Origins of the KAPD
Comrades ! Proletarians !
On December 5th 1920, the Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD) was recognised as a sympathising Party of the Third International. The KAPD and its programme is in direct opposition to the VKPD (Vereinigte or Unified Communist Party of Germany) which was formed in November 1920 form the Left USPD and the former SpartakusBund (KPD) and which belongs to the Third International as a fully recognised section. The KAPD is in also in complete opposition to the tactics of the Third International, as laid down in the Theses of the Second Congress. The KAPD sees in these tactics the terrible danger of opportunism pure and simple; the danger of an opportunism which will lead the Revolution into a morass and will thus prove disastrous to Russia herself.
The KAPD has arisen out of the former opposition in the SpartakusBund. The executive of the KPD, with Russia's help thrives. It is the strongest and largest section of the Party, and the spirit of Parliamentarism has gained in their leaders, Levi, Thalheimer, Kickert and others, under the influence of Radek and Bronski.
Every means has been used to destroy the KAPD. Nevertheless, it has gained in strength and had to perforce be recognised by the Third International as a sympathising Party, with the right of having a permanent Advisory Representative on the Executive.
The Greatness of the Third International
The KAPD, which had always recognised the fundamental greatness of the idea underlying the Third International and the necessity for unity with Soviet Russia, is determined to fight opportunism by uniting all the forces of the opposition for a persistent struggle inside the Third International, coupled with a thorough revision of the Theses in a Marxist revolutionary sense as its next aim.
Its full views are laid down in an 'Open Letter to Comrade Lenin' (An Open Letter to Comrade Lenin: An Answer to Lenin's Pamphlet 'Infantile Sickness of Leftism in Communism' published by the KAPD, Berlin) We must also at this juncture raise the following essential points which however cannot be discussed and justified in detail:-
In Western Europe we have in contradistinction to the overwhelmingly agrarian East, other production conditions and hence other class conditions and a different spiritual structure. Western Europe is
dominated by Banking interests and Capital which keep the gigantic proletariat in spiritual and material slavery, and which unite all the bourgeois and petty bourgeois classes. This forces the proletarian masses to independent action which in the Revolution can only be achieved by industrial organisation and by the Abolition of Parliamentarism.
Points of Difference
The Third International believes that the Revolution in Western Europe will follow the line of the Russian Revolution.
The KAPD believes that the Revolution in Western Europe will lay down and follow its own laws.
The Third International believes that the Revolution In Western Europe will be able to follow a policy of compromise and alliance with petty peasants, petty bourgeois and even bourgeois parties.
The KAPD believes this is impossible
The Third International believes in the inevitability (during the Revolution) of splits and dissensions between the bourgeois, petty bourgeois and petty peasant.
The KAPD believes that the bourgeois and the petty bourgeois will form a united front against the proletariat right up to the end of the Revolution. The Third International underestimates the power
of North American and Western capital.
The KAPD formulates its tactics according to those of that great power. The Third International does not recognise the power of the Banks and of Big Business, which unites all bourgeois classes.
The KAPD on the other hand builds up its tactics on this unifying power of Capital.
Not believing in the capacity of the West European proletariat to stand alone, the Third International neglects the spiritual and intellectual development of this proletariat which in every sphere
is, after all, still imbued with bourgeois ideology and chooses tactics which allow slavery and subordination to bourgeois ideas to be maintained.
The KAPD chooses its tactics with the main object of setting free the spirit of the proletariat.
Owing to the fact that the Third International does not base its tactics on liberation of the spirit, nor in the unity of all bourgeois and petty bourgeois parties, but on compromises and 'splits' it allowed the old trade unions to exist and endeavours to receive them into the Third International.
The KAPD whose first aim is liberation of the spirit, and which believes in the unity of the bourgeois, recognises that trade unions must be destroyed and that the proletariat requires better weapons than the General Workers Union in Germany.
For the same reasons that the Third International allows Parliamentarism to remain, for these very same reasons the KAPD abolishes Parliamentarism.
It pulls up evil by the roots
Owing to the fact that the Third International does not believe that liberation of the spirit is the first essential in Western Europe, and does not believe the bourgeoisie has a United Front in the Revolution, it takes within its fold masses without ascertaining whether they are really communistic, without demanding from them tactics which would prove that they are Communists and not just
The KAPD wishes to form Parties in every country which consist of Communists only, and formulates its tactics accordingly. Through the example of these Parties, small at the beginning, it will turn
the majority of the proletariat viz. the masses into Communists.
Thus the masses of Western Europe are to the Third International the means; to the KAPD they are the end.
Through these tactics (which were the right ones in Russia) the Third International has adopted a leaders policy.
The KAPD on the other hand conducts a masses policy.
Comrades, Proletarians. The KAPD holds the belief that all of these are vital questions of the proletarian revolution.
In the middle of February there will take place a Party Meeting of the KAPD at which special attention will be paid to the tactics of the Third International.
You are cordially invited to take your part in it, we beg you to communicate this invitation to your members.
With Communist Greetings
The Communist Workers Party of Germany.
Reprinted from the 'Workers Dreadnought' of January 29th 1921