Editorial Introduction to Paul Levi, Our Path and What Is the Crime?

Editorial Introduction to Paul Levi, Our Path and What Is the Crime? © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/156920609X460381 Historical Materialism 17 (2009) 101–110 brill.nl/hima Editorial Introduction to Paul Levi, Our Path and What Is the Crime? David Fernbach david.fernbach@wanadoo.fr Abstract Th ese two key texts of German Communism appear in English for the fi rst time. Paul Levi’s Our Path and What Is the Crime? were the response of the KPD leader to the disastrous ‘March Action’ of 1921. Over two years, Levi had succeeded in building a mass revolutionary party that drew on the traditions of both Luxemburg and Lenin; this was now over-ridden by a stereotyped Bolshevism enforced by the Comintern’s emissaries. In the fi rst text, subtitled ‘Against Putschism’ and written within days of the attempted coup, Levi criticised the attempt to seize power without the majority-backing of the working class, which had decimated the Party’s membership. Its publication led to Levi’s exclusion from the Party for breach of discipline, even though his critique of the March Action was shared by Lenin. Th e second text was delivered verbally to the Central Committee, as an unsuccessful appeal against his expulsion, and the transcript gives a unique fl avour of the atmosphere in the KPD leadership http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Historical Materialism Brill

Editorial Introduction to Paul Levi, Our Path and What Is the Crime?

Historical Materialism, Volume 17 (3): 101 – Jan 1, 2009

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2009 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1465-4466
eISSN
1569-206X
D.O.I.
10.1163/156920609X460381
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/156920609X460381 Historical Materialism 17 (2009) 101–110 brill.nl/hima Editorial Introduction to Paul Levi, Our Path and What Is the Crime? David Fernbach david.fernbach@wanadoo.fr Abstract Th ese two key texts of German Communism appear in English for the fi rst time. Paul Levi’s Our Path and What Is the Crime? were the response of the KPD leader to the disastrous ‘March Action’ of 1921. Over two years, Levi had succeeded in building a mass revolutionary party that drew on the traditions of both Luxemburg and Lenin; this was now over-ridden by a stereotyped Bolshevism enforced by the Comintern’s emissaries. In the fi rst text, subtitled ‘Against Putschism’ and written within days of the attempted coup, Levi criticised the attempt to seize power without the majority-backing of the working class, which had decimated the Party’s membership. Its publication led to Levi’s exclusion from the Party for breach of discipline, even though his critique of the March Action was shared by Lenin. Th e second text was delivered verbally to the Central Committee, as an unsuccessful appeal against his expulsion, and the transcript gives a unique fl avour of the atmosphere in the KPD leadership

Journal

Historical MaterialismBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2009

Keywords: COMINTERN; GERMANY; REVOLUTION; COMMUNISM; TACTICS

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