Tuesday, January 28, 2020

3312. The Return of Karl Kautsky?

By Lance Selfa, International Socialist Project, January 13, 2020
Karl Kautsky 1854-1938. Photograph, early 20th century

For those on the revolutionary left, Karl Kautsky seemed like little more than an historical figure. Someone whom your Marxist education would expose you to, but someone you’d never think would become a reference point for contemporary politics.
Times have changed, especially with the political and academic interventions of Lars Lih and Eric Blanc. Both of them have tried to rehabilitate Kautsky as an historical figure, and Blanc and his co-thinkers in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Momentum/Bread and Roses/Socialist Call groups have argued for Kautsky’s utility to socialists today. For both writers, Kautsky is deployed as the antidote to a received Leninist wisdom. In Lih’s case, he’s trying to argue that Lenin’s conception of the party, even of revolution, wasn’t much of a departure from what Kautsky had established as Marxist orthodoxy for years. I won’t say much more about this, as others here have done more work on Lih’s (very long) books than I have. For Blanc, what we’re getting is a more full-blown defense of Kautsky’s conception of “democratic socialism” as the only viable way to achieve socialism today. This is where I’d like to focus.
When I remember what I learned about Karl Kautsky in texts like John Molyneux’s Marxism and the Party and What is the Real Marxist Tradition?, I can summarize it in a few points. I would also encourage anyone interested in learning about Kautsky’s politics to read Darren Rosso’s excellent summary and critique in Marxist Left Review.
First, Kautsky, the “Pope of Marxism,” was something of a pedant and not a very original thinker who did nonetheless produce some interesting work, like his writings about the origins of Christianity.
Second, that he was the chief practitioner of “Second International Marxism.” He outlined a conception of the transition to socialism as being mainly parliamentary and, just as importantly, as some(1thing of an inevitable process of the evolution of capitalism. As capitalism developed, it would create a larger working class that would form larger and larger organizations like the unions and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which would lead to a point where the working class would be so strong that it could elect socialism into power. This sort of view is what Walter Benjamin and Daniel Ben-Said called the “unilinear” view of history. It’s the sort of view that radicals like Labriola, Gramsci and Mari√°tegui broke with when they adopted a view of Marxism as a “philosophy of praxis.”
The SPD’s 1891 Erfurt program and Kautsky’s commentaries on it reaffirm his parliamentary focus over and over, including the analysis that the character of the state and parliament changes when workers parties are represented there. If the workers’ party becomes the parliamentary majority, the nature of parliament itself changes. No longer is parliament simply an instrument of the ruling class, as Marx and Engels had argued. It could become an instrument of the working class. Parliament was the natural “battleground” where the “last decisive battle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie can be fought,” Kautsky wrote.
Third, that his conception of the socialist party was that it was a “revolutionary party,” in that was dedicated to socialism, but not a “revolution making” party that would intervene in the struggle to organize new forces and to shape events to bring revolution a more likely outcome. As he put it in The Road to Power (1909):
We know that our objectives can be attained only through a revolution, but at the same time we know that it is just as little in our power to make this revolution as it is in the power of our opponents to prevent it…. The proletariat is constantly growing in numbers and in moral and economic strength… so its victory and the defeat of capitalism are inevitable.
This was the difference between the Second International parties that were largely electoral, but which had “minimum” and “maximum” programs, and the “parties of a new type” that the Bolsheviks and the early communist parties represented.1
Fourth, that he developed a politics of the “center” that combined radical/revolutionary rhetoric with reformist practice. That’s a crude definition of centrism that in a Marxist sense, describes a political current vacillating between reform and revolution. For most of Kautsky’s career, he was something of a literary centrist, often justifying a passive evolutionary politics with orthodox Marxism. But in real terms up to and after the First World War, he became a leading figure among the “independent” socialists, who broke from the main body of the SPD over its policies around the war. But whereas Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and other radicals “passed through” the Independent Socialists on their way to forming the Communist Party (KPD), Kautsky wanted nothing more than a reunification of the independents and the mainstream SPD after the war, when they could both return to the humdrum of parliamentary and trade union politics.
Fifth, that he became a “renegade” from Marxism as a vocal opponent of the 1917 Russian Revolution, and an exponent of politics that were largely considered to have failed, especially around the question of the First World War. That’s most likely why Trotsky, in his short obituary of Kautsky in 1938, notes that very few paid attention to his death. Trotsky feels obligated to explain why Kautsky was considered an important figure in Marxism before the First World War. Incidentally, despite what Lars Lih claims, our tradition never denied that Lenin considered Kautsky to be the leading theoretician of Marxism after Marx/Engels. But we were also clear that Lenin made a sharp break with Kautsky. As Trotsky wrote, “We remember Kautsky as our former teacher to whom we once owed a good deal, but who separated himself from the proletarian revolution and from whom, consequently, we had to separate ourselves.”
In the end, Kautsky is not a very complicated figure to understand, and his theory is pretty straightforward. He obviously changed positions on various issues over the course of his 50 years on the public stage, but there remains a large amount of consistency in his outlook throughout. One of his biographers, Massimo Salvadori, whose Karl Kautsky and the Socialist Revolution 1880-1938 is well worth reading, went all the way back to something Kautsky wrote on the nature of parliamentary democracy and “direct legislation” in 1893. With this example, Salvadori showed how Kautsky held to certain core views throughout his career. Chief among these was the idea that modern capitalism required a technical/bureaucratic caste of experts to run it—rejecting the revolutionary idea that “every cook can govern”—and that because of this, the state could not be “smashed” or replaced, but only governed differently. Salvadori writes:
Central to Kautsky’s analysis was the conviction that the model of 1848 and the [1871] Paris Commune could no longer serve to advance workers’ interests in a social context dominated by large-scale capitalism; it could inspire neither greater offensive actions by labour, nor the construction of a socialist state. The coherence of his interpretation of this position led inevitably to his clash with Lenin’s rehabilitation of the revolutionary spirit of 1848 and 1871.”2
This is, hopefully, a good backdrop for the discussion of the recent exchange between Eric Blanc and Mike Taber on Kautsky’s relevance to socialists today. What is at stake is socialists’ understanding of what socialism is and how to get it to it.
Was Kautsky right or wrong?
Blanc states his defense of Kautsky and his relevance today on several points:
  1. Kautsky was the preeminent advocate of a “ruptural” anticapitalist strategy in the prewar Second International. His argument with Leninists wasn’t about the goal of socialism, but about the means to get there. The means he advocated was the election of a workers’ government to parliament.
  2. Kautsky’s politics failed in the run-up to the war because he, like Rosa Luxemburg, didn’t fully understand the nature and conservatizing force of the trade union bureaucracy. When he was forced to confront this fact, he ultimately surrendered to it.
  3. Kautsky rejected an “insurrectionary” strategy because he realized that it wasn’t relevant in modern democratic capitalism. It may have worked in tsarist Russia, but not in quasi-democratic Germany. And history has proven Kautsky correct.
  4. Since the Leninist strategy doesn’t work, Leninists have concentrated their fire on Kautskyians for not seeing the dangers of trying to take over or run the existing bourgeois state. This isn’t true. Kautsky advocated getting rid of the standing army and the general strike if the bourgeoisie threatened to take away workers’ democratic rights.
  5. Kautsky didn’t think the working class could just take over the state. It would have to thoroughly democratize the state from top to bottom. Blanc compares Kautsky’s views of democratizing the German state to Marx’s views on the Paris Commune.
  6. Kautsky’s conception proved out in the Finnish revolution of 1917-1918, but it hasn’t been tried much since. That’s in part due to the left’s refusal/inability to connect extraparliamentary struggle with electoral campaigns, a deficiency the left is now overcoming through campaigns like those of Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).
Blanc’s conclusions are also worth noting here. Reevaluating Kautsky’s contributions allows the left to:
  • Break from dogmatism rooted in generalizing the 1917 experience of the Russian Revolution. His chief example of the break with this form of dogmatism is the left’s willingness to use the Democratic Party ballot line.
  • Appreciate better the importance for fighting for democratic rights.
  • Take the electoral arena more seriously, as noted earlier in the mentions of Sanders and AOC.
Summarizing these points makes clear just how much Blanc’s views on Kautsky are tied to his acceptance of and advocacy for pro-Democratic Party reformist politics.
Mike Taber does a good job of responding to Blanc. Taber’s strongest points are as follows:
First, he points out that Blanc wants to divide Kautsky’s career into an earlier period of the revolutionary “good” Kautsky, and the later, post-First World War centrist “bad” Kautsky. But as Taber shows, with the illustration of Kautsky’s views on whether socialists should take positions in capitalist governments (the so-called “Millerand” controversy), that even the “good” Kautsky had a tendency to make the formally orthodox argument, but to accommodate to opportunism in practice. In the Millerand example, Kautsky argued against socialist participation in capitalist governments in general, but conceded that in exceptional circumstances, such participation might be acceptable. It wasn’t a question of principle, but of strategy. When the SPD experienced its first major electoral setback in 1907, following an election in which questions of imperialism and militarism dominated, Kautsky retreated on earlier positions that hinted at revolutionary opposition to the outbreak of war. As Salvadori writes, “[Kautsky] indicated a road of opposition to the war based on ideological agitation, without any sort of action that could be construed as extra-legal (strikes, demonstrations, etc.). Kautsky’s approach remained essentially legalistic, fearful of any action that might endanger the official existence of the party.”3 This was essentially the policy of the SPD leadership.
Writing in The Social Revolution (1902), the “good” Kautsky spelled out his view of the relationship of parliament to socialism in this way:
The more, however, that the ruling classes support themselves with the State machinery and misuse this for the purposes of exploitation and oppression, just so much more must the bitterness of the proletariat against them increase, class hatred grow, and the effort to conquer the machinery of State increase in intensity.
So the candle is burning from both ends, and the ruling parties as well as the government more and more doom Parliament to sterility. Parliamentarism is continually more incapable of following a decisive policy in any direction. It becomes ever more senile and helpless, and can only be reawakened to new youth and strength when it, together with the total governmental power, is conquered by the rising proletariat and turned to serve its purposes. Parliamentarism, far from making a revolution useless and superfluous, is itself in need of a revolution in order to vivify it.[my emphasis]
In this passage, it’s almost as if socialism is the servant of parliamentarism, rather than its negation. Kautsky’s position stands opposed to that of revolutionary socialists who see parliament as part of the capitalist state, and therefore, aim to replace it with organs of workers’ democracy.
Second, Taber shows that Blanc’s characterizations of “insurrection” and “Leninism” are caricatures. As he writes, the Leninist model/theory of revolution is to organize and mobilize the working class to fight for its class interests and to the overthrow of the ruling class. Many strategies and tactics would be used in this battle—including utilizing parliamentary elections—so to say that there is a “Leninist strategy of insurrection” is wrong. Even more ridiculous is the idea that Leninists/communists haven’t paid sufficient attention to the fight for democratic rights, of which more can be said.
Third, Blanc’s contention that the Bolshevik revolution only succeeded because Russia was a feudal monarchy is wrong, Taber argues. The regime the October revolution overthrew was a capitalist government. It hadn’t yet established a functioning parliamentary wing, but there was an expression of a much higher level of workers’ democracy, the soviets, in operation at the time. So it is inaccurate to assert that there were no democratic rights or practices in Russia at the time of the October revolution.
This “East” versus “West” comparison is fundamental to Blanc’s anti-Leninism. His argument in favor of Kautskyism or “democratic socialism,” hinges on the notion that no socialist revolution has succeeded in a Western parliamentary democracy. Revolution, a la Lenin, is associated with political and economic backwardness—a position Kautsky held as well. Not only is the modern parliamentary state stronger and more technically superior to any forces that would challenge it from below, workers have never actually demonstrated an interest in replacing parliamentary regimes with workers democracy. Quoting the once radical sociologist Carmen Siriani, Blanc contends that “even when a desire for immediate socialist transformation was deepest among working people, support to replace universal suffrage and parliamentary democracy with workers’ councils, or other organs of dual power, has always remained marginal.”
Two responses to this are in order. First, if this is merely saying that a revolutionary position is a minority position in the workers’ movement even when a revolution is unfolding, Blanc is not saying anything of which “Leninists” aren’t aware. In fact, it took from February to October, 1917, for the majority of the working class to move from a position of support for the capitalist provisional government to support for a soviet state. Second, and more importantly, Blanc doesn’t acknowledge the multiple examples of workers creating organs of direct democracy and/or conditions of dual power that have taken place since the Russian Revolution. In the old Comintern debate on “soviets” vs. “parliament,” Blanc stands (with Kautsky) clearly on the side of parliament. Taber also points out that revolutionaries’ assertion of the impossibility of a “parliamentary road to socialism” doesn’t preclude socialists using electoral tactics. Nor does it rule out the possibility that the election of a left government will create a revolutionary situation, as happened in Spain in the 1930s or Chile in the 1970s, or (as Blanc highlights), happened in Finland in 1917-1918.
On the question of democratic rights and revolution, Taber somewhat lets Blanc off the hook. Or, at least, he could have made a stronger case against Blanc. It’s true that the “good” Kautsky did talk about democracy as being essential to help the working class to prepare itself for social revolution. But as with many things with Kautsky, the rhetoric didn’t always line up with practice. For one thing, again, Kautsky’s view of “social revolution” was really one of a socialist government coming to power in parliament. His advocacy of a militia replacing the standing army was the mainstream policy of the SPD, as it existed in a state dominated by Prussian militarism. And his talk about democratizing the state was really more about making all levels of government subject to election…not the idea of organs of workers’ government replacing the capitalist state.
But the biggest missed opportunity4 in Taber’s critique of Blanc comes in his failure to raise Kautsky’s 1910 position on the general strike in Prussia when Rosa Luxemburg, and then workers agitation, demanded it to abolish the three-class system of voting that was designed to blunt “one-person, one-vote” for the working class majority. In other words, to demand a democratic republic, which had been a long-time goal, even raison d’√™tre, of Prussian social democracy. Kautsky argued that the time wasn’t right, that it could provoke the state to crack down, and, in any event, the workers’ movement should keep its powder dry for the 1912 elections. Kautsky elaborated further that, unlike his brief post-1905 Russian revolution interest in the mass strike, he thought this was a tactic that couldn’t be translated from backward Russia to advanced Germany. In his polemic against Luxemburg, he introduces the idea of the “strategy of annihilation” contrasted to the “strategy of attrition.” In brief, he argues that the strategy of annihilation—the frontal assault on the state—may have been appropriate under Tsarism, but the patient, slow, strategy of attrition is only one available to socialists in democratic countries. Essentially this is Eric Blanc’s argument. And in case someone tries to argue that this is a formulation of the “bad” Kautsky, it’s worth quoting Kautsky at length:
[B]y a strategy of attrition I mean the entirety of the practice pursued by the social democratic proletariat since the 1860s.… this practice begins with the assumption that the war against the present state and the present society must be waged in such a way as to constantly strengthen the proletariat and weaken its enemies, without allowing the decisive battle to be provoked so long as we are the weaker. We are served by anything that disorganizes our enemies and undermines their authority and combativity, just as anything that contributes to organizing the proletariat, that widens its horizons and combativity, increases the confidence of the popular masses in their organizations. This applies not only to parliamentarism, but also to the movement for wage increases and to street demonstrations that are conducted successfully.5
As with so much of Kautsky’s writing, the rhetoric is hard to disagree with. But the concrete circumstances where this rhetoric is deployed point towards compromise and opportunism. Any socialist wants to develop the organization, combativity and confidence of the working class. Yet, this passage comes in a polemic in which these goals are being counterposed to a genuine mass struggle right under Kautsky’s nose. As it turned out, the 1910 party congress passed a resolution affirming the tactic of the general strike to fight for democratic rights, but stripped out the part that committed the party to propagandize for it. It was similarly to the resolution of an earlier controversy (1906) around trade union leaders’ opposition to the general strike. A watered-down resolution of support for the possibility of a general strike in the future if the unions and union leaders agreed to it passed. Kautsky’s role in this debate was to act as a left critic of the trade union leaders, but even more sharply to criticize radicals like Luxemburg for impatience and thinking that they could conjure up revolution.
The 1910 example functions in a couple of ways. First, it undermines the idea that revolutionaries didn’t care about democratic rights, since that was what the whole argument between Luxemburg and Kautsky revolved around.6 But from that root in a debate on strategy in Prussia, the Kautsky-Luxemburg grew into a polemic about reform and revolution. As Charles Post pointed out,
History would prove Luxemburg and her comrades correct on the suffrage issue. The SPD leadership, with the active support of Kautsky — the spokesperson of the emerging “orthodox Marxist center” — derailed the militant movement for suffrage reform in Prussia. The “three class” voting system remained in place until 1919, when massive strikes and mutinies and the threat of workers’ revolution finally produced universal suffrage in Germany.7
Second, it shows that this incident which led Luxemburg to break with Kautsky, and which could be considered the dividing line between the “good” and “bad” Kautsky, has antecedents that reach all the way back to the high water mark of the “good” Kautsky that Blanc wants to uphold. Recall that Kautsky viewed the “war of attrition” as being the synonymous with the practice of the SPD almost from its inception.
Mike Taber’s critique of Blanc’s sloppiness and slippery use of words is highly effective. For example, he calls out Eric’s remarks about “dozens of occasions over the past century in which a majority of workers have supported a process of democratic socialist transformation” being more appropriate to the dozens of elections of labor and social democratic rather than the few instances of electoral victories leading to revolutionary crises. If Blanc can argue that the 1917 experience hasn’t been replicated, and therefore, should be discarded a model for socialist transformation in the 21st century, what can we say about those “dozens” of experiences of labor and social democratic governments? Though these parties have held power for years in a number of countries in Western Europe, Western Europe is no closer to socialism today than it was in 1917.
It’s likewise with Eric’s constant invocations of the word “rupture” and related words (“ruptural”) without really giving them definitive content. In this way, Kautsky’s parliamentary road to socialism can be made to seem as “ruptural” as the 1918-1919 German revolution. And that is clearly what Blanc’s reference to the Finnish revolution of 1917 and 1918 is meant to do. Blanc is correct to assert that socialists today should study the lessons of the Finnish experience, which are not well-known. However, socialists today may not arrive at the same conclusions about the utility of the Finnish example that Blanc does. As Duncan Hart wrote in response to Blanc’s 2017 article on the Finnish revolution, “Far from the revolution being a vindication of the SDP’s strategy, the horrific massacre and political repression that followed is a searing indictment of the best form Social Democracy could take. If anything, the Finnish tragedy is precisely an argument for the Bolshevik’s interventionist revolutionary Marxism in the negative.”8
Most of the Blanc/Taber debate ends before the German party’s collapse into chauvinism in the First World War. Kautskyism increasingly proved itself unable to cope with unexpected events and crises, and a speeding up of politics. When more was demanded of the party than simply a better election platform, it was found wanting. The passive optimism of Kautsky’s most radical period foreshadowed this. In 1909, the party thought his “road to power” to be too radical to publish under the party’s name. As Salvadori points out, there’s a disjunction between Kautsky’s discussing the period as one of domestic reaction and rising imperialism, while asserting that the coming social confrontation would occur in conditions favorable to the working class.
Is Kautskyism relevant today?
To answer this question we have to define what we mean by “today.” If we define “today” subjectively by the state of the revolutionary left and its organizations, we might understand why Kautsky’s politics have some attraction. It’s that, if we view the current weak state of the revolutionary left and the forces of socialism as something akin to 1848 or that of the period of reaction after the defeat of the Paris Commune, it might make sense. With little organization, and thus, with little organizational expression of the sorting out of perspectives between reform and revolution, Kautsky’s politics can seem like they fit with the moment. If we’re nearly back to the formation of the modern socialist movement, or (more positively), if we’re refounding socialism for the 21st century, than perhaps it makes sense that we can borrow from one of its earliest exponents.
For some this just covers for a fairly open advocacy of reformism, but with a Marxist gloss to give it an edgier, more radical, feel. This is where I would place the political current that Catalyst/Vivek Chibber, Jacobin and Eric Blanc inhabit. Despite the rhetoric, their advocacy and practice is against the possibility of revolution today, and to put forth an “anti-rupture” theory of social change, very much in line with Kautsky’s. It’s also ironic that those who consider Leninism to be old-fashioned or out of touch with 21st century reality reach back to rehabilitate an even older tradition whose heyday was forged in the 19th century.
However, I think there’s another, more revolutionary or anti-capitalist view that, if it doesn’t necessarily hold up Kautsky as its inspiration, does actually show appreciation for the Second International socialist parties, and even for the large Stalinized CPs of the 20th century, like the Eurocommunist Italian Communist Party. I was reminded of an article by Martin Mosquera, an Argentinian Trotskyist, about revolutionary organization today. It was published in the 1917 centennial issue of Viento Sur. The article discusses the importance of these parties in building a working-class culture and, in the case of the Second International parties, of producing the generation of leaders that formed the 3rd International. For sections of today’s Fourth International, this provides some historical justification for their work in the broad parties, such as Podemos or the Brazilian Workers Party. Mosquera emphasizes the need for revolutionaries to maintain within a broad formation an anti-capitalist current/organization that’s tied to the social movements. This is one way to avoid adaptation to social democracy.
But if revolutionaries do not have a solid organizational foundation to work with, it is easy to see how their theory and practice can adapt to the social democratic (or Eurocommunist or populist) broader formation. These types of strategic questions are going to face the revolutionary left for years to come, and hopefully will become more “live” questions as the struggle picks up. So on this score, to answer the question about Kautsky’s relevance, we can say that he and his legacy are relevant to other socialists in the orbit of social democracy. And, by extension, it is relevant to revolutionaries and Leninists who must polemicize with these politics.
However, if we define “today” in more objective terms, with increasing immiseration of millions of workers, with social revolt sweeping the globe, with political crises like the impeachment of trump, with the far right growing, and with climate catastrophe facing us, it’s hard to see how Kautsky’s politics (the ones that Blanc admires) are relevant. Remember, Kautsky’s politics were the reflection of, as Trotsky put it, “an era of capitalist ascension, of democracy, of adaptation of the proletariat. The revolutionary side of Marxism had changed into an indefinite, in any case, a distant perspective. The struggle for reforms and propaganda was on the order of the day.” Does that description really accord with the picture of the world today? Hardly. Obviously, that doesn’t mean that people automatically gravitate to revolutionary politics, but nothing in politics is automatic. And what answer to the current state of affairs of the world do the modern-day Kautskyists have beyond electing a Corbyn or a Sanders? And could it be that the revival of Kautsky’s ideas is only temporary before the set of crises listed above exposes all of their weaknesses? For that we can only prepare.

1 There is some disagreement as to whether Lenin and the Bolsheviks described their project as building a party of a new type, and there is plenty of evidence that the term originated with Stalinism instead. In any event, Lenin used the phrase only once, in a letter to Alexandra Kollontai in April, 1917: “P.S. I am afraid that there will now be an epidemic in Petersburg ‘simply’ of excitement, without systematic work on a party of a new type. It must not be a la ‘Second International.’ Wider! Raise up new elements! Awaken a new initiative, new organizations in all sections, and prove to them that peace will be brought only by an armed Soviet of Workers’ Deputies, if it takes power.” In these lines, Lenin clearly envisions an activist party, organizing new forces, to rally on behalf of the workers’ councils, rather than parliament.
2 Massimo Salvadori, Karl Kautsky and the Socialist Revolution 1880-1938 (Verso Modern Classics) (pp. 13-14). Verso Books. Kindle Edition.
3 Ibid., 121.
4 It’s also possible that Taber considered the Prussian voting rights struggle to be an example of one of the points against the “bad” Kautsky.
5 Salvadori, p. 145.
6 In another context, Lenin wrote: “The proletariat cannot be victorious except through democracy, i.e., by giving full effect to democracy and by linking with each step of its struggle democratic demands formulated in the most resolute terms. . . . We must combine the revolutionary struggle against capitalism with a revolutionary program and tactics on all democratic demands: a republic, a militia, the popular election of officials, equal rights for women, the self-determination of nations, etc. While capitalism exists, these demands—all of them—can only be accomplished as an exception, and even then in an incomplete and distorted form.” V.I. Lenin, The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination at https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1915/oct/16.htm.
7 Charles Post, “The ‘Best’ of Karl Kautsky Isn’t Good Enough,” Jacobin, March 9, 2019, at https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/03/karl-kautsky-socialist-strategy-german-revolution.
8 See the exchange between Hart and Blanc on Finland here and here. Hart points out that Blanc’s promotion of socialist leader Otto Kuusinen as an example of a Kautskyan who led a revolution, ignored that Kuusinen subsequently repudiated his role in the failed revolution and went on to become a founder of the Finnish Communist Party.

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