The Class Struggle. Vol. 3 No. 1. February, 1919.

No, this isn’t a Greatest Hits record, it is one truly remarkable issue of ‘Class Struggle’ from early 1919. Debs begins with a trumpet call to revolution as, facing federal prison, he ponders the death of Liebknecht and Luxemburg; the first chapter of Lenin’s ‘State and Revolution’ is published for the first time in the U.S.; Louis Fraina’s ‘Problems of American Socialism’ offers an invaluable sketch of the political landscape as the Socialist Party and larger movement headed to a split later that year; leading German-American socialist Ludwig Lore, the editor of New-Yorker Volkszeitung, writes on the recent murder of Luxemburg and Liebkknecht; two chapters of Franz Mehring’s Marx biography are presented in the U.S. for the first time; Trotsky’s 1918 ‘Principles of Democracy and Proletarian Dictatorship’ also appears for the first time; Kautsky’s call for a Constituent Assembly during the revolution then underway in Germany, along with the Appeal of the Spartacist Group; A rare article early article from Adolph Joffe; an obituary of elder statesman of revolutionary Marxism Franz Mehring, etc. For a historian, for a leftist, for a lover of the revolutionary word, this whole issue is an embarrassment of riches.

The Class Struggle. Vol. 3 No. 1. February, 1919.

Contents: The Day of the People by Eugene V. Debs, The State and Revolution by Nikolai Lenin, Lenin versus Wilson by Karl Island, Problems of American Socialism by Louis C. Fraina, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg by Ludwig Lore, The Labor Party by Dreifuss, Karl Marx by Franz Mehring, Economic and Menshevik Determinism by Maurice Blumlein, The Principles of Democracy and Proletarian Dictatorship by Leon Trotzky, The National Constituent Assembly by Karl Kautsky, Editorials A World Safe for Democracy, The Crime of Crimes Mexico and American Imperialism, Franz Mehring, The Constitutional National Assembly, Party Discussion: What is the Left Wing Movement and its Purpose? by Edward Lindgren, The Communist Propaganda League of Chicago, Documents: A Swedish Party Correspondence, The German Revolution and Russia by Joffe, The Appeal of the Spartacus Group to the Berlin Workmen, An Appeal of the Spartacus Group by Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Leibnecht, Franz Mehring and Klara Zetkin.

The Class Struggle is considered the first pro-Bolshevik journal in the United States and began in the aftermath of Russia’s February Revolution. A bi-monthly often over 100 pages and published between May 1917 and November 1919, first in Boston and then in New York City by the Socialist Publication Society. Its original editors were Ludwig Lore, Louis B. Boudin, and Louis C. Fraina. The Class Struggle became the primary English-language paper of the Socialist Party’s left wing and emerging Communist movement and paid lose attention to the fight in the Socialist Party and debates within the international movement. Many Bolshevik writers and leaders first came to US militants attention through The Class Struggle, with many translated texts first appearing here. Its last issue was published by the Communist Labor Party of America.

PDF of full issue:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s