1. Alexander Parvus – ‘Opportunism in Practice‘ (1901). As a forgotten declaration of the foundations of ‘Revolutionary Social Democracy’, this is a polemical masterpiece. Looking back, this is perhaps the translation – over 20,000 words in total – that I am most proud of.
2. Clara Zetkin – ‘Obituary of Parvus‘ (1924). A fascinating examination of Parvus’s life and what Zetkin calls his ‘”maturation” from a militant Marxist to an abrasive, crudely indulgent, corrupt and corrupting profiteer […] a reflection of the development of the doctrine and deed of the Second International, and especially of German social democracy, from Marxism to class treason’.
3. Rosa Luxemburg – ‘Eulogy at Ignaz Auer’s funeral‘ (1907). A short speech that makes clear how, for all her many and pronounced differences with Auer, Luxemburg was impressed by his dedication, personality and by the role he played in German Social Democracy. Speaking on behalf of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP), her description of the relationship between Russian Marxism and the German SPD as that of ‘the warm, personal relationship of a grateful pupil to an old beloved teacher’ is a most significant one that has certainly been lost on subsequent scholarly and far-left historical output.
4. August Bebel – ‘The Social Position of Women Today‘ (1891). As a small taste of what is to come in my forthcoming research on Clara Zetkin’s fortnightly newspaper Die Gleichheit, I made available this speech by August Bebel for the first time in English. It was printed in the second volume of Die Gleichheit in early 1892. Bebel was a leading Marxist politician, SPD parliamentarian and orator who was pioneering in his support for the rights of women, homosexuals and those being exploited in the German colonies, with his speeches on these topics often earning the laughter of many a bewildered conservative deputy in the Reichstag. In addition, his book ‘Woman and Socialism’ became was one of the most widely read Marxist texts of the age.
5. Karl Kautsky – ‘Bernstein and the Social-Democratic Programme‘ (1899). Criminally untranslated until now, this work was pivotal to the clarification of revolutionary Marxism within the Second International. We will continue our translation of this book in 2022.