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Felix Baum & Jacob Blumenfeld

In: The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory

Chapter 70: The Frankfurt School and Council Communism

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The Frankfurt School and Council Communism
The Frankfurt School and Council Communism
Felix Baum Jacob Blumenfeld

If the Frankfurt School, as Alfred Sohn-Rethel maintained, ‘derived from the German revolution that never happened’, which after the First World War ‘should have occurred and tragically failed’ (Sohn-Rethel, 1990: 10; 1978: xi et sq.), then certain affinities with German–Dutch council communism are to be expected. Council communism emerged in the post-war turmoil as an attempt to avert the failure of the revolution, which brought it into opposition not only to social democracy, but also to Bolshevism shortly thereafter. Following a brief period of mass appeal, council communism shrank to a theoretical enterprise, which, like the Frankfurt School, was still capable of critically ...

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