All Power to the Councils!: A Documentary History of the German Revolution of 1918-1919

All Power to the Councils!: A Documentary History of the German Revolution of 1918-1919

Language: English

Pages: 353

ISBN: B008ELH686

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

All Power to the Councils!: A Documentary History of the German Revolution of 1918-1919

Language: English

Pages: 353

ISBN: B008ELH686

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“Gabriel Kuhn’s excellent volume illuminates a profound global revolutionary moment, in which brilliant ideas and debates lit the sky.” —Marcus Rediker, author of Villains of all Nations and The Slave Ship   “This remarkable collection, skillfully edited by Gabriel Kuhn, brings to life that most pivotal of revolutions, crackling with the acrid odor of street fighting, insurgent hopes, and ultimately defeat… In an era brimming with anticapitalist aspirations, these pages ring with that still unmet revolutionary promise of a better world: I was, I am, I shall be.” —Sasha Lilley, author of Capital and Its Discontents and coauthor of Catastrophism   The German Revolution erupted out of the ashes of World War I, triggered by mutinying sailors refusing to be sacrificed in the final carnage of the war. While the Social Democrats grabbed power, radicals across the country rallied to establish a communist society under the slogan "All Power to the Councils!" The Spartacus League launched an uprising in Berlin, council republics were proclaimed in Bremen and Bavaria, and workers' revolts shook numerous German towns. Yet in an act that would tragically shape the course of history, the Social Democratic government crushed the rebellions with the help of right-wing militias, paving the way for the ill-fated Weimar Republic—and ultimately the ascension of the Nazis. This definitive documentary history collects manifestos, speeches, articles, and letters from the German Revolution—Rosa Luxemburg, the Revolutionary Stewards, and Gustav Landauer amongst others—introduced and annotated by the editor. Many documents, such as the anarchist Erich Mühsam's comprehensive account of the Bavarian Council Republic, are presented here in English for the first time. The volume also includes materials from the Red Ruhr Army that repelled the reactionary Kapp Putsch in 1920 and the communist bandits that roamed Eastern Germany until 1921. All Power to the Councils! provides a dynamic and

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social progress? How do we defend the revolution? How do we prevent reactionary forces from using the situation for their own ends? How do we go from mass rebellion to a mass effort of building a new society? How do we turn a radical moment into longlasting radicalism? The list of questions is long. This book does not contain any answers, but many reports and reflections that shall help us find some in the long run. * * * The vast majority of the texts included in this book appear in English for

While the three people’s delegates of the USPD had supported the USPD leadership’s decision that no elections for a national assembly would be held before April, they still voted for elections on February 16 in the Council of People’s Delegates. Only when the Executive Council objected, it was agreed to leave the final decision to the General Congress of the Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils in December. 60 Democracy or Dictatorship b) The Executive Council of the Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils

“The Social Democratic Party of Germany does not fight for new class privileges but for the abolition of class rule and the class system as well as for equal rights and duties for all, without difference of gender or ancestry. On these grounds, it not only fights against current exploitation and oppression of wage laborers but against all forms of exploitation and oppression, whether it is directed at a class, a party, a gender, or a race.” This sentence from the Erfurt program of the SPD9 was

backwardness of the Russian agrarian state, where the industrial proletariat formed only a tiny minority. In Germany, he reckoned, the situation was different: Economically, Germany is Europe’s most advanced country. The central industries are organized in cartels and trusts, ready to be socialized. The industrial proletariat forms the majority of the people and has been educated in socialism. Now, it has tested its powers and realized its irresistible force. Is there really anyone who can doubt

Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Friedrich Seger (1867–1928), SPD and USPD member. 159 All Power to the Councils! 18. Alwin Heucke (1890–1962) played a prominent role in the sailors’ uprising in Kiel; KPD member and lifelong labor activist. 19. Strategically crucial bridge across the Weser in Bremen. 20. Friedrich Missler managed a successful emigration business in Bremen and owned big halls near the port where people waited for the ships overseas. During World War I and II, the halls were

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