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Top 10 left communists and council communists

Karl Korsch

Top 10 left communists and council communists

Dutch and German

1. Anton Pannekoek

https://libcom.org/tags/anton-pannekoek
Anton Pannekoek was a Dutch theorist and the main theorist and founder of council communism. He wrote for Dutch and German publications. He was a critic of anarchism, social democracy and Leninism. His main works were Workers Councils, Marxism and Darwinism and Lenin as Philosopher: A Critical Examination of the Philosophical Basis of Leninism.

2. Otto Ruhle

https://libcom.org/tags/otto-ruhle
Otto Ruhle was a German Marxist and member of the Spartacus League. His most famous works are Karl Marx: His Life and Works and The Revolution Is Not A Party Affair.

3. Herman Gorter

https://libcom.org/tags/herman-gorter
Herman Gorter was a Dutch council communist. His most famous work is Open Letter to Comrade Lenin which is a response to Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder.

4. Paul Mattick

https://libcom.org/tags/paul-mattick
Paul Mattick Snr was a German communist writer in the council communist and left communist tradition. His key work was Marx and Keynes: The Limits of the Mixed Economy. Other works are The Masses and Vanguard, Council Communism, Introduction to Anti-Bolshevik Communism and Capitalism and Ecology.

5. Karl Korsch

https://libcom.org/tags/karl-korsch
Karl Korsch was a German left communist considered the main figure of the ‘Western Marxism’ tradition. He is known for his writings on Karl Marx and philosophy including Marxism and Philosophy.

Italian

6. Amadeo Bordiga

https://libcom.org/tags/amadeo-bordiga
Amadeo Bordiga was an Italian Marxist and founder of the Italian Communist Party. Eventually he was expelled from the party.

7. Onarato Damen

https://libcom.org/tags/onorato-damen
Onarato Damen was an Italian left communist influential in the Internationalist Communist Party (Battaglia Comunista). He was author of Bordiga Beyond the Myth and Gramsci between Marxism and Idealism.

French

8. Cornelius Castioriadis

https://libcom.org/tags/cornelius-castoriadis
Cornelius Castioriadis was a Greek-French Philosopher who co-founded Socialisme ou Barbarie.

9. Gilles Dauve

https://libcom.org/tags/gilles-dauve
Gilles Dauve is a French theorist. Dauvé has attempted to fuse, critique, and develop different left communist currents, most notably the Italian movement associated with Amadeo Bordiga (and its heretical journal Invariance), German-Dutch council communism, and the French perspectives associated with Socialisme ou Barbarie and the Situationist International.

English

10. Sylvia Pankhurst

https://libcom.org/tags/sylvia-e-pankhurst
Sylvia Pankhurst was an English suffragette and later left communist. Her most notable work was Communism and its Tactics.

Posted By

jondwhite
Apr 30 2020 20:51

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darren p
May 1 2020 10:11
Quote:
Gilles Dauve was a French theorist.

As far as I know he is still amongst the living.

jondwhite
May 1 2020 10:35

Amended.

BigFluffyTail
May 1 2020 20:14

Is it a "top" 10? Seems arranged by nationality.

Quote:
His key works are The Masses and Vanguard, Council Communism, Introduction to Anti-Bolshevik Communism and Capitalism and Ecology.

No they're not. Marx and Keynes: The Limits of the Mixed Economy was his major work.

jondwhite
May 1 2020 20:35

Amended

Dyjbas
May 2 2020 12:48

Weird list. Castoriadis and Dauvé are not left or council communists - in fact, both developed their politics through a growing rejection of Marxism.

Red Marriott
May 2 2020 14:11

What is this, Hallo magazine? Top Ten celeb left Marxists?? Top ten anti-hierarchicals?

BigFluffyTail wrote:
Quote:
His key works are The Masses and Vanguard, Council Communism, Introduction to Anti-Bolshevik Communism and Capitalism and Ecology.

No they're not. Marx and Keynes: The Limits of the Mixed Economy was his major work.

That is an opinion; but "key works" and "major work" aren't necessarily the same thing. Judging by influence, his political essays were more influential among people I know.

Dyjbas wrote:
Weird list. Castoriadis and Dauvé are not left or council communists - in fact, both developed their politics through a growing rejection of Marxism.

I doubt Dauvé would agree with you about "rejection". Again, that's an opinion. His take on 'marxism' may be different than yours but he, at least, wouldn't pretend there is only one true marxism.

BigFluffyTail
May 2 2020 23:17
Quote:
That is an opinion

It's not a matter of opinion. It's the work he spent the most time on and the one that received the most attention, especially internationally. It's clearly his magnum opus. In contrast, "Capitalism and Ecology" is short and only came to attention recently. Not that it isn't good or interesting of course.

I agree Castoriadis doesn't really qualify. He started to espouse a form of market socialism. Then, through Aristotle, rejected Marx and became obsessed with the notions of autonomy and democracy (rather than socialism). At some point he was an atlantist, supporting Thatcher and Reagan against the USSR (perceived as the bigger threat).

If you wanted french council communists people like Maximilien Rubel or Serge Bricianer (who had also been a member of Socialisme ou Barbarie) would've been better picks.

Craftwork
May 3 2020 10:32

Great, another f*cking top 10 list...

How about "top 10 marxists to read if you're trying to lose weight"?

darren p
May 3 2020 12:41
Craftwork wrote:
Great, another f*cking top 10 list...

How about "top 10 marxists to read if you're trying to lose weight"?

"She started reading Das Kapital, you'll never guess what happened next!"

Red Marriott
May 3 2020 13:43

As I said;

Quote:
"key works" and "major work" aren't necessarily the same thing

Depends on how you define and how you measure - whether by size, influence, appreciation or however you choose. A "major work" could be less influential than a collection of essays that were "key" for a lot of people. And also what period/generation you talk of. In the Europe of the 70s Marx & Keynes did sell well, far more than in the US. But for later generations my impression is that interest in Mattick among young activists was more to do with an interest in his critique of bolshevism and vanguardism: and that would have been so if he’d never written Marx & Keynes. But there is probably no objective measure of that and for the purpose of this odd list it doesn’t really matter.

But on your advice the author has already changed the above to say that Marx & Keynes was his "key work".

jura
May 4 2020 09:54
Craftwork wrote:
How about "top 10 marxists to read if you're trying to lose weight"?

"Boost your gag reflex with just a bit of Zhdanov"