Translated and Edited by Mike Baker: published by the
Movement for Workers' Councils, London 1990.
Marked up by Jonas Holmgren for the Marxists Internet Archive.
The following work, the fruit of a collective study by the Group of International Communists reveals in its structure such a strongly integrated unity of content that it is possible to speak here of a really positive collective effort. The adoption of the collective method of work in drafting the text, which proves in practice what results can be achieved by a consciously motivated group, is just one of it's qualities which is of such great and enduring value.
With this work the Group of International Communists have put forward for debate, for the first time in the post-war history of the working class movement, the practical possibility of ordering social production and distribution on the basis of a use-value economy. They have brought together all the experience accumulated as a result of earlier attempts, by theoretical representatives of the working class of a previous era, to solve this most ultimate and conclusive of all areas of the revolutionary theory of the proletariat, in order that the root causes which in the final outcome render all those earlier efforts scientifically untenable may be laid bare and so prevented from generating further confusion.
On the other hand, taking as it's starting-point the established principles of scientific communism and combining these with such of the work of previous authors as has been to any degree positive, the work simultaneously reveals new social relations and economic interconnections which in their totality establish the economics of communism upon a firm scientific foundation. It concerns itself not only with the necessity for economic transformation and construction in the sphere of industry, but also reveals the necessary links with the agricultural economy. In this way the authors provide a clear insight into the internal interconnections and the law-given mode of development characteristic of the entire economic organism of the growing communist society.
The simple language and the clear methods of analysis employed, which are understandable to every class-conscious worker, ensure that every revolutionary who diligently studies the following pages can also fully grasp their content. The clarity and disciplined objectivity of the writing likewise open up the possibility of a broad arena of discussion within the working class movement, one which can draw into its orbit all the varied schools of opinion represented within its ranks. Since we Council Communists also, within our own ranks, must subject the possibilities projected here to the most thoroughgoing discussion, we reserve for a latter date the final expression of our standpoint towards the exposition which follows.
There is one wish, however, which we would like to extend to this text to help it on its way: the work Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution will have proved it's success finally and for all time when all revolutionary workers have consciously read through its pages and brought the accumulated experience contained therein into practical application in the struggle for the victory of the proletarian cause, the victory of communism! The struggle is hard, but the final goal is worthy of it!
GENERAL WORKERS' UNION
REVOLUTIONARY FACTORY ORGANISATION OF GERMANY