We are publishing the first volume of this journal at a moment when Marxism as an integral world outlook appears to be comprehensively defeated. The much heralded “revival of Marxism” which characterised the last decade stopped at the assimilation of Marx to the pluralistic pantheon of petty bourgeois protest against injustice and demand for redistribution. It is the new “Marxists” themselves who are the first to conciliate with sociology and postmodernism, nationalism and feminism and to protest that they would never dream of negating en bloc the validity of the apologia and mystification which a decadent imperialism peddles as “science” and “critique”.
Last summer's election in Croatia had resulted in an electoral novelty: for the first time since the collapse of Yugoslavia, a political alliance to the left of the Social Democrats had passed the five-percent threshold and entered the Parliament. The past thirty years in Croatia, as in all other post-Yugoslav countries, had been marked by a rather dull political life – a young Marxist historian has aptly judged these to be "the lost decades". The Social Democratic Party, like in most other countries, had spent this period moving steadily towards the center and, at times, to the right. Meanwhile, the country has been completely dominated by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which has been in power for twenty-two out of the past thirty years.
Research Group 626
The dossier below assembles a selection of internal documents concerning the military policy of the KPD between the end of 1923 and the beginning of 1924. These texts illustrate an essential problem of the post 1917 revolutionary period: the absence of ideologico-political preparation for military conflict within the West European workers movement. The Bolsheviks adapted a realistic perspective on the inevitability of armed struggle from early on. Their activity was tempered not only by illegality but five years of partisan operations in one of the major asymmetric conflicts of the early 20th century. During the same period West European socialists mostly evaded engagement with military policy.
The question whether and to what extent to unite with counter-revolutionary social democracy is not a question settled once and for all as a matter of principle. To believe otherwise results in either a sectarian or a liquidationist approach. In both cases the possibility of a dynamic revolutionary policy is foreclosed from the beginning. On the contrary it is a question to be resolved in relation to the analysis of the concrete balance of forces in a given conjuncture.
Today in our post Soviet and by necessary extension post political era, nominally Marxist thought has become detached from revolutionary strategy and vacillates between impotent "critical criticism" and aspirations to a renewed reformist integration. In this environment nothing is more appealing than the argument that the Marxist classics lack a theory of the state or of the political. The obvious untruth of such an assertion is more than compensated for by its immense "use value" to those who seek to harmonise a revolutionary doctrine with the "lived experience" of a long restoration.