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Kurt Landau

The E.C.C.I. Plays with the Life of the Austrian Party

(November 1929)

Throughout the World of Labor, The Militant, Vol. II No. 18, 30 November 1929, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

As the Berlin Rote Fahne reports, the Plenary Session of the Communist Party of Germany met on October 24 and 25. Under the point International Report, Remmele reported and remarked among other things as follows:

“The Austrian comrades must put on the agenda the demand for the formation of Workers’ Soviets, organize the armed struggle against fascism, that is, immediately, not only theoretically or propagandistically, but practically and organizationally, raise the problem of the proletarian dictatorship.”

Were this only the counsel of a Remmele to the Communist Party of Austria, it would really not be worth while to waste even a single word on the matter, but it is not a matter of a Remmele here! At this session of the Central Committee of the C.P.G. there participated representatives of the C.P. of Austria. It becomes ever more clear that it is the E.C.C.I. Itself that is issuing the slogan “Form Workers’ Soviets” in the present situation: the C.P. of Austria accepts this slogan, even if in a somewhat more cautious form, in the Vienna Rote Fahne:

“The moment is also approaching when the working class, in order to conduct its struggle, will have to go over to creating Workers’ Soviets.”

Against this, Remmele polemized indirectly, turned against the slogan as “only theoretical or propagandist” and demanded its immediate realization by corresponding practical measures!

In an article The Austrian Counter-Revolution is Preparing the Dictatorship we considered the present situation in Austria in detail. The events since the writing of this article showed that we were right: The Socialist Party is letting the stirring of the masses fade away through numberless safety valves – conferences, meetings, preparedness of the Schutzbund (Defense League) – and confers with the counter-revolution in the constitution committee on the concrete form for legalizing the dictatorship. The Arbeiterzeitung, central organ of the S.P. of Austria, writes on October 26:

“The population must be prepared for the negotiations to take their time ... It will therefore be necessary in the first place to wait cool-headedly until the negotiations in the sub-commission and in the Rathaus lead to an understanding or to the break.”

That is where the main danger lies now: that the still existing disposition to battle will collapse during the weeks-long negotiations in parliament to such a point that [line of type missing here]torship without any resistance worth mentioning, as they did with the entry into office of the Schober-Vaugoin clique of the counter-revolution.

To call upon the C.P. of Austria in such a situation “to make the organizational preparations for the establishment of the proletarian dictatorship” is a disgraceful play of the worst and most conscienceless adventurers. It is not the establishment of the proletarian dictatorship that stands immediately on the agenda but the prevention of the stabilization of the counter-revolutionary regime!

It is the task now of the Communist Party of Austria not to dream of the uprising, for which all the social, political and military assumptions are lacking at present, but to concentrate all forces upon combining the political defensive struggle against the planned state of dictatorship with the broadest mobilization of the masses in the factories and the unemployed for economic minimum demands.

Only in this manner can the C.P.A. succeed in winning influence upon broader masses and in creating the pre-conditions for a successful resistance to the Schober regime. There can be no doubt that such a struggle has the tendency to become directly a struggle for power. Only hopeless adventurism, however, is capable of deceiving itself that these pre-conditions already exist.

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