A discussion focusing on some of the key debates coming out of the experience of the German Revolution. Specifically, the aftermath of the March Action and the critical discussions surrounding ultra-leftism, and the strategic imperatives of the movement at a moment when the revolutionary upsurge of the previous few years has started to recede and international capitalism is again on the offensive. These discussions represent the beginning of debates leading to the subsequent Comintern’s adoption of the United Front Strategy.
The experience of the Comintern is of great historical importance to the revolutionary Marxist tradition, representing a high-point of the international revolutionary movement. These specific debates are also of critical relevance today, as they continue to inform both our strategic approach towards reformist organizations and movements, and also highlights what our understanding of ultra-leftism and the implications of failing to engage and attempting to politically win the majority of the working class in the course of our struggles.
John Riddell has translated and edited seven volumes of documents of the Communist movement in the era of the Russian Revolution. He is also the editor and translator of Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922.
Jen Roesch is the author of several articles on the Comintern, including on the debates around the workers’ government and a review of the proceedings of the Fourth Congress, edited by John Riddell.
Sean Larson is a graduate student in German History writing on the German Revolution.