Ernst Meyer

In the Camp of Our Enemies

The End of the K.A.G.

(28 February 1922)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. II No. 16, 28 February 1922, p. 120.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2019). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Paul Levi and his followers began their fight against the German Communist Party in the Spring of 1921, with the object of defending Communism in Germany and in the entire world against the “putchistic and sectarian tendencies of the Communist International”.

The result of this struggle, which lasted a whole year and which exhausted all means available even down to the publication of stolen documents, is the unconditional capitulation of the Communist Working Union (K.A.G.) before the Independent Socialist Party of Germany (U.S.P.D).

The time and form in which the K.A.G. joins the Independent Socialist Party of Germany are both characteristic of Levi’s group of renegades. The U.S.P.D. has just been playing a most ambiguous part in the railway strike; its press, with the Berlin Freiheit at the head, came out against the strikers quite openly. The U.S.P.D. Reichstag fraction saved the Wirth-Groener-Radbruch cabinet, thereby prolonging Rathenau’s militant foreign policy against Soviet Russia, and enabling Groener to continue with his measures of revenge and class justice. Even in the ranks of the U.S.P.D. workers, the dissatisfaction with the attitude of their leaders is continually growing. Yet, the K.A.G chooses this very moment for starting negotiations with the U.S.P. on the question of entering the Independent Socialist Party. The National Conference of the U.S.P. approved the entry of the K.A.G. into the party on condition that the K.A.G unconditionally accept the U.S.P. program and the Leipzig Manifesto. The would-be saviours of Communism thereby openly admit that they have given up the fundamental principles of Communism and that they at the same time accept those of the International 2½. The Independent Socialist press is jubilant over this political event and sees in it the success of the U.S.P.D. policy. The Leipziger Volkszeitung, for instance, writes as follows:

“It is just the return of Däumig, Geyer, and Hoffmann that shows how correct our tactics were in those days at Halle. At that time the attitude of our paper as well as that of the Independents was not understood by many workers. Today we stand justified in every particular and we shall continue to remain justified in our attitude towards the recent struggles in spite of the fact that it did not coincide with the attitude and opinion of many of the party comrades ...” (this refers to the attitude of the U.S.P towards recent railroad strike and toward the Cabinet crisis).

The Leipziger Volkszeitung is indeed very modest. It interprets the return of a few men as the justification of its own policy, but at the same time it forgets what it sees itself compelled to admit in the very same article, namely, that the K.A.G represents only a “small insignificant splinter” in the movement. In its negotiations with the U.S.P., as the Leipziger Volkszeitung reports, the K.A.G. admitted that it was no independent organization. With the exception of a communication sheet and Levi’s monthly, the K.A.G. possesses no press, “and no difficulty whatever would be encountered in counting up the number of ‘Communists’ belonging to it in the hundreds column of a calculator”.

The U.S.P. cat made very short work of the insignificant K.A.G. mouse. According to the decision of the National Conference of the U.S.P. the K.A.G. members must apply to the Local Committees for membership in the Independent Socialist Party. The U.S.P. press decorates this decision with all sorts of condemnatory remarks against the individual members of the K.A.G., so that the entry of the K.A.G. adherents into the U.S.P. is thereby rendered not so easy a task.

Until now the K.A.G. has not answered to the humiliating conditions of the U.S.P. Nevertheless it will have to accept them for the simple reason that it has no other way out. (Not so very long ago the K.A.G. still spoke in a very important tone to the Communist Party and put political and organizational conditions to it.)

In the protracted period of discussion between the K.P.D. and the K.A.G., the K.P.D. gave the K.A.G. adherents the longest possible rope in questions of political and organizational nature insofar as the latter kept within the grounds of Communism. The K.A.G. has always rejected the comradely settlement of their opposing views within the party, it preferred to work with disclosures in enemy papers and this puny handful was even impudent enough to “put conditions” in ultimatum fashion to the whole party. Now it accepts the protectorate of the U.S.P.D. without as much as an objection. It thereby proves that it long ago abandoned Communist principles and that it is organically related to the U.S.P.D. It is true that the humiliating attitude of the U.S.P.D. will hurt it to the quick—but only for a moment, for political ties bind more quickly and more securely than the petty jealousies and quibbles that arise out of some inessential differences.

The K.A.G. is expiring, no one sheds a tear, and the very last to waste any tears over its death will be the workers who had always looked upon the K.A.G. as a strange, artificial structure, and who for this reason kept away from it completely. If the K.A.G. now again puts on its “Sunday best” and sends a “delegation” to the Frankfurt International Congress of the Internationals 2 and 2½, that does not yet prove that it possesses any political significance, but it is rather a good proof of the utter insignificance of this sham congress which attempts to create the false impression that because of the K.A.G.’s participation, even “Communists” are represented at Frankfurt. With one foot in the U.S.P., the K.A.G., through its last political move, created another illusion. To delude itself and to try to delude others, was the only activity which the K.A.G. was capable of setting into motion against Communism, from the moment it saw the light of day.

Last updated on 3 May 2019