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Book Review: 'The Communist International'

"The Communist International," by F. Borkenau. Faber & Faber. 12/6. 442 pages

A by no means insignificant reason for the lamentable condition of the international working-class movement is to be sought in the baneful influence of events in Russia. Hypnotised by its mythical Socialist character, bull-dozed by its offspring, the Communist International, thousands of militant workers have fallen victims to its spell. Fortunately, numbers of workers everywhere, under the hard blows of reality, are beginning to come to their senses. Anything that tends to hasten this process can only be welcomed, and therein lies the importance of this book. Written by a former official of the German Communist Party, it is a painstaking and scrupulous attempt to reveal the origins of Russian Bolshevism and its influence, through the Comintern, on the world Labour movement.

Book Reviews: 'Marxism in a Lost Century - A Biography of Paul Mattick', & 'Social Class in the 21st Century'

Council Communist

'Marxism in a Lost Century: A Biography of Paul Mattick', by Gary Roth. Chicago. Haymarket Books, 2015

This biography will be of special interest to many readers of the Socialist Standard. While Paul Mattick (1904–1981) never joined the World Socialist Movement (WSM), his views were sufficiently close to ours for him to be a major contributor of articles and book reviews to the Western Socialist, journal of the World Socialist Party of the US, from the late 1940s to the late 1950s.

The Baader-Meinhof Terrorists: Majority Understanding or Minority Action?

On 5th September this year, Dr. M. H. Schleyer, a West German industrialist and ex-member of Hitler's SS, was kidnapped. He was later murdered. Connected with this, a Lufthansa aircraft carrying 86 passengers was hi-jacked, and the pilot was later killed.

These activities were carried out by a group of West German terrorists or, as some people call them "freedom fighters": the Baader-Meinhof group. Hi-jacking and kidnappings like these have been happening fairly frequently in recent years.

Backwaters of History No.8 - Münzer and the Thuringian Revolt

Eight thousand men were on a hill near Frankenhausen listening to a speech from their leader. They had fortified themselves behind a barricade of farm wagons and carts and, during the period of a truce arranged with their foes, they were debating the terms of surrender offered them.

At the foot of this hill, the Schlachberg, was encamped a well-armed and disciplined army, also of eight thousand men, led by the Duke of Saxony, the Duke of Brunswick and the Landgraf of Hesse. On the 15th of May, 1525, the dukes had granted the truce to the army of ill-armed peasants and workers on the hill-top, to give them time to consider the terms offered, unconditional submission and the surrender of the peasants' leaders, particularly Thomas Münzer.

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