A long-established disorder? - Weekly Worker

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Famous as a polemical target of ‘Leftwing’ communism, ironically Amadeo Bordiga claimed to agree with Lenin’s strategy for world revolution. David Broder investigates

I have written before of the ‘Misuses of Antonio Gramsci’1 - in particular in the tradition of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) led by Palmiro Togliatti from the late 1920s until 1964. Part of the way that Togliatti’s PCI built up its cult of Gramsci - especially in the late World War II period, as its role in the anti-fascist resistance made it a truly mass party - was to erase from its origin story any trace of its main founder, Amadeo Bordiga, as well as other figures irreconcilable with popular frontism.

In Bordiga’s case this often took the form of lying vituperation - calling him a renegade who had not only set himself against the party, but even collaborated with Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime. Yet, in public-facing materials produced by the PCI in these years, the misrepresentation of his role more often took the form of silence: Gramsci and Togliatti were presented as the “party’s founders”, with the man they had so looked up to in 1921 simply left unmentioned. As editors at the party’s Edizioni di Cultura Sociale prepared a volume to mark Thirty years of the Italian communists’ struggles in 1951, Togliatti issued a simple instruction: “Not one line from Bordiga - even to polemicise against him.”

There was, however, an important exception to this approach, during the formative resistance period: namely, the reliance on Lenin’s pamphlet ‘Leftwing’ communism (henceforth, LWC) as a blunt tool of legitimation for the Togliattians seeking to impose their line on the party emerging from illegality. The main message that militants were meant to take from LWC - especially as summarised in didactic articles in the party daily l’Unità - was that the communists should be able to show extreme flexibility of tactics and alliances, rather than dogmatically insist on their separateness and ‘purism’ in the manner of Bordiga. In party training courses and materials encapsulating the lessons of LWC, Lenin’s pamphlet was cast as a defence of this same call.

So, at a moment when the PCI was engaged in broad cross-class alliances against fascism (even joining a government headed by monarchists, the better to prosecute the war against Nazi Germany), LWC was used to advance a generic rejection of ‘sectarianism’ - in opposition to the notable minorities within the resurgent communist movement, who defended the spirit of the split which had founded the party at the Livorno Congress in 1921.

In the Togliattians’ case, Lenin’s pamphlet served - despite its real content - as a means of overcoming the problem of the popular-frontist party’s relationship to its own founding. The essential information they conveyed was that Lenin had attacked Bordiga as a sectarian dogmatist, and that a PCI now liberated from its earlier sectarian dogmatism took the Russian revolutionary and not the expelled Neapolitan as its inspiration. It was in this vein that Gramsci was cast as the “first Leninist in Italy”, and the latter-day PCI as the true heirs to Gramsci.

But if this amounted to a particularly egregious reading of LWC - given the radical difference between the “revolutionary parliamentarism” advocated by Lenin and the PCI’s essentially reformist practice in the institutions of post-war Italy - the vision of Bordiga that thus emerged is commonly accepted across most of the left. He is mainly known, if at all, among members of Eurocommunist, Marxist-Leninist, Trotskyist etc, groupings alike, as the target of a polemic against electoral abstentionism and the various anti-parliamentary communist forces that emerged after World War I.

There is some real basis for such a view. But, as we shall see, it is also radically inadequate for the purpose of understanding the current of ideas he embodied - or even the issues at stake in LWC itself. The furthest-left current within the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) in the late World War I period - headed by Bordiga’s Il Soviet group in Naples, as well as allies in cities including Turin - was formally constituted under the name ‘Abstentionist Communist Fraction’ after the PSI’s Bologna Congress of October 1919, and argued against participation in the following month’s Italian general election. At a time when even figures on the so-called ‘maximalist’ left of the party leadership, such as Giacinto Serrati and Nicola Bombacci, were advancing indistinct schemas for constituent assemblies, for a future socialist majority in the Chamber of Deputies to proclaim the existence of soviets and such like, this faction strongly asserted the need to prepare an immediate struggle to found a workers’ state in Italy. So, while in the elections the PSI turned out to be the biggest single party, with 32% support, the Abstentionist Communist Fraction above all denounced the party’s integration into bourgeois parliamentarism and lack of preparation to seriously confront the established state machine.

That said, the idea that this amounted to an in-principle rejection of tactical electoral participation - and that this was generally characteristic of Bordiga’s thought - deserves some qualification. In this sense, it is worth looking back to his approach to the 1913 general election - the first in Italy to be held under universal (male) suffrage. While Bordiga was a sharp critic of the party’s integration into bourgeois parliamentarism (including its combinations with the Liberal premier, Giovanni Giolitti, which had allowed for the extension of the franchise, but also drawn part of the party into support for his war in Libya), the main thrust of Bordiga’s writings in the build-up to the 1913 general election was a polemic against syndicalist and anarchist advocates of electoral boycotts. The grounds on which he made this case strongly resemble those made in LWC a few years later.

Even recognising the likelihood of socialist MPs becoming drawn into unprincipled combinations, even recognising that an MP from a working class background may well become unbound from their base, and the party programme, even though they would not be able to carry through effective reforms in parliament - the party should still take the opportunity to present its programme, use the opportunity for propaganda and combat apolitical sentiments among workers concerned only with narrow individual or corporatist interests.

The difficulties that resulted were hardly limited to the electoral arena alone. Bordiga added that the syndicalist opponents of electoral participation were more often than not engaged in rotten compromises with bourgeois politicians, with whom they had established a division of labour: you handle ‘politics’, while we stand for our category’s immediate economic concerns. In such a case, the mere fact of abstention would not galvanise a working class force in a solid bloc against bourgeois institutions, but risked fragmenting its forces and contributing to a more generic rejection of political action.

By July 1920, when LWC was presented at the Comintern Second Congress, the Abstentionist Communist Fraction included PSI leftwingers who advocated electoral participation (for instance, Francesco Misiano, within the Naples Il Soviet group, and Antonio Gramsci, who also attended its meetings). The Communist Party of Italy (PCd’I) was created in January 1921 and did stand in the general election held in May 1921. This owed to multiple factors, including both obedience to Comintern discipline and the fact that Bordiga was no dictator within PCd’I ranks. But it is also worth noting that in the May 1921 contest, the party whose main leader was an ‘abstentionist’ elected more MPs (15) than any other Communist Party in western Europe at the time (France’s PCF inherited 13 deputies after the split from the Socialists in December 1920, but soon lost four of these; the KPD in Germany took just four seats in the June 1920 general election; the CPGB had just one - a Liberal defector).

We could also point to another example rather complicating the established myth. In June 1924, after Blackshirts murdered the reformist-socialist MP, Giacomo Matteotti, all the opposition parties abandoned the fascist-dominated parliament in protest. Yet it was Bordiga - already ousted from the leadership group - who argued that the PCd’I MPs should return to the chamber and use it as a propaganda tribune. So, counter to the widespread received wisdom about LWC, on-principle refusal of electoral participation is evidently a limited tool for defining Italian left communism and, in particular, Bordiga’s own political practice.


But Bordiga’s relationship to LWC is also much richer than what Lenin has to say about him. For in 1960-61 Bordiga wrote a series of articles on Lenin’s pamphlet in Programma Comunista, later collected in a pamphlet entitled Leftwing communism: a condemnation of renegades to come. Here, Bordiga insists that despite the normal political uses of Lenin’s text as a generic condemnation of ‘sectarianism’, he shared the essential approach to world revolution set out in LWC, which was far from limited to a dispute over electoral tactics.

This necessarily included a critical disposition toward some of the other forces known as left communists. This is encapsulated in the well-established distinction between an ‘Italian’ left communism, seeking to defend an original Leninism, and the ‘Dutch-German’ left, connected to figures including Hermann Gorter, Otto Rühle, Karl Korsch, Anton Pannekoek and so on - all bound to a critique of Bolshevik experience and the non-applicability of Russian tactics in the west. Unlike in Italy, this milieu produced ‘Communist Workers’ Parties’ which split from the Comintern in 1920-21 over the question of electoral participation and then founded the Communist Workers’ International (KAI), also including Sylvia Pankhurst’s organisation of the same name in Britain.

The difference between these forces was rooted in different appreciations of the Russian Revolution, wholly bound up with the titular theme of the opening chapter of LWC: ‘In what sense we can speak of the international significance of the Russian Revolution’. Had October 1917 created a “model” for the rest of the world to imitate - and did the particular forms it took (whether that meant factory councils, soviets or the vanguard party) need to be imitated in other countries? For Lenin, the international revolutionary wave up till summer 1920 had illustrated that Russian experience showed the rest of the world “something highly significant of their near and inevitable future”, but that the successful revolution in the west would soon overtake this “model”.

Bordiga cast his 1960-61 writings as a defence of the position Lenin had already set out in LWC, but in reality his argumentation went much further. He agreed that the particular forms of the Russian Revolution could not be written off as owing to local idiosyncrasies (its backwardness, small working class, underdeveloped democratic culture and such like), as claimed, for instance, by Pannekoek. Yet Bordiga argued not that the Russian experience had created a model to be generalised, but, more particularly, that this experience was itself not new - merely combining tactics developed even in the 19th century:

“The necessity of a violent revolution of the proletariat, led by the disciplined and centralised Marxist party; the assertion of the subsequent revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat; struggle with no compromises against the two anarchist and reformist ‘extremisms’” - the Italian left had been “in the trenches, side by side with the Bolsheviks”, in defending this perspective. But, Bordiga insists, “Like us, the Bolsheviks didn’t discover anything.” The grandeur of the Bolshevik experience, its general applicability, owed, rather, to the fact that the party had been forged through such a variety of conditions, including through the 1905 revolution, involving both a moment of “liberalisation” and a certain militarisation of tactics, and then the repression and clandestinity that followed.

Condemnation of the renegades to come thus starts from a classic theme that pervades all of Bordiga’s work: namely the attempt to reaffirm an assumed original Marxism against those who claim to ‘enrich’ or ‘improve’ it, citing local particularities, special cases and so on. He had drawn on this rhetorical tool even in the 1910s, when he was still in his early 20s, faced with the improbable alliances sought by some socialists in his native Naples - advocating anti-clerical and broad ‘democratic alliances’ in the name of addressing ‘pre-capitalist conditions’, ‘completing the bourgeois revolution’ and such like.

Even back then, he had pointed out that the map of constituencies surely made up 500 “special cases”, but such an observation could hardly be taken to contradict the fundamental logic of Marxism; indeed the ‘innovators’ only ever seemed to turn backward - to idealistic formulas which Marx’s work had critiqued. For Bordiga, October 1917 vindicated a vision of proletarian revolution established by Marx already in the period of the Paris Commune, through the break with all bourgeois republican and democratic factions.

Telling in this regard is Bordiga’s reference to Karl Kautsky - one of those who, in the post-World War I context, counterposed Bolshevik authoritarianism in backward Russia to the imaginary democratic, peaceful and bloodless course of the revolution in the west. Lenin could in turn reply in LWC citing Kautsky’s 1902 article, ‘The Slavs and the revolution’, which had cast doubt on any such counterposition between east and west. As Bordiga pointed out in 1960,

When he was a Marxist, back in 1902, [Kautsky] wrote an article entitled ‘The Slavs and the revolution’, where he admitted that the guidance of the European revolution might pass into the hands of the Russian proletarians; after that the centre of revolution had been in France in the first half of the 19th century, and at times in England, and in Germany in the second half. How well Karl Kautsky wrote 18 years ago, exclaimed Lenin [in LWC], who always wrote similarly until his death, which followed not long after. Today we can echo: how well Kautsky wrote 58 years ago!2

Now, given that I am a Jacobin editor writing for the Weekly Worker about Lenin harking back to an earlier, better Kautsky - and then Bordiga harking back to Lenin harking back to Kautsky - I admittedly risk being accused of trying to push Bordiga into a ‘neo-Kaut’ schema. But it is worth working through why exactly this would be absurd, also because Bordiga develops his own position in a manner which distinguishes it from what it claims to be: ie, a defence of Lenin’s own stance.

I will go on to discuss Bordiga’s relationship to Second International Marxism, but broadly we can see a development away from it - a radicalisation of his critique of it - especially in the post-World War II era, as he mounted a more systematic effort to study Marx’s writings rather than return to direct involvement in mass politics. While in his early 20s (the first phase of his involvement in the Italian socialist movement, between 1910 and Italy’s entry into World War I in 1915), Bordiga had drawn on the cultural reference points of the PSI - and can even be found positively citing such distinctly unMarxist reference points as Ferdinand Lassalle - the development of his distinct perspective would sharply reject the SPD tradition in two important ways, firstly regarding the idea of socialism as an extension of democracy, and secondly its idea of political mobilisation.

Against utopianism

In this sense, it is worth doing something to extricate left communism from a sole focus on reactions to the Russian Revolution - whether they be a defence of Leninism (as in Bordiga’s case) or an anti-Bolshevik communism of the type derived from the Dutch-German left.

There is one broad commonality between these currents, apart from their greatly divergent prescriptions: that is the conclusion that the 19th century workers’ movement ultimately gave birth to a vision of socialism which was in fact a more effective integration of the working class into capitalism, through its more rational or democratic or participatory management.

I emphasise the words gave birth - there is no necessary claim that this was the only thing the 19th century workers’ movement produced, while it could itself appear in the most varied forms. But in the Italian left-communist canon, the critique is backdated far beyond World War I or even the turn-of-the-century ‘revisionism’ debate - hence the first volume of the Storia della sinistra comunista (‘History of the communist left’), published by Programma Comunista in 1963 under Bordiga’s direction, describes the communist left as having been “present in Italy in embryonic form from around 1880”, albeit given greater theoretical depth and practical expression in the 1910s.

Much of this critique was levelled against non-Marxist influences, which persisted in the Second International, as well as in the broader Italian workers’ movement, whose late 19th century società operaie (workers’ clubs) often reflected a confused mix of ideas indistinctly drawn from both Marxist and anarchist sources, as well as figures like Lassalle. From Bordiga’s perspective, the common root of all these non-Marxist influences was their utopianism, which also coloured the various ‘enrichers’ in the present, all seeking to create schemas which would hurry along socialism by building elements of working class control within, and of, capitalism.

The ‘novelties’ in fact merely regurgitated the same ‘petty bourgeois utopias’. Hence in his 1957 lecture, Fundamentals of revolutionary communism, Bordiga derided the Proudhonists, who defended small production units, ‘fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’, cooperatives and so on, along with ‘factory socialists’ who wanted self-managed industry, but - also and in the same breath - Stalin’s talk of the exchange of equivalent values in a socialist society.

While Bordiga’s remarks on Gramsci are often tempered by some degree of personal sympathy, this argument is also directed against l’Ordine Nuovo - the paper run by Gramsci, Angelo Tasca and Togliatti - in post-World War I Turin and specifically its councilist edge: ie, the idea that workers take power in society by taking control of their workplaces. This is in essence his, and the Italian communist left’s opposition also to the Dutch-German communist left, represented by figures like Otto Rühle, Jan Appel and Anton Pannekoek. These latter not only more or less dismissed the peasantry as a revolutionary factor and highlighted the greater success of western European bourgeoisies in creating a national culture which imbued the masses, but also emphasised the need for ‘from below’ type organisational forms, or even insisted that political parties are themselves inherently bourgeois.

In his 1960 text on LWC, Bordiga stridently emphasised his agreement with Lenin on these points. As well as making a - for the Neapolitan communist typical - claim that revolutionary strategy is not a matter of organisational forms (ie, cannot be derived from utopian schemes), Bordiga argues that the Russian experience had confirmed discipline and centralisation as the fundamental factors, which allowed the working class to act as a political subject, rather than a collection of groups with corporatist demands.

Here I make no claim to do justice to the positions of the different strands of the Dutch-German left. Rather I will simply cite a short passage from Fundamentals of revolutionary communism, which well captures the spirit of his position, and indeed his polemical style. Taking up a common theme - the poverty of those who claim to enrich Marxism - Bordiga connects his denunciation of present-day libertarian utopias, to Marx’s Poverty of philosophy. He explains:

Along with his defective view of the revolutionary society, Proudhon is the precursor of the worst aspects of today’s fashionable ‘factory socialists’: the rejection of party and state because they create leaders, chiefs and power-brokers, who, due to the weakness of human nature, will inevitably be transformed into a privileged group; into a new dominant class (or caste?) to live off the backs of the proletariat. These superstitions about ‘human nature’ were ridiculed by Marx a long time ago, when he wrote in a short, pithy sentence: “Monsieur Proudhon ignores that all history is nothing but a continuous transformation of human nature.” Under this massive tombstone can be laid to rest countless throngs of past, present and future anti-Marxist idiots.

I mentioned that this was a text from 1957 - an era in which Bordiga was principally concerned with the study of Marx - or, as he put it, the reaffirmation of Marxist doctrine, against its falsifiers. In his work with the small International Communist Party, which published Il Programma Comunista (the paper which also offered his 1960-61 articles on LWC), he sought not to rebuild mass organisation or directly intervene in mass politics so much as to systematise what he cast as an orthodoxy - indeed often using the language of ‘tablets of stone’ and ‘restoring original Marxist doctrine’. One of the more charming aspects of his rhetorical invocation of the Marx-Engels duo is his continual references to “big Freddie”, “Uncle Carlo” and so on.

At the same time, as I wrote in the Weekly Worker last July, reviewing the Bordiga anthology published by Brill last year,3 that there are certainly elements of novelty in Bordiga’s post-war writing in particular, regarding his increasingly developed rejection of the ‘substitute bourgeois revolution’ model. As I wrote, this had many aspects - notably an ecological critique of industrialism and the “building up of the productive forces”. But here I will dwell on just one of its aspects: namely the role of ‘culture’ and ‘education’ in Second International political practice, which was the subject of Bordiga’s first major polemical intervention in the life of the Italian socialist movement.


Bordiga often cited The German ideology - and surely could have made his own Marx’s and Engels’ description of the young Hegelian philosophers’ idealist vision of history:

Once upon a time a valiant fellow had the idea that men were drowned in water only because they were possessed with the idea of gravity. If they were to knock this notion out of their heads - say, by stating it to be a superstition, a religious concept - they would be sublimely proof against any danger from water.4

This fight against such idealism, and its place in the Second International, was an early theme of Bordiga’s political activity. From his time in the Socialist Youth in Naples in the years before World War I, he was at loggerheads with what he called “culturalism” - the belief that the working class was possessed by ignorance and dominated because it had not commanded culture and science, and thus that the party’s task lay in preparing it to overcome this condition and become fit to govern society. This was the central debate at the Socialist Youth congress in 1912, where Bordiga clashed in particular with Angelo Tasca with his cutting phrase, “The need for study is something a congress of schoolteachers would proclaim, not a congress of socialists.”

This was a continuation of a dispute which had already coloured the history of socialist parties more broadly. The SPD partly originated from the worker-educational circles created in the aftermath of 1848, and its educational mission had always been riven between the perspective of theoretically educating a small group of worker-cadres and then a much broader effort of worker-libraries, spreading a broad culture of learning. The distinction is well-illustrated by works like Andrew Bonnell’s ‘Did they read Marx?’,5 which tells us that the user of an SPD library was much more likely to read novels, popular science and even, say, Darwin, than Marxist theoretical works, even in popularising editions.

In the Italian Socialist Youth debate, Bordiga pushed back against the understanding - then widespread in the party - that the working class needed to prepare itself culturally through merging socialism and scientific understanding. More particularly, it could not be demanded of workers that they be educated or break out of ignorance before they could become such militants - the party should above all draw on class “instinct” and the learning that came through experience and struggle: what Bordiga even ventured to call “working class heroism”, not a “scholastic” pedagogy of the rationality of the socialist future.

But such a formal position also sits uneasily with the reality of the workers’ movement and the militants attracted to it. Earlier on I referred to the crude Stalinist hounding of Bordiga following his expulsion from the Communist Party, with the founder alternatively cast as a fascist renegade or else subjected to a suffocating silence. But the rise of a critical Marxist historiography in the 1950s-60s, most notably through the Rivista storica del socialismo and historians like Luigi Cortesi examining the early Communist Party,6 in turn demanded that the Togliattian PCI produce something rather more serious, and the most effective (if not necessarily truthful) vein of critique was surely that which criticised Bordiga as an inconsequential ‘maximalist’.

‘Maximalism’ was not just a generic indication of extremism, but pointed to a specific tradition on the left of the Socialist Party, even before World War I, almost universally connoted in pejorative terms. Maximalism entered history as a combination of verbal declarations of intransigence, inevitable victory and unyielding revolutionary principle, with a political practice whose messianism translated into abject passivity or simple reformism. After the victory of revolutionaries over reformists at the party’s 1912 congress, its broadly pacifist stance on World War I and the victory of the maximalists around Giacinto Serrati at the 1919 party congress, the Italian Socialist Party provided a woeful lack of leadership to the post-war wave of land and factory occupations, maintaining a classic Second Internationalist no man’s land between present-day tactics - local administration - and the eventual horizon of revolution. Bordiga’s struggle to create the Communist Party was squarely directed against this, seeking to form a centralised and disciplined (if not outright militarised) party.

In what we might call the high period of his involvement in mass politics (roughly from around 1911 to 1926) Bordiga developed many avenues of critique of the Second International parties - from their obsession with education and ‘culture’ to the more or less explicit understanding of socialism as a continuous extension of bourgeois democracy. Yet, while certainly a keen and aggressive critic of idealists, utopias, calls for a fairer capitalism and so on, Bordiga’s critique of socialist ‘moralism’ was often rather inconsistent - in particular insofar as he maintained a framework in which the working class’s revolutionary instinct was thwarted by misleaders and illusions, as if it could somehow be protected from the influence of bourgeois culture.

This extended to the insistence that honest proletarian militants were, indeed, better than the intellectuals at what they were supposed to be providing: hence the memorable image of the 1900s labour movement, with its “thousands of leaders of peasant leagues who explained Marxist theses at night in the local inn, with no payment other than the half-litre of wine placed in front of them - perhaps not showing total theoretical rigour, but miles ahead of today’s academies in Moscow”.7 Indeed, despite his keenly asserted scientific pretensions, Bordiga’s writing is itself soaked in the language of faith and renunciation, misleaders and cowards, and clearly recognised the mobilising potential of the appeal to principled intransigence.

This was something to which Lenin himself referred in LWC, specifically in his critique of Sylvia Pankhurst: a “noble, proletarian hatred”, what he calls a “temper”, “very often dormant, unrealised and unroused” among the masses, which ought to be kindled. This “gratifying and valuable” temper, understood and shared by all “small folk”, was the “beginning of all wisdom”, but did not alone produce revolutionary strategy or allow a party to master the art of politics.

This presents something of an irony in Bordiga’s career, as a revolutionary leader involved in mass politics in the 1910s and 1920s. For he proved especially skilful at mobilising this kind of ardour and faith, even to the extent of gaining a certain reputation as a “man of action on the side of the workers” - distant from the more commonplace view of him today as the archetypal “armchair revolutionary”, who offered nothing but a counsel of passivity. In reality, the Communist Party of Italy was galvanised not just by force of Bolshevik example or disappointment with the socialists, but also with the kind of moral certitude that Bordiga was able to provide - not least as he had been one of the only workers’ leaders who had remained implacable in his opposition to all Italian participation in World War I.

The negative characterisation of Bordiga in LWC, but also left-communists’ own common self-representation, has fed the impression that the early Communist Party of Italy was merely a sterile sect, defined by a refusal of the terrains of electoral propaganda or anti-fascist militancy. Yet a more serious appraisal of the party’s real activity, and the actual influence that Bordiga had over the tens of thousands of militants in its ranks, paints a rather different picture, in which it showed real capacity for mass mobilisation and militancy, helping to steel its ranks in the face of the overwhelming counterrevolution.

In my forthcoming book, Amadeo Bordiga and the origins of communism in Italy, I shall seek more fully to correct the historical record through a more in-depth study of the activity of local PCd’I branches during these formative years. But doubtless one lesson of this experience is that an insistence on the separateness of the proletarian struggle from the world of bourgeois politics could itself be a force for mobilisation and organisational strength, rather than simply a recipe for minoritarian detachment from mass politics.

  1. ‘The misuses of Gramsci’ Weekly Worker February 25 2021: weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1336/the-misuses-of-gramsci.↩︎

  2. A Bordiga, Leftwing communism, an infantile disorder - a condemnation of the renegades to come’: www.sinistra.net/lib/upt/comlef/ren/renegadede.html (translation edited).↩︎

  3. ‘Wrongly overlooked thinker’ Weekly Worker July 23 2020: weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1309/wrongly-overlooked-thinker.↩︎

  4. www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/preface.htm.↩︎

  5. AG Bonnell, ‘Did they read Marx? Marx reception and Social Democratic Party members in imperial Germany, 1890-1914’ Australian Journal of Politics and History 48 (1) pp4-15.↩︎

  6. Many important interventions are collected in Luigi Cortesi Le origini del PCI: studi e interventi sulla storia del comunismo in Italia (Milan 1973); we could also cite such works as Rosa Alcara’s La formazione e i primi anni del partito comunista italiano nella storiografia marxista and Andreina de Clementi’s studies, resulting in the biography Amadeo Bordiga (Turin 1971).↩︎

  7. ‘Le lotte di classe nella campagna italiana’: www.sinistra.net/lib/bas/battag/ceju/cejukjizui.html.↩︎