The experience of the German Communist party during the first decade of its existence remains pertinent to socialists today, particularly as the party attempted to deal with the vital questions facing the working class in a modern, industrialised society, from defensive actions on day-to-day issues right up to the actual seizure of state power.
This issue of Revolutionary History introduces to an English speaking readership for the first time a series of articles on the German Communist party and its relationship with Moscow and the German working class. Included are three substantial documents written by August Thalheimer, the party's main theoretician during the 1920s.Thalheimer was one of most original Marxist thinkers to emerge in Europe. Here, he analyses the proceedings of the Fifth congress of the Communist International, subjects the Comintern's draft programme of 1928 to a sustained critique, and looks critically at the idea that there could have been a workers' revolution in Germany in 1923. In so doing, he discusses many key issues of revolutionary politics, including the united front, trade union work and anti-fascist activity.
Also in this issue is an analysis of the theories of the controversial Italian writer Bruno Rizzi.