By Oskar Hippe

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Originally released as '... und unsere Fahn' ist rot' through Junius Verlag GmbH, Hamburg, 1979

Review by way of Martin Empson wrote:

The lifetime of Oskar Hippe is an interesting one for Marxists and innovative socialists this day. As a tender employee in German in the course of global struggle One, he grew to become a socialist, turning into concerned with anti-war protests as early as 1916. Later he might subscribe to the Spartakist League, the corporation setup via Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, yet no longer being dependent in Berlin for far of the interval, following his conscription within the latter levels of the conflict, he neglected the various key debates and battles of the early German Revolution. still his eyewitness money owed are unique,

On the eve of one might 1916, my brother-in-law instructed me that we might now not started working tomorrow, because the team might all be becoming a member of an anti-war demonstration at the Potsdamer Platz. We went there on the distinct time. 10000 staff had amassed within the sq., and Karl Liebknecht spoke to them from the platform of the Potsdam neighborhood station. i don't understand how lengthy Liebknecht have been conversing while the police arrived. they can no longer do something at the beginning; the group avoided them from getting as much as the platform. an increasing number of detachments have been despatched in, together with fastened police who rode into the gang with huge, immense brutality. For a time, the demonstrators submit resistance, and plenty of policemen have been knocked off their horses.

Along together with his unit, Oskar Hippe successfully mutinied and went domestic have been he grew to become centrally concerned about the progressive hobbies in his domestic quarter of Halle. The ebook describes the size of the revolution and the effect of the deaths of Luxemburg and Liebknecht, in addition to the speedy emergence of the counter-revolutionary troops of the Freikorps.

As the Twenties built, Hippe grew to become a major activist within the German Communist celebration (KPD). He was once usually precise via the proper and the gurus. often blacklisted for alternate union task, the interval turns into ruled through the struggles in the Russian agency. Hippe describes the failure of the 1923 move whilst revolution was once probably at the playing cards, however the green Communist social gathering sounded the retreat on orders from Moscow. From then on his narrative turns into more and more formed by way of the conflict with the Stalinist wing of the KPD.

The post-revolutionary interval can be marked by means of the expansion of the fascist circulation. something that struck me studying the autobiography used to be that violence, or the specter of violence, used to be an everyday truth for socialists. The socialists replied through arming themselves and being ready to struggle again, however it is awesome that this violence was once greatly approximately protecting and keeping the organization, it's activists and permitting their deliberate job to proceed. This wasn't battling for the sake of battling, yet within the pursuits of creating socialist corporation. on the finish of the Twenties Hippe breaks with the Stalinist KPD, and with many others works to construct a brand new "Trotskyist" social gathering. For a few readers this can appear like part of the publication ruled via arguments one of the left, yet Hippe explains that this was once approximately attempting to hold the progressive culture alive in a interval the place the increase of fascism is a true prospect, yet with an enormous and strong German operating classification nonetheless unbroken.

With Hitler's victory, Hippe's staff is compelled underground and at last he's imprisoned, serving decades of brutality and violence. ultimately he's let loose and works at the northern coast of Germany, attempting to make a number of contacts with employees and discussing politics with captured prisoners of conflict. Hippe and his comrades bravery is exceptional during this interval of inauspicious, harmful underground paintings. this can be no guide for this task, yet you get a feeling of the risks and problems, in addition to the frustrations. apparently Hippe and his comrades believed that Fascism couldn't be over-thrown through German staff, who have been now to vulnerable, yet will be over-thrown through defeat in an international struggle. It used to be a correct, if pessimistic outlook.

Hippe then confronted renewed persecution less than the Stalinists. preliminary hopes new mass socialist service provider might be equipped after the tip of the conflict result in a different interval of splits, inner arguments and at last underground paintings. Hippe as soon as spent years imprisoned for being a "Trotskyist counter-revolutionary", and needed to watch as others, together with collaborators with the Nazi regime turned senior figures within the East Germany state.

At the top of the booklet, Hippe's wish for the innovative over-throw of capitalism stay undiminished. It leads to 1979, although Hippe lived lengthy sufficient to work out the autumn of the Berlin Wall. Hippe used to be an activist in the course of the Nineteen Sixties and early Nineteen Seventies, observed the start of a brand new move and the emergence of a brand new left. all through he remained unswerving to the vital tenets of Marxism, and the tips of Lenin and Trotsky, believing that the overthrow of capitalism needed to be the act of the total operating class.

For these drawn to the historical past of the left, in addition to the German Revolution and the overseas Communist circulate it is a attention-grabbing publication, might be marred by means of what feels like a clunky translation. Hippe's account could be exact and its worthy looking for this booklet.

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Sample text

The essence of tribal practice is expressed in the individual's identification with the tribe, and this is reciprocated in the tribe's collective responsibility for the individual's actions, which in turn constantly renews and reinforces a person's kinship identification and loyalty. The greatness of Muhammad's political achievement rests not so much in his success in dissolving tribal ties and overcoming tribal factionalism, but in the way he was able to fit existing social and psychological bonds into the structure of the new Islamic community.

Here I refer not merely to the bourgeoisification of urban society, but specifically to the erosion of traditional vertical relations. In a household where the children have received a degree of education and acquired specific skills, they have by the same token gained independence and mobility. The children are no longer dependent on the father as in a rural or precapitalist setting. The father now finds himself forced into a new relationship within the household and with each of its members. This brings us to our second consideration, which has to do with democratic relations.

The built-in distortion of "modernization" is due not merely to internal failure, but to something else. As we shall see this "something else" is in part the fact that the success of modernization itself is disabling when carried out in the framework of dependency and subordination and resulting in neopatriarchy. This framework arose as a result of the disparate forms development took in Europe and in the periphery in modern times. Only in Europe, being the first to modernize, was the transformation into modernity (the process of modernization) autonomous and therefore authentic.

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. . . and Red is the Colour of our Flag: Memories of Sixty by Oskar Hippe
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