Thursday, March 06, 2014

In Honor Of The 95th Anniversary Of The Founding Of The Communist International-Take Four-For Rosa Luxemburg And Karl Liebknecht          

The cops, the hated Federals, and their allies the Freikorps, were hunting down every Red, hell every leftist or trade union militant that would not bow his head, they could find in all of stinking Bavaria after they crushed the Commune. It was awful, savage, something out of what Otto Schmidt thought it must have been like when Thiers and his hatchet men pulled the hammer down on the Paris Commune back in 1871 when the wolves, bourgeois wolves, howled for blood. He had read plenty, plenty as a schoolboy, as a proud member of the Socialist Youth, about those heroic events back in 1871 so he knew that if they, they the working people did not win, then the blood would flow in the streets. And it had after some bloody street fighting. Worse those reactionaries had grabbed their leader, Eugene Levine, and who knows what had happened to him. Hell, Otto had just barely gotten out of Munich himself and had been hiding in a small apartment of a sympathizer in the outer suburbs of that town. He had a chance to think about the events of the past several months since the damn Kaiser had abdicated, the war had come to a crashing halt, and working people like him, honest socialists trying to figure out a way to change this rotten old world, had unbowed their heads for once and taken some action.

Otto knew, although he was not  a theoretician, not even really a leader, not a big leader anyway, although he was respected among the youth for his militancy and his willingness to stick his neck out, that they, the revolutionaries, the real revolutionaries had made mistakes, made bad mistakes about what to do, and with whom. Sure they were young, mostly, hot-headed, mad as hell and had never before, unlike the Russians they were trying to emulate, ever had a part in a revolution. Their leaders, their Social-Democratic leaders mostly, had told them organize, organize, organize and vote, vote, vote, and when they had done enough of both then they would just ease into the socialist republic of their dreams, his dreams.

Then when the chance actually came those leaders, those august bootblack leaders, just filled the governmental seats and left everybody else standing high and dry. Worse those bastards had done the bosses’ work for them; they had suppressed everything, every armed attempt to get some worker justice. Those damn leaders were just as bad as Thiers and his French companions in suppressing the Commune. Otto burned with an inner rage when he thought about what they, Ebert, that fat pig, and Noske, that goddam hangman, had done, done with glee from what he had heard, to Rosa, Rosa Luxemburg, the rose of the revolution, and courageous Karl Liebknecht, bright shining Karl who had in the flames of war stood up and called down every kind of damnation on the German war aims (and the other side too but he was aimed at his own fellow Germans first). And had paid the price. Poor Levine, poor beautiful Levine with the soul of a poet probably was slated for that same fate, a martyr’s fate.

Yes, Otto could see where the big mistakes lie, trusting those parlor pink socialists who had gotten fat and lazy off of hard-earned workingmen’ dues once they took over the bourgeois government. Somebody, he forgot who it was and some of the details but a comrade who had been to Russia or had talked to a Russian Bolshevik while he was in Germany, one night in Munich when it looked like they would win, had said when the revolution was at its hottest then the struggle against the reform socialists (in Russia the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries and here the Social-Democrats) has to be most merciless.


They had forgotten that, forgotten that to their regret.  He had heard that same night that in Moscow earlier in the spring the Bolsheviks and their international allies had formed a new International, a Communist International to fight against the Social –Democrats tooth and nail for the allegiance of the working masses. He had had not had time to investigate that more since all hell had broken out a week or so after that, to sign up or anything but he knew this, knew it deep in his young bones, that he wished the effort well. He also wished that they, and he, could find some way, some righteous way to avenge those deaths of Luxemburg and Liebknecht.  And now probably Levine too.




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