revolut, I am by no means an expert in Stučka and Pašukanis either! Most of my knowledge is based on secondary sources as well (mostly English ones) and a single Pashukanis mini-anthology in my native language that I read a few years ago. Thank you for your replies as well as for reviving this thread.

When I wrote that

Stuchka, while at first a proponent of the theory of the "withering away of law" under socialism, resigned later on, underwent self-criticism and in some of his works provided theoretical foundations for the later Soviet legal orthodoxy and Stalin's strengthening of the state.

I was basing this on the following:

- "Stučka supported the idea that one has to strengthen the state to make it wither away more quickly" (see the introduction in P. Stučka, Selected Writings on Soviet law and marxism, p. xix)

- "Nevertheless, he (Stučka) sided with the emerging Stalinist regime against the Marxist Opposition after 1923, adopted Stalin’s doctrine of building socialism in one country and increasingly adapted his views to those of the ruling layer. Indeed, both in his prestige and his writings, he provided a veneer of orthodoxy to the bureaucratic caste that formed Stalin’s power base, justifying the concentration of power in its hands under the banner of ‘socialist legality’." (M. Head, Evgeny Pashukanis: a critical reappraisal, 126)

- And as far as his original more radical stance towards law is concerned: "Initially, Stuchka eschewed the very notion of a written proletarian code. In 1919, he dismissed the term ‘proletarian law’ because ‘the goal of the socialist revolution is to abolish law and to replace it with a new socialist order’. He said the expression ‘proletarian law’ could only be used in a special sense: ‘When we speak of a proletarian law, we have in mind law of the transition period, law in the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, or law of a socialist society, law in a completely new meaning of the term.’" (ibid.) On the other hand, later, in his 1927 article in the Soviet Encyclopedia of State and Law, "Their logic in fact suggests the abandonment of the idea of the withering away of the state" (quoted ibid., 146).

You are right about the extent of Stučka's (rather unrepentant) self-criticism. I now think you are also right about Pashukanis; not only he underwent self-criticism, he also (after Stučka's death) tried to adapt his previous views to be more compatible with Stalin (M. Head discusses this in Chapter 8 of his critical reappraisal).

Noa Rodman

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

László Rudas (1885 - 1950) At the wikipedia page I again ran across a reference to the journal 'Under the Banner of Marxism' (Pod znamia Marksizma). Does anybody know more about this journal?

"During the Hungarian Revolution, Rudas stood with the far left of the revolutionary government, urging "strong and merciless" application of the proletarian dictatorship "until the world revolution spreads elsewhere in Europe."

Regarding William Z Foster, I never heard of him, but he's not really forgotten; you find lots of his writings online and there seems to be +1300 page biography of him. That's not the case for people like Lyubov, Ter-Vaganian and Rudas (most of who's writings are not translated and not online/library, unless someone finds more info, which hopefully will be posted on this thread).

EDIT:

Pod znamenem marksizma was the journal of which Lenin wrote it should be a kind of "Society of Materialist Friends of Hegelian Dialectics" (in On the Significance of Militant Materialism

In the soviet encyclopedia entry of course it is not mentioned that Ter-Vaganian was the first editor of the journal. Obviously the interesting articles are from this early period. I saw that there are some articles on anarchism and Bakunin from that time.

Noa, Pod znamenem marksizma was a Soviet theoretical/philosophical monthly journal published from 1922 to 1944.

One of its first editors was A. M. Deborin, later accused of "menshevizing idealism". As far as I know, most of the struggle against Deborin was carried out on the pages of this journal; as well as much of the debate on Mendelian genetics which had tragic consequences for Vavilov.

Some other members of the editorial collective were Pokrovsky, Skvortsov-Stepanov (the Russian translator of Gorter), Adoratsky, and later the arch-Stalinist philosophers Yudin and Mitin. David Ryazanov often contributed to the journal, as well as I. I. Rubin or Lyubov Axelrod-Orthodox whom you mention above (she was associated with the so-called "mechanicists") or Boris Hessen (Gessen), one of the founders of sociology of science. Marx's Mathematical Manuscripts were first published there in the early thirties, as well as many other previously unknown texts by Marx and Engels.

I think the first issues in the 1920s were pretty unorthodox. In 1928, it still carried articles by Pannekoek or Luxemburg. This came to an end gradually in the 1930s.

It was later succeeded by the journal Voprosy filosofii ("Problems of Philosophy").

If you're interested in knowing more, the journal Studies in Soviet Thought has some more info, as well as tables of contents IIRC. It is available through SpringerLink (unfortunately, I don't have access to that).

jura

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hah, William Foster. We lived on "Foster street" when I was a kid. There used to be a whole quarter in the town where I live with streets named after "famous" "communists". The street right next to it was "Thorez street". After 1989, they were (mostly) given new new names.

jura

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BTW, one of the members of the editorial collective of Pod znamenem marksizma was Arnošt Kolman or Ernest Natanovich Kolman (1892 – 1979). The story of his life is as interesting as contradictory. Sorry for the long post, but there is very little information on him in English and someone may find this interesting.

He was born in Prague and studied mathematics, attending Einstein's Prague lectures in 1911. Already as a student he joined the young social democrats. He volunteered for the Austrian army in WW1 and was captured by the Russians, becoming politicized. He joined the bolshevik party in 1918 with Bukharin's personal recommendation. He knew Hašek, the author of The Good Soldier Švejk, which Kolman was the first to publish in Russian in 1927. As the head of the Moskovsky Rabochii publishing house, he also published the first edition of And Quiet Flows the Don by Sholokhov.

In the 1920s he worked for the Comintern under Kuusinen, becoming elected to the CC of the German party. In 1922, he was expelled from Germany, returning to Soviet Russia. There he joined the ranks of Pod znamenem marksizma, headed the Institute of Red Professors and worked in the Soviet Academy of Sciences. He personally knew Lenin and described himself as his "confident".

He also took part in the delegation headed by Bukharin at the 1931 congress on the history of natural science in Cambridge, where Boris Gessen presented his now famous paper on the social background of Newtonian physics. Kolman somehow survived the 1930s purges, probably by aligning himself firmly with the regime; he mentions in his memoirs that he was sent to Ukraine for a short time to help purge the Party of nationalism. He had three sons, whom he gave the names "Ermar" ("Era of revolutionary marxism"), "Piolen" ("Pioneer of leninism") and "Elektrij" (self-explanatory I guess).

After WW2, he came back to Czechoslovakia to teach philosophy and head the propaganda department of the Czechoslovak CP. In 1948 he published a harsh criticism of the Party leadership (led by K. Gottwald at that time), stating the Party had become nationalist and social-democratic. On Stalin's direct orders, he was taken to Russia and imprisoned without a trial in Lubyanka for three years; his family was forcibly relocated to Ulyanovsk. He was released in 1952 and began working for the Soviet Academy of Sciences again. In 1959 he came back to Czechoslovakia, but after criticizing the Party leadership again (this time led by Novotny), he had to return to USSR.

Kolman was interested chiefly in the philosophy of mathemathics and physics, as well as logic, but he also played an important role in rehabilitating cybernetics in the USSR and Czechoslovakia. (Which led from utter disdain of cybernetics to its other extreme – the technocratic belief that cybernetics and "scientific-technical revolution", as it was called, could solve all of the economic problems of the Eastern bloc.) In 1960, he accompanied N. Wiener during his visit to Prague and organized his public lecture.

In 1968 he openly disagreed with the Soviet invasion to Czechoslovakia, he ; after several years he managed to get a permit to leave the country and emigrated to Sweden. In 1976, he wrote an open letter to Brezhnev. It begins thus:

"I am writing to you to announce that I am leaving the Party. I am 84 years old and have been a member for 58 years."

The letter is a criticism of the Soviet regime, with a discernible leaning towards the democratic "socialism with a human face". "I came to understand that the CP USSR long ago ceased to be a political party and turned in to a society for 'early fulfilling of five-year plans'. Its members, congresses and even the CC have no influence at all upon the party policy, which is determined solely by you and a tiny ruling stratum. What talk can there be of socialism in the USSR, when in place of the former exploitative classes of capitalists and landed gentry there have sprung up privileged castes of party and soviet bureaucrats, who live in luxury, isolated from the people [...]" He also goes on to criticize USSR's support for reactionary regimes in the third world and many other aspects of Soviet policy.

The letter concludes thus: "My decision to leave the communist party in no way implies that I am leaving the ideals of socialism, which I have adopted already in 1910 and which from then on have represented the main content of my long and tempestuous life. Quite the contrary: I have come to a deep conviction that my continued membership in the party would amount to the betrayal of the ideals of justice, humanism and buidling a new, more perfect human society which I have strived for all my life, despite my errors and mistakes."

Noa Rodman

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So mister egghead Ernest Kolman was one of them mathematics loving Leninists ivory tower Illuminati marxists, eh.

Cambridge? - Ooh la la

What a total idiot.

Ernest Natanovich Kolman

Kolman's middle name was actually Yaromovich (I love to be able to correct the expert on details;) )

But to be serious, that's a very welcome contribution jura, both regarding Kliman, I mean Kolman, and Pod znamenem marksizma.

Just having the table of contents would already be great for a start. I think when Deborin (1926) took over editorship things went downhill (though as you mention it carried Rubin's essays): the Mendelian genetic stuff and so on, but I imagine this was already much later, in the 30s).

jura

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa, I know it's a bit of role-playing on your part, but I wouldn't say he was a total egghead. He must have been a terribly contradictory person, probably with really bad politics, but at least to me he's an expression of the whole 20th century experience in a sense. (Had he also been in a concentration camp, German or Soviet or both, that would be just too much!) And at least once in his life, while still a prisoner of war in Russia, he argued for some decent proletarian internationalism among German soldiers at a demonstration. Better than nothing, I guess.

About the middle name, hmm, I'm not sure. While in the Soviet Union, he definitely used Nathanovich in writing. It's strange as his father's name was not Nathan.

Here's the link to SpringerLink: Pod Znamenem Marksizma I. If you live in a developed capitalist country with decent universities, you will be able to get access to it. (I do not.)

Noa Rodman

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"Mikhail Lifshitz (1905-1983) was a Soviet Marxian literary critic and philosopher of art. As an academic philosopher, Lifshitz served as an executive member of Soviet Academy of Sciences from 1975. In the early 1930s he was a close associate of György Lukács." (Actually from doing some google-translations of his texts, which are available online in Russian here, I found that he has been more like a mentor of Lukacs than a mere associate like he's always portrayed, see his text on Lukacs.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Lifshitz (btw, why is it that, after English, the language with most wiki-entries is Slovene, which has only 2.4 million speakers?)

Lifshitz's major work (and only book translated in English) is called The Philosophy of Art of Karl Marx.

Noa Rodman

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's outrageous that with all the time and resources the Trotskyist/Stalinist groups and New left/marxist academics spend on whatever it is they're doing, they have not even done the job for which they could make themselves useful for once; make available the freaking table of contents of the foremost theoretical journal of the Soviet Union.

The table of content of exactly 6 issues of Pod Znamenem Marksizma are available here: http://www2.unil.ch/slav/ling/recherche/REVUES20-30/PODZNAMMARKS/index.html

A linguistic research site from Lausanne has done more helpful work than all the marxists out there, for shame.

Also check out their list of russian texts: http://www2.unil.ch/slav/ling/textes/index.html Many texts by Voloshinov there. I would like to read his 'marxist critique of Freudianism' (EDIT, that essay you can find here, in The Bakhtin Reader)

Regarding Kolman on this site ( http://www.pseudology.org/science/Kolman.htm ) his middle name in Czech is Natanovič but in Russian it is Yaromirovich. His essay Hegel and Mathematics appeared in Pod Znamenem Marksizma, and several other essays which also look interesting (though it appears he defended Lyssenko).

Noa Rodman

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yevgeni Preobrazhensky, not really forgotten, but who has read these books;

Anarchism and Communism and The Decline of Capitalism

Spanish version of the first book here. Decline of Capitalism here.

jura

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Noa, I've read that Voloshinov's text on Freud some time ago. It was also translated to English as "Freudianism: A Marxist Critique".

revolut

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yevgeni Preobrazhensky, not really forgotten, but who has read these books;

Anarchism and Communism...

According to I had read (many years ago) I think it was the old 'good anarchist (who supports the Bolsheviks) and the bad (and sectarian) anarchist'. Here, it has been published 2 or 3 times, the last time by a Trotskist group.

Red Marriott

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lifshitz's major work (and only book translated in English) is called The Philosophy of Art of Karl Marx.

Was that his own text or just him editing Marx quotes on the subject? I have a book "Literature and Art - by Marx & Engels - selections from their writings" and the Editor mentions that "earlier volumes of selections" published by others, including Lifshitz, were sourced in compiling the book.

Noa Rodman

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's his own work (it's online, though in Russian). But you're comment adds up because Lifshitz in the 30s was at the Marx-Engels Institute where I think he was compiling a whole series of until then unknown early works of Marx.

2nd edit:

The journal PZM isn't translated. To avoid possible confusion, PZM had a sister journal in German called 'Unter dem Banner des Marxismus' which ran from 1925 to 1936, but had different contents.

Felix Frost

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The chemist Robert Havemann was another interesting thinker from the Eastern Block. During the Nazi rule, he was one of the founders of the underground resistance group Europäische Union. He was sentenced to death in 1943, but his sentence was never executed as the Nazis thought he might be useful for their chemical weapons program.

After the war, he had a successful career in the DDR until he was fired from his professorship after holding a series of lectures on science and dialectics in 1963. He continued as a dissident, and spent his last years under house arrest. The lectures that got him fired were published as a book with the title "Dialectic without Dogmatism". The book is very good, but I'm not sure if it's available anywhere today.

Noa Rodman

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cholom Dvolaitski (Russian: Дволайцкий Шолом Моисеевич) was born in 1893 in Žagarė, Lithuania, the fourth child in the family of a wealthy industrialist.

Photo of Russian student society, 1915 (enlarge)
from left to right, on the 2nd row, 7th is Cholom Dvolaitski

Starts studies in 1910 at the Economics Faculty of Tartu (then called Yuryev) University. Member RSDLP since 1911, a follower of G.V. Plekhanov. By 1915, already graduated. Because of the persecution of Jews during World War 1 could not work; moved to the Faculty of Medicine, but did not graduate. In Yuryev, he was one of the leaders of the Society of Russian students.

In March 1916 for revolutionary activity he was sent into exile in Tomsk. After the February Revolution was an active participant in the formation of the Tomsk organization of RSDLP. Since 1917 - Member of the RSDLP Mensheviks-internationalists who entered in December 1919 to the Russian Communist Party (bolsheviks).

Since 1918 - lecturer of economic disciplines in a number of universities.
(* for anecdotal story of a student under Dvolaitski)
Since 1921 - member of the Communist Academy, then a member of its presidium; member of the editorial board of "Under the Banner of Marxism", since 1926 - member of the panel of the Commissariat of the USSR, member of the editorial board of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (economic area) and the Economic encyclopedia. A renowned economist, author of many books, textbooks and articles on economics, including one of the authors of the textbook "A short course of economic science" (full text see under), published in the 1920's 15 works.

In 1929 he received a party reprimand "for conciliation to the Right deviation".

In 1931 - Deputy People's Commissar for Foreign Trade, member of the People's Commissariat of Foreign Trade. In 1934-1936, the first Soviet trade representative in Paris. Awarded the Order of Friendship of peoples presumably for number 1. For his "outstanding achievements" in the conduct of the Foreign Trade Policy in 1933 was awarded the Order of Lenin.

From July 1936 served as the first Deputy Chairman of the All-Union Committee on Higher Education at SHK USSR.
In December 1936 a severe reprimand "for the lack of political vigilance and a liberal attitude to the Trotskyists."
Dismissed May 22, 1937

He was married, but had no children. He lived in Moscow. Arrested 15.10.1937. He was sentenced to death 27/11/1937 ECCU USSR on charges of involvement in counter-revolutinary terrorist organization. Was shot Nov. 27, 1937. Cremated at the crematorium Donskoy Monastery in Moscow. Rehabilitated ECCU USSR 25.06.1957

Information taken from here

He did the Russian translation for Luxemburg's Die Akkumulation des Kapitals. Ein Beitrag zur Oekonomischen Erklarung des Imperialismus, Stuttgart, 1913 and Die Akkumulation des Kapitals oder was die Epigonen aus der Marxschen Theorie gemacht haben. Eine Antikritik von Rosa Luxemburg. See his article in the libcom library.

According to this source he was the first in Russian Marxist literature to come out against Rosa Luxemburg's theory of accumulation (in his articles "The theory of the market" and "On the old positions of Russian Marxism", Journal of the Socialist Academy in 1923)

Some publications:

Friedrich Engels. His life and work, 55 p., 1919/20

Peter Struve on the "collapse" of socialism. Entry: Literary-artistic and journalistic almanac. Ivanovo-Voznesensk, 1921. N 1

A short course of economic science (A. Bogdanov), Moscow, third edition, 1923. From the foreword:

Most large additions relate to the last part of the course: on money-formation, the tax system, the financial capital, the basic conditions
the collapse of capitalism and so on and they almost entirely written by comrade Dvolaytsky. He also introduced a number of new factual illustrations in all parts of the course. Significant rearrangement 'needed in the arrangement of the material of earlier periods of economic development, in accordance with the latest views on these issues. An scattered in the course history economic views, it is done in the interest of integrity, since this
history is, in fact, to another science - of ideologies, and it is better to
explain in a separate book. .. At the end of the book, comrade Dvolaytsky added a short pointer literature.

full text

World economy and crisis 1920-1921, Red Virgin Soil, 1922, no. 1 at http://www.ruthenia.ru/sovlit/j/185.html

Article in no. 2 and 8 of Print and revolution ,1921

K. Kautsky. Theory of crisis, ed. 1923

Germany in the year 1923: financial-economic essays (gets a mention in this article), Moscow worker, 110 p., 1924

Preface to the first Russian edition of J.M. Keynes' book The economic consequences of the Versailles Peace Treaty, 1924

National economy of germany in 19th and early 20th century, W. Sombart, Moscow, 1924 [Economic series, ed. Dvolajski]

The main problems of political economy. Collected articles from О. Bauer, L. Boudin (Mathematical formulas against Marx: criticism of Tugan-Baranovsky's schemes of reproduction), N. Bukharin, E. Varga, K. Kautsky, E. Ludwig, H. Cunow, K. Marx and others). Third edition. Ed. Sh. Dvolaytsky and I. Rubin. M.-L. State Publishing House. 1925. VIII, 515 pp

Balance of payment, Entry: Great Soviet Encyclopedia v.4, 461-474, 1927

On the commodity hunger, Moscow worker, 69 p., 1927/8

Statistic material of internal trade of the USSR 1923-26 (on content), ed. and with introduction by Dvolajski

Banks, Entry: Small soviet encyclopedia, text

For other articles, see also bibliography of 'Under the banner of marxism'.

*Anecdote, from Ivan Mikhailovich (Fedulov) Gronsky (looks like an interesting book):

in Russian

In the summer of 1922 graduated on students taking Marxism. I and a few my friends recommended to continue their education at the Institute of Red Professors (CIP).
It was necessary to pass the entrance exam. The teachers on the courses and the institute were the same. None of us wanted to spend the summer on memorization. We reached out to our teachers for a note. Such a note on the philosophy I got hold of, it was said that my level of training allows the study at the Institute of Red Professors.
A political economist Sholom Dvolaytsky rested:
- Who was not in my workshop notes will not.
My companions - Parin, Polationov, Kaganovich - retired, decided to prepare for the summer and autumn exams. And I said:
- In such a case, examines me now.
- In that case, I agree to ask you a question for - took up the challenge Dvolaytsky.
- Only I warn you: the third volume of Capital, "I have not read, I know his statement -" I said.
- Well, you can and presentation. What's more - the surplus value or rent?
Children's question offended me, I even got up to go. Dvolaytsky, pleased with himself, smiled and began to ask serious questions. Faster me on issues I and II of the volume, he suddenly said:
- Can you come directly to second year.
But I do not want to jump. I wanted to study and enrolled in the first course of philosophical department.
ARCHIVE: (From the memoirs of IM Gronsky.)
In February 1921, the Soviet government on the initiative of Lenin decided to establish the Institute of Red Professors (CIP), designed to train cadres of the Party theoreticians, the future leaders who will come to their place and they should all be at the level of modern knowledge - philosophical, economic, historical.
Were hired about 100 people, after years of study about a third dropped out, and people came to the finish line about 60-65.
Among the participants of the first issue, the most serious, were AI Stetsky, A. Slepkov, VN Astrov, IA Kraval, SM Monosov, NA Karev, Dm.Maretsky, I . Stan, Bessonov, who later held important posts and in the party, and in government work ...
Those wishing to go to college was very much, and places - very few - only 105. Competitive examinations were pretty difficult.
For me, examined me stories N.M.Lukin Antonio. Somehow he first asked me two very strange question. He asked: "How many pages (so that) book?" I replied:
- Do not know.
"And how many chapters in such a book?"
- Do not know. Exam I basically - I burst out, not realizing, apparently, jokes examiner, and a few minutes felt how it was reckless.
Lukin Antonio began my "chase" ...
But nothing happened. September 3, 1921 I was admitted to the PCI.
At first we lived in the cells Passion of the monastery. The new institution took the massive building of the former Katkovskiy Lyceum, next to the bridge across the Moscow River, which was built back in 1873 (now at this place was erected Crimean bridge).
He taught at the institute eminent scholars of the time, people are often very different political beliefs. To name a few. Political Economy, for example, taught the Bolsheviks NI Bukharin and S. M. Dvolaytsky, just released from prison, a Central Committee member of the Mensheviks Rubin - the biggest expert on the theory of value, Trachtenberg, too, Menshevik, on the theory of credit majored Kutler - a former cadet; G.E . Zinoviev led seminars on Leninism, a Social Democrat AM Deborin - on historical materialism, Cadet A. Savin - on the history of England.
(IM Gronsky, "Out of the Past", Moscow, 1975)

Noa Rodman

12 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Naum Mikhailovich Lenzner (Russian: Наум Михайлович Ленцнер) born in 1902 at Vitim-Kirensk, Irkutsk province, was an editor and journalist.

He graduated 4th-class in Realschule. In May 1918 joined the Communist Party, was secretary of the party organization of the RCP (b) in Bodaybo. And then rose to a member of the Irkutsk Regional Committee and Provincial Committee of the RCP (b), the Secretary of the Far Eastern Bureau RKSM. He was a delegate to the Tenth Congress of the RCP (b). In 1923 - 1925 he studied at the Institute of Red Professors, the following six years worked in the ECCI.

He was the private secretary of Trotsky. One of the editors and the author comments on the third volume of the Complete Works of L. Trotsky. See Stalin's speech Leninism or Troskyism

From April to June 1932 Lenzner was approved as editor of 'Work', adding to the list of editors who changed at lightning speed. In June he became deputy director of mass propaganda department of the CC CP (B) B.
In April 1933, fate landed him in Senno (Belarus) the position of Party Secretary's KP (b) B, and within a year and three months - in the seat of editor-in-chief of the newspaper "Zvezda", where he served until January 1935. In the same year he went to Dnipropetrovsk, he was appointed deputy head of the regional land management.

But on April 1, 1936 Naum Mikhailovich was arrested on charges of involvement in the "counter-revolutionary Trotskyite terrorist organization." October 2, 1936 the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court sentenced to death. The verdict led to the execution on the same day in Moscow. On June 6, 1956 Lenzner was rehabilitated.

source

Some publications;

Articles in 'Under the banner of marxism' (1923-1925)

Second and third international, 1924, Young Guard

La Question Chinoise, La Correspondance Internationale, June 29, 1927

---

That last newspaper is the famous 'Inprecor' or Inprekorr'. Does anyone know how to find more (like an index) about this journal (I already checked wiki, doesn't say much).

Noa Rodman

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Isaak Kliment'evich [Kalmanovich] Dashkovskij (Russian: Исаак Климентьевич [Кальманович] Дашковский, Ukrainian: І.К. Дашков­ський)

7 February 1891 - 16 May 1972, economist, member of the group of Democratic Centralism.

Translated articles;
http://libcom.org/library/abstract-labour-economic-categories-marx-isaak-dashkovskij
http://libcom.org/library/towards-theory-development-world-market-world-economy-isaak-dashkovskij
http://libcom.org/library/international-exchange-law-value-isaak-dashkovskij
http://libcom.org/library/international-exchange-law-value-conclusion-isaak-dashkovskij

Translated letter to fellow decist leader Sapronov (09.10.1929). The collection from which this is taken also includes a letter from Charetsko to Dashkovskij (28.8.1929), a letter from Smirnov to his comrades, mentioning some of Dashkovskij's views, as well as what looks like a draft letter by Smirnov concerning Dashkovskij et al.'s exclusion to the presidium in December 1927.

Born in Cherkasy province, Zvenyhorodka raion, Мизиновка (source); Jewish.

Professor at Kharkov University. At the same time taught courses in Political Economy in the Kharkov Institute of Technology since 1921. Rector of the Communist University Artem in 1923-1924. Author of over 500 scientific publications. Repressed. Rehabilitated for lack of evidence by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR in 1956.
Selected bibliography (more see below): The economic situation and the "left course" (online); The market and the price in a modern economy (Kharkov, 1925), "World capitalism and the Dawes Plan (1925).

(source)

After years of silence and falsification of history, the question of
restoration of the truth and the real picture of the revolution was raised by
professor I. K. Dashkovskij. A member of the Communist party (b) since March 1917, Dashkovsky in June 1927 signed the "platform of 15" - the last open attempt by Trotsky and colleagues to oppose Stalin, and in the same year was excluded from CPSU. Since his rehabilitation in 1956 Dashkovsky began to fight for the restoration of the truth. He collected material, wrote numerous articles, which for the most part were filed in the table of the editors. In 1971 the professor appealed to the XXIV Party Congress, where he again insisted on the need to revise history. In his letter he notes that he, most likely, is - the only survivor of those who signed the "platform 15" and "Platform 83".

source

All venues of journalism were closed for other opponents, especially true for representatives of "democratic centralism" (Democratic Centralists), who occupied in their critique of Stalinism an even more intransigent position. They appealed to the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) July 27, 1927 with a letter, which came into history as the "Platform 15", which concludes: "The current leaders of the CC approach the final limit of sliding from proletarian positions." The majority promised to the opposition in the pre-Congress debates the publication of its counter-theses and articles. Democratic Centralists tried to use this possibility, but their documents found no place in periodicals. When a polemical article by Democratic Centralists I.K. Dashkovskij was transmitted to the editors of the Bolshevik, it was not only not printed in the magazine, but also in a matter of urgency the Politburo assembled (August 1927), which decided: "In view of the fact that the views developed by Dashkovskij in his article, are clearly hostile to our party, refer the question on him to the CCC. I.K. Dashkovsky as a "degenerate element, certainly hostile to the party of the proletariat" was excluded from it (September 7). (There was a cry against "Dashkovskij-ists") This was reported by "Pravda" (September 10) and "Leningrad Pravda". Most Democratic Centralists sent to the Politburo and the Presidium of the CCC, CPSU (b) a statement of protest about this, considering the exclusion from the party of their comrade as "an act of terrorizing the party from the side of the party apparatus in the face of the forthcoming congress." However the XV congress of the CPSU (b) December 18, 1927 expelled the Democratic Centralists from the party "as an explicitly anti-revolutionary group".

source

More info from here source (e-translated):

The focus of the leadership of the CP (B) and party activists at that time was on Dashkovskij's article "On the intra-party theme" published in the newspaper "Communist" (1925, 28 October). The article was written in the spirit of discussion materials of 1923. It was mentioned in the publication of the central body of the CPSU (b) - the newspaper "Pravda", foreign emigre publications, widely discussed at the IX Congress of the CP(Ukraine) (B) in December of that year. It was a criticism of the current situation in the party, with suggestions for improvement. Dashkovskij noted that since 1923 an appeal to conduct inner democracy in practice and thus tacitly assumed that it's only words. "Impossible normal party mode - wrote Dashkovskij - when one, let numerous minor, members of the party announced almost "outlaw" on the grounds that during the discussion of her views do not coincide with the majority view." More Dashkovskij stressed that party-apparat not made democracy because it has no other traditions, but command. Into this mode, he thought, often fall those comrades that just because you can not blame "ideological bias" that they had no ideology. In his proposals Dashkovskij was not original: party-apparat renewal and improve the cultural and political level of the masses, as already discussed during the debate in 1923.

Dashkovskij was criticized in "Pravda" and the "Communist", and at the IX congress of the CP (Ukraine) (b). At the congress 11 delegates argue with regards to his article, including L. Kaganovich (twice), M. Kalinin, G. Petrovsky, I. Klimenko. Kaganovich said that Dashkovskyy "turmoil in his party over his head prescribes. The Congress Dashkovskyy spoke of "personal profile in the whole Party, the" advertising person "true seeing new trends in party life. Of course, the delegates unanimously condemned his "ideological alien views."

.

place of residence: Tomsk region., Kolpashevo
Arrest: 12/10/1929
Convicted. 02/23/1930. OBV. Article 19, KRD
Sentence: 3 years

source

Apparently made a statement on 24 June 1930 with the request of reinstatement to the presidium of the 16th Congress of the VKP (I found the following from this article, which is in Ukrainian: http://web.archive.org/web/20140622080158/http://histans.com/JournALL/journal/1991/10/11.pdf ):

In 1930 for 16th congress, he wrote that he broke with the opposition. Yaroslavsky replied that he must recognize not only the error of the Decist platform, but its counter-revolutionary nature. In a year time, he would be allowed to apply to return to the party. However there came no news from him.

In 1934 he appealed again to the CC, with the statement of accepting all the demands of the party. However, after the assassination of Kirov this statement not only had no positive effects, but rather was seen as an act of doublethink. As a result Dashkovsky was again arrested - he got 5 years in Krasnoyarsk prison and concentration camps (near Norilsk and Dudinka).

In 1941 he was allowed back to town of Vyatka, where he got a job as an economist. However in 1949 with a new wave of stalinist purges he again went into a camp near Bratsk. The last place of political imprisonment was near Tayshet, where he lectured on XXth Congress and technological progress in the 6th five-year plan. Complete judicial rehabilitation held in 1957, he returned to Kharkov at the age of 65.
Best 30 years of life in stalinist captivity - that was the price paid for opposition and independent thinking. One can only wonder how Dashkovsky survived. As he himself considered, he managed to withstand many years of repression because he was prepared for them and by 1937 he had already been "hardened" by combating in the inner-party struggle and by 10 years of exile and prison.

After release, he sent an appeal addressed to the XXth Party Congress, which was considered by the Committee of Party Control. But it dismissed him based on the several years he was a leader of the opposition, and since his expulsion from the party had passed thirty years. Further appeals had no avail, though, according to the official explanation, Dashkovsky was not forbidden to contact the basic organization with an application to the party on general grounds (I guess this means joining the party in the usual way for an ordinary citizen).
Dashkovsky had to seek retirement. Although he was a professor he had no higher education. He, the well-known scholar, had to take exams at a Moscow university in history of CPSU, political economy, etc. to get a degree. In 1958, he got pension based on his professorship.

In March 1971 Dashkovsky sent a letter to the XXIVth Congress of the CPSU, which he called "Political self-report to the XXIVth Congress. Instead of an appeal." In it, he briefly told his biography, assessed some historical works of the time.

--------------

In 1918 secretary of Saratovsk gorkoma party, polit-worker in 13th and 14th army, present at most Ukrainian com-party conferences and congresses until 1927.

Delegate for the 14th army to the 9th party congress in 1920.

At the fourth congress of the CP(b) of Ukraine, March 17-23, 1920, he together with Zalutskij proposed the liquidation of the Ukrainian socialist republic since 99% of the Ukraïnian peasantry is not interested in the question of an Ukraïnian Sovnarkom. (source) (for which he was accused of Great-chauvinism).

Defended with Zinoviev at the fifth congress in November 1920 the so-called theory of "struggle between two cultures".

He sided with Trotsky on the trade-union question (Профсоюзи и организация, 1921).

He became the rector of the Communist university Artyom in the summer of 1922.

He was a member of the editorial board of the organ of the CC of the CP (Ukraine) (B) - the newspaper "Communist".

He was a leading (economic) scientist in the Kharkov institute of national economy.

The platform of the 15 and its critics (1927) "Платформа 15-ти и ее критик"

Two articles from 1928 are online here;

The economic conjecture and the "Left" course

On self-criticism

See his articles in Under the Banner of Marxism.

Favorable review of Alfred Weber's "Theory of Industrial Location": Рецензия на книгу Вебера - Теория размещения промышленности // Хозяйство Украины № 11-12, 1926, 200-202

Lenin and the agrarian question (Ленин и аграрный вопрос).

October days in Zhytomyr on the south-western front: Октябрьские дни в Житомире и на Юго-зап. фронте. — "Кат. и Сс." 1927, IV (33), 131

Economics and technique: Экономика и техника // Хозяйство Украины. № 4-5. С. 5-21.

Economic notes: Экономические заметки // Хозяйство Украины. № 8 -9, 1927. С. 43 -62.

Production, reproduction and the problem of efficiency in soviet economy: Производство, воспроизводство и проблема эффективности в советском хозяйстве // Хоз-во украины. - 1927 - 9. - С. 44-62

After his expulsion from the party in 1927 he (as an economist) did continue to publish articles in journals such as Плановое Хозяйство (which is online) under the pseudonym "А. С." or "A. Svetlov" (at least until 1929). Here eg is his review of a book of Sombart (in issue Nr. 7 of 1928):
А. Светлов. В. Зомбарт — Хозяйственная жизнь в эпоху развитого капитализма.
http://istmat.info/node/43645

In 1959 he translated Roy Harrod's 'Towards a Dynamic Economics'.

Excursus on the history of the party: Экскурс в историю партии

A critical auto-biography on the history of the CP (b) of Ukraine: Критико-автобиографические очерки. Об очерках истории Компартии Украйни // Особ. архів сім'ї Дашковскнх. — С. 60. 136 Архів ЦК Компартії України, ф. 1, оп. 1, спр. 42, арк. 80. І3

Market and price in contemporary economy (1925; 228 p.), here are the contents:

24 chapters: Forms of cooperation - Price and the distribution of productive forces - Price and value - Price, value and capital - Forces counter to free competition - Joint-stock form of enterprises - Capitalist monopolies - Prices and the conditions of reproduction of commodities - Price and the monopoly of land ownership - Economic (industrial) monopoly - Price in conditions of economic monopoly - Price and forms of monopolistic organizations - Contradictions of the monopolistic system of economy - Development of the world market - Labor value and international exchange - Law of value and the international division of labor - World trade and conditions of transport - Freedom of trade and protectionism - Customs duties and their economic importance - Post-war trade policy of imperialism - Price and internal taxation - Direct state regulation of prices - Historical experience - Market and planned regulation in contemporary Soviet economics.

In the text there are references to the work of economists Max Weber, Otto Effertz, Robert Liefmann, Mill, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Franz Oppenheimer, Arthur Pigou, Gustav Cassel, N. Sukhanov and E. Varga, books on statistics of Western countries, but without exact names of the works and without pages. Gives examples on major Western monopolies, such as Stinnes, Lever Brothers, Coates (?), Standard Oil, etc.

(from http://www.biblionne.ru/goods.php?id=4470)

More information in Roy Medvedev's Political diary (1975), on which Tamara Deutscher mentions the following in her 1976 review 'Intellectual opposition in the ussr', in the New Left Review:

No less curious is the exchange of letters between an old revolutionary, Professor Dashkovsky, and a radio commentator, Stepanov. Dashkovsky just ‘could not believe his ears’ when he heard on the radio remarks about Trotskyism as an ‘anti-Leninist tendency’ and about Trotsky himself as an opponent of Lenin during the July Days. Dashkovsky’s protest against this distortion of truth was made directly to the appropriate governmental authority. Stepanov answered and tried to prove his point. But Dashkovsky replied bluntly: you have not done your homework. You have not even read Lenin. And all your
adjectives and epithets about Trotskyism ‘are taken from the arsenal of the era of the personality cult’. No wonder that your mind is such a hotchpotch of erroneous ideas.

The 1972 edition (Joravsky and Haupt, NY) of Medvedev's "Let History Judge" contains more passages on Dashkovskij. The 1989 version quotes Dashkovskij's open letter (which of course was not published) to Voprosy Istorii of 1965:

"In this period the names of Lenin and Trotsky were invariably found together and embodied the October Revolution not only in posters, banners, and slogans but also solidly in the consciousness of the party, the people and the country." (p. 101)

And later Medvedev writes: "I must agree with Dashkovsky's statement that wherever Trotsky's train arrived on some sector of the front, it was the equivalent of a fresh division." (p. 108)

Medvedev mentions that he was (again) arrested in 1937. (p. 385) After the Twentieth Party Congress he was cleared of all charges. From 1956 on he lived on a pension in Kharkov, writing a substantial number of articles and essays on the history of the CPSU. (p. 101)

Dashkovskij's activities in the CP(b)U are found in: Равич-Черкасский: История Коммунистической партии (большевиков) Украины» (Харьков, 1923) (can be found online, see especially pages 154-181)). He was part of the so-called Kharkov Opposition, ie the Sapronov Opposition, also known as the Democratic Centralists (decists).

Noa Rodman

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Vladimir Ivanovich Nevskiy

(source)

(pseudonym of Feodosii Ivanovich Krivobokov). Born May 2 (14), 1876, in Rostov-on-Don; died May 26, 1937. Soviet statesman and party official; historian. Member of the Communist Party from 1897. Son of a merchant.

Nevskii joined the revolutionary movement in 1895. He was one of the organizers of a Social Democratic circle in Rostov in 1897; he then studied at the natural science faculty of Moscow University. He was expelled in 1899 for revolutionary activity. Nevskii worked in Moscow in 1900 and was exiled in 1901 to Voronezh, where he helped found the Iskra Mutual Aid Struggle Fund organization. In 1904 he went to Geneva, where he met V. I. Lenin. Nevskii was an agent in Russia of the Bureau of Committees of the Majority in 1905 and a delegate to the First Conference of the RSDLP in Tammerfors in December of that year. Between 1906 and 1908 he was a member of the executive commission of the St. Petersburg committee of the RSDLP and a delegate to the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the RSDLP. From 1910, Nevskii worked in Rostov and Kharkov, where he graduated from the university in 1911; he contributed to Zvezda and Pravda. He was co-opted as a candidate member of the Central Committee of the RSDLP in 1913. That same year he participated in the Poronin Conference of the Central Committee of the RSDLP involving party workers; he also engaged in party work in Perm’ and Ekaterinburg. In 1917, Nevskii was one of the leaders of the military organization of the St. Petersburg committee and the Central Committee of the RSDLP (Bolshevik); a member of the editorial board of Soldatskaia pravda, Soldat, Derevenskaia bednota, and other newspapers; and a member of the Revolutionary Military Committee. (Nevsky on the events of the July 3-4n here)

After the October Revolution of 1917, Nevskii became people’s commissar of transportation. In 1919–20, he was a member of the Presidium and vice-chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and concurrently chief of the department of the Central Committee of the RCP (Bolshevik) for work in the countryside. For a while he belonged to the Workers’ Opposition. He was rector of the Ia. M. Sverdlov Communist University in 1921. In 1922 he was appointed deputy chief of Istpart (Commission on Party History) of the Central Committee of the RCP (B). He became director of the V. I. Lenin Library in 1924. Nevskii was a delegate to the Eighth, Ninth, and Twelfth Party Congresses. He was a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. He was the author of many works on the history of the party and of the revolutionary movement in Russia.

(what the 'great soviet encyclopedia' doesn't mention is his arrest in 1935 and execution in May 1937)
------

In 2008, a book appeared about V.I. Nevsky - (Belousov, G.A. "V.I. Nevsky: statesman, historian, man." Moscow, 2008.) For many years his name as the name of "enemy of the people "was not mentioned in the press, and his works, including on issues of history, have been bricked up in special depositories of libraries and not given to readers. (review)

------

Nevskiy wrote an appendix to Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-criticism, the second edition (1920). Korsch mentions him in his 1938 article on Lenin's philosophy. Unfortunately, Nevskiy's appendix was not included in other editions of MAEC, at least not the ones online, nor, I imagine, in the usual copies at libraries.

mciver

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

With exceptions like Pashukanis, the deservedly forgotten Bolshevik hacks mentioned on this thread didn't contribute much to any historical understanding, or of what was happening in the USSR. Most, if not all, were paid reformers of a counter-revolutionary régime. Stuchka, another of Rodnam's 'greats', became a useful state ideologist for Stalinism. Their sinister pasts would be good to bring out, for example Rudas's role in Hungary, and their enthusiastic support for the 'Red Terror' and Cheka. Jura remarks: "I think both Stučka and Pashukanis were important, perhaps not as much for the content of their theories (or their political leanings - according to most sources, they seem like pretty sleazy Chekists),..." (post 3)

The Bolshevik 'period of transition' showed to be the last port of call of 'the labour republic': an asiatic state reconfigured to shore up a capitalism collapsed into barbarism. Rodman offers no argument as to why most of these mystifiers, or 'great theoreticians', are worth studying (or venerating in his case). The list gets bigger, and it's mostly pointless in many cases unless one reads Russian. Obviously the matter of quality and content doesn't concern amanuensis Rodman, the real issue is to prostrate oneself on the altar of reformist or Stalinist scribblers, no matter what they say, as long as it's under the banner of Marxism.

Also, some eccentric swipes at 'idiots' (no reason given at all) and misspellers, in classic Rodmanian boomerang-style:

So mister egghead Ernest Kolman was one of them mathematics loving Leninists ivory tower Illuminati marxists, eh.

Cambridge? - Ooh la la

What a total idiot.

And:

Ernest Natanovich Kolman

Kolman's middle name was actually Yaromovich (I love to be able to correct the expert on details;) )

But to be serious, that's a very welcome contribution jura, both regarding Kliman, I mean Kolman...

Is it that difficult to correct Kliman with Kolman? (post 20)

However, no need to abandon hope. Here are some pills against the quest for 'great theoreticians':

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/perlman-fredy/1977/thesis-egocrats.htm

Boris Badenov

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The thread title may be more than a bit incongruous with its content, but I find Noa's postings interesting, if only in a historical sense. I don't see why you need to get high and mighty about "worshiping Bolshie reactionaries" mciver; no one has really been doing that as far as I can tell.

mciver

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

mateofthebloke post 35

Of course, there's a cuckoo's egg in the nest, but according to you no one one has been admiring its wonderful size and shape. Or imagining what a yummy omelette it will make. Yes, we don't really know the writings by Stuchka, Rudas et al, but we just list them tantalisingly as 'forgotten great theoreticians'. Obviously, we must 'remember' them, what's the harm?

Allow me to be less condescending. Rodman's admiring list of Bolshevik state propagandists ('great theoreticians') should be, in my opinion, open to critical scrutiny. Especially if one considers such ideologists analogous to Carl Schmitt and other 'great theoreticians' of law and domination. Of course that whole period of USSR history is interesting, including the writings and activities of Rodman's 'greats'. But as source material for a study of mental enslavement, bureaucratic servility and political criminality, all in the name of 'communism' and 'under the banner of Marxism'. Clearly, that critical approach is sorely missing in 'left communists' like Rodman -- the thread 'forgotten great theoreticians' says it all, a Qualität mit Prädikat for apparatchiks very few, including Rodman, have read.

Samotnaf's citing of Joseph Weber is, however, most welcome. Weber's Contemporary Issues was a valuable and critical source of ideas in the 50s. There's an online study by Marcel van der Linden, on http://www.cddc.vt.edu/bps/images/weber.pdf

Weber is, and I hope Samotnaf agrees, an almost forgotten theoretician worth re-discovering. But that may need another thread, not one promoting Lenino-Stalinist ordures.

Noa Rodman

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thank you for giving that link about Weber, mciver.

I'm busy now translating the 1928 index of Pod Znamenem Marksizma. It's true that most of the links are to Russian pages, but e-translation is a wonderful tool. Certainly, a word of caution might be appropriate regarding their biographies, etc. as some of the info originates from the 'great soviet encyclopedia'.

Please do add more 'non-Bolshie hacks' to the list.

And thank you revolut; if you hadn't revived this thread I wouldn't have had the idea of asking for more info about 'Under the banner of marxism'.

Noa Rodman

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Does anyone know if the following texts of Pannekoek in PZM no.2 of 1928 were first published there (or even, were they published anywhere else)?:

57 Rosa Luxemburg: Shattered hopes
65 Anton Pannekoek: Philosophical basis of revisionism
81 Anton Pannekoek: First rebuff of revisionism
91

Also, what's the standard name for the title of that text by Luxemburg?

Another question, does anyone know if the index or other info for the journal 'Lichstrahlen' is available online?

revolut

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also, what's the standard name for the title of that text by Luxemburg?

I think it's the same. It's from 1903:

http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/archiv/luxemburg/1903/xx/geknickt.html

Noa Rodman

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alright, though the question about Pannekoek's articles remains unanswered (they're not even here).

About Lichtstrahlen, these were two journals:

Monatliches Bildungsorgan für denkende Arbeiter (1913-1916)

Zeitschrift für Internationalen Kommunismus (1918-1921)

AKA Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftlichen Kommunismus

Like PZM, its in microform.

2nd edit:

Can anyone explain why in the numerous writings of Pannekoek there is a quasi-break of over a decade (1922-1933)? The above linked bibliography mentions he wrote some political articles in 1927, but that's it, and they aren't published afaik.

And if, a big if, Pannekoek's 2 articles were published in the Under the banner of marxism of February 1928 with his consent, what does that say about his political position at the time? (A related question is, when did he become a council communist?)

Noa Rodman

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Isaak Rubin's bibliography is incomplete. Some may know that he wrote 'Essays on marx's theory of money', which is an unpublished work. Anyway, now thanks again to a specialist archivist the following titles can be added:

in D. B. Rjazanov and the Marx-Engels Institute: Notes towards further research:

Review. Political economy, 1924: 478-490
From the latest literature on the marxist theory of money, 1927: 491-498
On the history of the text of the first chapter of K. Marx's Capital, 1929: 63-91
New 'Anti-Marx', ibid.: 454-463
Marx's teaching on production and consumption, 1930: 58-131

in Zeitschrift des Marx-Engels-Instituts in Moskau, Frankfurt-am-Main, Marx-Engels-Archiv Verlagsgesellschaft M.B.H., editor: D. B. Rjazanov:

Zwei Schriften Uber die Marxsche Werttheorie, 1926, 360-369
Stolzman als Marx-Kritiker, 1926,1, 370-386

in Annals of Marxism:

N.G. Chernyshevsky as economist, 1928, 3: 22-32
Economic views of Thomas Hobbes , 1930, 1: 18-33

----
Edit

Austrian school, Entry: Small Soviet Encyclopedia (is available online): text

Noa Rodman

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Evnovich Wolf Motylev. Economist. Born in 1898/9, Ekatsrinodar, today Krasnodar - 1967, Moscow.

In 1918-21 he worked in the Commissariat of Labour of the RSFSR. Member of the RCP (b) since 1920.
Author of several publications and popular-scientific brochures ("Jewish workers' councils and the Jewish workers' congress." Moscow, 1918; "The Paris Commune (March 18, 1871)." Krasnodar, 1924, etc.). He graduated from the Institute of Red Professors (1924/5), lecturer, professor, dean of economics faculty, deputy rector of the Polytechnic Institute in Leningrad (Sverdlov Communist University?). From 1927 he taught at Leningrad universities.

In 1931-33 first deputy chief editor of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, in 1935-38 director research institute Great Soviet atlas of the world, then from 1934 to 1941 vice-president of the Pacific ocean Institute of the USSR academy of sciences.

Active participant in the different discussions of 1920-30s, author of propaganda, pamphlet "Controversial issues Marxist Political Economy (1924), "Variants of the Five year plans, sabotage theory and soviet reality» (1931), etc.

In 1941-49 Professor Moscow State University, in 1950-60 - Moskow Finance Institute. Worked on problems in the field of the political economy of capitalism, the history of the national economies, etc.

Works:
Course of Political Economy, v.1. M.-L., 1925;
Problem of the rate of development of the Soviet Union. М., 1929;
Origin and development of Pacific ocean site of contradictions. M., 1939; Finance capital and its organizational forms. М., 1959;
Economic history of foreign countries. M., 1961.
Era of Monopolistic capitalism.
Course of lectures.

Sources from here and here.

----------------

Elkon Zinovievich Goldenberg. Figure of the Soviet party and state. Economist.

Born in 1901 Rostov-on-Don. In 1918 menshevik. Since 1920 member of the
RCP (b). In 1920 he was secretary of the editors of the newspaper "Soviet Don", then held several posts in the Red Army in the Don region. In the years 1921-1923 listener at the Institute of Red professors.

(Article 'A few more words on socially-necessary labour' in Under the banner of marxism, 1923, No. 4-5)

In 1923, a short time, sympathized with Trotsky.
In 1924 dean of economic department of the Leningrad communist university, named after Zinoviev. Since 1927 member of the editorial board of the journal ''Communist International'', has worked at the newspaper "Pravda" and the journal "Bolshevik". In 1928 was the instructor of the Western-European bureau of the Komintern in Berlin. Later worked at the USSR State Planning Committee, became deputy Chairman of Gosplan RSFSR. In the second half of the 1920s he was a member of the "school of Bukharin".

In 1930 he admitted his "rightist-oppurtunist" errors. Was sent to the periphery. In the years 1930-1937 held various positions in construction organizations in the Kuznetsk Basin, and then in Kerch. Was arrested on 14/04/1937, RSFSR, Moscow, shot without trial.

Source here and here.

Karetelnik

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Isaak Rubin's bibliography is incomplete. Some may know that he wrote 'Essays on marx's theory of money', which is an unpublished work.

This work has now been published:

Rubin, Isaak I. Ocherki po teorii deneg Marksa [Essays on Marx’s Theory of Money] // Istoki. Sotsiokul’turnaya sreda ekonomicheskoy deyatel’nosti i ekonomicheskogo poznanniya. [Origins. Socio-cultural resources for economic activity and economic knowledge]. Moscow.: Publishing house of the Higher school of economics, 2011. Pp. 501–625.

Unfortunately Rubin’s manuscript is incomplete. It was preserved with great difficulty by his widow, Polina Petrovna Rubin. Before her own death in 1958, she passed it on to her sister, who in turn passed it on to her children, M. V. and V. V. Zheltenkov. In 1991 the manuscript, along with some other documents, was donated to the Central Party Archives in Moscow. The other documents included another manuscript by Rubin, Ricardo on capital.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Marxist economic theory was virtually excluded from the “arsenal of economic science” in Russia and twenty years passed before it was possible to publish Rubin’s essays on money.

jondwhite

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is Amilcar Cabral any good?

Entdinglichung

5 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jondwhite

Is Amilcar Cabral any good?

only read the Political Manual of the PAIGC which he wrote, not really interesting

Noa Rodman

5 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Stanisław Mendelson (short wiki-page on him)

Being a skilled organizer and publicist, Mendelson personally befriended many foremost European socialists - Friedrich Engels, Karl [sic?] Liebknecht, Eduard Bernstein, Karl Kautsky, Paul Lafargue, Georgi Plekhanov and others.

One of the first Polish socialists/marxists.

Here's a more detailed article: http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Mendelson_Stanis%C5%82aw

There are several letters of Engels to him (Stanislav) and his wife (Maria Mendelson).

Here's what Bernstein recalled about the couple:

They were at that time among the guests on Engels’ Sunday evenings. On the occasion of a successful attempt upon the life of the leader of the Russian political police, General Seliverstov, on the part of W. Padlewski, a member of this party, in the summer of 1890, M. and Mme Mendelssohn-Jankovska were notified that they must leave Paris. They at once settled in London, and from that time forwards were almost regular guests of Engels, and very welcome ones.

A member of a wealthy Warsaw banking family, Stanislas Mendelssohn had joined the Socialist movement when still a gymnasium student, and was soon subjected to prosecution. Leaving the country, he was imprisoned in Austria; he them spent many years in Geneva, and later in Paris, working as a writer and organiser for the constitution of a Polish Socialist party, to which end he published the periodical, Pyzedsvit (The Dawn) and the monthly review, Valka Klass (The Class Conflict), and by the sacrifice of considerable means he had provided for the erection and maintenance of a printing-press on which these periodicals, as well as all kinds of pamphlets, could be produced. An attempt to obtain assistance from the Socialists of Posen in 1882 resulted in the imprisonment of himself and his then colleague, K. Janiszevski, for the terms of two and a half and three years respectively, while their party comrade, Mme Maria de Jankovska, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. Maria de Jankovska was a child of the aristocracy, the daughter of a member of the old Polish nobility, who had married a wealthy Polish landowner; but she was so devoted to the Socialist cause, that without leaving her husband, and with his consent, she gave up the greater part of the year to Socialistic activities. She had received a good education, having had German and French teachers in her parents’ house, and her appearance was extremely winning. Of even greater importance to the cause was the man she married, after the death of her first husband.

Extraordinarily well read, and a highly critical thinker, Stanislas Mendelssohn seemed to have been created to take part in intellectual symposia. Unhappily all sorts of unfortunate experiences had gradually allowed his critical faculties to degenerate into an acrid scepticism. Giving way to this, he finally turned his back upon the Socialist movement. But he always remained a thoroughly good fellow, ever ready to give help, and with a warm sympathy for all sufferers, his personal opponents not excepted. In Engels’ time his scepticism revealed itself only in the uncommonly witty manner in which he dealt with the events of the day; and the fact that he, compromised as he was, had the courage to undertake a secret journey of organisation, in 1893-94, through Russian Poland, with excursions into Old Russia, led Engels to make a particular friend of him, and induced him, in Mendelssohn’s quarrel with the “Free Russia” people, to take the part of the former in the most vehement manner. Mendelssohn wrote little in German; nevertheless, we may point to an epilogue from his pen to the new edition of Lissagaray’s History of the Paris Commune, as a proof of his great talent for the critical treatment of historical events.

---
Picture of Maria Jankowska-Mendelson:

Lissagaray's 1894 edition is not online: Geschichte der Kommune von 1871. Mit einem Nachtrag "Die Vorgeschichte und die inneren Triebkräfte der Kommune." Von Stanislaus Mendelsohn.

Mendelson also wrote a Polish book on the Commune (Historya ruchu komunistycznego we Francyi 1871 r.), which is online (use a proxy if you're outside the US).

Noa Rodman

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Semyon Wolfson (1894–1941), Belarusian marxist.

Photo of Wolfson in 1922 (middle row, second from the left):

1924 article in PZM : 'A criticism of Kelsen's interpretation of the Marxist theory of State, Anarchism, and Communism'. pp. 179–91 in Soviet political thought: an anthology (also translated in Portuguese).

"For Marxism", 1928 anthology (in Belorusian) of his articles.

Wrote on matriarchy, family, marriage (eg a 1937 book is online in Russian: Family and marriage in their historical development).

Further wrote books on modern religion (1930), Culture and ideology of decaying capitalism (1935), against the racial theories of fascism (1935), etc.

A 1940 book on Heinrich Heine in the "mattress-grave" (the last period of the poet's life when he was paralysed).

During the wave of repression in 1937-1938 Wolfson was able to get in a psychiatric hospital (1938) and stay there, probably until 1940. In 1940-1941 he worked again. After the capture of Minsk by German troops he was captured and killed by the Nazis.

Noa Rodman

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Marian Małowist (1909–88), Marxist historian (one of the inspirations for I. Wallerstein's world-system stuff), with focus on uneven development. Born in a Polinized Jewish family, in 1925 he joined the Communist Youth Union, acting in the political-propaganda field among the Lodz working-class youth. Since 1927 he began his studies at the University of Warsaw. After moving to Warsaw, he began to distance himself from political activity, remaining only a sympathizer of the left-wing movement and a member supporting MOPR. In the 1930s, Małowist criticised the oppressive Stalinist policy in the Soviet Union. The most important reason for withdrawing from active political activity was full devotion to historical studies. Malowist did his dissertation under Marceli Handelsman. During World War II he participated in secret teaching in the Warsaw ghetto and in the Podlasie village where he was hiding.

In 2010 Brill published a collection of his essays in English: Western Europe, Eastern Europe and world development, 13th-18th centuries : collection of essays of Marian Małowist.

In English there's also his contribution 'The Trade of Eastern Europe in the Later Middle Ages' in vol. 2 of The Cambridge Economic History of Europe (I stumbled on this due to this thread on Prussian peasants).

Couple of French articles online:
Le développement des rapports économiques entre la Flandre, la Pologne et les pays limitrophes du XIIIe au XIVe siècle (1931)
Quelques observations sur le commerce de l'or dans le Soudan occidental au Moyen Âge (1970)

http://www.sztetl.org.pl/pl/person/2458,marian-malowist/ :

He was particularly interested in the issues of the Baltic area, the location of Central and Eastern Europe in the economic system of the continent, the relations of Europe and the Orient, the economic mechanisms of Europe at the end of the Middle Ages and at the beginning of modern times. The first works were located on the border of economic and political issues: Stockholm's foreign trade and Sweden's external politics in 1470-1503 (1935), and Kaffa - a Genoese colony in Crimea and the eastern problem in 1453-1475 (written before 1939, 1947). After the war, Małowist dealt with the problems of economic change in Poland and in the whole Baltic area in the 15th and 17th centuries. He developed his monographic studies (also his students) on agriculture, craftsmanship and commodity and money exchange. - Studies on the history of crafts in the period of feudalism in Western Europe In the 14th and 15th centuries (1954).

His numerous articles in journals on the crisis of the fourteenth century in Europe, the importance of Baltic trade for the expansion of the overseas Europe and the role of the nobility in early anti-imperialism (eg, The crisis of feudalism in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Poland, Russia and Western Trade in the XVth and XVIth Centuries, 1958, East and West of Europe in the 13th-16th centuries. Confrontations of socio-economic structures, 1973) became the starting point for many researches and discussions. The problems of interdependence of systems located on unequal or completely different levels of development, studied on the example of African countries, have resulted in pioneering work: Great Western Sudanese states in the late Middle Ages (1964) and Europe and West Africa in the era of early colonial expansion (1969). At the end of his life, Małowist returned to his former interests by publishing Tamerlan and his times (1985). His last work was an image of slavery in the Middle Ages and modern times - Slavery (1987, together with his wife). Posthumously published a collection of his articles: Europe and its expansion, 14th-17th centuries (1993).

Małowist created his own research school, where the principle of comparative problem-solving was the principle; His pupils included Maria Bogucka, Bronisław Geremek, Jan Kieniewicz, Marcin Kula, Antoni Mączak, Edward Potkowski, Henryk Samsonowicz, Stanisław Trawkowski, Michał Tymowski, Andrzej Wyrobisz, Benedykt Zientara.

Noa Rodman

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fedor Ganz (1910–1983) born in Hamburg, educated at the Sorbonne. Painter, poet, translator. I think the linked biographical note makes a mistake about the gender; Fedor Ganz seems to be rather a woman (see this picture).

main book: Ensayo Marxista de la Historia de España (1934), online here with a 1977 addition. (btw, that site has a library with tons of books in Spanish)

Perhaps can be called just near to Trotskyism, since it cites Mandel in the 1977 edition, but I don't know.

several type-written articles in the online collection:

La Prusse et ses fantomes
La "guérilla" urbaine (link, all other listed articles in this same file)
A propos d'un cinquentenaire. Le Troisieme Reich, une etape dans l'industrialisation du massacre
La difficulté d'être
Locura y razón de estado (The insanity and reason of the state)

An extensive (auto)biography, or rather description of the various countries and times she (?) witnessed:

Fedor Ganz. Inventar vor dem brand. Eine Frau zwischen zwei Welten (here)

Tom Henry

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just back here for a flying two comments (another one on the ‘Can we escape Leninism?’ thread), and then I am gone again.

It is worth scrolling up this thread to read the objections to the thread itself.

Particularly this (see post 35), which links to a text by what seems to be a very forgotten theoretician on this site:

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/perlman-fredy/1977/thesis-egocrats.htm

This text, as far as I can see, is not archived on Libcom.

This text is also worth considering:

The Struggle Against Fascism
Begins with the Struggle Against Bolshevism (1939)
By Otto Ruhle:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/ruhle/1939/ruhle01.htm

This text is on Libcom, but interestingly it provoked no discussion:

https://libcom.org/library/fight-against-fascism-begins-with-fight-against-bolshevism-ruhle

This is also an informative and challenging text:

https://libcom.org/library/impotence-of-revolutionary-group-international-council-correspondence-moss

And it is on Libcom, but it is introduced misleadingly, and the one comment on the text is effectively pro-Bolshevik.

But, in reality here, Noa Rodman, the field is yours.

Noa Rodman

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The field here is not mine, everyone is welcome to bring up forgotten theorists, so we can perhaps find more info. It has to be said though, Perlman and Rühle are hardly forgotten – there are sections with their writings on the MIA. (Incidentally one of Perlman's texts not yet online is about Preobrazhensky and Ricardo. Perlman's wife is still alive, so she must have a copy if anyone would like to ask).