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Rosa Luxemburg’s bloc with the SPD bureaucracy

 

 

By Eric Blanc

 

February 3. 2018 — 
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — Rosa Luxemburg’s contributions to the revolutionary movement and the development of Marxism are undeniably important. Yet many writers today uncritically romanticise Luxemburg as a humanistic, undogmatic, and democratic alternative to Social Democracy, Leninism, and/or Stalinism. Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, for example, argues that Luxemburg ‘inaugurated the heritage of an alternative understanding of Marxism with a revolutionary humanist face, as distinct from liberalism, social democratic revisionism as well as Stalinist authoritarianism. It is through the lens of Rosa Luxemburg that it is possible to understand what went wrong with Soviet socialism and how we can reposition our understanding of socialism in the twenty-first century.’[1]

 

In addition to reflecting current political and academic climates, such interpretations tend to reflect a focus on Luxemburg’s contributions in Germany, to the exclusion of her much more problematic role in Poland’s socialist movement. On the basis of my research in Polish archives and libraries, the present article challenges the widespread idealisation of Luxemburg by examining the politics and practices of Luxemburg and her party, the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL) in Poland.[2]

 

While Luxemburg is usually portrayed as the earliest Marxist to challenge the reformism of the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD), in this piece I show that Marxist leaders of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) in 1904 wrote the world’s first major critiques of the SPD and its top theoretician Karl Kautsky. Ironically, the impetus for this PPS critique was the campaign by Luxemburg, in alliance with the conservative SPD leadership, against the organisational and political autonomy of Polish socialists in Germany.

 

A comprehensive assessment of Luxemburg’s politics and theorising in general is beyond the scope of this paper. To be sure, the importance of Luxemburg as a Marxist theorist does not necessarily hinge on one’s assessment of the political practice of her party in Poland – critiquing the latter need not lead us to dismiss the continued relevance of much of her voluminous literary output. Yet since Luxemburg was also always a political militant, it is fair to assess her from this often-neglected angle. As a critique of Luxemburg’s most problematic interventions, this article admittedly does not focus on her many strongpoints, which include a dedication to revolutionary Marxism, internationalism, anti-militarism, and working-class self-activity.[3] These strengths demand recognition, both in fairness to Luxemburg’s legacy, and because they help explain why so many militants adhered to her perspectives and leadership for so long.

 

The German SPD and reformism

 

Luxemburg is usually portrayed as the earliest and most important Marxist critic of the German Social-Democratic Party. According to a recent article in the International Socialism journal, it was Luxemburg who ‘first identified the trend within the labour movement towards reformism’ and who pioneered the Marxist critique of it.[4] Raya Dunayevskaya, likewise, has argued that ‘Luxemburg sensed opportunism four years ahead of anyone else.’[5] To refute this myth, I will outline the important and relatively unknown history of Luxemburg and the SPD’s 1898–1903 conflict with the PPS in Prussian (German) Poland. This struggle led PPS Marxists to systematically critique not only the reformism of the SPD ‘revisionists’, but also what they saw as the political limitations of radical theoretician Karl Kautsky – resulting in the Second International’s first major debate on the means to conquer power. In this conflict Luxemburg allied herself with the German party bureaucracy and leaned on its increasing legalism and nationalism.

 

Founded in 1893, the Polish Socialist Party of the Prussian Partition (PPSzp) organised workers in Upper Silesia and Poznań, the predominantly Polish regions of Prussia (Germany) that would in 1919–21 witness some of the most dramatic events of the Polish revolution, including multiple general strikes and armed insurrections to demand separation from German rule.[6]

 

PPSzp policies were significantly less separatist than its sister party in Russia, as the party in Prussia did not even include a demand for Polish independence in its programme (though it did sometimes call for this in its press). Like the ‘Russian’ PPS, it sought to tie national liberation to the class struggle. ‘What the hell would be the use of a free Poland if it were to maintain the same slavery that we currently face’, proclaimed the PPSzp’s newspaper, Gazeta Robotnicza [Workers’ Gazette].[7] Its relationship with the German party was initially collaborative and friendly. Acting as an autonomous section of the SPD, the PPSzp adopted the party’s 1891 Erfurt Programme as its own and received a significant financial subsidy from the German leadership. For their part, the most well-known leaders of the SPD – August Bebel, Wilhelm Liebknecht, and Karl Kautsky – were all open advocates of Polish independence.

 

Yet tensions between the two organisations eventually emerged. At the SPD’s 1897 congress, the German leadership rejected the PPSzp’s proposal that all socialist electoral candidates in districts where Poles were a majority should be able to speak Polish.[8] Many of the top functionaries of the SPD were increasingly adapting to German nationalism and saw the Polish national movement as a threat to their centralised party apparatus and the German state’s territorial integrity.[9] And while the SPD officially opposed Prussia’s ongoing Germanisation campaign – which banned Polish in schools and promoted the German colonisation of Polish areas – the main SPD leader in Upper Silesia, August Winter, openly argued that Poles were a less-than-civilised people. In reference to the spread of the socialist movement in Silesia, Winter publicly declared that ‘the Germanisation process exerts beneficial influences … German comrades everywhere are more intelligent than Polish comrades.’[10]

 

Luxemburg’s party in Poland – the SDKPiL – was born from an 1893 break with the PPS over the national question. To call for Polish independence, Luxemburg argued, was a reactionary manifestation of non-proletarian nationalism. A truly social democratic party in Poland could therefore never support this demand. From 1893 onwards, the Luxemburg leadership engaged in an untiring campaign to discredit the PPS and dislodge it from a position of influence within the workers’ movement.

 

Germanisation policies

 

With the goal of winning the leaders of the German party to support her wing of Polish socialism against the PPS, Luxemburg moved from Switzerland to Germany in May 1898. ‘Internal party matters, and organisational problems in Poland itself, had traditionally taken second place to the creation of the party’s international image’, writes J.P. Nettl, Luxemburg’s most important biographer.[11] Within a week of her arrival she met with Ignaz Auer, the organisational head of the SPD. Like most SPD bureaucrats, Auer was on the right wing of the party, prone to German chauvinism, and an opponent of Polish independence.[12] Enthusiastically accepting Luxemburg’s offer to promote the party’s electoral work among Poles, Auer explained that the whole party executive regarded independence as ‘nonsense’. Praising Germanisation, he told Luxemburg that August Winter ‘had perhaps spoken incautiously … one cannot do the Polish workers a greater favour than to Germanize them, but one may not say this publicly’.[13]

 

Luxemburg soon set off to Upper Silesia for the electoral campaign. She explained to her comrade and fellow SDKPiL leader Leo Jogiches that she had to do this to win the support of the SPD leadership: ‘This work is the one and only thing that will stand me in good stead with Winter, Bruhns, and the [SPD] Executive, and it is the one and only thing that can give me a good name with everyone’.[14] Upon her arrival, she was disappointed to find that Winter was insufficiently oriented towards attacking the PPSzp and that he was even considering dropping the fight altogether: ‘I’ve made a big effort to knock that idea out of his head, and to a large extent I’ve succeeded, but in spite of all that, on his own initiative he will not attack them [the PPSzp], and they will also not attack him. Because one must definitely make use of a good opportunity to thrash their hides a little bit once again.’[15]

 

Luxemburg herself was a consistent defender of Polish culture and a vocal opponent of the Prussian government’s Germanisation drive. Along these lines, Luxemburg got the SPD to pass resolutions condemning the Prussian government’s anti-Polish policies.[16] Yet Luxemburg was more focused on combatting the national orientation of the PPSzp than the chauvinism of Auer, Winter and other SPD leaders – in fact she disingenuously denied that there were Germanising tendencies within the SPD.[17] This was, to say the least, a major political miscalculation. Events would show that it was an adaptation to German nationalism, not Polish separatism, which proved fatal for the SPD as a revolutionary organisation.

 

In 1900, Luxemburg and a few of her supporters attended the PPSzp congress and proposed resolutions that the party renounce its ‘nationalism’ and dissolve itself as a distinct organisation. After these proposals failed, Luxemburg succeeded in getting the SPD to cut its subsidy for the PPSzp in April 1901.[18] Under pressure from Luxemburg, SPD leader August Bebel reversed his support for Polish independence and announced to the PPSzp that the SPD could be ‘tried for high treason’ if it had links to supporters of Polish independence.[19] In the coming years, the SPD leadership’s continued aversion to raising demands that could potentially prompt persecution would play a central role in the party’s adaptation to the regime.

 

One of the ironies of Luxemburg’s campaign against the PPSzp was that it placed her in conflict with Polish and German militants who were much closer to her revolutionary Marxist orientation than the SPD leadership to which she was allied. Of these, perhaps the most interesting was Estera Golde, the PPSzp’s main leader at the time. A major forgotten figure of Polish Marxism, Golde – like Luxemburg, a Polonised Jew – was on the radical left of the PPS. ‘To defend our country today, we can rely only on the international class struggle’,[20] Golde argued. For most of 1903 she was imprisoned by the Prussian government for ‘inciting class hatred’. Unlike Luxemburg, Golde prioritised the fight for women’s emancipation, taking advantage of her professional training as a doctor to organise lectures and reading groups for working women on female health, Marxism and the workers’ movement.[21] In 1906 she co-edited the PPS newspaper Robotnica [Woman Worker] and in the 1920s became a leader of the Polish Communist Party’s Women’s Department.[22]

 

Luxemburg’s orientation similarly brought her into conflict with leading German SPD leftists, as the main force inside the SPD challenging the party’s new Polish line was a group led by Georg Ledebour, a prominent left leader and an opponent of the pro-colonial tendencies within the SPD.

 

Despite the desire of Golde, Ledebour and other militants in the SPD and PPSzp to come to an agreement, the years 1902 and 1903 were marked by an escalating conflict over the upcoming Reichstag elections. In October 1902, the two organisations reached an accord basically on the terms set out by Luxemburg and the SPD Executive Committee: there would be only one slate of candidates chosen by the local (Polish and German) organisations. In a concession to the PPSzp it was also agreed that all candidates should be bilingual in Polish regions, though – as insisted on by the SPD leadership and Luxemburg – an exception would be made if Winter were nominated by a local organisation.[23]

 

But Luxemburg proved to be more intent on fighting the ‘social-patriots’ than in reaching an accord. Following the PPSzp’s acceptance of the agreement, Luxemburg unilaterally insisted on new conditions, including dropping any references to Polish independence, admitting her into the PPSzp leadership, and changing the group’s name to the ‘Polish Social-Democratic Organisation’.[24] The additional set of conditions, combined with the scandal created by the accidental leak of a secret SPD leadership memo against Polish independence, effectively blew up the deal.[25] ‘This time Rosa’s determination to humiliate her opponents had gone too far’, notes Nettl.[26]

 

The 1903 SPD congress

 

At this point, Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz – Esther Golde’s close comrade and the PPS’s leading Marxist theoretician – wrote to Kautsky, imploring him to intervene in support of the PPSzp at the upcoming 1903 SPD Dresden congress. Though Kautsky, with his typical reluctance to intervene in internal organisational conflicts, did not heed Kelles-Krauz’s call, Ledebour and other German leftists fought hard in defence of the PPSzp. Ledebour focused his criticisms on Luxemburg’s role: ‘The Executive Committee, which doesn’t speak Polish and thus cannot form its own opinion on the agitation of Polish socialists, has come under the influence of Comrade Luxemburg … the sworn enemy of the Polish organisation. … I am firmly convinced that the failure of the agreement is due only to comrade Luxemburg.’ Similarly, the radical militant Konrad Haenisch declared that the PPSzp was not a chauvinist organisation and argued that the SPD should continue to promote the Polish national-independence struggle. But as their efforts received no support from the party’s top leaders, the 1903 Dresden congress approved Luxemburg’s resolution on the Polish question.[27]

 

In short, Luxemburg’s drive against the PPSzp, despite her consistent opposition to Germanisation and her commitment to revolutionary Marxism, inadvertently promoted the SPD executive’s growing nationalism and legalism. Luxemburg later became the most vocal and consistent opponent of the SPD Executive and its support for German colonialism – but she was prevented from filling this role in these early years due to her campaign against the PPS.

 

By 1903 Luxemburg had fulfilled the initial goal of her move to Germany. Getting SPD leaders to drop their support for Polish independence dealt a major blow to the legitimacy of the PPS and its political project. And by gaining the confidence of the SPD hierarchy, Luxemburg successfully established herself as the SPD’s arbiter on Polish and Russian affairs.[28] In the coming years Luxemburg and other SDKPiL émigrés would systematically utilise their connections to German and Russian socialist leaderships to isolate and discredit their factional opponents inside of Poland. It would be hard to overestimate the importance of this dynamic for the Polish revolutionary struggle: the PPS-Left’s repeated attempts to join the RSDRP were successfully blocked by Luxemburg and the SDKPiL, which in 1906, with the support of the Bolsheviks, had demanded and won this veto power as a precondition for joining the Russian Social Democracy.[29]

 

The 1903 SPD Dresden congress resolution was a major victory for Luxemburg and a disaster for the PPS. Kelles-Krauz denounced the SPD’s new approach to the Poles as ‘the worst kind of revisionism’.[30] Shortly thereafter, he and other PPS Marxists published a series of groundbreaking critiques of German socialist strategy, hoping to show that the SPD’s revised Polish policies reflected a deeper turn away from a revolutionary orientation.

 

To understand the novelty of these contributions, the political content of the revisionist debate up until this point must be kept in mind. Against reformist-socialist Eduard Bernstein’s proposed changes to Marxist theory, ‘orthodox’ (i.e., revolutionary) Marxists such as Luxemburg and Kautsky defended the SPD’s longstanding orientation, which combined ‘slow-but-steady’ parliamentarism, trade-unionism and party-building, with a programmatic espousal of revolutionary objectives. Bernstein argued that the party’s revolutionary rhetoric and stress on the socialist ‘final goal’ should be abandoned, as SPD practice was in reality reformist. Kautsky and Luxemburg – notably in her 1899 Reform or Revolution? – responded that the SPD’s strategic and practical orientation was revolutionary and must remain so. The relatively abstract nature of the debate allowed even the most conservative leaders of the SPD to publicly reject Bernstein’s ‘revisionism’ – which was overwhelmingly and repeatedly condemned by SPD congresses.[31] Auer wrote to Bernstein to explain why there was no need to drop the party’s formal adherence to revolutionary politics:

 

The party would be blown to pieces if the leaders would act accordingly to your demands. … Your demands cannot be formally agreed upon and cannot be talked about, they are just acted upon. Our whole activity, even under the infamous [1878–90 anti-socialist] law, was the activity of a Social Democratic reform party.[32]

 

Left PPS alternative

 

PPS Marxists, in contrast with Luxemburg and Kautsky, declared that the SPD must change its perspectives and practices if it wanted to effectively reach its revolutionary goals. Three major texts marked the 1904 debate: an initial polemic against Kautsky by Kelles-Krauz, which argued for the necessity of proletarian armed insurrections to overthrow capitalism in Western Europe; a reply by Kautsky, defending and elaborating on his strategy; and a subsequent long response by PPS left leader Marian Bielecki titled Zagadnienia rewolucyi [Issues of Revolution].[33] As the first two texts have recently been translated into English, here I will highlight Bielecki’s contribution, which remains virtually unknown today even though it was the world’s first major Marxist critique of the SPD and Kautsky.[34] Given the extensive scope of the piece, a brief summary of its most pioneering arguments will have to suffice.

 

Zagadnienia rewolucyi contended that the SPD as a whole – not just its ‘revisionist’ minority – had become mired in a legalistic reformism that postponed the fight for socialism to the indefinite future.[35] The SPD’s ‘change in tactics in a moderate spirit’, wrote Bielecki, was rooted in an adaptation to the preceding decades of peaceful social development, during which the party, and its affiliated union and cultural institutions, had expanded massively.[36] Many in the SPD now felt that revolutionary clashes would only serve to give the ruling class a pretext to destroy these conquests.[37] But hope in a continued pacific evolution of political life, Zagadnienia rewolucyi declared, was illusory.[38] Opportunism in the SPD, according to Bielecki, was rooted in a newly-emerged social ‘substratum’: the ‘vast majority of party functionaries’ who ‘lead a completely quiet life’ and who were thus ill-disposed to ‘conflicts with the existing order’.[39] As such, this growing conservatism was a problem distinct from ‘revisionism’ (a theoretical current).[40]

 

Like Kelles-Krauz, Bielecki identified with the general theory of ‘orthodox’ Marxism, but he rejected specific political stances taken by Kautsky, notably his hesitancy to break with bourgeois-democratic legality, his argument that political mass strikes were only justified in a narrow set of circumstances, his rejection of revolutionary agitation inside the army, and his opposition to orienting towards proletarian armed insurrection.[41] Advocating for the relevance of these tactics, Bielecki somewhat unfairly asserted that ‘the leader of the radical wing of Social Democracy in practical politics puts forward a path of future development for the German proletariat that is not very different from that of the “opportunists”, against whom he showered such thunderbolts at the Dresden congress.’[42] Both Kautsky and the SPD moderates, Zagadnienia rewolucyi concluded, tell the proletariat ‘that there is nothing left to do but to continue to organise, educate, and wait – wait until we win a decisive majority of society’.[43]

 

Conclusion

 

Unfortunately, the 1898-1903 conflict was not the final instance in which Luxemburg’s factionalism led her into a bloc with the SPD bureaucracy. Desiring to overcome the disunity of Polish Marxism and aiming to affiliate with the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party, the PPS changed its name to PPS-Left in 1907, dropped the demand for independence from its political programme, and called for a merger with the SDKPiL.

 

The Luxemburg’s leadership’s continued hostility to the PPS-Left after 1905, combined with the generally anti-democratic practices of the SDKPiL leaders, provoked an internal party rebellion culminating in the split of late 1911. As the Warsaw Committee of the SDKPiL was spearheading the struggle for more internal democracy and a new approach to the unions and the PPS-Left, Luxemburg, Jogiches and Dzierżyński announced that Warsaw SDKPiL leaders were agents of the Tsarist secret police (the Okhrana) and declared the committee dissolved.[44] The Warsaw Committee rejected these slanders and refused to submit. In a December 1913 letter to the International Socialist Bureau demonstrating that Luxemburg’s leadership had lost almost its entire base of support in Poland, the Warsaw and Łódź SDKPiL committees declared that ‘Rosa Luxemburg and her “party leadership” represent at most a Berlin émigré group, but have nothing to do with the workers’ movement in Poland.’[45]

 

Marginalised among Polish militants, Luxemburg’s group sought to use its significant influence in the German party to discredit the oppositionists. One of the main means it employed was to attack Karl Radek – a Polish SDKPiL writer living in Germany who supported the Warsaw oppositionists – who for many years had been accused by right-wing socialists of having stolen from other militants.[46] Though Luxemburg and Jogiches had only the year before defended Radek against these charges, they revived these accusations in 1911 and successfully convinced the SPD Executive to expel him from the German party.

 

The Executive seized the opportunity, as Radek was one of their main radical critics and, moreover, was linked to the Bremen organisation of the SPD – the only major urban branch controlled by the party’s left wing. Fayet notes that Luxemburg ‘allied with the German leadership without understanding the significance that Radek’s expulsion would take on in Germany and particularly the utilisation of this by the German Executive in its efforts to muzzle the radicals of which she was part.’[47]

 

Yet even after the German leadership’s offensive transformed the ‘Radek affair’ into a major nationwide drive against the party’s radicals, Luxemburg continued to ally against Radek with the Executive, despite her political opposition to it on so many other questions. Luxemburg’s actions effectively blew up the unity of the party’s most important leftist forces. ‘The old unity of struggle that existed between Luxemburg and the Bremen radicals was now done for good. … The two would lose in this affair a necessary base of support in the clash of tendencies that divided the SPD’, notes Fayet.[48] As had been the case during her 1898–1903 campaign against the PPSzp, Luxemburg’s factionalism had led her into an alliance with the SPD bureaucracy – and again pitted her against potential radical allies inside of Germany and Poland.[49]

 

Rosa Luxemburg’s participation in Polish socialism was deeply contradictory and, in the end, tragic. Without her tremendous revolutionary prestige and political strengths it is unlikely that the sectarian SDKPiL could have ever played such an influential part in Polish and European history.

 

This text is an edited excerpt from ‘The Rosa Luxemburg Myth: A Critique of Luxemburg’s Politics in Poland (1893–1919)’, published in Historical Materialism 2018, 26, 1: 1-34.

 

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Notes

 

[1] Gupta 2012, p. 17.

 

[2] The research for this article was conducted primarily at the Czytelnia Wydziału Zbiorów Historii Społecznej–Biblioteka Sejmowa, the Archiwum Akt Nowych, and the Biblioteka Narodowa and its Dokumenty życia społecznego collection in Warsaw, as well as at the Bibliothèque Polonaise in Paris.

 

[3] For a useful overview of these contributions, see Luxemburg 2010.

 

[4] Gluckstein 2014, pp. 144–6.

 

[5] The reference here is to Luxemburg’s 1910 break with Kautsky (Dunayevskaya 1982, p. 21). Along similar lines, Gilbert Badia writes that Luxemburg ‘was without a doubt the first militant to understand that the German Social Democracy was headed down a dangerous path for the German workers’ movement.’ (Badia 1975, p. 805.)

 

[6] The three Polish proletarian uprisings in Upper Silesia (August 1919, August 1920, and May 1921) – which had the potential to be a bridge between the Polish and German workers’ revolutions – were not supported by the Polish Communist party, which declared that fighting to change state borders was nationalism (Hawranek 1966).

 

[7] Cited in Zieliński 1982, p. 97.

 

[8] Zieliński 1982, pp. 134–9.

 

[9] Wehler 1971, pp. 142, 157.

 

[10] Cited in Hawranek 1977, p. 156.

 

[11] Nettl 1966, pp. 258–9.

 

[12] Auer is perhaps most remembered today for having coined the bureaucratic maxim: ‘General strike is general nonsense.’

 

[13] ‘May 25, 1898’, in Luxemburg 2011, p. 52. Emphasis in original.

 

[14] ‘June 9, 1898’, in Luxemburg 2011, p. 60.

 

[15] ‘June 24, 1898’, in Luxemburg 2011, pp. 67–8.

 

[16] Rauba 2005, p. 40.

 

[17] Hawranek 1977, p. 167.

 

[18] Wehler 1971, pp. 151–2.

 

[19] Cited in Hawranek 1977, p. 203.

 

[20] Golde 1896, p. 15.

 

[21] Polish sources generally undermine the exaggerated claim that Luxemburg was ‘determined to build a women’s liberation movement’ (Dunayevskaya 1982, p. 13). Luxemburg certainly stood for women’s equality, yet her few articles on women were all in German. While Luxemburg included a point on women’s equality in her important 1906 Polish piece Czego chcemy?, Polish women’s historian Dioniza Wawrzykowska-Wierciochowa notes that ‘the SDKPiL was scarcely interested in activating the masses of female workers and female intelligentsia. … Even in the tumultuous years of 1905–1907, when women in the Kingdom [of Poland] demonstrated their revolutionary militancy, Rosa was not interested and underestimated their role. … [Luxemburg] did not see the need for special agitation among them or for distinct cells to organise them.’ According to the author, Luxemburg’s stance may explain why the PPS and the PPS-Left had a significantly higher number of women members than the SDKPiL (Wawrzykowska-Wierciochowa 1987, pp. 244, 303).

 

[22] On Golde, see Wawrzykowska-Wierciochowa 1987, pp. 219–22, 243–9.

 

[23] Przedświt Redakcja 1903a; Wehler 1971, pp. 162–3.

 

[24] Przedświt Redakcja 1903b, pp. 173–80; Wehler 1971, p. 164; Hawranek, pp. 233–4.

 

[25] Hawranek 1977, p. 235.

 

[26] Nettl 1966, p. 181.

 

[27] Protokoll über die Verhandlungen des Parteitages der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands. Abgehalten vom 13. bis zu Dresden 20. September 1903, Berlin: Expedition der Buchhandlung Vorwärts, Th. Glocke, pp. 275–81.

 

[28] Thus Luxemburg participated in the 1907 RSDRP congress as the official representative of the SPD leadership.

 

[29] Kasprzakowa 1965, passim.

 

[30] Cited in Snyder 1997, p. 182.

 

[31] On Luxemburg’s role in the revisionist debate, see Nettl 1966, pp. 202–50.

 

[32] Cited in Roth 1963, p. 191.

 

[33] Bielecki’s contribution also marked an important step in the PPS’s internal debate, as he argued (against the position of both Kelles-Krauz and Pilsudski) that a revolution in central Russia was imminent and that the main ally of Polish workers was therefore the Russian proletariat.

 

[34] For large excerpts of Kelles-Krauz’s piece and the entirety of Kautsky’s reply, see Day and Gaido (eds.) 2009, pp. 188–92, 197–249. One of the reasons for the obscurity of Bielecki’s piece is that it was published in Polish, unlike the previous two pieces, which were published in Kautsky’s German-language journal Die Neue Zeit. During this 1904 debate, Luxemburg sided with Kautsky against Kelles-Krauz and the PPS (Snyder 1997, pp. 184–5).

 

[35] Bielecki 1904, pp. 265–6.

 

[36] Bielecki 1904, p. 266.

 

[37] Ibid.

 

[38] Ibid.

 

[39] Ibid. Bielecki also noted a second opportunism-inclined substratum inside the SPD: new members of the party who had joined without seriously assimilating Marxist politics (ibid.).

 

[40] Ibid.

 

[41] Bielecki 1904, pp. 266–72, 314–22.

 

[42] Bielecki 1904, p. 266.

 

[43] Bielecki 1904, pp. 319–20.

 

[44] Post-1917 studies of the Okhrana archives confirmed the slanderous nature of this claim. On the SDKPiL split, see Strobel 1974, pp. 361–481, and Michta 1987, pp. 208–63.

 

[45] An Das Internationale Sozialistische Bureau, 1 Dezember 1913, Warschauer Komitee, Lodzer Komitee SDKPiL (Archiwum Akt Nowych, 9/VII – 36).

 

[46] On the ‘Radek Affair’, see Fayet 2004, pp. 61–158.

 

[47] Fayet 2004, pp. 115–16.

 

[48] Fayet 2004, p. 125.

 

[49] The SDKPiL reunited in 1916, a process made possible in part by the arrest of virtually the entire leadership of the SDKPiL inside of Poland during the war, combined with the imprisonment of Luxemburg, Jogiches and Dzierżyński. On the reunification, see Michta 1987, pp. 263–81, and Najdus 1980, pp. 387–91.

 

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