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Philippe Bourrinet

Workers councils (notes)

Posted on December 11 2012

Taken from the Left-wing communism: An infantile disorder? website.

• 1.Josef DIETZGEN, L’essence du travail intellectuel, with a foreword of Pannekoek (1902), "Champ libre", Paris, 1973. There exists a translation in Dutch by Gorter, in 1903.

• 2.Booklet of Engels, translation in French, "Editions sociales", Paris, 1966, p. 60-61. Dietzgen was not a worker, but a master tanner, having his own society.

• 3.Franz MEHRING, Die Neue Zeit, Oct. 29. 1909, in Gesammelte Werke, Dietz, 1961, T 13, p. 212-213.

• 4.PLEKHANOV, Philosophical Works , T 3, Moscow, 1981, p. 100-116: "Joseph Dietzgen ", 1907.

• 5.Pannekoek himself protested against the claims of the son of Dietzgen and others to form a "dietzgenist " theory, "less rigid "and more "idealist " finally that "the narrow Marxism". In an article of the 12.11.1910 "Dietzgenismus und Marxismus "in Bremer Bürgerzeitung; reprint in BOCK, ‘Pannekoek in der Vorkriegssozialdemokratie’, Jahrbuch 3, Frankfurt/Main, 1975 –Pannekoek rejected the idea to oppose Marx to Dietzgen: "Not ‘Dietzgenism’ or ‘narrow Marxism’, but Marx and Dietzgen, such are the point of view of the proletariat... It has there only one Marxism, the science of the society and the mankind founded by Marx, where the contributions of Dietzgen fit there like a necessary and great part ."

• 6.Lenin, in Materialism and Empiriocriticism (1909) wrote as follows: "This philosophical worker, who discovered in his own way dialectic materialism, do not be lacking of greatness." p. 257, volume XIV, Lenin’s Works, "Editions sociales", 1962) In this direction, Pannekoek opposed in 1910 the Bolsheviks to Plekhanov; this last being the expression of a mechanical and fatalistic Marxism: "... With respect to the Bolsheviks, who opposed the theory of Dietzgen, as theory of the activity of the human spirit, to fatalistic Marxism, Plekhanov exerted a sour but non founded criticism." This praise of the Bolsheviks in 1910 is to put in parallel with the later position of Pannekoek on the Bolsheviks and Lenin in 1938.

• 7.The Nature of Brainwork, Champ libre, Paris, 1973, p. 90.

• 8.Idem, p. 71.

• 9.Translated into Dutch by Gorter, Josef Dietzgen was commented on by Pannekoek, in a Foreword of 1902, "Situation and significance of the philosophical Works of Josef Dietzgen" ("Champ libre", Paris, 1973); and by Henriëtte Roland Holst: Joseph Dietzgens Philosophy in ihrer Bedeutung für das Proletariat, München, 1910. This last work was a long synthetic summary of the texts of Dietzgen. It insisted much on the "morals" of Dietzgen, attacked by Plekhanov.

• 10.DIETZGEN, op. cit., p. 183: "Our fight is not directed against morality, nor even against a certain form of the latter, but against the claim to want to make of a given form the high-speed format of morality in general."

• 11.This minimisation of class violence, as material factor, often appears in two major texts of Roland Holst: De strijdmiddelen der sociale revolutie, Amsterdam, 1918; De revolutionaire massen-aktie, Rotterdam, 1918. For Roland Holst, mass action does not mean "violence"; she frequently uses the term of "spiritual violence".

• 12.GORTER, Het historisch materialism, Amsterdam, 1909, p. 111.

• 13.Programme communiste Nos. 53-54, Oct.. 1971-March 1972, "Gorter, Lenin and the Left ". By "illuminism", the "bordigist" current understands adhesion to the ideas current of the Century of the Lights, in its form of "Enlightement" (Aufklärung). In fact, the "bordigist" current makes a systematic confusion between Gramsci and Gorter-Pannekoek for reasons of polemics.

• 14.GORTER, Der historische Materialismus, Stuttgart, 1909; p. 127, with a foreword of Kautsky, very eulogistic.

• 15.Die taktischen Differenzen in der Arbeiterbevegung, Hamburg, 1909; quotation by Serge BRICIANER, Pannekoek and the Workers’ Councils, EDI, Paris, 1969, p. 97.

• 16.PANNEKOEK, "Tactical Divergences in the Workers’ movement", extracted in BRICIANER, op. cit., p. 56.

• 17.LUKACS, History and class consciousness; Editions of Minuit; 1960; Paris; p. 73.

• 18.PANNEKOEK, in Bremer Bürgerzeitung, 24.8.1912, "Der Instinkt der Massen "; reprint by BOCK (Hans Manfred), in Jarhbuch 3, "Die Linke in der Sozialdemocratie", 1975, p. 137-140.

• 19.It is the position of the current said "Leninist", especially represented by the disciples of Bordiga.

• 20.PANNEKOEK, "Massenaktion und Revolution", in Die Neue Zeit, XXX/2, 1911-1912, p. 541-550; 585-593; 609-616. Reprint in Antonia GRUNENBERG, Die Massenstreikdebatte, Frankfurt/Main, 1970. French translation: Kautsky, Luxemburg, Pannekoek. Socialism: the Western way, Paris, 1983 (with an introduction of Henri WEBER, a former Trotskyist leader of the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR), and today [in 1999] senator and secretary of the French socialist Party), p. 297-335.

• 21.PANNEKOEK, op. cit., in BRICIANER, p. 98.

• 22.MARX, The German Ideology : "To produce this Communist consciousness massively, as well as to make triumph the cause itself, one needs a transformation which touches the mass of the men, which can take place only in one practical movement, in a revolution. "[MARX, Works 3, "La Pléiade", Gallimard, Paris, p. 1123.] And Marx adds: the working class is a class "from where the consciousness of the need for an in-depth revolution emanates, Communist consciousness" (idem, p. 1122).

• 23.LENIN, "On the reorganisation of the party", 1905, Works, volume 10, p. 24.

• 24.See Henri DUBIEF (introduction and texts presented by), The Revolutionary Syndicalism, Armand Colin, Paris, 1969.

• 25.Quotation by Antonia GRUNENBERG, Die Massenstreikdebatte, Frankfurt, 1970, in her introduction. (Compilation of texts of Pannekoek, Parvus, Luxemburg, Kautsky on mass strike)

• 26.For the revolutionary events of Italy, in 1904, see Robert PARIS, History of Fascism in Italy, Maspéro, Paris, 1962, p. 45.

• 27.VLIEGEN, Die eleven kracht ontwaken deed, Amsterdam, 1924; 2nd part, p. 39-40.

• 28.For the resolution of Roland Holst and the discussion on the mass strikes during the congress of Amsterdam (1904), to see History of the Second International, Reprint Minkoff, T. 14, Geneva, p. 44-46 (p. 320-322, reprint Minkoff).

• 29.Carl E SCHORSKE, Die grosse Spaltung. – Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie von 1905 bis 1917, Olle & Wolter, Berlin, 1981, p. 64. The majority of the references to the German Workers’ movement are drawn from this book, initially published in American English in 1955.

• 30.See A. GRÜNENBERG, op. cit.; the text of Parvus lies in this collection.

• 31.This quotation and the following ones on the Belgian experience of general strike come from the French collection, Rosa LUXEMBURG; Franz MEHRING, Wild Strikes; masses’ spontaneousness, p. 17-41. (In German, R. LUXEMBURG, Gesammelte Werke, Band 1/2, Ost Berlin, 1974.)

• 32.SCHORSKE, op. cit., p. 69.

• 33.Generalstreik und Sozialdemokratie, Dresden, 1905. Quotations extracted from the second edition, 1906, Dresden, of the book of Roland Holst; respectively pages 6, 120, 84, 94, 180, 127 and 120. (Dutch Edition, Algemeene werkstaking en sociaaldemocratie, Rotterdam, 1906.)

• 34.See. J.P. NETTL, Life and Work of Rosa Luxemburg, T I, Maspéro, Paris, 1972, p. 352. The booklet of Rosa Luxemburg was initially to appear like "printed manuscript" for internal use, for the delegates of the congress of the SPD. This one, under the pressure of the trade unions, made put at the rammer the remaining specimens of the first edition; and had to be made a more moderate "editing"; some formulations judged "inacceptable" for the trade unionists were censured.

• 35.Quotations extracted the Works I from Rosa Luxemburg, Maspéro; 1969; p. 92-174. In German; R. Luxemburg, Politische Schriften I, 1968, Frankfurt; "Massenstreik, Partei und Gewerkschaften", p. 135-228.

• 36.See TROTSKY, 1905, Editions of Minuit, Paris, 1969; chapter "conclusions", p. 222-241.

• 37.See. SCHORSKE, op. cit., p. 53-54.

• 38.From 1910, at each parliamentary inaugural session, the Dutch SDAP decided to ritually hold each year (red "Tuesday") meetings, demonstrations, accompanied by petitions to the government, for the universal suffrage. These annual demonstrations replaced, in the mind of the SDAP, advantageously the mass strikes, to which it was never appealed.

• 39.LUXEMBURG, "Was weiter?", in Dortmunder Arbeiterzeitung, March 14, 1910; reprint East-German edition, Gesammelte Werke, volume 2, 1974.

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