Wednesday, May 18 at 7 PM
CUNY Graduate Center room 5409
365 5th Ave, Manhattan, NY 10016
The Comintern Debate on Workers’ Unity: NYC book launch for John Riddell’s To The Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921
with an introduction by John Riddell
responses from Jen Roesch and Sean Larson
followed by time for discussion and debate.
Join 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.
About To The Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921
Debates at world Communism’s 1921 congress reveal Lenin’s International at a moment of crisis. A policy of confrontational initiatives by a resolute minority contends with the perspective of winning majority working-class support on the road to the revolutionary conquest of power. A frank debate among many currents concludes with a classic formulation of Communist strategy and tactics.
This newly translated treasure of 1,000 pages of source material, available for the first time in English, is supplemented by an analytic introduction, detailed footnotes, a glossary with 430 biographical entries, a chronology, a comprehensive index, and thirty-two appendices, many never before published in any language, portray delegates’ behind-the-scenes exchanges.
To the Masses represents the final installment in a decades long project to make available the proceedings of the congresses of the Communist International held during Lenin’s time.
Part of the Historical Materialism (HM) Book Series.
More on this book at Haymarketbooks.org
Sponsored by Haymarket Books and International Socialist Organization (NYC) & GC-ISO.