The beginning of the end:the political theory of the German Communist Party to the third period

Haro, Lea (2007) The beginning of the end:the political theory of the German Communist Party to the third period. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The KPD was born out of the rich theoretical traditions of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). As disillusioned Lassalleans, Wilhelm Leibknecht and August Bebel chose Marxism as their theoretical guide to a Socialist outcome. As the political and economic climate in Germany changed the party grew and made parliamentary gains the nature of the SPD changed, much to the frustration of Rosa Luxemburg and the Left of the SPD. The final straw was, of course, the SPD’s voting for war credits in 1914.

The purpose of this thesis is to explore how and why the political theory of German Marxism changed as it passed through its various phases, essentially how it progressed from a theory of revolution to becoming synonymous with the dogma and repression of Social Fascism. This thesis will argue that the theoreticians and leaders of the German communist movement were overwhelmed and unable to develop theory that reflected their unique circumstances. It was their own internal weakness and inability to lead that allowed the movement to be overtaken by the Bolsheviks. Lenin’s policy of Uniformity served to weaken the KPD leadership within the part. Each Comitern policy that flowed left the part weaker and further subordinated to the Soviet part. While not a single Comintern policy can be blamed for the KPD’s Social Fascist outcome, each played a role in weakening the German movement.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DD Germany
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Supervisor's Name: Ticktin, Prof. Hillel H.
Date of Award: 2007
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-1337
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:37

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