socialism in one country

Adam Rose adam at
Thu Feb 15 04:36:58 MST 1996

Hugh writes:
> Adam Rose wrote a lot of reasonable stuff, and then this:

My argument is really rather simple.

The Russian revolution degenerated because it was isolated.
The Russian revolution was isolated because the German revolution was defeated.

Many revolutions are defeated because there is no revolutionary party.
This was not the case in Germany in 1923. The KPD was a mass, working class
revolutionary party. So why was it beaten ?

My answer to this question is that it was formed to late. Because it was 
formed to late, it had to learn revolutionary politics during the
revolution itself. So the debates around ultra leftism for instance
had already been had in the Bolshevik party around participation in the
Tsarist Duma, before 1917. The Germans had this debate in the middle of 
the revolution.

The practical consequence of this was that Liebnecht + Luxembourg were
murdered, while Lenin + Trotsky survived. The final consequence of this
was that the KPD, perhaps in reaction to its previous ultra left lurch,
relied on the SPD to call the insurrection. Not surprisingly, the SPD 
didn't, and there was no revolution.

[ Stalin's increasing power in the USSR and commintern didn't help, of
course. Perhaps if Trotsky had still been in charge of the commintern
and able to go to Germany, things might have been different. ]

So yes, the crucial factor was that moves towards founding the KPD
didn't start early enough. Reading about the situation in Germany
in 1914 is really quite amazing - the people that Luxembourg knew
that she could rely on to oppose the war could be counted on the
fingers of one hand. It really is a tribute to her commitment to
revolutionary politics that she didn't give up there and them.
If like Lenin, it had been a few thousand, or even a few hundred,
things would have been different.


Adam Rose


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